$2000 Challenge: How to win? We have a panel discussion on that.

By Colin Wood
Mar 20, 2024 | $2000 Challenge

Photography Credit: David S. Wallens

How do you build a car that can win our annual Grassroots Motorsports $2000 Challenge presented by Tire Rack? Why not just ask a previous winner?

On Sunday, April 7, join us as we hold a panel discussion with previous winners to learn how the country’s best low-buck builders do it.

Learn their secrets, ask your questions, and come away with the knowledge you need to build your next winning Challenge car.

For more information about the $2000 Challenge, visit 2000challenge.com.

The Grassroots Motorsports $2000 Challenge is presented by Tire Rack, in association with CRCMiller and BendPak.

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Ranger50 MegaDork
3/20/24 6:35 p.m.

That Internetable?

Fair New Reader
3/21/24 3:54 p.m.

The concours portion is the "easiest" portion to do well in at the GRM challenge. We went in 2010 in what we felt was a great entry for engineering reasons: this 1986 BMW 325e "E30" with a truck LS engine swapped in, box flares, 15x10" circle track wheels, and an entire front suspension grafted in from an E36.

Well we did pretty good in the autocross but TANKED in the concrous judging. It was a basic flat black paint job (we ran out of money in the budget for good paint!), but we had a full interior and again, what we felt was an engineering marvel - with dozens of hand made parts to meet budget and performance goals.

Parking our E30 next to Condor Speed Shop's E30 it was evident why they ranked higher than us in the concours judging - our boring black exterior didn't catch the eye. You need some COLOR and some sort of livery scheme to set your entry apart from the pack. No matter how fast the car is or how well engineered, it has to LOOK THE PART.

So for the $2011 GRM Challenge we brought the same car back and spent about $40 on rolls of colorful vinyl. Then we hand cut the livery to match the then current Jeff Koons BMW Art Car E90 M3 that ran at LeMans just months earlier. This was before everyone and their brother copied that art car theme....

Other than a spring change, it was the EXACT same car we took in 2010, and we added the graphics above the DAY we were leaving for Florida for the event. But it was an EYE popping and COLORFUL livery, and it worked.


The judges IMMEDIATELY knew what we were going for and LOVED the theme. It crushed in concours and autocross both.

We also brought a detailed BUILD BOOK, the 2011 Calendar we made with this car on the cover, and our NASA Race Car Log Book of this as well (I had entered this in a NASA Time Trial for some testing between the 2010-11 GRM events).

So we finally won the GRM Challenge in our 2nd try, and concours was key. But we also set the fastest autocross time, and that took a real effort - so don't put all your eggs in the concours basket. But $40 of vinyl was what took our primer paint job to winning livery. Forty bucks and about 8 hours of time...



J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
3/22/24 9:01 a.m.

In reply to Fair :

Thanks for sharing, Terry! While I do not judge concours, I will say that presentation does make a difference, whether it's Pebble Beach or Gainesville.

stafford1500 GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/22/24 2:54 p.m.

Should we start a list of questions to que up at the start of the panel?

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