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Ultimate Street Car Challenge 

Broadcast dates : 15th May 2005
21st May 2005

The Ultimate Street Car Challenge is an annual event designed to honour the driver and owner of the fastest street-legal car in the country.

The meeting, held this year at Wesbank Raceway, drew all the usual suspects like BMW CSLs, various Lotus models, Cobras and the like.

Although many of the cars are thinly-disguised racers and dabble in club events on weekends, they have to be fully roadworthy and licensed.

Turbocharged E30 series BMWs are highly favoured as street racers, as they are more readily affordable than the exotics. 

For this year’s challenge, the circuit disciplines involved a launch down the drag strip and then a left turn onto the main Wesbank track.

Many of the participants only had one lap of practice before the challenge got underway.
The gymkhana course was tighter than tight, and leveled the playing field.

Here a Mini Clubman, because of its nimble handling, could take on the likes of a mighty Skyline GTR and give a good account of itself.

As for the ubiquitous BMW rear-wheel-drivers, hanging out the tail seemed to be just as important as setting a quick time.

Consistency is important, but for those who lacked track-time, a first experience around the Wesbank banking was a white-knuckled affair.
Nissan’s Skyline GTR is one of street racing’s legends, held in the same esteem as Porsches and Ferraris in these circles.

This pristine late-series example is owned by well-known former Touring-Car racer, Farouk Dangor, from Klerksdorp.

The Skyline GTR is famous for being the first production car to break the eight-minute barrier at the notorious Nurburgring track in Germany.
Scant experience at Wesbank saw Dangor set some competitive times nevertheless. With over 350 kiloWatts, this very special version can outrun most supercars in any discipline.
There are Porsches and then there are PORSCHES… in bold capital letters.

This example is probably the fastest Porsche in the country, owned by motor trader Willie de Beer.

Massive intercoolers, oversize twin-turbos, special pistons, beefed-up bottom-end, large pop-off valves, all go to make this one trick Porsche.
The bodywork was completely re-jigged with lightweight panels providing extra cooling for brakes and engine.

And the full roll cage provides much-needed chassis strength and peace-of-mind for the driver.

The De Beer Porsche is all business, inside and out. When Willie unleashes it off the line, he has to feather the throttle constantly, as the car can break traction right up to fourth gear.

For people like Willie, their cars are all-consuming hobbies. And for some, there’s never enough power!
Unlike the handcrafted Porsche, Derek Watterson’s mean-green BMW is a hand-me-down from his wife. But the elderly 325i is nevertheless a rapid car.

Derek is a mainstay in the BMW Club in Kwazulu Natal, and he has forgone the turbo-nitrous route, concentrating instead on road-holding and predictable handling.

A car that has great road-holding as well as mind-boggling power is the recognised king of street car racing in South Africa, the Ultima.

A British designed road-legal sports car, this one is fitted with as twin-turbo Alfa Romeo V6. It was completely rebuilt by owner-driver Stuart Kidgell with the help of some dedicated friends.

The Alfa engine installation is a work of art. Thousands of hours have been spent re-finishing every single detail on the car.

This engine, according to Stuart, is not the most potent version he’s used. But it still propels the Ultima to one-hundred in less than four seconds.
And top speed is well over the 320 kilometres-per-hour mark.

This is a car more suited to Le Mans than Wesbank. But so well-sorted is the Ultima that it handles all the disciplines of the Challenge.

From streetcars to club racing specials like the Lotus 7 replicas, everyone can have a full go in the competition.

When push came to shove, it was down to the big guns Willie de Beer and Stuart Kidgel for overall honours in 2005.

But a harsh penalty for overshooting in the gymkhana saw Willie out of the running. So once again, Stuart Kidgell is the Ultimate Street Car King.

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