Posted: Nov 15, 2012
OUSCI Competitor Ben Therrien's 1995 Nissan Skyline
We've seen it more than a few times- someone gets invited to the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational and their immeidate reaction is to tear their car apart, in an attempt to make it even faster and better-looking. We don't know if that was the case with Ben Therrien's Nissan Skyline, but we do know the engine only had dyno time on it when it started the Detroit Speed/JRI Shocks Road Rally after SEMA.
An oil leak soon manifested itself and the Therrien's never made it to the cruise stops at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort or the Pahrump Nugget Hotel and Casino. They did re-appear the next morning at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch, where the car was judged in the Lingenfelter Performance Design Challenge and took to the big track for the BF Goodrich Hot Lap Challenge.
Things were looking good on the big track, as Therrien shaved 20 seconds off his time from the first lap to the second. Then it became apparent that the car couldn't continue and they pulled in and called it a day. Faster than 16 cars in the Hot Lap Challenge, the Skyline had the potential to do at least as well in the RideTech Autocross and Wilwood Speed Stop Challenge.
As with Danny Popp, even though Ben's day ended sooner than he would've liked, his advice to future competitors is to have fun. Therrien spent the rest of the day cheering on the other competitors and came away very impressed with Todd Earsley's Mitsubishi Evo. Ben expected the car to run well and finish in the top-half of the field, but was amazed at Todd's third-place finish overall.
Engine issues aside, Ben describes the OUSCI as one of the best times of his life and is already mapping out changes to his Skyline and hatching plans to run in 2013 OUSCI Qualifying events, in the hope of getting another shot at the title next year.