$2011 Challenge Updates

Kumho Tires presents the Grassroots Motorsports $2011 Challenge powered by RacingJunk - Update Page

Stay tuned to this page for live updates, in-car video, and behind-the-scenes stories as they happen. From Thursday night registration until the Saturday night award ceremony, we'll be posting updates here so you can keep up with the action. This event wouldn't happen without the great support of our sponsors, so we want to thank Kumho Tires, RacingJunk.com, and CRC Industries for helping the Grassroots Motorsports team to bring you this event.

Saturday, October 8 updates Bryce Nash made it down the dragstrip, but conditions weren't ideal. He pedaled his way to a 15.0 pass before the weather hit. The Nelson family made the most of their first run. 10.58 is amazingly fast in these conditions. Congratulations to the Nelson family on a fantastic run! Per needs to concentrate on the weather report. We're hoping to get a break in the weather and put a few more cars on track. Nobody is as eager for the weather to break as the Nelson family team. This could be their year! Despite the questionable weather forecast, spirits are high in the grid as teams prepare for the drag race portion of the competition. Even Mike Guido's car is wearing a clown nose.
Friday, October 7 updates The magazine staff brought out a Ford Boss 302S Laguna Seca edition to provide a reference for the competitors performance. Kumho Tires is on hand with lots of giveaway items for spectators and competitors. These posters were especially popular. Our pro drivers were available for all Challenge competitors looking for the fastest possible autocross times. They appear to be enjoying their role. The Vorshlag crew have returned, and this time they spent some more time with the livery. They also say they've had a lot more time to sort the car, so expectations are high for this LS-powered BMW. Whim Racing had trouble with their Ford V8-powered Miata at last year's event, but their Ford V8-powered RX-7 doesn't seem to have that trouble. Wreck Racing won the Challenge last year, so they're looking to defend the title for 2011. At least they don't appear shorthanded. Friday's portion of the competition begins with the driver's meeting. Our pro drivers have new shirts, but they're still obnoxiously loud. Steve Brozyna and Greg Voth fixed their "Flying Deuce" LeMons car just enough to make it out for the $2011 Challenge. The Nelson family made some last-minute plans, so they're also back for another Challenge event. This car was dangerously close to a win a few years back, so we're excited to see it compete again in 2011. James Novak brought a Subaru-powered Porsche 914 for this year. Two liters of turbocharged power should move this lightweight car around rather quickly. The Git R Dun team have some neat stickers for the concours judges. We'll be watching for the manifold explosions tomorrow during the drag racing portion of the event. There are a lot of eyes on this impressive looking Corvette. You can bet that their budget paperwork will be checked very carefully.
Thursday, October 6 updates For most teams, the $2011 Challenge experience starts with a visit to Per at registration. Once the paperwork is in order, they'll head back to see Debbie and Nancy and get their goodie bags. Bryce Nash and his ultra-clean Honda came all the way from Portland to take part in this year's Challenge. Bryce estimates 180 horsepower for the turbocharged, rear engined car. That kind of power in a 1350 pound car make this entry one to watch closely. Condor Speed Shop is ready for serious speed. They had to make their own gauge to measure it. It's true...fender flares do make any car better. The Shelby Dodge Auto Club team recycled a filing cabinet and a washing machine to make these. We can't wait to see it with the race tires in place. Texas A&M has returned for the $2011 Challenge, and this time they're running a Nissan VG35 powered Miata.
Wednesday, October 5 updates Before the Challenge gets started, there's a lot of preparation to be done. Debbie and Margie worked together to get the goodie bags stuffed with materials from Kumho Tires, RacingJunk.com, and CRC Industries ready for competitors at registration.

Pre-Event press release-

Grassroots Motorsports $2011 Challenge Starts THIS Week

The event that was spawned by the magazine’s staff over beers and bench racing one late night in 1999. The Challenge was a dare to the magazine’s readers, who were invited to autocross, drag race and enter a concours with the best vehicles they could muster—for a total budget of $1500.

“Honestly, we figured that at best maybe a handful of readers would bother to build cars just for this one event,” recalls Tim Suddard, the magazine’s publisher, “so our staffers built three entries just so we’d have something resembling a field.”

They needn’t have worried. The Challenge touched a chord among racers and enthusiasts, and a healthy field trekked to Central Florida for that first event—and the 10 subsequent Challenges that have followed.

The Challenges have brought amazing creations built to a budget—built to be fast, to handle and to look great. The budgets have been adjusted to match the year of each competition. Whether it was Dan Senecal’s movie-ready BatVan, Mongrel Motorsports’s surgically clean BMW 2002, the Hong Norr team’s Civic-based homage to Richard Petty’s Superbird, or Andrew Nelson’s 10-second drag monsters, each year this high-flying, but low-spending, group of competitors has proved that some of the coolest stuff going on in motorsports is happening at the very bottom end of the budget.

This year’s hopefuls include some cool creations that come from the traditional hot rodder’s school of thought—stuff the biggest engine into the smallest car for the biggest impact. How about a 1972 Honda N600 micro car chock full of a modern Acura Integra mill? Team Parts Bin is bringing that little Honda all the way from Oregon for our big show. The Florida-based Condor Speed Shop has a shorter commute to the event, but they’re using that extra time to cram a turbocharged M3 motor into a 1975 BMW 2002 for maximum effect. Of course, there’s dozens and dozens of other cool cars on the entry list and ready to race for the glory of the Challenge.

The Grassroots Motorsports $2011 Challenge will roll into Gainesville, Florida, on October 6. Powered by RacingJunk.com and sponsored by Kumho tires, this year’s event will also feature a competition class for LeMons and ChumpCar racers. They’d better bring their A game, though: Although it’s all in fun, it takes a lot of everything but dollars to run at the top of the Challenge.

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