Posted: May 29, 2013
OPTIMA® Faceoff Preview- Eric McClellan's Camaro
There seems to be a widespread misconception about Pro-Touring enthusiasts, that they pick a car out, drop a six-figure check off at a shop and come back in a few months to pick up their finished project, which they'll then track once and drive a half dozen times a year. While that may certainly be the case for a handful of folks, we generally never see anyone fitting that description at our events. There are certainly some high-dollar cars that do compete, but for the most part, the time they spend running on the track at the Faceoff is only a fraction of the time they spend in competitive settings all year.
Eric McClellan and his 1968 Chevrolet Camaro certainly go hard against the myth of high-dollar garage queens. Eric's F-body does have all the "right" components onboard- a 600-horsepower Mast LS3, Tranzilla T56, a full Speedtech suspension system, including the frame torque arm. It also has ridetech triple-adjustable shocks on all four corners, a nine-inch rearend and 18-inch Forgeline wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich rubber, stopped with 14-inch 6P Baer calipers and a four-point roll cage for safety's sake.
Those are all the ingredients of a high-dollar build, except for the fact that Eric put it all together in his own garage with a set of jackstands, a cherry picker and help from a lot of friends. Did we mention he built it while he was in college and graduate school and bankrolled the project with student loans? And he just welcomed a new baby into the world.
Now before you start expecting us to tell you how Eric cut his teeth winning SCCA autocross national championships as a teenager in a Lincoln Mark V he cobbled together with paper route money, we'll tell you that his track experience prior to last year's OPTIMA® Faceoff amounted to roughly (by his estimate) one million simulator laps on his Sony Playstation.
Even though he was an absolute newbie prior to last year's Faceoff, Eric did have a solid performance and wasn't a backmarker on either the BFGoodrich Hot Lap Challenge or the Ridetech Autocross. Eric does admit that all that video game experience did absolutely nothing to prepare him for the feeling he experienced when he hit the track in real life for the very first time. "DON'T CRASH! DON'T CRASH! DON'T CRASH!," was his exact quote to describe the fear, adrenaline, sweat and noise-drenched experience of running on the big track. It's safe to say that first experience basically hooked him for life.
Now that he has a full year of racing under his belt, he heads into the 2013 Faceoff, presented by Royal Purple and KN Filters, a lot more confident in his car and his abilities. McClellan is very thankful for the relationships he's forged with so many sponsors and is confident he'll be working his way up the leaderboards this year.
Eric's Camaro is scheduled to be featured in the July issue of Camaro Performers magazine, but if you want to see more of it and can't wait that long, check out this feature at LSXTV.com. If you'd like to see how his car does at Road America this year in person, be sure to grab your Faceoff advance tickets at Road America's website today!