Optima Batteries has invited the eminent Mr. Mark Stielow to compete in the 2014 Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational. The race will pit the world’s best-performing street-legal cars against each other on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, November 8-9.
General Motors Program Engineering Manager Mark Stielow is a legend in the Pro Touring genre of street car builds, largely because he helped to originate it. He has raced many vintage Chevrolet Camaros, each one updated with modern suspension, drivetrain, and brake components to give them performance comparable to – or exceeding that of – a modern performance car.
That is the very definition of a Pro Touring car: a classic muscle car updated to race like a monster, even by today’s elevated standards. It’s also worth noting that the General Motors engineer has won the Ultimate Street Car Invitational twice before.
This year, Mark Stielow will be piloting a brand new Camaro build, based on a first-generation car as always. Here are the mind-numbing highlights:
- BFGoodrich Rival tires – 315 front, 335 rear
- Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, with Bosch Motorsports ABS
- Stielow Engineering carbon fiber hood
- Anvil Auto carbon fiber outer and inner fenders, cowl, header, bumper, and lower valance
- Lingenfelter / Thompson Supercharged 427 cubic-inch LS, making 953 HP and 970 ft-lbs!
This build, named “Hellfire,” is very much in the same vane as his previous builds, including the famous “Red Devil” Camaro that took down a contemporary Camaro ZL1. Only, the Hellfire puts out an astonishing 197 HP more than that car, while weighing about 250 pounds less, thanks in part to all the carbon fiber.
In the 2014 Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational, Mr. Stielow will find himself pitted against a lot of equally impressive, mostly non-Pro Touring street monsters, including a 1,000 HP Volkswagen GTI, a 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo, and a 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
We wish him the best, largely because we would love to see a third overall victory for the bowtie brand’s brilliant, original pony car.