One of the unique things about Optima Batteries‘ Search for the Ultimate Street Car is that it accepts all years, makes, and models of cars. Optima’s idea of the ‘ultimate street car’ is really as straightforward as the name implies: a high-performance, street legal machine — plain and simple. No barring limitations or infeasible requirements; just straight-up, good old-fashioned racing, where anyone can join and anyone has the opportunity to win.
With the first of the 10 qualifying events for the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational (OUSCI) only a little over a month away (it kicks off on February 27 at Thunderhill Motorsports Park in Willows, California), it’s just about time to start buckling down and dialing in your ride. To assist with your preparation process, we have a bit of useful information to share and help get your head in the game.
Now, in order to ensure that everyone is on the same page, the OUSCI is an invitation-only race held from November 4-6 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Invitations to the event are earned two ways: by finishing the season as one of the Top 15 competitors in points, and by winning at a qualifying event.
This year, Optima announced that double-point events will no longer occur, helping to even the playing field a bit. According to Optima, “This means participants who could not attend multiple double-point events in the past will no longer be at a competitive disadvantage, versus those who did have the time and resources available.” However, Optima continued by stating that those looking for an invitation based on point totals will still need to compete in at least three events during the season.
But, if your ultimate strategy is in fact to secure your spot at the Invitational via points-total, three events could be all you need. You are, of course, able to participate in all 10 events (provided there is availability), but Optima will only count your three best finishes towards your collective points-total.
Also new to this year’s season is a redesigned points system. Previously, competitors who finished first in each of the four classes received ‘first-place’ points, and could potentially earn several ‘perfect scores.’ This year, however, Optima announced that “the points structure in all event segments (besides the road rally) will cascade down from 100 points for first place to 26 points for 75th place (one point per position). Additionally, those points will be distributed based on overall finishing position at the event, with finishing positions within classes being determined after points have been distributed.”
Therefore, instead of first-place winners in each class taking home perfect scores, only one participant will receive such a score — making it that much more difficult of a feat. This might also change an entrant’s approach for determining which events to enter, and requiring a bit more strategy and careful planning to gauge where he or she might most easily outperform the competition.
So, in case you haven’t already figured it out, there’s a bit more to experiencing success in Optima’s Search for the Ultimate Street Car than simply flooring it and trying to cross the finish line first. With the inclusion of a new points structure, varying levels of competition to deal with, and even wildcards, the OUSCI and its qualifying races will be a serious season of events.
For a full, comprehensive guide to 2016’s changes, and even race-by-race strategies — all straight from the horse’s mouth — check out Optima’s guide to kicking ass in its qualifying events website page.