DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 4, 2015) – They say don’t mess with happiness.
That might be why Gerry Kraut is eager to get behind the wheel of a Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda car for his fifth straight season racing under the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) umbrella.
“The cars are simply a blast to drive,” Kraut said. “I love running in events sanctioned by IMSA. The Lites cars are great bang for the buck in terms of performance versus price. The series is very competitive, and we’ve had full fields.”
Why alter something that already works?
Minnesota resident Kraut, CEO of Dougherty & Company and Dougherty Funding in Minneapolis, co-owns Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda team JDC Motorsports with John Church. The two have raced together in one form or another since 1993.
“I just have absolute confidence in John Church and JDC Motorsports’ abilities in terms of car preparation, setup and professionalism,” Kraut said. “Nobody in my mind can beat John Church when it comes to organizing a racing team and managing it.”
Kraut, who races in the Lites 1 Masters Championship, founded JDC Motorsports alongside Church in 2006, when the team raced solely in open-wheel series. In 2011, JDC added a Prototype Lites program, and in 2014, the team added a Prototype Challenge program in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
“I don’t have ambitions of racing other than as a hobby,” Kraut said. “Some of the other guys have ambitions to do this more professionally or earn a living doing it, so I’ve learned so much from them, and it’s improved my driving enormously.
“We share everything, including data, videos and talking about corners. That’s what makes it fun for me.”
After previously standing on the podium at Lime Rock Park, Canadian Tire Motosport Park, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Road Atlanta, Kraut’s sole focus is still not on the outcome of races.
“Everyone likes results and I want to push for the best results I can get, but simply my goal is to be quicker at every track this year than I was last year,” Kraut said. “Whatever lap times I did in Sebring, I want to be quicker this year. The only new track this year is NOLA (Motorsports Park), so at the rest of the tracks I have a marker.”
The 2015 Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda season begins March 18-20 at Sebring International Raceway. For more news and updates, follow @IMSA on Twitter, like IMSA on Facebook and visit www.imsa.com.