We took our pro touring 1970 Dodge Super Bee to Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI for Optima’s Search for the Ultimate Streetcar. At the same time, the NASCAR Xfinity series, Porsche GT3, and Gridlife events were at Road America racing as well. If you’ve never heard of Optima’s Search for the Ultimate Streetcar, it is a grassroots racing series, and all cars must be street legal. Some of the cars are built for maximum performance on the track and other cars are just stock.
We have seen everything from Camaros, Lamborghinis, Nissan GTRs, AAR ‘Cudas, Shelby Mustangs, Ford GT40s, and trucks. If you don’t have any track experience, there is a Novice class for you to sign up for. Everybody in this series is very friendly and willing to pitch a hand to help in any way shape or form.
One of the reasons that we find the series so interesting are the tracks that it visits such as Laguna Seca Raceway in California, Daytona International Speedway in Florida, Road America in Wisconsin, and other tracks – finishing off at the SEMA show in Las Vegas for OUSCI (Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational). The series has five segments: Autocross, speed-stop competition, design and engineering, road course, and a road rally to prove that we indeed have a streetcar.
We were not the only Mopar at Road America. The Ellsworth family showed up with their Vipers. Ray Ellsworth drove the 2008 Dodge Viper in the GTS class. His fastest road course time was 2:29.120; his fastest autocross time 0:52.919 and in the speed stop, he ran a 0:05.620, finishing out second in his class and earning an invite to OUSCI.
Robert Ellsworth was piloting my favorite, the 1970 Challenger on a Viper chassis with a Hellcat motor in the GTL class. His fastest road course time was 2:39.038, fastest autocross 0:56.842 and in speed stop, he ran a 0:06.440, finishing third in class and also won the Anderson Composites award for being the car that everyone would like to take home.
Ryan Ellsworth piloted the 1997 Viper in the Outlaw class, finishing in 9th. His fastest time on the road course was 2:36.444, in the auto cross 0:57.35, and in speed stop 0:06.78. Alex Barnes drove his 2016 Charger Hellcat to the track and drove it to Daytona the following weekend.
Alex ran a fast lap of 2:47.42, in the auto cross 0:57.609, and in the speed stop 0:06.351. Our Super Bee was in the GTV class with a lap time of 3:10.29, on the auto cross 0:58.50, and in the speed stop 0:06.25.
We had plans to go with the Optima Search for the Ultimate Streetcar series to Daytona but were unable to make the trip. And we heard a there were a few Mopars there as well: Alex Barnes’ Hellcat, the Ellsworth’s Viper and Challenger, Timothy Simmons brought his 1970 Plymouth Road Runner that had a turbo Viper swap, and Luke Vigneault in his 2011 Dodge Challenger R/T. Here are all of our pics from the Road America event. Enjoy!