OUSCI Preview- Blue Offutt's 1993 Mazda RX-7
Blue Offutt has competed in more than 40 open road races, in classes between 90 mph and 150 mph and has reached the podium in 27 of those contests. However, with all of that competitive experience, Offutt has never ran a timed lap at either a road course or drag strip. However, he does have a background in autocross racing, which should help him at the 2012 OUSCI, in spite of the fact that his autocross days are about 20 years behind him and he described that experience as, "an unhealthy obsession with orange cones."
Blue's vehicle for the OUSCI will be his trusty 1993 Mazda RX-7 and we describe it as "trusty," because it has been his go-to vehicle in open road races for the last ten years and hasn't let him down. Blue attributes it's durability to the engine built by Jay Evanson of RX for your 7, in Tucson, Arizona, who is a rotary engine specialist. The RX-7 lays down just 276 horsepower at the rear wheels and 245 lb-ft. of torque, which Blue correctly characterized as being outgunned in the OUSCI field, but the RX-7 is a lightweight contender, tipping the scales at about 2,900 pounds.
As with other contenders, we have a great deal of confidence that Blue's RX-7 will be running at the end of the day, which definitely bodes well for him. That means he will likely score points on the Detroit Speed Engineering Road Rally. He also feels confident he'll be able to handle the "Stop" portion of the Wilwood Disc Brakes Speed Stop Challenge, but his "Speed" portion may limit him.
We think the nible Mazda will do well in the RideTech autocross and we wouldn't be surprised to see Blue hold his own in the BFGoodrich Hot Lap Challenge either. Will it be enough to make Offutt a serious contender? We'll find out in November. If you'd like to see the 2012 OUSCI in person, buy your tickets here, while they last.