2014 OUSCI Preview- Dan Livezey's 1964 Chevrolet Corvette
As we go through the field for the 2014 OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational, we'll see a lot of newcomers, but we'll also see some familiar faces. Dan Livezey is the latter, having competed in the OUSCI most-recently in 2011, when he ran his 1969 Chevrolet Corvette out for the event, finishing tied for 24th overall. Livezey's past run was highlighted by a 11th-place finish in the RideTech Autocross, which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone considering Dan is an SCCA National Champion in Solo II.
Livezey has also gone through the driving school at Pahrump and logged many track days over the years. It's safe to say he has plenty of experience behind the wheel. The question then becomes what he has in front of the wheel and will it be enough to run with the top contenders across all five events?
When we first saw this stunning Stingray at the Portland Ultimate Street Car Association event, we were blown away by the stunning lines and deep, deep paint job. As it turns out, the car was just barely completed in time to run the event and Dan made sure to mask off the sensitive areas of the car with painter's tape, to protect the pristine finish. The outcome was a qualifying spot in the 2014 OUSCI, as Livezey topped the field of competitors in the GT2K class (for cars under 3,000 pounds), but getting into the field is often just the beginning of the journey.
"I have been thrashing on it every day I have been home since the Portland event," says Dan. "First, the fuel system is getting a complete do-over to prevent the stalling in the corners that I was experiencing at Portland, as I can't go fast if I have to wait at every corner to get back on the throttle." Such an issue may make Dan's victory even more impressive and perhaps intimidating to his fellow competitors. While Livezey had a substantial buffer on the BFGoodrich Hot Lap Challenge in the GT2K class, the GT3K leaders had a similar cushion against Dan's best lap there. That margin will probably decrease significantly in Las Vegas, when Dan isn't handicapped by an inadequate fuel system.
However, all the power (687 horsepower to be exact) from his Lingenfelter 427 does create some aero issues at speed and the fast straightaways at Portland made that obvious to Dan. Cars are not expected to carry such high speeds at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but Dan still had the front spoiler re-built with more downforce in mind.
Inside the car, Livezey has lined up the upholstery shop to get the carpeting in (again, remembering it was just completed at Portland), which should improve the car's scores in the Lingenfelter Engineering Performance Design Challenge.
Dan has also had the alignment changed at least twice since Portland and has been looking at different springs, in an effort to further dial-in the handling. Other small changes include a different steering wheel that Dan expects will give him a better feel for the tarmac and cleaning up a few things in the engine compartment. Even with the carpeting and some other odds and ends, Dan still expects his Stingray will be south of 3,000 pounds by the time it arrives in Sin City.
While Dan does have prior experience at the track in Pahrump, he has not been on the circuit at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He has taken a look at it and his assessment so far is that it looks like a, "handling course with a couple of gotch ya spots in it, that will require a lot of finesse."
While the OUSCI field is routinely filled with big horsepower entries, Dan feels that is often wasted on most of the cars. "Tires are going to play an important role this year," says Livezey. "ABS is really only a savior if you have already gone in too deep."
If Dan were putting odds on his chances, he'd say he is a 10 to 1 favorite to win it all, but may fare better in the individual competitions. "If I can drive the car to it's full potential, it will win at least one of the events," predicts Livezey. We will all find out soon enough and even though there are still two qualifying events remaining, we're already feeling like the OUSCI can't get here soon enough! Don't miss this year's event, buy your 2014 OUSCI tickets today!