We're still in a little disbelief we've made it to three years hosting the Continental Tire Show Car Shootout. I mean, c'mon — these are show cars. Who in their right mind wants to take their meticulously assembled, super pampered, often big-investment show machine and beat it up on track? That's crazy talk. But as it turns out, there are enough brave souls out there willing to risk a rock chip to the kisser (or much, much worse) so we can have an event to throw each fall.
By now, we hope you would know about the Show Car Shootout pbskids puts on with Continental Tire. The premise is simple: pristine show cars battle it out on the road course in a time attack. From our email inbox of submitted entries, we chose nine to bring out their whips and test their limits. After running it at Auto Club Speedway in 2015, SCS was staged at Streets of Willow Springs in Rosamond, Calif., this year just like it was in 2016. This gave us a nice frame of reference coming into this year's event.
This year we changed it up a little bit — Conti brought in test drivers and pro racers Andy Lally and Lawson Aschenbach to coach the owner-drivers, many who had seen little to no previous track time. Lally has driven NASCAR and sports cars (notably in the 2005 and 2006 24 Hours of Le Mans), most recently competing in one of the Michael Shank racing Acura NSX GT3 in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Aschenbach has experience in IMSA and World Challenge, this year driving one of the Blackdog Speed Shop Chevy Camaro GT4.R and winning the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge GTS Class title.
Below is a little on each Show Car Shootout driver and car, and their respective best lap times. Look for our video and expanded coverage in the weeks ahead.
ROWIE LANDICHO'S MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION X
Rowie represented Team Emperor and Mackin Industries at Show Car Shootout, and says the favorite part of his car is the new Advan RGD2s and engine bay. With guidance from the pro hot shoes, he was able to pilot his Evo to first place. "Overall it was an awesome experience," Rowie tells us. "It was totally an unexpected win since my car is underpowered compared to the big turbo guys."
GABRIEL FLORES' NISSAN 300ZX
The Z32 is easily one of the most underrated cars from the '90s JDM hero car lineup. This one might not look like a typical show car, but its fully built motor was enough to convince us to let him join. He spun out a few times, but that just showed us how hard he was pushing his car.
LLOYD MORALES' NISSAN 240SX
Dedicated pbskids fans should recognize this Nissan S14 immediately. Lloyd Morales was featured back in '15 and is one of Bay Area's finest builds. Take a peek under the hood and you'd think this car is a dedicated show car, but it's actually built for the racetrack. If you think this car looks good, you need to hear it on Streets of Willow.
DENNIS HOUTH'S NISSAN 350Z
The first time we saw Mercury Auto's Nissan 350Z sliding through Nikko Circuit, we were in love. Dennis Houth of SSWORX was one of the first to have a completed Mercury Auto 350Z in the States and can often be seen at local Bay Area shows. Although Show Car Shootout is a Time Attack event, he couldn't help but show off his love for sliding — once a drifter, always a drifter.
RYAN FERRER'S ACURA NSX
Ryan's was the lone NSX in this year's competition. A few highlights of his car include a six-speed transmission swap with an OS Giken twin disc clutch mated to the NA1 motor. The Science of Speed exhaust is music to our ears. He tells us he still thinks and talks about the event with his friends. "The best part is I was with a group of true enthusiasts. Not like how the car culture is evolving now into a bunch of haters," Ryan says.
JT G'S HONDA CIVIC
Just because we have FF Battle doesn't mean we turned down every Honda Civic for Show Car Shootout. JT's '94 Civic hatchback has a fully gutted interior and runs on Skunk2 coilovers and lower control arms. It was always a goal for this native Texan to travel out to California for a race event. He definitely enjoyed meeting our special guest instructors Lally and Aschenbach.
ALLEN PHAM'S LEXUS IS 300
Ever since we met Allen Pham, he's been behind the wheel of an IS 300. He's played around with countless exterior and engine set ups, but his latest rendition is probably his masterpiece, with a Voltex swan neck, a Toyomoto Rotrex supercharger, and a rare Carbing Okuyama roll cage. The Gialla Sport Corsa aero definitely elevates the IS 300 to show car status.
TIFFANY MILLER'S HONDA S2000
Tiffany was the only female entry in the group but still a force to be reckoned with on the track. Her S2000 had a laundry list of high-end parts, including Tein coilovers, J's Racing exhaust, Voltex Type 2 rear wing, ASM front bumper, Koyo radiator, and a Hondata FlashPro. She especially loved having the instructors there to assist her on her racing lines, which at the end of the day made for a comfortable and fun experience.
WILL IBARROLA'S MAZDA RX-8
How do you make the RX-8 not suck? You do a 13B engine swap with a single turbo and slap on a few RE Amemiya goodies. This is exactly what Will did to his RX-8. He says SCS 2017 was his first time stretching out the car's performance at the track, but with the Continental drivers' instruction he was able gather helpful tips and a very instructive track session.