When less than 200 horsepower is enough to be competitive

By Colin Wood
Jul 21, 2023 | SCCA, UTCC, Sunoco, #FastFriday, Ultimate Track Car Challenge, NCM Motorsports Park, Tire Rack, Stohr

These numbers, 180 horsepower and 65 lb.-ft. of torque from 1-liter engine, may not sound like the makings for a highly competitive track car. However, don’t forget that the 2002 Stohr Prototype weighs only about a 1000 pounds, with driver. This is what Ghais Khaleghi is entering in the 2023 Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge Presented by Grassroots Motorsports.

That means, after some quick math, that the Stohr has a power-to-weight ratio of 0.18. That’s apparently on par with other heavy hitters like the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye, Lamborghini Huracan Evo and McLaren 570S.

Öhlins suspension, Wilwood brakes and Hoosier tires all work together to give, according to Ghais, the Stohr’s greatest strength: “Corners.”

You can even see. the Stohr in action over on Ghais's YouTube channel.

Sure, the Stohr is light on its feet, but will that sub-2-ton weight make the prototype light enough to waft past the competition? There’s only one place to find out: the 2023 Ultimate Track Car Challenge, set for October 12-15 at NCM Motorsports Park.

What is the Ultimate Track Car Challenge? It’s our annual no-holds-barred track competition that simply seeks the fastest machines on four wheels. The rules are brief: Car and driver must pass a safety inspection. Period.

Pretty much everything is welcome: new, old, factory-bought and home-built. Wings are cool. So are box flares, giant intercoolers and sequential shifters.

Learn more, including how you can register today, by visiting ultimatetrackcarchallenge.com.


The Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge is presented by Tire Rack and Sunoco, the official fuel of the UTCC, in association with CRC IndustriesWilwood EngineeringSPA TechniqueMiller Electric and HP Tuners, with trophies from XS PowerThank you to the SCCA for sanctioning the UTCC.

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Tom1200 PowerDork
7/21/23 8:48 p.m.

As I once raced this class of car (back when it was D-sports Racer) they are a different universe than production cars.

Our car would out accelerate Vipers and 911 turbos.

It will be interesting to see what kind of times it belts out.

lotusseven7 (Forum Supporter)
lotusseven7 (Forum Supporter) Dork
7/22/23 10:49 a.m.

A modified P-1 car might be competitive by bumping up the HP with a turbo or supercharger. An SCCA legal P-2 car will definitely make a good showing, but likely won't have enough hp or tq to get it done. 

As mentioned above, the difference from a "door car" to a production car is unbelievable(modified street car to SCCA GT-3 car). The LEAP to a formula car or sports racer with aero is unimaginable to anyone who hasn't tried it. 

Good luck and go show that you don't need a V-8 to be competitive!

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/22/23 1:00 p.m.

Is anyone else sick of wretched excess in cars (And all things for that matter)? I don't expect this car to win, but will take great satisfaction in seeing it beat out cars with several times the hp and WAY more tq. 

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
7/22/23 1:08 p.m.

In reply to Kreb (Forum Supporter) :


Tom1200 PowerDork
7/22/23 5:57 p.m.

In reply to Kreb (Forum Supporter) :

As you know from my various posts I'm a fan of light cars.

For folks who don't know P2 cars are a second a lap faster than the current Trans Am / GT-1 cars.

Also as I've said many times I get to drive some really cool cars but no matter how much aero and tires you put on a 3500lb car it just isn't the same as a 1100lb car. 

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