Tyler Cooke Joins Long Road Racing; Spec Miata in 16-Year-Old's Sights RALEIGH, N.C.--Rising talent Tyler Cooke has joined forces with Long Road Racing to compete in the 2011 Spec Miata NASA Championship. The 16-year-old driver will also compete...
Tyler Cooke Joins Long Road Racing; Spec Miata in 16-Year-Old's Sights
RALEIGH, N.C.--Rising talent Tyler Cooke has joined forces with Long Road Racing to compete in the 2011 Spec Miata NASA Championship. The 16-year-old driver will also compete in select rounds of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series.
Cooke, who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, is no stranger to racing the Mazda Miata MX-5. He has competed in the Skip Barber MX-5 series for the past two seasons. In 2010, Cooke earned a total of seven race wins, six pole positions, and 22 top-five finishes. Most recently, he took the Spec Miata win during an eight-hour NASA enduro at Road Atlanta.
Prior to that, Cooke honed his skills in shifter kart competition. He began his kart racing career in 2004, at the age of 10. "My grandpa had a late model race team and I hung out a lot at his shop. My dad took me to a lot of races and I fell in love with GRAND-AM and Formula One," says Cooke. "Roadracing is just awesome, so I started in karts and am working my way up."
An integral part of working his way through the ranks is teaming up with Long Road Racing. Cooke first met team members during an event at Sebring International Raceway, but it was a race weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway that really solidified the relationship.
"When I got to Homestead, I met team owner Glenn Long and that drew us in more," Cooke says. "Long Road Racing is just a great team overall. I went to Raleigh for a shop tour, then did a 13-hour race with them."
Long is equally excited about the new partnership. "We are extremely pleased to be running Tyler Cooke in our team Mazda development ladder," he says. "As we focus on a very competitive Spec Miata season effort combined with the introduction to GRAND-AM, it should prove to be a great year of growth and experience for Tyler. We won the last time we focused on a season championship of Spec Miata, so we obviously have very high hopes."
Cooke got his first taste of the Long Road Racing Mazda Miata MX-5 racecar during the 13-hour race at Virginia International Raceway. "The car felt phenomenally great," he says. "It has great speed and handling. We had some contact during the race, but the car never skipped a beat."
In addition to a run at the Spec Miata championship, Cooke will also run several GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge races. Cooke's goal is to compete in the entire series in 2012.
-source: tyler cook PR