The TA2 dream and Mike Cope Race Cars
August 4, 2016
Never-tested No. 99 Ford Mustang was dominant at NJMP weekend
PARTNER RELEASE - CLEARWATER, Fla. [August 4, 2016) – TA2. It’s a class that’s caught fire throughout the racing world; and with 27 cars set to battle it out in another TA2 feature race this month when Trans Am visits Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the class is ready for one of its biggest events ever.
With the TA2 class growing more and more competitive, Mike Cope, Owner of Mike Cope Race Cars, firmly believes the TA2 dream, and the cost controlled nature of the class, is alive and well—better yet he’s proven it, rolling out a never-tested TA2 Ford Mustang for Justin Haley at New Jersey Motor Sports Park earlier this year and dominating the event.
“TA2 has always been about driver talent,” said Cope. “That’s the genius of these cars and the cost restraints put in place on the components in them. It’s racing that emphasizes driver talent not the weight of someone’s pocketbook. Whenever a class or series gets to the point where TA2 is now, you start to hear grumblings— outsiders unfamiliar with the platform saying you need to put $200,000 to $300,000 into a car to stand a chance at winning a race. Our car at NJMPhad more than “a chance” and was 100% race ready the second it rolled off the floor for under $100,000 and that goes for every car we build.”
Mike Cope Race Cars stands as one of the approved chassis manufacturers for the Series, and as such Cope feels an obligation to uphold the spirit of the platform. The entirety of the Mike Cope team is dedicated to building cars that are capable of winning a race immediately after the manufacturing process is completed— all at a price that holds true to the original intent of the TA2 class.
“There was never a test session before we arrived at NJMP,” said Cope. “The first lap turned on the event test day was its first ever. Throughout the entire weekend, it was the car to beat—there wasn’t any breaking in period or adjustments other than some track specific tuning.”
The first practice saw Haley turn a 1:21.604 lap, third fastest in the 16 car field and just four tenths off of Dillon Machavern, who set the fast lap. In the following “Fast Five” Qualifying session, Haley set the pole with a time of 1:20.171, a qualifying track record, and followed it up by leading 35 of the 45 laps in the 100-mile race and setting a track race record lap of 1:21.944.
“Ultimately, we had a car that should have won the race,” said Cope. “Tires became an issue from going too fast too soon, but we were so pleased with the car’s performance. And that’s performance we expect coming from every car that comes off our line— a car capable of immediately winning a race at a price that’s true to the spirit of this class.”
As of the completion of Round 5 of the 2016 Trans Am Championship, Mike Cope built cars have secured four pole positions and three victories in Trans Am’s TA2 class.
Mike Cope built cars will take to the track next in Round 6 of the 2016 Trans Am Championship at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, August 12-13.
About Mike Cope Racing Enterprises:
Perhaps no other team has worked so diligently to achieve success over the course of 30 years as MCRE. Over the years, they have successfully launched corporate sponsorships in national series, developed short track and SCCA Road race champions and mentored young upcoming drivers. Lead by Mike Cope, he brings the same enthusiasm, dedication and knowledge to his race team that made him victorious in his own racing career.
MCRE offers a variety of services for drivers interested in the Trans Am Series’ TA2 program, including custom builds, arrive and drive programs, maintenance programs, consulting, driver mentoring, set-up and shock dyno. Learn more at www.mikecoperacecars.com.
Mike Cope Racing Enterprises is based in Clearwater, Florida.
Mike Cope Racing Enterprises partners include: Quarter Master, Hawk Performance, Schoenfeld Headers, Wilwood, ButlerBuilt, Integra Shocks and Keyser Manufacturing.
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