Danny Popp Drives Z06 to Victory at Optima Challenge
We’d call the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational the “olympics of motorsports” if that wouldn’t get us sued by the International Olympics Committee. Held every year in the desert of Nevada after the annual SEMA Show, this event puts the best in street-driven cars through handling, endurance, speed and control challenges in a test for even the most competent drivers and cars. This year, one mighty ’06 Z06 prevailed at the event, being crowned the Ultimate Street Car of 2011 and placing in many different categories. It was not only a good day for the Corvette and its driver, however, but also for Forgeline, who’s GA3R wheels helped propel the car to its ultimate victory.
Danny Popp, an Ohio Corvette technician and race specialist is the owner of the highly-modified, Forgeline-equipped ‘06 Z06 that took the coveted Ultimate Street Car title this year. Although this was Popp’s first year competing at the event, his impressive working knowledge of the Corvette and extensive seat time at Sports Car Club of America, One Lap of America and National Auto Sport Association events allowed him to blow his fellow competitors in the field of 52 out of the water- a daunting task even for the most experienced of drivers.
“The field this year was incredible and the competition was fierce,” Popp told the Forgeline Blog. “The growth of this event is exciting and I look forward to attempting to defend the title again next year, if we are fortunate enough to be invited.”
Behind the wheel of his Z06, Popp took first place in the RideTech Street Challenge Autocross with a lap time of just 38.251 seconds, getting all of the 25 points possible, as well as first place in the BF Goodrich Hot Lap Challenge with a time of 1 minute and 42.208 seconds again with all 25 points possible, according to the official 2011 Optima Street Car Invitational Results. He also took third place in the Wilwood Disc Brake Speed Stop Challenge with a time of 7.378 seconds, getting 20 out of 25 points possible, and received all ten points for the Detroit Speed & Engineering Road Rally.
With fierce competition, the results for the Ultimate Street Car of 2011 came down to a tie between Popp and Mark Stielow, last year’s event winner who also won on Forgeline wheels. Official rules state that in the result of a tie, the competitor with the best time in the BF Goodrich Hot Lap Challenge takes the award. Since Popp’s best time in the Hot Lap Challenge was a mere 2 seconds faster than Stielow’s best, Popp and his Corvette took the title of Optima Batteries Ultimate Street Car of 2011.
We’re a big fan of Forgeline wheels here at powerTV and have used them on some of our project cars, like Project Swinger. Needless to say, we join hundreds of automotive enthusiasts that know the quality of Forgeline wheels and proudly display them on their vehicles. For Forgeline to be a part of such an amazing sweeping win at the Optima Street Car Invitational, is an amazing accomplishment for the company. Our congratulations goes out to Forgeline and Popp, who’s skilled driving and Corvette know-how led him to receive the most coveted award for a street car owner.