Posted: Sep 26, 2014
2014 OUSCI Preview- Karl Dunn's 2002 Chevrolet Corvette
Karl Dunn is one of the more seasoned competitors in OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car (OUSCI) competition. This will be his third year in a row competing in the OUSCI (in three different vehicles) and he was one of the first competitors to figure out the C5 Corvettes were a very competitive platform in the GT2K (under 3000 pounds) class, locking up his OUSCI invite back in June at Road America. We caught up with Karl, hoping to get up to speed with his efforts in getting his Corvette up to speed for Las Vegas-
"After getting the OUSCI invite at the Road America event, we realized that the Z06 needed more power to be competitive on the road course," says Dunn. "The Corvette was strong in the corners, but we were getting blown away on the straights, so I took the Vette out to Cris Gonzalez’s shop, JCG Restorations Customs, for some upgrades." Once there, Gonzalez went to work moving the LS7 from the "Blu Balz Camaro" Karl ran in the 2013 OUSCI over to the Corvette.
With both vehicles under the knife, Karl took the JCG Corvette, a 1999 fixed roof coupe, nicknamed "Squirrelly," to the next Ultimate Street Car Association (USCA) event at Gateway Motorsports Park. "It is a fast car, and it won all three on-track segments of the event in the GT2K class, but it’s completely stripped, and it got hammered in the Lingenfelter Engineering Performance Design portion of the contest," says Dunn. "It was pretty funny funny when the judges walked up, looked at the car and realized that it was missing everything. I told them it got stripped while I was at a bar in East St. Louis."
Gonzalez had the LS7 into the 2002 Corvette for the next USCA event at Portland International Raceway and while it had plenty of power, the 16-hour drive up to PIR did a number on the suspension system and Dunn was having issues with the brake control module. Fellow competitor, Danny Popp overnighted a new BCM to keep the Corvette running, but Dunn still wasn't able to see the full potential of the car. "Still, PIR was a beautiful facility and I had a blast on my first trip to the Northwest," says Dunn. In addition to running USCA events, Karl also kept his driving skills sharpened by entering Squirrelly in some local autocrosses.