Teenager Robert Noaker is having a stellar MX-5 Cup season, and his mother is cool with that
As the youngest driver in the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires, Robert Noaker’s parents are always along for the ride. Bob and Katie Noaker have nurtured him along the way, wrenched on his karts and cars and coached him into a driver capable of winning in a professional series.
Robert’s results indicate they’ve done a good job, too. Heading into the finale doubleheader at Monticello Motor Club this weekend, he’s sitting seventh in points, ahead of a couple former champions. In most seasons, that performance, which includes a win at Mid-Ohio, would make him a lock for Rookie of the Year; unfortunately, he came into the series the same year as Mazda Road to 24 Shootout winner Selin Rollan, and Selin sits a single point out of the championship lead. Still, Robert clearly has what it takes to do so much at 14 years old.
“We always thought he was a good racer,” says his mother, Katie. “When he raced karts, we thought he was better than the other kids – he didn’t win every race, but my husband worked really hard with him on his racecraft and how to race. When he went to Skip Barber and did his three-day school … after watching for five minutes, I thought, ‘This is scary. He’s not doing great.’ But when we went to the first race, the coaches were telling Bob that he’s really good.”
The Noakers next found NASA and went Spec Miata racing. After a year of that, it was time for the next step. And with that, Katie’s role has changed.