#FastFriday: Can a Home-Built Mitsubishi Eclipse the Competition?

By Colin Wood
Apr 10, 2020 | #FastFriday, Ultimate Track Car Challenge, Hyperfest

John Freund built his 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX from the ground up, and is bringing it to our Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge. Sure, it's a mean-looking machine, but is the all-wheel-drive, 387-horsepower Mitsubishi enough to surpass this year's stiff competition?

The Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge, held during the HyperFest weekend at Virginia International Raceway, is our annual no-holds-barred track competition. The rules are simple: Car and driver must pass a NASA safety inspection. Period.

Here are some of the other amazing machines expected at the event:

Sally McNulty is bringing a longtime rival of the Mitsubishi: a Subaru WRX STI. Sally's 559-horsepower WRX is a long way from stock, with a list of mods long enough to fill a CVS receipt. Is a heavily modified WRX as capable on tarmac as it is on dirt?

Charlie Greenhaus is coming in from left field in his 2019 EVSR. Yes, the EV does stand for what you think it does: This track weapon is fully electric. The EVSR has already claimed a 2:15:09 lap time at VIR back in 2014, and Charlie hopes to smash that record this year. Is electric the best way to go for the fastest lap times on track?


Check out the rest of the accepted entries, and let us know if you think you have what it takes to win.

The Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge is presented by Tire Rack in association with Wilwood Disc Brakes and XClutch, with trophies from BimmerWorldFalken TireHoosier TireSPA Technique, and Aeromotive.


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View comments on the GRM forums
_ Dork
4/10/20 4:08 p.m.

John's eclipse has been around a awhile. And has many of the bugs sorted already. He has a trailer and drives the eclipse to events. The trailer has all the usual spares (such as axles). 

Sally... I'll keep it professional here, because I'm a gentleman. heart.

cant wait to see the EVSR. 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/10/20 9:35 p.m.

Charlie has a really convenient last name. 

Gotta say I'm really interested to know how it does. Feature! Feature! Feature!

LanEvo Dork
4/10/20 9:56 p.m.

This is a little intimidating. I was hoping to enter my humble Mercedes 190E Cosworth. But with barely 200 hp, skinny 205-width tires, and a 2700 lbs curb weight ... I'd be bringing a sharpened stick to a bazooka fight.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
4/11/20 9:01 a.m.

In reply to LanEvo :

Well you'd at least get some brownie points from me. The 190E is pretty high up on my list of favorite cars.

4/11/20 9:27 a.m.

I hope to see more info on that EVSR!

CrustyRedXpress (Forum Supporter)
CrustyRedXpress (Forum Supporter) Reader
4/11/20 2:06 p.m.

In reply to LanEvo :

Do it! Would love to see your car in print again.

LanEvo Dork
4/11/20 8:20 p.m.
CrustyRedXpress (Forum Supporter) said:

Do it! Would love to see your car in print again.

Hey, someone has to come in last right? I suppose it might as well be me. 

LanEvo Dork
4/15/20 10:22 p.m.

For whatever it's worth, I went ahead and entered my submission. I present: the 190E Cosworth of Team Hammerzeit.

Fingers crossed...

ChrisLS8 Reader
4/16/20 11:17 a.m.

Love the 2G eclipses. Impossible to find in decent shape especially in GST or GSX varietals. I've been watching some videos of this car and it's entertaining for sure. 

Up there with Mazzie Formula 4 Rotor for home built cars

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