View Full Version : Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car Thunderhill, CA DAY 1 Recap

03-01-2015, 07:56 AM

Yesterday kicked off the season opener for Optima’s Search for the Ultimate Street Car at Thunderhill Raceway. Though weather predicted heavy rain, the sun was out and the courses were dry which meant for some fast laps and heavy completion.

Thunderhill Raceway Day 1

Larry Callahan was on scene in the middle of all the action. He shot some great video content which can be seen at the Pro-Touring.com Facebook page. We also featured several updates including photos and posted lap times on both our Instagram and Facebook pages. If you would like to see live coverage of Day 2 at Thunderhill, make sure to check out our social media sites listed at the end of this recap.

Today included the Wilwood Speed Stop Challenge, the RideTech Autocross and the Detroit Speed and Engineering Road Rally. California always brings some tough competition. There are a handful of competitors that compete in this series that have a strong racing background. Some of the toughest competition in our pro-touring race circuit can be found right here in California. Recently the completion had tripled in the last couple years with several competitors traveling across the country to attend the Optima Series. This weekend’s season opener brought drivers not only from Calfornia, but from all over the country to compete in one of the most popular race series of 2015.

Showtime Motorsports hauled their Camaros and Shipka's Car across the country

Smitty's C10 Truck was also a long ways from home.

We won’t bore you with all the details of yesterdays event with overly long written recaps. We would rather show you some of the Day 1 highlights with the photos below:

Driver's Meeting first thing Saturday morning

John Lazorack III putting decals on his Conquest

Several first second and fifth Gen Camaro out racing this weekend.

Saturday included both Autocross and Speed Stop Challenge

Jake Rozelle putting down some quick lap times in his Camaro

Mike Maier had the Mustang out competing at Thunderhill

Mark Frazier was not the only Datsun out racing this weekend

We were happy to see a couple non Camaros show up to race including this Ford Fairlane

This event wouldn't be possible without the awesome help of our Volunteers

Joe Escobar testing out the new motor in his Pinto

Newman testing the limit in his '57 Chevy Wagon

(http://i385.photobucket.com/albums/oo294/protouringdotcom/Pro-Touring%20Events%202015/Optima%20Series%20Thunderhill%20Raceway/10985837_642055362566690_424352656_n_zpshc6gzrbh.m p4)

Here at Pro-Touring it’s about our members and the pro-touring community. We like to keep it grassroots and see what some of the racers are doing behind the scenes. So we troll our Facebook newsfeed before, during and after the event to see what competitors are up to, what changes are being made to their cars, who breaks what during the event and so on. For those who do not have Facebook, it can be hard to find in-the-moment updates. So we bring them to you right here in our recap:

We caught several people preparing for this weekend’s event on Facebook:

Ken Thwaits Showtime Motorsports

Brian Hobaugh's prepping his new ride

Mike Maier looks like he needs some rest after burning the midnight oil

From the moment competitors started to arrive at Thunderhill Raceway, Facebook posts were everywhere:

Danny Popp was out with his Corvette

Geon and his father made it out for Day 1 with the Camaro

Martin Pond representing a slightly different style Fairmont than his usual. We love it!

Sometimes the chance of winning means pushing your vehilces to its breaking point; literally…. Here’s some carnage from Event 1 Day 1:

Not much besides this comment was said about Smitty's C10,
but we are assuming something broke from this picture

Shipka has some of the worst luck in One Lap Camaro, BUT it was fixed!


The Chandler's won the award for best Carnage of the day,
blowing the motor in their Camaro and going home early

Overall yesterday was the perfect start to the Optima Series. We look forward to a great year and can’t wait to see what today brings.
If you can’t wait for our end of day recaps, check out our social media sites for live coverage of Optima’s Search for the Ultimate Street Car Thunderhill Event.

Pro-Touring.com Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ProTouring

Pro-Touring.com Instagram Page: @protouringdotcom

Pro-Touring.com Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/protouring

03-01-2015, 11:20 AM
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/s4VwUasjP98" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Larry callahan goes live at Optima's Search for the Ultimate Street Thunderhill Raceway

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/t4UFjtQs3Uc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Wilwood Speed Stop Challenge

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8pvhdtKqetM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

RideTech Autocross

03-01-2015, 05:32 PM
Thanks for posting the video--that Falcon is so cool! Seriously, for anyone who hasn't attended one of these events, as a spectator or a participant, it's way more fun in person. You need to hear it and feel it, and develop the sensory addiction to race gas exhaust--everyone's cool to talk and answer questions (sometimes even while driving). Here's to the next one!

03-01-2015, 06:14 PM
I agree! I went to the Las Vegas event last fall and had a great time. So who won this event?

03-04-2015, 12:15 AM
I agree! I went to the Las Vegas event last fall and had a great time. So who won this event?

Full results are posted on the USCA website, but in the GTV class, Jake Rozelle took the win followed closely by Mike Maier and James Shipka. If you'd like to see more photos of the event and some cars that were there, here's a link (https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/113744-Photos-of-USCA-Thunderhill?p=1121478#post1121478) to the thread I put together under Multimedia & Photography:)