After competing in 8 seasons of OPTIMA’s Look for for the Greatest Road Vehicle, Jake Rozelle won the title in 2021 at the wheel of his 2003 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. The 27-year-previous racer trailed very last year’s defending winner, C.B. Ramey, at the midway stage but ended up winning by a solitary point, avenging his 1-position decline in 2020.
Jake Rozelle hoists the Top Street Car or truck trophy immediately after ultimately successful the title in his eighth season.
How does OUSCI Get the job done?
OPTIMA’s Best Road Auto Invitational (OUSCI) offered by Progress Vehicle Parts, is an yearly series of gatherings that acquire location at famous racetracks throughout the region. It was began in 2008, subsequent the SEMA Demonstrate where OPTIMA Batteries’ Director of Internet marketing Cam Douglass noticed that several display automobiles ended up currently being rolled away rather than driven under their very own ability. Douglass established the Supreme Road Motor vehicle Invitational to pit the cars and trucks on display at the present in opposition to every other to determine their general street-worthiness and outright general performance possible. Fourteen a long time later, the function has grow to be a single of the most challenging, competitive, and all-encompassing street automobile racing sequence in the nation.
The Search for the Final Street Automobile Collection, hosted by OPTIMA Batteries, is in which contributors contend to get paid an invitation to the OUSCI, where the Best Road Vehicle title is awarded. Invites to the OUSCI are awarded to party winners of every single auto class in the sequence, winners of the particular “Summit Racing Spirit of the Occasion” award from each qualifier, major points-accumulators in the course of the normal year, and 10 supplemental at-significant entries centered on their time-extensive points totals.
Jake Rozelle competing in the PEAK Overall performance Obstacle at the 2021 SEMA Show.
True Avenue Vehicles
OPTIMA’s Look for for the Final Avenue Car sets itself aside from other racing sequence by incorporating scored situations that span a large array of categories, including the Lingenfelter Design and style & Engineering Problem, Lucas Oil Highway Rally, QA1 Autocross, Falken Tire Time Demo, and Peak Effectiveness Obstacle. These classes are intended to inspire entrants to run real road cars and trucks that are truly clearly show-worthy but can place their income where their mouth is and crush the level of competition on the keep track of, much too.
As an illustration of the pivotal great importance of a sound effectiveness in every solitary event, Rozelle dropped the title of Ultimate Street Automobile in 2020 by a solitary point to Chris Ramey and his 1987 Chevrolet Corvette, but he turned the tables in 2021 and defeat Ramey by a single position.
This past yr was the to start with yr to include racing at the SEMA Display.
Rozelle’s Highway to Victory
Rozelle grew up in Cypress, California. He was the kid who read each individual automotive publication he could and in particular appreciated looking at about the OPTIMA collection. He was a competitive desert and filth bicycle racer right until he experienced to undergo back again surgery at age 17. This technique ended his motorbike vocation, but his enthusiasm for the earth of motorsports was much from above.
He initially seasoned the thrill of the OUSCI as a spectator in 2013, and he has competed in every year because. His journey to the Final Road Auto title was extended and powerful. It involved two autos, hundreds of hours expended touring, many hrs invested wrenching, and some familial tensions, all although he was encountering important existence functions like earning his diploma, operating as an electrical engineer at an aerospace business, acquiring a property, and even finding a pet.
Rozelle acquired to make only minor changes throughout the race year, as proven at the OSUSC Willow Springs celebration.
When Rozelle very first entered the sequence in 2014, he competed in his father Roy’s 1969 Camaro, which turned out to include some unanticipated challenges. As a son racing his father’s automobile, Rozelle felt additional tension mainly because he didn’t want to damage it. This concern led him to start out racing his individual everyday driver, a 2003 Corvette Z06, in the 2017 OSUSC. He enjoys that he can do all of the get the job done on his individual auto and race it with out contemplating of any one else, but this much too has downsides.
“The rough component with the OPTIMA collection is that I am the operator, builder, and driver,” Rozell said. “If the car breaks, it can be on me. I know almost everything on the auto which is appropriate and all the things that perhaps is just not specifically the way I want, and it all weighs on me.”
Rozelle’s Lingenfelter Eliminator R Spec LS7 has a carbon fiber ingestion that extends over his tailor made hood.
What It Takes to Win
In his eight decades competing Rozelle has realized numerous points, but his major takeaways are that you ought to think about every portion of your car in buy to remain competitive, and that you need to commit a ton of time functioning to make improvements to your car or truck between races. The structure and engineering updates to his Corvette have piled up above the yrs. This yr he additional a customized-fabricated carbon-fiber trunk and splitter as perfectly as a touchscreen entertainment technique with a backup camera, customized 3-D-printed interior panels, and an aftermarket nose with tailor made fiberglass work, among lots of far more modifications.
“There is certainly a real emphasis in this collection to manage the usability and performance of these cars and trucks,” reported Jim McIlvaine, OPTIMA Battery’s e-Treatment Manager. “It challenges rivals in a way that no other sequence does, due to the fact you can’t do any of the standard matters you’d do to make a vehicle lighter and faster—it’s counterintuitive to what most people do in racing.”
Rozelle has also uncovered that all through the racing period, it’s most effective to keep operate constrained to vehicle servicing and slight tweaks. “I will not intestine the auto like I utilised to—that’s how I would get burned out and make issues,” he stated. “Through the racing period, I am busier with racing and logistical setting up, and I tow the automobile to each function.”
Developing to Get
The off-period can be just as chaotic. “The car or truck did not run from November to January,” Rozelle mentioned. “I desired to change, rebuild, clean and examine each and every aspect. I normally invest at least 4 hrs a working day, 5 days a 7 days accomplishing these inspections.”
Rozelle’s Corvette captured in action managing the PEAK General performance Problem at the 2021 SEMA Exhibit in Las Vegas.
Just a few times after getting rid of the title of Best Street Car by a person point in 2020, he experienced his Corvette torn down to the body so that he could deliver the 454 LS7 motor to Lingenfelter for a rebuild and get other elements to sponsors for rebuilding. His race-prep timeline associated owning his car or truck up and running again by February and starting track screening about three months prior to the initial OPTIMA party in March.
The good news is, Rozelle revels in the develop. He explained he enjoys making the vehicle much more than he enjoys racing it, even though he does like racing. He even enjoys the late nights in the garage, which he characteristics to his engineer’s attitude. He enjoys generating tweaks and looking at the final results of all those improvements. He spoke to the exceptional challenges posed in the OUSCI when when compared to other racing sequence, citing how other series have spec motors and horsepower caps.
“My automobile makes about 800 horsepower, which is a whole lot,” Rozelle said. “But the series has no horsepower or motor constraints, so you could be competing with vehicles effectively into the four-digit horsepower assortment. That doesn’t take place any place else.”
Rozelle received his car course at OPTIMA’s Lookup for the Top Road Automobile (OSUSC) race at Willow Springs Intercontinental Raceway.
Preserving It Road
But it’s not all about horsepower and monitor occasions, as McIlvaine pointed out. The design and style and engineering portion of scoring is integral to an entrant’s over-all overall performance, and it is meant to preserve the ability of these cars and trucks to be viable street cars and trucks. Each and every part is inspected in the layout and engineering portion, from the trunk place to the back again seat to the stereo process. Encouraging these modifications looks frivolous, but it serves to keep entrants concentrated on the day to day drivability of their builds, and ultimately encourages the automotive aftermarket.
“It really is a unusual dichotomy mainly because you fundamentally have to develop two cars, a show vehicle and a observe motor vehicle, and the keep track of car is often seeking to kill the show motor vehicle,” Rozelle claimed. “I attempt to push other autos as a lot as I can for exercise due to the fact my car or truck is difficult on items. Each and every time I travel my vehicle it beats it up a tiny and with the style and design and engineering problem in mind, I test to help save it for the activities.”
OPTIMA Batteries hosted the Peak Performance Challenge, the acceleration and braking segment of OUSCI, at the SEMA Demonstrate for the 1st time in 2021.
The OPTIMA Best Street Automobile Invitational is a truly distinctive racing series that delivers out the passion in all people who competes. Even the opponents who do not gain the title consider that their automobile is the final avenue car or truck, and that passion is accurately what this collection is about.
Jake Rozelle vowed to hold competing right until he received the title of Final Street Car. It took 8 many years, two vehicles, a large amount of time and energy, and the appropriate stability of intuition, talent, restraint, follow, understanding, and aid. Now that he’s the winner, the plans could be considerably less very clear, but the enthusiasm is nonetheless alive.
The OSUSC sequence bundled activities all all over the region, from Atlanta Motorsports Park in Ga to Willow Springs Worldwide Raceway in California, and Rozelle towed his automobile to each and every celebration.
Anatomy of The Supreme Avenue Auto
Vehicle: 2003 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Bodyweight: 2,990 lbs.
Engine: Lingenfelter Eliminator Spec R 454 LS7
Transmission: near-ratio TR6060
Clutch: Centerforce TRIAD clutch
Rearend: C6 ZR1 rear finish with OS Giken differential, 3.90 gears, and ZR1 axles. Custom made rear subframe with mounts for greater diff/trans while keeping manufacturing facility suspension geometry
Exhaust: custom made titanium exhaust
Headers: ARH headers
Ecu: E67 standalone
Abs module: MK60 standalone
Start Control: Lingenfelter launch controller
Brakes: Wilwood & two-piece floating rotors
Wheels: Forgeline VX1R
Suspension: Van Metal anti-roll bars, Delrin bushings, and bumpsteer correction kit entrance and rear JRI coilovers custom valved by Top General performance, LG billet drop spindles
Fenders: broad-body fenders (.75 inches for each side front, 1.5 inch for each side rear flare)
Radiator: personalized tilted radiator and aluminum ducting as a result of hood
Carbon get the job done: ducted hood, mirrors, canards, rear spoiler with aluminum blade, customized trunk and splitter
Layout and Engineering Modifications
Purple and grey exterior wrap
AEM CD-7 GPS/Details Logger in-dash
64-sensor tire temperature program monitored in-dash
Flocked dash and inside inserts
Sparco seats, personalized upholstery, customized steering wheel and seatbelts
3D-printed inside panels to regulate dash and leisure program, wrapped to match the auto
Touchscreen enjoyment process with reverse digicam and aftermarket middle console
Shots By: Logan Carter, Nathan Espinosa/Courtesy Kahn Media