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Jake Rozelle & Jane Thurmond Prove They Are the Ones to Watch at Optima USCA Events

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Jane Thurmond’s LS1 powered ’64 Corvette “Scarlett” ready for OPTIMA Search for the Ultimate Street Car - Pike’s Peak International Raceway

Jane Thurmond’s LS1 powered ’64 Corvette “Scarlett” ready for OPTIMA Search for the Ultimate Street Car - Pike’s Peak International Raceway

Just weeks after the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb of 2016, Pike’s Peak International Raceway was home to OPTIMA Search for the Ultimate Street Car (OSUSC) and this seasons fifth event. With a smaller field of participants, you might expect the competition to be a little less stiff, for lack of a better term. But that wasn’t the case. In fact, we saw driver’s pushing harder to secure their position with regards to the points championship or make up ground on some well needed points.

Jake Rozelle’s Lingenfelter Built LS7 Powered 1969 Camaro poised for the win.

Jake Rozelle’s Lingenfelter Built LS7 Powered 1969 Camaro poised for the win.

K&N race team driver, Jake Rozelle, the youngest driver on the team, had one goal in mind; points championship. Rozelle started the season out with a win at Thunderhill earning him the first OUSCI invite of the 2016 season. Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Pike’s Peak International Raceway allowed Jake to pull off a “three-peat” in the GTV Class. He most assuredly has become the one to beat.

Jake was nothing but smiles after learning he the GTV class leader at Pike’s Peak.

Jake was nothing but smiles after learning he the GTV class leader at Pike’s Peak.

Something new for the racers this season is most definitely leveling the playing field. The USCA - Ultimate Street Car Association - modified a few of the rules for 2016. In years past, the points champion was the participant who had the most points. Makes perfect sense, right? Not so fast! The points champion wasn’t necessarily the one who was the fastest, or had the ultimate street car, he or she could very well be the one who was capable of attending the most events. This year, all that has changed. This year, points are decided by the participants BEST three events and ranked accordingly.

Both car and driver cooling down between run group sessions on Sunday

Both car and driver cooling down between run group sessions on Sunday

Pike’s Peak, Jake’s third event of the 2016 OSUSC season, has him leading the points race with 1,417 points in the GTV Class. We had a chance to catch up with Jake and he said he was thrilled with his 3rd place overall position along with being in 1st at Pike’s Peak. He was seriously stoked with the performance of his 1969 Camaro, seemingly unphased by the heat and higher elevation. Rozelle considerably opened the gap between he and Larry Woo who is currently second in GTV Class with 880. Woo couldn’t make it to PPIR but we will see these two battle it out at Circuit of the America’s in Austin, Texas in early August.

K&N Race Team Driver, Jane Thurmond, sharing her strategy for COTA with Katie Osborne from Lucas Oil and MAVTV.

K&N Race Team Driver, Jane Thurmond, sharing her strategy for COTA with Katie Osborne from Lucas Oil and MAVTV.

Coming in 4th at Pike’s Peak in the GTV Class is another K&N sponsored driver, Jane Thurmond. In fact, Jane is currently ranked 4th in GTV Class in the OPTIMA Series. Jane and her son, West, trailered the ’64 Chevrolet Corvette, affectionately named Scarlett, to the venue after meeting up with friend and fellow competitor, Matt Alcala, and Lingenfelter Design & Engineering Judge, Jon Lindstrom. We found out that the pair did a little sightseeing on their way to PPIR taking in the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, and a quick stop to visit with some racing friends in Cortez, Colorado. When asked, Jane said their road trip is really what racing, to her, is all about. The friends, the incredible sights and the fast cars!

David Carroll in his LS-powered 1975 Datsun 280Z, complete with K&N cold air intake system.

David Carroll in his LS-powered 1975 Datsun 280Z, complete with K&N cold air intake system.

The GTL Class, for vehicles weighing less than 3,200 pounds turned out to be the smallest class with just seven participants. David Carroll, a longtime supporter of all things K&N, raced his way to the podium at Pike’s Peak International Raceway earning a third place, along with class dominators Rich Wilhoff in 1st and Ken Thwaits in 2nd. But since Wilhoff and Thwaits have already received the invite for OUSCI, our third place finisher, David Carroll in his LS-powered 1975 Datsun 280Z received the invite.

Both Jake Rozelle and Jane Thurmond will be hitting the road again in August to have a chance to race at Circuit of the America’s (COTA) in Austin, Texas. The event sold out almost immediately due to COTA being a world class venue. They both agree, what other amateur racing series features such incredible destinations to test your skills amidst other very capable drivers. No less in a street car.

We are thrilled that such winning drivers are a part of the K&N race team and look forward to seeing what they pull off next. In good ole Texas style, we are certain it will be big.


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