After competing in eight seasons of OPTIMA’s Lookup for the Top Avenue Automobile, Jake Rozelle received the title in 2021 at the wheel of his 2003 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. The 27-12 months-outdated racer trailed past year’s defending champion, C.B. Ramey, at the midway stage but finished up profitable by a single position, avenging his a person-stage loss in 2020.
Jake Rozelle hoists the Ultimate Street Motor vehicle trophy after lastly profitable the title in his eighth period.
How does OUSCI Function?
OPTIMA’s Final Road Vehicle Invitational (OUSCI) presented by Advance Auto Elements, is an once-a-year collection of functions that just take place at legendary racetracks across the country. It was started in 2008, subsequent the SEMA Show wherever OPTIMA Batteries’ Director of Internet marketing Cam Douglass found that lots of show vehicles ended up currently being rolled absent fairly than pushed less than their very own electric power. Douglass established the Best Road Automobile Invitational to pit the cars on exhibit at the demonstrate against just about every other to establish their overall street-worthiness and outright efficiency probable. Fourteen years afterwards, the function has develop into one particular of the most tough, competitive, and all-encompassing street car racing sequence in the country.
The Search for the Top Road Vehicle Collection, hosted by OPTIMA Batteries, is wherever participants compete to get paid an invitation to the OUSCI, where by the Ultimate Road Automobile title is awarded. Invitations to the OUSCI are awarded to party winners of every single motor vehicle class in the series, winners of the unique “Summit Racing Spirit of the Function” award from each qualifier, prime factors-accumulators during the standard year, and 10 further at-huge entries primarily based on their season-extensive details totals.
Jake Rozelle competing in the PEAK Effectiveness Obstacle at the 2021 SEMA Clearly show.
Legitimate Road Vehicles
OPTIMA’s Research for the Ultimate Avenue Vehicle sets itself apart from other racing series by incorporating scored occasions that span a wide array of types, such as the Lingenfelter Style and design & Engineering Problem, Lucas Oil Street Rally, QA1 Autocross, Falken Tire Time Demo, and Peak General performance Challenge. These groups are intended to persuade entrants to operate legitimate road autos that are truly clearly show-worthy but can set their income the place their mouth is and crush the level of competition on the observe, much too.
As an illustration of the pivotal significance of a strong performance in each individual solitary event, Rozelle lost the title of Supreme Avenue Automobile in 2020 by a single place to Chris Ramey and his 1987 Chevrolet Corvette, but he turned the tables in 2021 and defeat Ramey by a single place.
This previous calendar year was the 1st year to involve racing at the SEMA Present.
Rozelle’s Road to Victory
Rozelle grew up in Cypress, California. He was the child who examine each automotive publication he could and in particular enjoyed looking at about the OPTIMA collection. He was a competitive desert and filth bicycle racer right up until he had to go through back medical procedures at age 17. This process finished his motorbike job, but his enthusiasm for the environment of motorsports was much from more than.
He 1st expert the thrill of the OUSCI as a spectator in 2013, and he has competed in every year considering that. His journey to the Top Street Car title was extensive and rigorous. It concerned two cars and trucks, hundreds of hours used touring, numerous several hours spent wrenching, and some familial tensions, all even though he was suffering from big everyday living gatherings like earning his diploma, functioning as an electrical engineer at an aerospace enterprise, acquiring a property, and even obtaining a pup.
Rozelle discovered to make only small adjustments in the course of the race season, as revealed at the OSUSC Willow Springs celebration.
When Rozelle initial entered the series in 2014, he competed in his father Roy’s 1969 Camaro, which turned out to entail some unanticipated problems. As a son racing his father’s car or truck, Rozelle felt additional pressure due to the fact he did not want to hurt it. This concern led him to commence racing his own every day driver, a 2003 Corvette Z06, in the 2017 OSUSC. He enjoys that he can do all of the work on his very own motor vehicle and race it with no imagining of any one else, but this way too has downsides.
“The difficult element with the OPTIMA collection is that I am the owner, builder, and driver,” Rozell stated. “If the motor vehicle breaks, it truly is on me. I know almost everything on the motor vehicle that’s appropriate and everything that probably is just not exactly the way I want, and it all weighs on me.”
Rozelle’s Lingenfelter Eliminator R Spec LS7 has a carbon fiber intake that extends above his custom made hood.
What It Can take to Earn
In his eight many years competing Rozelle has acquired many factors, but his major takeaways are that you must consider every aspect of your car in order to continue being competitive, and that you have to devote a whole lot of time doing the job to make improvements to your auto involving races. The design and style and engineering updates to his Corvette have piled up over the decades. This calendar year he extra a tailor made-fabricated carbon-fiber trunk and splitter as properly as a touchscreen amusement process with a backup camera, tailor made 3-D-printed interior panels, and an aftermarket nose with custom fiberglass operate, between a lot of extra modifications.
“You will find a serious emphasis in this series to sustain the usability and functionality of these autos,” reported Jim McIlvaine, OPTIMA Battery’s e-Treatment Supervisor. “It difficulties rivals in a way that no other collection does, for the reason that you can’t do any of the normal points you’d do to make a car lighter and faster—it’s counterintuitive to what most individuals do in racing.”
Rozelle has also uncovered that through the racing season, it’s finest to retain perform confined to motor vehicle maintenance and slight tweaks. “I never intestine the car or truck like I utilised to—that’s how I would get burned out and make blunders,” he reported. “All through the racing year, I am busier with racing and logistical planning, and I tow the motor vehicle to each individual party.”
Developing to Acquire
The off-season can be just as fast paced. “The automobile did not operate from November to January,” Rozelle explained. “I essential to exchange, rebuild, clear and inspect each individual element. I ordinarily expend at minimum 4 hours a working day, 5 days a week carrying out these inspections.”
Rozelle’s Corvette captured in motion functioning the PEAK Effectiveness Obstacle at the 2021 SEMA Clearly show in Las Vegas.
Just 3 times following getting rid of the title of Top Avenue Auto by one particular issue in 2020, he experienced his Corvette torn down to the body so that he could send out the 454 LS7 engine to Lingenfelter for a rebuild and get other parts to sponsors for rebuilding. His race-prep timeline included obtaining his motor vehicle up and operating again by February and starting track testing about a few weeks prior to the first OPTIMA occasion in March.
Fortuitously, Rozelle revels in the make. He claimed he enjoys building the vehicle a lot more than he enjoys racing it, although he does like racing. He even loves the late nights in the garage, which he attributes to his engineer’s mindset. He enjoys making tweaks and viewing the outcomes of all those modifications. He spoke to the special problems posed in the OUSCI when in comparison to other racing series, citing how other collection have spec motors and horsepower caps.
“My motor vehicle can make all around 800 horsepower, which is a great deal,” Rozelle reported. “But the sequence has no horsepower or motor limitations, so you could be competing with automobiles properly into the four-digit horsepower array. That does not materialize any where else.”
Rozelle received his car course at OPTIMA’s Research for the Supreme Road Car (OSUSC) race at Willow Springs International Raceway.
Retaining It Street
But it is really not all about horsepower and monitor occasions, as McIlvaine pointed out. The style and engineering part of scoring is integral to an entrant’s all round efficiency, and it is meant to protect the ability of these autos to be feasible avenue cars. Each section is inspected in the design and engineering area, from the trunk place to the back again seat to the stereo procedure. Encouraging these modifications appears to be frivolous, but it serves to continue to keep entrants targeted on the day-to-day drivability of their builds, and eventually promotes the automotive aftermarket.
“It is really a unusual dichotomy mainly because you in essence have to build two automobiles, a demonstrate car and a track motor vehicle, and the keep track of car or truck is often seeking to kill the display automobile,” Rozelle mentioned. “I try to generate other automobiles as a great deal as I can for practice for the reason that my motor vehicle is hard on matters. Every single time I drive my vehicle it beats it up a very little and with the structure and engineering problem in mind, I consider to help save it for the occasions.”
OPTIMA Batteries hosted the Peak Overall performance Obstacle, the acceleration and braking segment of OUSCI, at the SEMA Demonstrate for the first time in 2021.
The OPTIMA Greatest Street Automobile Invitational is a actually one of a kind racing series that delivers out the passion in absolutely everyone who competes. Even the rivals who do not win the title consider that their auto is the greatest avenue automobile, and that passion is just what this collection is about.
Jake Rozelle vowed to retain competing right up until he won the title of Final Road Auto. It took 8 many years, two cars, a whole lot of time and power, and the ideal stability of intuition, skill, restraint, observe, understanding, and help. Now that he is the winner, the aims may possibly be significantly less very clear, but the passion is nevertheless alive.
The OSUSC series included activities all around the place, from Atlanta Motorsports Park in Georgia to Willow Springs Worldwide Raceway in California, and Rozelle towed his motor vehicle to each and every occasion.
Anatomy of The Final Road Automobile
Automobile: 2003 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Pounds: 2,990 lbs.
Motor: Lingenfelter Eliminator Spec R 454 LS7
Transmission: close-ratio TR6060
Clutch: Centerforce TRIAD clutch
Rearend: C6 ZR1 rear close with OS Giken differential, 3.90 gears, and ZR1 axles. Custom made rear subframe with mounts for much larger diff/trans whilst maintaining factory suspension geometry
Exhaust: custom titanium exhaust
Headers: ARH headers
European: E67 standalone
Ab muscles module: MK60 standalone
Launch Regulate: Lingenfelter start controller
Brakes: Wilwood & two-piece floating rotors
Wheels: Forgeline VX1R
Suspension: Van Metal anti-roll bars, Delrin bushings, and bumpsteer correction package front and rear JRI coilovers personalized valved by Final General performance, LG billet fall spindles
Fenders: vast-entire body fenders (.75 inches for every aspect entrance, 1.5 inch per aspect rear flare)
Radiator: custom made tilted radiator and aluminum ducting via hood
Carbon do the job: ducted hood, mirrors, canards, rear spoiler with aluminum blade, custom trunk and splitter
Style and design and Engineering Modifications
Purple and grey exterior wrap
AEM CD-7 GPS/Information Logger in-sprint
64-sensor tire temperature technique monitored in-sprint
Flocked dash and inside inserts
Sparco seats, customized upholstery, tailor made steering wheel and seatbelts
3D-printed inside panels to handle sprint and leisure process, wrapped to match the car
Touchscreen enjoyment program with reverse digital camera and aftermarket heart console
Shots By: Logan Carter, Nathan Espinosa/Courtesy Kahn Media