View Full Version : Behind the Wheel with Jake Rozelle powered by Optima Batteries

06-17-2015, 09:45 PM
Brandy Phillips
Photos By: Amy Teshima
June 18, 2015

What drives an automotive passion in today’s younger generations? With the decline of young enthusiast, those that are active in
the pro-touring community are getting noticed for all the right reasons.


Take Jake Rozelle for example. Jake Rozelle caught our attention several years ago in a 1969 Camaro. Many know him as ”The Kid”
which Jake earned because he was one of the youngest drivers in the pro-touring community at the time.

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Though Jake lives out in California, you don’t need to be from the west coast to know “The Kid.” Jake has earned quite a
reputation while racing at several events including Goodguys Autocross, Optima’s Search for the Ultimate Street Car,
OUSCI, Speed Limit Racing Autocross, and an occasional Time Attack.


The Kid’s good; really good. In fact he has recently won some notable awards including first place in the Goodguys Del Mar
Autocross Street Machine Class and first place in the GTV class at OUSCS Thunderhill, in addition to receiving an invite to
compete at OUSCI in Las Vegas this November.


So how does a kid get into this sport? For Jake, it was a lifestyle. After his father, Roy Rozelle, purchased the 1969 Camaro,
he and Jake started to tear into the car with hopes of it becoming a pro-touring vehicle. Though the Camaro is Jake’s
father’s car, Jake’s passion and enthusiasm landed him a spot in the driver’s seat and neither him nor his father have ever
looked back.


About six years ago Jake made the decision to purchase his own car with the goal of eventually building a pro-touring car
for himself. Now if we do the math, Jake is twenty-one; so that would have made Jake fifteen at the time. That’s an
impressive commitment for a teenager.


Jake has focused his attention on Optima’s Search for the Ultimate Street Car Series, though he still attends a handful of
other events throughout the year. We asked Jake what he liked about Optima’s Events:

“We enjoy the challenge that the series provides, taking cars that really shouldn’t be going this fast on street tires and
pushing them to new levels. The diversity of the cars is also really exciting and its always fun to look through the pictures
and see a car like ours battling with new GTRs and Corvettes. Without this series we would not have the opportunity to
compete against this diverse group.”


There are many driver’s dedicated to a particular race series like Jake, so we wanted to know his goals going into the
Optima Series this year:

“We have already attended two events this year, Thunderhill and Las Vegas, and are pleased with a first and a second
place finish so far. We will be attending at least the Pikes Peak event and the Fontana event before OUSCI with the goal
of going for more wins and really getting the car refined to a point that we are happy taking to OUSCI since we weren’t
really able to do that last year due to a shortage of time. Once at OUSCI we will do the best we can and see how it all
plays out and I would be very happy if we could be the fastest GTV class car at the event, even though they will not be
awarding specific classes at that event.”


Jake has been running both the Camaro and the Corvette on the pro-touring race circuit this year. Though it is always
great to see Jake behind the wheel of the Camaro, most of his attention is focused on the Corvette while trying to dial
it in and make it competitive.


Jake has had an overwhelming amount of support starting with his father. We asked Jake if there was anyone else he
wanted to thank:

“My dad has always been my biggest supporter and my family in general has been a big part of our racing. Cris at JCG
also plays a big role in our success and is very supportive and helpful not just with our Camaro but also with other
projects and questions that come up. JJ at Ultimate Performance also provides us with incredible support and makes
the racing fun while also helping get the cars to a whole new level. We couldn’t compete at the level we do without help
from our other sponsors as well including Falken Tire, Black Widow Exhaust, Detroit Speed Suspension, JRi Shocks and
Wilwood Disc Brakes.”


If you thought getting behind the wheel of one of the Rozelle cars and dominating their class was tough, Jake is also
a college student. When he’s not working with Cris Gonzalez and his father on the cars or racing, he’s attending the
University of California San Diego majoring in Electrical Engineering.


Jake’s ability to juggle school, cars, racing and his personal life is extremely inspiring. At twenty-one, Jake has already
accomplished quite abit and built a name for himself. We can’t wait to see what he is capable of in the future and
what’s next for him in the pro-touring community.

A couple quick tips from Jake Rozelle:

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Pro-Touring Ride:


Make: Chevy
Model: Camaro
Year: 1969

Engine: GM Performance Parts LS7

Engine Details: Basically stock LS7 as it came with Kooks headers and a K&N Air cleaner attached to an intake
tube fabricated by JCG

Horsepower / Torque: 505HP 470TQ

Transmission: Tremec T56 Magnum

Exhaust: 3” Black Widow mufflers with an X-pipe

Differential: Ford 9”, full floater, 3.73 gears, clutch-style posi

Brakes: C6 Corvette Z06 setup from KORE3

Wheels: Forgeline GA3R 18x11 Front, 18x11.5 Rear

Tires: Falken RT615K 315-30-18

Body & Paint: Anvil Carbon Fiber Front Fenders, Hood, Trunk, and Rear Spoiler. Body work and hood vents by
JCG and wrap applied by Troy Weeks.

Interior: Detroit Speed Dash Insert. Center Console fabricated by JCG. Schroth 5 point harnesses. Pioneer
Stereo system.

Gauges: Auto Meter Ultra-Lite II

Seats: Recaro fronts, stock rear. Both with hounds-tooth accents

Harnesses / Roll Bar / Cage: 4 Point roll bar fabricated by JCG

Suspension: Detroit Speed front subframe and rear quadrilink enhanced by JCG. JRi Shocks tuned by
Ultimate Performance.

Any other modifications: It has a functioning heater, cup holders that will fit a Big Gulp, and every road
rally this year we have had someone in the back seat. It really is an incredible street car still despite how speed
oriented it has become.

Plans for upcoming new vehicle: We have also recently built with JCG a 1965 Corvette with Wilwood brakes,
Van Steel Suspension, JRI shocks, Black Widow Exhaust and the 400 ci 540HP small block that used to be in the
Camaro. We bought it with the intention of my dad being its primary driver but I will also be competing in it
occasionally at events such as the Goodguys Del Mar autocross.













06-24-2015, 05:48 AM
Woohoo, first one to reply!

Great job Jake! Keep working hard and kicking butt!

Take care,


P.S. Tell your dad hello for me!!!

06-24-2015, 03:41 PM
Great Thread! I'm going to the Charlotte event and it will be my first autocross or race event of Any kind, so this kind of advise really helps!!



06-27-2015, 04:52 PM
AWSOME ,,,just AWSOME keep it up dude.