Ghais Khaleghi wins the 2023 Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge

J.A.
By J.A. Ackley
Oct 16, 2023 | SCCA, UTCC, Ultimate Track Car Challenge, NCM Motorsports Park, Tire Rack

Photography by Chris Tropea

The Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge Presented by Grassroots Motorsports came down to this: 1000 horsepower versus less than 1000 pounds of weight. Steve Luca brought the former, with a 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. Ghais Khaleghi came with the latter with a Stohr prototype.

Luca set a blazing lap time of 2:02.759 around NCM Motorsports Park. That broke the production car record at the facility, a 2:02.860 lap set in 2020 by Andy Pilgrim in a McLaren Senna.

However, Khaleghi’s car, with a Suzuki 1000 engine putting out around 175 horsepower, went even faster, with a 2:00.091 lap.

The battle for first may have captured the spotlight, but that was just the tip of the iceberg of the battles during our annual Ultimate Track Car Challenge. Fastest FWD? Fastest AWD? Fastest car on 200tw tires? Read on for the complete list of award winners.

Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge Presented by Grassroots Motorsports Full Results

NCM Motorsports Park
Bowling Green, Kentucky
October 14-15, 2023

  1. Ghais Khaleghi, 2004 Stohr 01D, 2:00.901
  2. Steve Luca, 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, 2:02.759
  3. Justin Peachey, 2007 Chevrolet Corvette, 2:04.362
  4. Ryan Mathews, 2002 Chevrolet Corvette, 2:06.410
  5. Devan Keeling, 1996 Ford Mustang GT, 2:09.353
  6. Stan Whitney, 2022 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, 2:11.508
  7. James Rauck, 1999 Honda Civic, 2:11.571
  8. Phillip Glass-Hess, 1994 Mazda MX-5 Miata, 2:11.853
  9. Josh Owens, 1994 Mazda MX-5 Miata, 2:12.325
  10. Jackie Ding, 2023 BMW M2, 2:12.447
  11. Mark Sarcevicz, 2002 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, 2:13.106
  12. Tom Reynolds, 2021 Toyota Supra, 2:13.727
  13. Robert Ellsworth, 1970 Dodge Challenger, 2:13.948
  14. Jacob Besemer, 2017 Chevrolet Camaro, 2:13.954
  15. Robert Wilmoth, 2018 Audi RS3, 2:14.501
  16. Nicholas Hendrix, 2013 Chevrolet Corvette GS, 2:15.177
  17. Dallas Reed, 2023 Chevrolet Corvette, 2:15.228
  18. David Entz, 2016 Porsche Cayman, 2:15.441
  19. Timothy Lonergan, 2007 Chevrolet Corvette, 2:15.533
  20. Zachary Grant, 2000 Mazda MX-5 Miata, 2:16.276
  21. Nicolas Hammann, 1984 Porsche 944, 2:16.333
  22. John Roeder, 2021 BMW M2, 2:16.348
  23. Michael Kubiak, 2003 Chevrolet Corvette, 2:16.407
  24. Michael W. Barnes, 2018 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, 2:16.416
  25. Jeff Tucker, 2018 Chevrolet Camaro, 2:16.786
  26. Lyle Zyra, 2022 Toyota GR86, 2:16.966
  27. Casey Henry, 2004 Chevrolet Corvette, 2:17.123
  28. James L. Currie, 2016 BMW M4, 2:17.523
  29. Mark Kilgore, 2015 BMW M4, 2:17.788
  30. Lawrence Shue, 2003 BMW M3, 2:19.199
  31. Tracy Gaudu, 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, 2:19.636
  32. Chris Russell, 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, 2:22.258
  33. Daniel Cummings, 1968 Subaru 360, 2:22.378
  34. Ryan Cheek, 2006 Ford Mustang GT, 2:22.798
  35. Marty Rogan, 2001 Ford Mustang GT, 2:25.777
  36. Terrence Singh, 2019 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen, 2:27.500
  37. Alek Paterson, 1991 BMW 325i, 2:28.625

  • Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car presented by Tire Rack ($1000 Tire Rack gift certificate): Ghais Khaleghi Ghais, 2004 Stohr 01D
  • Fastest RWD, Open Tire Presented by Miller Electric (Millermatic 142 and Honor Infinity Series Helmet): Ghais Khaleghi Ghais, 2004 Stohr 01D
  • Fastest on Hoosiers Presented by Hoosier (Gift certificate for four Hoosier tires): Ghais Khaleghi Ghais, 2004 Stohr 01D
  • Fastest Car on DOT-Approved Tires Presented by Tire Rack ($1000 Tire Rack gift certificate): Steve Luca, 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
  • Fastest Production Car Presented by Call To Grid ($250): Steve Luca, 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
  • Fastest Car on 200tw Tires Presented by Tire Rack ($1000 Tire Track gift certificate): Justin Peachey, 2007 Chevrolet Corvette
  • Fastest RWD on 200tw Tires Presented by XS Power (XS Power battery): Justin Peachey, 2007 Chevrolet Corvette
  • Fastest FWD Presented by Ampere EV (3 AMP karting sessions and 1 Taste of AMP ticket): James Rauck, 1999 Honda Civic
  • Fastest FWD, 200tw Tire Presented by XS Power (XS power battery): James Rauck, 1999 Honda Civic
  • Fastest AWD, Open Tire, Presented by CRC (CRC SmartWasher BenchtopPRO kit): Robert Wilmoth, 2018 Audi RS3
  • Fastest AWD, 200tw Tire Presented by Sunoco (3 Sunoco fuel jugs): Robert Wilmoth, 2018 Audi RS3
  • Fastest BMW Presented by Bimmerworld ($250 BimmerWorld gift certificate): Jackie Ding, 2023 BMW M2
  • Safety Award Presented by SPA Technique (SPA Technique gift certificate): Devan Keeling, 1996 Ford Mustang GT
  • Editor’s Choice ($250 off $500 purchase from Wilwood): Robert Ellsworth, 1970 Dodge Challenger
  • Longest Tow Presented by Wilwood ($250 off $500 purchase from Wilwood): Awarded during presentation.

 

Thank you to the support of Tire RackSunocoCRC IndustriesWilwood EngineeringSPA TechniqueAmpere EV LLCMiller Electric and of course the SCCA for sanctioning the UTCC

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Comments
Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
10/16/23 9:40 a.m.

Congratulations to the winners and everyone who came out and competed.

Who already is starting to plan for next year?

camopaint0707
camopaint0707 Reader
10/16/23 9:44 a.m.

Justin Peachey reset his own record multiple times as well as pulling off the 3 peat.

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
10/16/23 11:15 a.m.

Congrats to him

annnnnnd this is why I am always going on about single seat race cars. Also of note is the winning car probably cost half  of what the second place car did.

I've driven that generation of Stohr and they are amazing.

TomHale
TomHale
10/16/23 4:26 p.m.

Anyone from Maine?

 

J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
10/16/23 5:42 p.m.

In reply to TomHale :

No entrants from Maine. Massachusetts was the closest for UTCC.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/16/23 5:59 p.m.

I always like to see the "little guy" win. Just goes to show that Colin Chapmans favorite sayings still hold water. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
10/16/23 7:09 p.m.
Kreb (Forum Supporter) said:

I always like to see the "little guy" win. Just goes to show that Colin Chapmans favorite sayings still hold water. 

I mean in no way shape or form to take away from the driver but if you haven't driven one of these or been around them the performance is mega.

The lap times at Laguna Seca are equal to the old Indy Lites cars.

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/17/23 4:49 a.m.
Kreb (Forum Supporter) said:

I always like to see the "little guy" win. Just goes to show that Colin Chapmans favorite sayings still hold water. 

It's tough to argue with physics and simplification.

Driven5
Driven5 UberDork
10/17/23 10:39 a.m.

It's interesting that the top 6 were separated by ~2 seconds EACH, while the next 6 were separated by ~2 seconds TOTAL.

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