In these tight economic times, the project car budget typically gets left on the cutting room floor. Fortunately for addicted enthusiasts there are resources, such as Grassroots Motorsports Magazine, to prove that it is still possible to put together a prize winning ride for only a few bills. Just in time to save the wavering automotive habit of frugal individuals comes the Kumho Tires Grassroots Motorsports $2008 Challenge. For the past nine years, the magazine crew dedicated to amateur motorsports has organized an annual competition of cars built around a budget equal to the current year in dollars. It may sound impossibly restrictive, but some competitors even come in under the cap. The 2007 champion, a Chevrolet Corvette sucker-car, managed to top the field for less than two grand. The monetary limitation forces creative and innovative back-yard engineering amongst the entrants.

The $2008 Challenge will take place October 3 – 4 at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, FL. The cars will spend a grueling two days dueling it out on the autocross course, drag strip and even the parking lot for a car show. Competitors should also be brushed up on their accounting skills since they are required to keep an itemized list of all their expenses. This detail keeps the event fair and also offers the magazine's readership inspiration to create their own budget racers. Follow the jump to for the official press release.

[Source: Grassroots Motorsports]


PRESS RELEASE

Sept. 22, 2008 – ORMOND BEACH, Fla.

It's not easy to build a racer that handles and performs like a supercar. Tack on a $2008 budget, and the task becomes seemingly impossible-unless you're a competitor at the Kumho Tires Grassroots Motorsports $2008 Challenge.

For the ninth consecutive year, Grassroots Motorsports magazine has challenged its readers to buy, build and race a car on a tiny budget. Each year, some of the craziest car nuts in the country have risen to the challenge and built penny-pinching powerhouses.

This year's Challenge will be held October 3-4 at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Fla. Keeping with tradition, the budget has increased by one dollar to $2008.

Despite the low budget, past entries have been able to outrun exotic supercars with 10-second quarter-mile passes, and they've done so while looking good enough to wow seasoned concours judges.

And while this event is no clunker-fest, you can expect to see some pretty outrageous machinery. Entries from the $2007 Challenge included a Zamboni that traded the ice rink for the autocross track. Also entered was a twin-turbo Corvette fitted with some special features: An additional engine and fan created a Chaparral-inspired suction unit that glued the car to the track. Looking at this event's history, it seems that the outrageousness and performance levels of Challenge creations increase every year.

Competitors and their cars are judged on how well they perform in three areas: autocrossing, drag racing and concours. And, of course, Challengers may not spend more than a total of $2008 to build their vehicles. Some trading and selling is allowed, but each vehicle entered must be accompanied by a detailed budget that itemizes each and every dollar spent.

For complete details, including rules, a schedule and a list of entrants, see http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/events/2008-challenge/

For details and videos from last-years' $2007 challenge, including the budget for the $2007 Challenge-winning Vette sucker car, see http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/events/07-challenge/

Grassroots Motorsports is the how-to magazine for the serious sports car enthusiast. From profiles of new sports cars to in-depth--and occasionally off-the-wall--project cars, for 25 years each issue of GRM has been packed with practical tips helping real-world sports car enthusiasts get race car performance out of their daily drives. To receive a free trial copy of Grassroots Motorsports, request one online at grassrootsmotorsports.com/try/ or call the magazine's offices at 800-520-8292.

[Source: Grassroots Motorsports]