Miles Cook
September 1, 2003

Now that this form of amateur motorsport has been in existence for the better part of two decades, many of you have likely heard of it. If you haven't, here's the deal: The Nevada Open Road Challenge and the Silver State Classic Challenge (two identical events run in May and September, respectively) are, in the simplest terms, a chance to drive your car as fast as you want on a closed public road, like Highway 318 in central Nevada.

Of course, there's much more to it than that, and we're going to fill you in on the details. But first, back to the simple part-the basic rules of running the Silver State/NORC. Drivers compete in 15 different speed classes, ranging from 95 mph to Unlimited. Set in 5-mph increments, the classes are run as a sort of rally, wherein the objective is to average your target speed, which is determined by the speed category you select.

For example, to win the 110-mph class, you must average that speed as closely as possible. Those with global positioning systems (GPS) and competent navigators often hit their target speeds to within 11/4100 mile per hour.

So, in one sense, these events aren't traditional races. The one exception is the Unlimited class, where the car that completes the 90-mile course in the shortest amount of time is the winner.

OK, so you know the basics and you want to run one of these open-road "races," as they're popularly known. What do you do? Contact Silver State Classic Challenge (www.silverstateclassic.com; www.sscc.us; or 702/631-6166) and obtain the paperwork to register for the event.

After preparing for and running the Nevada Open Road Challenge last May, we know you need to have your ducks in a row in the area of safety equipment. The Silver State organizers are a rightfully persnickety bunch. In a nutshell-even for the 110-mph Touring class we ran-this means a securely-mounted fire extinguisher, a helmet that's not more than a few years old, a pair of driving gloves, metal valve-stem caps on the tires, and suitable tires. It's best to have new (or near-new) Z-rated tires on your car. For obvious reasons, tires are the most closely scrutinized component on your car, and if they're not up to snuff, you won't be allowed to run the event.

With those caveats, running the Silver State/NORC in even the most basic Mustang street car is truly a blast-an unforgettable kick that we can't wait to experience again. For now, the photos detail our weekend and also provide a look at some of the other Mustangs that participated in the '03 NORC.

MUSTANGS IN THE ’03 NEVADA OPEN ROAD CHALLENGE
Driver {{{Navigator}}} Car Target Speed mph
Richard Hille - '98 Cobra Unlimited
Tim Jones - '98 Cobra 170
Larry Garuti - '95 Cobra R 150
Sean O'Leary Kevin Hone '98 {{{GT}}} {{{Convertible}}} 130
Jeffery Jorgenson John Peters '97 GT 130
Cliff E. Daugherty Cliff Z. Daugherty '01 Cobra 130
Marcus Snyder Jayson Smietana '01 Cobra 125
Curtis Parker Debra Parker '98 Cobra 125
Duane Bily Heather Bily '03 Cobra 120
Dan Ross Mike Fossi '95 GT Convertible 120
Mercedes Brown Brad Brown '01 GT Convertible 115
Frank McKinnon John Putnam '00 Cobra R 115
Ton Dern Peggy Chiappetta '98 Cobra Convertible 110
Miles Cook - '01 GT Bullitt 110
Matt Rawlins Leslie Reed '99 Cobra 110