The Ultimate Power Source ™

OPTIMA Invitational

Posted: Nov 10, 2012

OUSCI Competitor- Joey Seely's 1986 Porsche Carrera

62_2.jpgEach year, OPTIMA Batteries hosts the Ultimate Street Car Invitational, presented by Royal Purple and KN. Although the event takes place immediately following the SEMA Show, the one-hour TV show filmed around the event typically doesn't air for several months.

In the interim, results are posted and in some cases, heads begin to scratch at the outcome. How did car A beat car B? Was it the driver, did the car have issues? In the weeks leading up to the airing of the 2012 OUSCI on SPEED, we hope to shed some light and answer some of those questions here, in the Power Source blog. We're starting with Joey Seely and his 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera, as he was a golden ticket selection at the SEMA Show and we didn't have time to preview his car prior to the event.

What can we tell you about his Porsche? It is powered by a 3.6-liter flat-six, built at bbi autosport and produces 325 horsepower and 285 lb.-ft. of torque. Those may seem like lightweight numbers for the OUSCI field, but it should also be noted that Joey's Porsche weighs just 2,187 pounds, even with a back-half roll bar by L-Con.

Composite bodywork was provided by Getty Design and Bells Autosport did all the metal work, including the roof and hand-shaped fender flares. The engine was built correctly, with titanium connecting rods, high-compression JE pistons, custom-ground cams from Webcam, ARP fasteners and all the balancing by Pauter.

The Porsche also benefitted from Brembo GT brakes and a custom-engineered suspension system with KW double-adjustable coilovers and solid bushings from ERP and Tarett throughout. RECARO seats also makes the Porsche comfortable for Joey's daily use. That sounds like the perfect combination for the OUSCI and while Joey far exceeded his own expecations in some areas, he felt he came up short in others.

Overall, Joey felt the car did very well, considering he only finished it the Sunday before SEMA and drove it to the show. Unfortunately, not every component on the car was ready in time for SEMA and the dampers being built for the car in Germany were not done in time. "The right front shock was blown and the rear shocks were marginally better than stock. With the lighter chassis, larger, more-powerful engine and huge Brembo brakes, the car was a real handful on the road course without proper dampers," admits Seely.

That would likely explain why Seely was able to finish fourth in the Wilwood Speed Stop Challenge and eighth in the RideTech Autocross, but only managed 22nd in the BF Goodrich Hot Lap Challenge. A comparable performance there could've easily elevated him to a top-ten finish overall. Seely also missed the Detroit Speed/JRI Shocks road rally, which would have netted him an additional ten points and certainly elevated him into one of the top finishing positions.

Still, Seely had the best performance on the track of all the golden ticket invitees, although Rob MacGregor also showed well and did finish higher, thanks to points from the Road Rally and the Lingenfelter Performance Design Challenge. "On the short and tight stuff, I felt my car did a fantastic job, because the dampers weren't as much of a factor," says Seely. "I was just comfortable driving through it. On the road course, that issue couldn't be masked- not to mention I haven't driven at Spring Mountain and didn't have any seat time in the car's new trim."

Joey also didn't have power steering, power brakes, traction control or ABS, leaving all corrective measures up to a driver already exhausted by a long week at SEMA. When he found out how well he placed in both the Autocross and Speed Stop, he was fairly excited. However, the reality of his competition really hit home on the road course. "Those V8s sound amazing and make HUGE power," says Joey. "I would have to make up the difference in a well-set up chassis and try to get them in the corners under braking."

We were still very impressed with Joey's efforts and thank him for his willingness to participate in the OUSCI. After all, we talk to many car owners and builders throughout the week, but many are unwilling or unable to put their car on a track following the SEMA Show.

If there's anything future OUSCI competitors can take away from Seely's performance, it is the importance of participating in and completing the Detroit Speed/JRI Shocks Road Rally. That portion of the event is worth ten points and that was the difference between a 12th-place finish and the 17th spot, where Seely ended up overall.

Be sure to check the Power Source blog, as we continue to give you post-race stories on the cars and competitors in the 2012 OUSCI. We will also be announcing the date and time of the premiere of the 2012 OUSCI on SPEED, when that information becomes available.

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