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Ultimate Streetcar Challenge 2006

Broadcast date : 28th May 2006

Let’s twist again, like we did last umm, winter! Yes, it’s tyre-twisting time again, and as usual the Ultimate Street Car Challenge offered up plenty of burnt rubber to the horsepower gods.

The ultimate streetcar for the past few years has been Stuart Kidgell’s twin turbo Ultima Alfa. Would he do it again in 2006?

One of the cars most likely to succeed in toppling Kidgell’s Ultima was this Cobra, owned and driven by Pieter Zeelie.

This fuel-injected Cobra is extremely well-sorted in the handling department. To win the Castrol Ultimate Street Car crown, a car has to be quick around the twisty stuff and in a straight line.

And it has to be street-legal. Wesbank Raceway owner Peter Lindenberg says streetcar racing is the happening thing in SA motorsport.

The cool thing about the competition’s format, which has been in place for a number of years now, is that spectators can see first-hand what one supercar does against another. This Noble M400, driven on the day to excellent effect by Peter Lindenberg, is seen as one of the most potent streetcars of all, and that includes the likes of Porsche and Ferrari.

But high-image cars like the Noble also have to contend with oddities, like this supercharged seven-litre Chev Ute SS.

Built and driven by Port Shepstone’s Desmond Gutzeit, it out-gunned everything in the horsepower department. The Ute has about five-hundred kiloWatts, and in supercar terms, zero traction.
Car Torque was well represented at the Ultimate Street Car Challenge. Our two hot-shot presenters Clint Weston and Gugu Zulu were real crowd-pleasers in a pair of Nissan 350Zs, with RG Motorsport supercharging helping things along.

Clint was a late guest entry. The first time he sat in the RGM Nissan was on the start line, in front of thousands of spectators.

Clint soon got to grips with the car, where his Wesbank Car Torque shoot experience came in handy.

Gugu continued his great on-track form with a quality performance in the silver 350Z. He would eventually end up seventh overall, which was excellent in this kind of supercar company.

Kidgell’s Ultima was flying, but unfortunately he wrong-slotted in the gymkhana to lose all chance of victory. The popular overall winner was in fact Peter Lindenberg on "home soil" followed by Zeelie in the Cobra and Sav Gualtieri in his BMW Turbo.

The Lotus Exiges of the Joubert clan were also strong top-ten runners

The appeal of streetcar racing is all about relating to what you’re seeing out on the track. Spectators are generally aware that some of the low-budget cars are in fact highly modified, using supercharging and turbocharging, and often much bigger engines to compete with the exotics.

But the fact that these are streetcars makes them somehow more appealing than production racers running as pure circuit machines. They’re more real somehow, and the all the competitors are real too.

There’s none of the unapproachable vibe and marketing-speak that has turned much of organized motorsport into a choreographed yawn.

In fact, there’s not too much choreography in any of the disciplines. Even the drifting demonstration had a distinctly improvised feel. As long as the okes could twist again, like we did last year.

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