Optima Ultimate Street Car – Las Vegas Event Report

The Optima Ultimate Street Car Association series 2017 season opener took place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this past weekend.  With a reduction in the number of events from 10 to 7, this may be the only non sold out event of the season.  Across all classes, 65 cars earned points with a class breakout as follows:

  • GTV – 13 cars
  • GTS – 17 cars
  • GTL – 10 cars
  • GTC – 3 cars (new compact class for 2017)
  • GT – 22
  • GTE – 0 cars (new electric class for 2017)

The famous Las Vegas wind stayed away the whole weekend and we enjoyed sunny warm days on both Saturday and Sunday.  The event format also changed for 2017 with the Speed Stop event moving from Saturday to Sunday and all competitors cycling through the autocross all day on Saturday.

USCA GTV (Vintage) Class Recap

GTV saw a bit of a shakeup in drivers with longtime series competitors moving around.  Previous class champion Jake Rozelle switched from the 1969 Camaro to a C5 Corvette and competed in GTS for this event.  Multi-time GTV winner and runner up for the 2016 class championship Mike Maier switched from his 1966 Mustang “Old Blue” to “New Blue” a 2017 Mustang.  At one point Old Blue was his wife Brianne’s car.  Maybe she wanted it back?  John Lazorack and Greg Thurmond, who previously competed in the GTL both decided to add weight and come over to GTV.

As Saturday came to a close all cars had a chance to go through three events.  Design & Engineering, Autocross and the Road Rally.  The top 5 standings at the end of Saturday were:

Position Driver  Car Points
1 John Lazorack III 1988 Chrysler Conquest Tsi 283
2 Efrain Diaz 1969 Chevrolet Camaro 258
3 Nick Relampagos 1970 Chevrolet Camaro 250
4 Chad Ryker 1968 Chevrolet Camaro 247
5 Greg Thurmond 1965 Chevrolet Corvette 244
Efrain-Diaz-1969-Chevrolet-Camaro-Drive-OPTIMA-Las-Vegas-2017
Efrain Diaz came in 2nd in the GTV class in his 1969 Camaro

Sunday saw a shakeup in the ranks.  Not all cars made it back into competition Sunday.  The new format of mixing Speed Stop in between Road Course runs also increased the difficulty factor on both car and driver.  At the conclusion of Sunday the drivers sitting in the top 5 didn’t change, but some of the positions did.  With Falken RT615K+ equipped cars sweeping the top three spots, the final top 5 GTV standings were:

Position Driver Car Points
1 John Lazorack III 1988 Chrysler Conquest Tsi 470
2 Efrain Diaz 1969 Chevrolet Camaro 427
3 Chad Ryker 1968 Chevrolet Camaro 418
4 Nick Relampagos 1970 Chevrolet Camaro 410
5 Greg Thurmond 1965 Chevrolet Corvette 390

Check out my Falken RT615K+ Review.

Congratulations John Lazorack III on the first GTV Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational invitation!

Ride along with the AutoXandTrack Camaro, Red Apex, as it chases down Camaros, Vettes, Porsche’s and more.

USCA GTS (Sport) Class Recap

GTS saw many fast competitors return and the addition of Jake Rozelle in his just completed C5 Corvette.  This would be his maiden voyage and first time testing the car in any way.  At the end of Saturday the top 5 standings were:

Position Driver Car Points
1 Brian Hobaugh 2003 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 290
2 Lynn Proctor 2005 Dodge Viper 287
3 Glen Barnhouse 2012 Chevrolet Grand Sport 286
4 Robert DeuPree 2010 Dodge Viper 283
5 Jake Rozelle 2003 Chevrolet Corvette 282

Sunday would see movement all around the top 5 ranks.  In fact, the first tie of 2017 took place between Jake rozelle and Glen Barnhouse with D&E giving Glen the win.  After the GTS class completed all events the final standings were:

Position Driver Car Points
1 Glen Barnhouse 2012 Chevrolet Grand Sport 475
2 Jake Rozelle 2003 Chevrolet Corvette 475
3 Lynn Proctor 2005 Dodge Viper 474
4 Brian Hobaugh 2003 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 472
5 Thomas Smith 2005 Subaru STI 459

Congratulations to Glen Barnhouse for the first GTS Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational invitation!

Glen Barnhouse c6 Corvette Optima USCA Vegas 2017
Thanks to the D&E tie breaker, Glen gets the first GTS OUSCI invite of 2017!

USCA GTL (Light) Class Recap

GTL saw the return of some of the fastest drivers of 2016.  Such as the 2016 Grand Champion Rich Willhoff and multiple event winner Ken Thwaits.  With the best power to weight ratio cars in the series and some of the best drivers it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the fastest lap times in Autocross, Speed Stop and the Road Course all came from the GTL class.  Halfway through the weekend the top 5 standings were:

Position Driver Car Points
1 Rich Willhoff 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 294
2 Robert DeuPree 2009 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 293
3 Ken Thwaits 2006 Mitsubishi EVO 291
4 Scot Spiewak 2003 Chevrolet Corvette z06 277
5 Ryan Johnson 2006 Lotus Elise 257

Once the awards ceremony on Sunday came to a close the final standings in GTL were:

Position Driver Car Points
1 Rich Willhoff 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 493
2 Ken Thwaits 2006 Mitsubishi EVO 490
3 Robert DeuPree 2009 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 479
4 Scot Spiewak 2003 Chevrolet Corvette z06 442
5 Ryan Johnson 2006 Lotus Elise 415

Congratulation to Rich Willhoff on the highest score of the weekend and the first GTL Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational invitation!

Rich-Willhoff-2006-Chevrolet-Corvette-Optima USCA Las Vegas 2017
Rich Willhoff earned the most points of the event. And the first GTL OUSCI invite!

USCA GTC (Compact) Class Recap

The GT Compact class is new for 2017.  However, word is still getting out and we only saw three competitors in this class.  Two of which are spec Miata racers.  Standings at the end of Saturday:

Position Driver Car Points
1 Kevin Schultz 2008 Honda S2000 CR 266
2 Bob Boileau 2014 Mazda MX-5 232
3 Sammy Valafar 2016 Mazda MIATA 227

Bob Boileau enjoyed spicing up the Sunday driver’s meeting with discussions on bump drafting and what constitutes a proper point by between high HP cars and low HP cars.  However, neither Miata topped the podium at the end of Sunday.  Final GTC results were:

Position Driver Car Points
1 Kevin Schultz 2008 Honda S2000 CR 404
2 Sammy Valafar 2016 Mazda MIATA 349
3 Bob Boileau 2014 Mazda MX-5 346

Congratulations to Kevin Schultz for the first ever GTC Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational invitation!

Kevin-Schultz-2008-Honda-S2000-DriveOPTIMA-Las-Vegas-2017
Kevin Schultz won the first ever GTC OUSCI invite!

USCA GT Class Recap

The GT class was the largest class by far at the first USCA event with 22 cars competing for the win. As noted in the GTV recap this class is the new home of Mike Maier and his 2017 Mustang.  How would he stack up against some of the long time series competitors such as Jordan Priestley?  At the end of Saturday, things were looking good for Mike.

Position Driver Car Points
1 Mike Maier 2017 Ford Mustang GT 277
2 Cliff Elliott 2016 Ford Mustang GT 274
3 Jeremiah Stotler 2015 Ford Mustang GT 266
4 J Priestley 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS 265
5 Jonathan Blevins 2008 Ford Mustang 258

After the dust cleared on Sunday, GT had the 2nd closest finish of the weekend with only a single point separating first and second place!  Final standings for GT were:

Position Driver Car Points
1 Mike Maier 2017 Ford Mustang GT 447
2 Cliff Elliott 2016 Ford Mustang GT 446
3 J Priestley 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS 439
4 Jeremiah Stotler 2015 Ford Mustang GT 423
5 James Hodges 2014 Chevrolet Camaro 415

Congratulations to Mike Maier for the first GT Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational invitation and another Falken RT615K+ equipped car taking the top spot in it’s class!

Mike Maier 2017 Mustang USCA Optima Las Vegas
Mike Maier quote: “If you give me a wrench and a car I’ll find something to adjust on it!”  It was good enough for the GT OUSCI invite!

Pictures courtesy of Optima Batteries.

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