MX-5 Cup Alumni News - News from drivers who launched their careers through the MX-5 Cup series
2011 Champ Cooper Ready For Pirelli World Challenge With AMG
Feb. 10, 2012 - ATLANTA, Ga. - 2011 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy MX-5 Cup Champion Michael Cooper and Atlanta Motorsports Group are ready to take on the world - Pirelli World Challenge, that is. No sooner had the 2011 season ended did the plans for 2012 began at the shops of Atlanta MotorSports Group (AMG). The first task was hiring professional racer, columnist and webcast show host, Jim Daniels, as team coach. The second task was finishing one last race at the 25 Hours of Thunder Hill in which the team scored a victory in the EO class. Task three was securing Brad Adams and his Ford Boss 302 Mustang Pirelli World-Challenge GTS program. Task four was securing Michael Cooper and his MAZDASPEED3 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car program, factory supported by Mazda USA.
The crew at DriveWithAMG.com is also busy preparing their Mazda MX-5s for Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup competition as well as Bspec Mazda 2s that also run with the Pirelli World Challenge series. With all the activity at AMG it is easy to forget the great success 2011 brought the team.
In 2011 AMG scored its third consecutive Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Championship, with driver Michael Cooper. The Jim Daniels-led team secured the Crew of the Year and Rookie of the Year awards in the Pirelli World-Challenge GTS class.
For 2012 AMG plans to campaign cars in the Pirelli World-Challenge Bspec, Touring Car and GTS classes plus the Playboy Mazda MX5 Cup. AMG will also build and maintain NASA and SCCA club racing Vehicles representing both Ford and Mazda brands.
About the team members
Jason & Lisa Hoover, Owners -
Jason Hoover was born into a racing family. His parents owned a local european car repair facility and his father was a known race car builder and driver. At an early age Jason was showing a true natural ability of understanding race cars and the technology of how to make them go fast.
As a teenager he started building his own cars in his fathers shop and soon after high school he started developing his own following the in the local race car scene.
He married his long time high school sweet heart, Lisa. Soon they began working together providing race car services in the Northern California area.
After several winning seasons in the local regional racing series they began to branch out into professional series such as the Playboy Mazda MX-5 cup. They also flourished in the club level national series winning a championship at the coveted SCCA Runoffs.
Jason has become known for building extremely well prepped race cars.
Jason and Lisa now have two growing kids and have moved to the Atlanta area of Georgia. They continue their winning tradition and family style way of doing business.
Brad Adams, Driver - Brad got started in racing on a spur of the moment in 2004 when he meet Tracy and Susan Krohn at a political fundraiser in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Brad Stated: "During the cocktail conversation, I inquired of Tracy about places he may know about that teach you how to drive a race car. Tracy informed me that he was hosting a corporate school starting the very next morning, and the plane was leaving at 5:00 a.m. I told Tracy that I needed to check my calendar, glanced at my watch and immediately stated “I’m all in. We traveled to Sebring to the Panoz Racing School where I was introduced to Lisa Kay Golde, Joe Foster, Charles Espenlaub, Charlie Putnam, Eric Foss, Doug Smith, Andy Lally, Andrew Davis, James Gue, Nic Jonson, Beaux Barfield, Richard “Ebb” Watson, Richard Picut and many other instructors. I completed the racing school, the lapping days and joined the racing series sometime thereafter. Unfortunately, the Panoz Racing Series no longer exists; however, I’ve made numerous friends over the years through my racing endeavors. I have Tracy and the Panoz group to thank for the now acquired expensive, wonderful and exciting addiction that we all have."
Since those days, Brad has gone on to compete in the Playboy Mazda MX5 Cup, the Miller Mustang Challenge series and now the Pirelli World Challenge GTS class piloting a Ford Boss 302 Mustang. After a season long battle in 2011 Brad would finish the driver's championship in sixth place dropping out of 4th during the race itself.
In 2012 Brad will compete with AMG in the Pirelli World Challenge series GTS class in a new 2012 Ford Boss 302 Mustang built and maintained by AMG.
Michael Cooper, Driver - Michael Cooper is a 22 year old Syosset, New York native. Michael began his racing career in 2009 via the Skip Barber Racing School system. He loved the Skip Barber series and won 3 out of the 4 races held that year. Looking for a larger challenge Michael moved into the Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup series in 2010. This series has produced some of the fastest drivers in the upper levels of Motorsports today, including AMG team coach Jim Daniels, with its close competition and identical “spec” car preparation. While Michael enjoyed mild success in his 2010 rookie season he would shine in 2011. Micheal stood on top of the championship leader board winning the series’ highest honor, Champion. Along the way the pilot of the Atlanta Motorsports Group (AMG) Mazda MX-5 would lead the series with 6 poles and 5 wins en route to the 2011 Championship. This Championship earned Michael the Mazda Motorsports Ladder System award enabling young and talented drivers the funding to move up in the racing ranks.
In the last race if the season, a grueling 25 hour non stop endurance event, Michael led the massive field of 86 cars to the victory in the E0 class driving the AMG Mazda MX-5.
Going into 2012 Michael has his sights set on the Pirelli World Challenge series Touring Car class. Using his Mazda Championship award he will be piloting the AMG Turbo Charged Mazda Speed3.
Jim Daniels, Team Coach - Jim joins AMG as the Team Coach and Program Co-ordinator. Not only does Jim have many club and professional championships as a driver himself he is also an established racing coach and mentor. Jim has contributed over two decades to racing and the development of his craft. Jim is the co-founder of the popular Spec Miata class, was the owner of the first Pro Miata series. He won the Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Driver's championship in 2006 and became a factory driver for Mazda in 2008 racing for Tri-Point Engineering in World Challenge Touring Car competition. In addition to having raced and won in just about every conceivable vehicle combination, he is known for his successes helping teams better manage their operations and helping drivers progress to higher competitive levels. For more information visit his sitewww.JimDaniels.com
Buddy Fey, Team Engineer - A soft spoken gentleman and rather deceptive weapon for any team. Experienced in ALMS and Grand-Am prototypes, IRL, NASCAR Cup, World Challenge, Trans-Am, Formula Atlantic, and more. Author of "Data Power", a book on racing data acquisition. Learn more about Buddy at his popular race engineering blog, buddyfey.blogspot.com.
Information on other team member can be found at the team web site, www.DriveWithAMG.com
About Atlanta Motorsports Group LLC
Owned and operated by longtime road racing enthusiasts Jason and Lisa Hoover the business was founded in California. Soon the operation was moved to the East Coast and the Atlanta metro area location. The shop is conveniently located near Road Atlanta in a motorsports complex that also houses HAAS Engineering and Patrick Dempsey racing.
The team has a fleet of vehicles including Ford Mustangs, Mazda Speed 3s, Mazda MX5s and Mazda 2s. The shop services include the building, maintaining and storage of road race vehicles. The team utilizes the new NOLA Motorsports park in New Orleans Louisiana for testing, courtesy of driver Brad Adams, a founding member of the facility.