Aviator Continues to Spread His Wings in Prototype Lites

October 2nd, 2012

BRASELTON, Ga. (Oct. 2, 2012) – Few could predict that the piloted g-force of a tactical jet exiting an aircraft carrier could translate to racing cars. But according to Jim Garrett, a former Naval Aviator and current Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazdadriver, the mental focus and excitement is one in the same.

“Really my passion for motorsports comes from having an endeavor where you are constantly pushed and challenged,” said Garrett. “Every race is different. It’s never easy. There are always obstacles; whether it’s another driver, the changing conditions of the track, or mechanical issues to overcome. That’s the joy!”

Garrett understands these challenges as a teacher and student of motorsports. The Eurosport Racing driver is also one of the owners and founders of North American Road Racing Association (NARRA), a national driving school, time trial and racing series.

“It (NARRA) can transform a person from complete novice and take them from their first track day in their own car, to wheel to wheel racing,” said Garrett.

Once the coordinator of day-to-day operations, Garrett had a craving to jump back in the cockpit and return to racing. Now the man holding third place in the L1 Master Class also races within the NARRA series and spends time advising and helping with instruction for the driving school.

“The power of a high horsepower GT-type car is great; but I also enjoy the additional challenge of the downforce and ground effects of a prototype. Now I get to enjoy both. It really is having my cake and eating it too,” said Garrett.

The ingredients for this well-prepared treat include improving upon every lap and listening to former West teammate and 2008 L2 Champion Tom Drewer. Drewer used his progressive experience to coach Garrett through his transition from the West to Élan chassis.

“Going from the West to the Élan has been a fun learning curve. Even though the cars look similar they are very different in the way you drive them,” said Garrett.

Garrett and Eurosport Racing buckled down and improved their performance together during the 2012 season. Their work culminated in Garrett’s first L1 podium at VIR, which he acknowledges would not have been possible without an expert car set up from his crew chief Reed Quinn.

With his military background and commitment to motorsports education, Garrett is determined to build on the knowledge he has gained this race season.

“Part of it is getting a good points haul, but given it’s my first year in the Lites 1 car, a lot of the focus is just about getting up to speed,” said Garrett. “This year is preparation for next year. I have an agenda for every corner, every lap, and session.”

Garrett currently holds third place as a rookie in the L1 Masters Class and fifth place overall in the L1 Class. He closely trails Performance Tech driver Ritchie Holt in the L1 Masters Class by only 10 points with 148 points total.

Garrett’s final race of the 2012 Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda season will take place at Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda on October 17-20.

For all the latest news and results, follow Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda atwww.prototypelites.com or on Facebook and Twitter.


About Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda:

The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda is one of three official Development Series sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). The two classes of cars – Prototype Lites 1 and Prototype Lites 2 – provide a competitive yet cost-effective platform for the semi-professional driver or for the driver who aspires to become a professional prototype driver in the America Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron. Both Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda classes produce thrilling, high-speed action at premier venues across North America.

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