OPTIMA World Championship Autocross 2020

Jeremy Swenson wins the 2020 OPTIMA World Championship Autocross in his 2011 Corvette
SponsorOPTIMA Batteries
LocationCircuit of the Americas
DateNovember 1, 2020
The OPTIMA World Championship Autocross has been an event several years in the making. The OWCA logo first appeared on a 2016 Ford Focus RS in the OPTIMA Booth at the 2016 SEMA Show in Las Vegas and tentative plans were announced for 2017. The idea was ambitious, with full TV coverage and concepts that were outside the traditional autocross box. A private test session was held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in May of 2017, to test the concepts and the viability for a TV production. While the results were promising, the outcome did not yield an event. Other projects moved ahead and OPTIMA World Championship Autocross found itself on the back burner. 

2017 did mark the inaugural year of the OPTIMA DriveAutoX autocross series and there were hopes that the OWCA would come at the end of the year. However, the consensus was that an event worthy of a "World Championship" moniker needed to be done the right way and not as an afterthought, so the event stayed on the radar, but off the schedule.

Fast forward to 2020 and the world was turned upside down by a pandemic. Events around the country were being cancelled, including the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. OPTIMA was already midway through filming their seventh season of the Search for the Ultimate Street Car Series, presented by Advance Auto Parts and the series needed a conclusion at the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational, which typically takes place after the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Simply canceling the remainder of that season and the accompanying TV series was not an option, but neither was returning to Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

That sent the OUSCI to Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, but it also created an opportunity to do more than just the OUSCI. Companies had products that needed showcasing, brand ambassadors and sponsored drivers had content they needed to generate and media outlets had a great need for content in a year that had been largely devoid of it. That resulted in the High-Performance Expo, which included the OUSCI, roll racing with the Streetcar Takeover, drifting exhibitions and the opportunity to hold the OPTIMA World Championship Autocross in a proper venue with proper support behind it. Many autocross events around the country had already been cancelled for 2020 and there was a sense that if presented correctly, the OPTIMA World Championship Autocross at Circuit of the Americas would draw the major players.

The format was intentionally straightforward and simple- one class consisting of production cars with 200+ treadwear tires. Entry was $250 per vehicle, capped at 100 entries and $25,000 was going to the winner. Additionally, the event would be livestreamed with a full production TV crew. It was all a leap of faith, but in what could easily be described as a crazy year, it seemed like it was all just crazy enough to work. Would the OPTIMA World Championship Autocross draw competitors on a large scale level? Would anyone watch the livestream besides a few friends and relatives, who couldn't attend in person?

The results exceeded even optimistic expectations. A total of 73 entries from around the country made the trek to COTA and a livestream audience of nearly 140,000 (as of this writing) tuned in to watch the action. While nearly half the field was Corvettes, the top-five overall featured five different marques. However, it was the 2011 Corvette piloted by Jeremy Swenson of Moorhead, Minnesota that took home top honors.

This wasn't Swenson's first autocross payday, as he previously-won the 2019 UMI Motorsports King of the Hill title and $10,000 prize. We congratulate Jeremy on his incredible achievement and look forward to the next OPTIMA World Championship Autocross, whenever and wherever that might be! 

Name

Vehicle

Time

Rank

Jeremy Swenson2011 Chevrolet Corvette34.7111
Shawn Krebsbach2006 Mitsubishi Evo34.9472
Erik Strelnieks2017 Acura NSX35.0023
John Laughlin2019 Tesla Model 335.1774
Robert Thorne2008 Honda S200035.3905
Tom Berry2006 Mitsubishi Evo35.5046
Brian Peters2017 Chevrolet Corvette35.6367
Ian Stewart2006 Chevrolet Corvette35.6848
Feras Qartoumy2008 Chevrolet Corvette35.7399
Scot Spiewak2003 Chevrolet Corvette35.89810
Jeremy Foley2003 Mitsubishi Evo36.02811
Paul Curley2000 Chevrolet Corvette36.08912
Rich Willhoff2006 Chevrolet Corvette36.09213
Austin Barnes2009 Chevrolet Corvette36.16414
Ryan Mathews2002 Chevrolet Corvette36.23415
Doug Rowse2017 Chevrolet Corvette36.33916
Cb Ramey1987 Chevrolet Corvette36.39117
Duke Langley2002 Chevrolet Corvette36.57418
Alex Tziortzis2002 Chevrolet Corvette36.58519
Jake Rozelle2003 Chevrolet Corvette36.61920
Mike Rovere2008 Chevrolet Corvette36.86321
Josh Dockstader2006 Chevrolet Corvette36.94322
Chad Sage2016 Porsche GT3RS36.98423
Bailey Ipock2006 Mitsubishi Evo37.07824
Ron Scott1963 Chevrolet Corvette37.22025
Jack Stanford2010 Chevrolet Corvette37.22326
David Carroll1975 Datsun 280Z37.23027
Robert DeuPree2013 Lamborghini Gallardo37.36228
Mike DuSold2018 Tesla Model 337.46429
Christopher Wheatcraft2002 Chevrolet Corvette37.53430
Adan Ulrich2001 Chevrolet Corvette37.67731
Chase Gordon2008 Nissan 350Z37.69132
Jeffrey Hahn2006 Lotus Exige37.73733
Mike Maier2017 Ford Mustang37.74434
Clay Shearer2015 Porsche 911 Turbo S37.81535
Eric Fleming2006 Chevrolet Corvette37.87036
Matthew Ramirez2004 Ford Mustang37.93037
Karl Dunn2002 Chevrolet Corvette37.94738
Terry Fair2002 Chevrolet Corvette38.06739
Chad Langley2020 Chevrolet Corvette38.10340
Andy Voelkel2015 Chevrolet Corvette38.11641
Glen Barnhouse2012 Chevrolet Corvette38.38642
Mark Madarash1988 Pontiac Firebird38.60543
Chris Smith1970 Chevrolet Camaro38.72644
Chris Neal2014 Chevrolet Corvette38.98745
Tony Scalici2018 Chevrolet Camaro39.08346
Jon Beatty2001 Chevrolet Corvette39.10647
Mark Scarnato2008 Mitsubishi Evo39.15248
Dennis Healy2015 Ford Mustang39.37849
Betim Berisha2014 Porsche 991 Turbo39.42850
Brian Matteucci2017 Chevrolet Camaro39.66351
Stephen Lucas2011 Chevrolet Corvette39.75752
Jonathan Ricker2015 Chevrolet Corvette39.77853
Chris King2002 Chevrolet Corvette39.85054
Bret Voelkel1967 Chevrolet Camaro39.92955
Thomas Marquez2015 Subaru Impreza40.14656
Jason Bottenfield1969 Chevrolet Camaro40.33057
Chris Hamilton1995 Chevrolet Corvette40.38158
Charles Olivas2019 Telsa Model 340.46659
Robert Weathers2018 Chevrolet Camaro40.84060
Michael Stapleton2010 Porsche Carerra41.39161
Russell Adams2019 Chevrolet Corvette41.46562
Austin Keys2004 Pontiac GTO41.81363
Randy Dicken1967 Chevrolet Camaro42.03764
Paul Bulski1971 Buick GS42.46465
Angela Payne1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS43.00066
Preston Folkestad1984 Chevrolet C1043.04067
Patrick Guerra2002 Chevrolet Corvette43.55568
Justin Coward1996 Mazda Miata43.69569
Matt Davis2004 Pontiac Vibe45.36070
James Scully2019 Dodge Challenger47.19871
Jordan Schoening2019 Hyundai Veloster47.75672
Kelley Knight1989 Chevrolet Corvette52.19973