Pikes Peak International Raceway hosted the seventh stop of Optima’s 2015 Search for the Ultimate Street Car on August 7-9, 2015 and offered a prime opportunity for contenders looking for an invitation to the 2015 SEMA Show and a coveted spot in Ultimate Street Car Invitational held in Las Vegas, November 6-8, 2015.
While several events have sold out this season at 75 entries, the remote location of Pikes Peak seemed like it might offer better odds for those willing to make the trek. Ultimately, 47 cars made the journey to compete in four classes, with five locking in their spot for the November showdown. As has been the case all season long, Chevys more than held their own against the competition.
Check out the photo gallery for highlights from the event.
Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car Pikes Peak International Raceway Event Winners
Class - GTV
1. Jake Rozelle: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro
2. James Shipka: 1967 Chevrolet Camaro*
3. Tom Farrington: 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle
Class - GTS
1. Dustin Rogers: 2012 Mitsubishi Evo*
2. Todd Earsley: 2003 Mitsubishi Evo
3. Randy Johnson: 2002 Chevrolet Corvette
Class - GTL
1. Alexandra Zust: 2005 Lotus Elise*
2. Ken Thwaits: 2006 Mitsubishi Evo
3. Mike Dusold: 1967 Chevrolet Camaro
Class - GT
1. Jordan Priestley: 2011 Chevrolet Camaro
2. Ken Thwaits: 2014 Chevrolet Camaro
3. Aaron Sockwell: 2015 Ford Mustang*
K&N Filters Spirit of the Event Invitee: Anthony Cuthbert – 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth*
*Won an OUSCI invitation at this event
Mike Dusold finished in Third Place in the GTL class (vehicles under 3,200 pounds), but he set a track record for a street car on the Pikes Peak roval, running a fast lap of 1:00.614.
Some differential issues couldn’t stop Jordan Priestly from winning the GT class in his 2011 Camaro. Priestley had previously qualified for the OUSCI at the Las Vegas qualifier but this was his first GT class win of the season.
Ken Thwaits is a man who likes to keep his options open. Thwaits has already qualified three different Camaros for the OUSCI, although the rules will only allow him to bring one vehicle. Thwaits added a 2006 Mitsubishi Evo to his stable in Colorado and had a pair of runner-up finishes: in GTL with the Evo and in GT with his 2014 Camaro.
Randy Johnson carried the Chevy flag to the podium in the GTS class, finishing in Third Place behind a pair of Evos in his D&Z Customs-built 2002 Corvette.
Chevrolets absolutely dominated the GTV class, taking the top nine positions, led by Jake Rozelle’s 1969 Camaro. The win was Rozelle’s second of the season and makes him the only GTV competitor in the top 10, who has not competed in any double-points events.
With Rozelle having already qualified for Las Vegas at the Thunderhill event, the GTV invitation went to Second Place finisher James Shipka and his 1967 Camaro.
Between Tom, Deb, and their son Sam, the Farringtons are the first family of Pro Touring. This time, it was Tom piloting the family’s 1966 Chevelle to a Third Place finish in GTV.
Track time is plentiful at Optima qualifying events, and Marty Clarke made the most of his weekend. In addition to 16 runs in the Detroit Speed Autocross and 17 passes on the Wilwood Speed Stop Challenge, he managed to log 48 laps in the Falken Tire Road Course Time Trial.
Brandon Pursley has been following the series on MAVTV and knew when the Pikes Peak date was announced, the Windsor, Colorado, resident had to sign his 1991 Camaro up and get in on the action.
Pikes Peak was a long haul for several of the competitors, including Efrain Diaz, who made the trip all the way from Fullerton, California.