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Continental Tire IMSA Driver Spotlight: Tyler McQuarrie

This week’s Continental Tire IMSA Driver Spotlight: Tyler McQuarrie…

Photo: CJ Wilson Racing

Photo: CJ Wilson Racing

Driver Spotlight: Tyler McQuarrie
Driver: No. 3 CJ Wilson Racing Mazda MX-5 (CTSC)
Follow: @tylermcquarrie

How different is drifting and sports car racing? Is there anything that crosses over?

“They are the same but different… It’s pretty funny that one weekend I’ll be racing the CJ Wilson Racing MX5 in ST which has just over 200hp and the next weekend I’ll be in my GoPro Mobil 1 Camaro drifting over 100mph with over 850hp. I think I told the CJWR crew every race this year that we had a motor problem. I get this question a lot and I think the best way to describe it is that it is no different than if you were to go play golf one day and basketball the next. They both require hand eye coordination and some skill sets cross over, but the objective is different for both disciplines. In racing, you are trying to get the car right to the limit and minimize time spent under and over the limit and do all that while being as efficient as possible to be easy on the car. In drifting, you are trying to spend all your time WAY over the car’s limit and the further past the the limit you go, the better the score. I’m not sure if there is too much cross over but it doesn’t hurt. I feel like racing has helped me in drift to analyze the track and line better than some drivers with just a drift background.”

Talk about your season with CJ Wilson Racing…

“When I found out I was teaming up with Marc Miller I was really excited for our chances. We both are quick and have a lot of experience racing all kinds of cars which would pay off over a long season. Daytona is kind off a throwaway for us and the MX5 but when we got to Sebring we realized that we had an awesome package. Great team, quick car, fast drivers, and we were sitting in third after starting at the back when Marc had something let go in the left rear. He had a massive crash and luckily he was not hurt too bad but that really changed our season from there. While Marc recovered back to 100% I had Elliott Skeer co-drive with me at Laguna where we finished second. Marc came back the next race at Lime Rock and we finished third which was awesome for Marc but also good for the team for all the hard work they put in to keep the No. 3 car going. From that point on the ball never bounced our way, then you add some tracks that didn’t suit the MX5, and it made for a tough second half of the year. It was frustrating for Marc and I because we knew we were so much better than what our results showed and we really felt we should be fighting for a championship.”

How competitive was the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge this year? 

“The ST class is stacked with talented drivers and really good teams. The MX5 is a good car in that class but we have to ring the neck out of it to make it a good car. You can’t give an inch in this class because if you do, someone is there to take it. Throughout the season there were so many contenders for the championship, which is a testament to how competitive the class is.”

What do you do in off season to prepare for 2015? Physically, mentally, car wise, etc.

“This year has been crazy! I was either racing or drifting every weekend this summer so now that the season is over I’m spending time with my wife and three kids. Other than spending time with them, there is nothing “off” about the offseason. I’ll spend a lot of time on my Cervelo road bike riding up MT. Diablo in northern California where I live, but most of the time will be spent talking with current sponsor or possible new sponsors for my drift team and CJWR. I’m also doing a couple of drift demos in Asia with my GoPro Mobil 1 Camaro, which should be fun!”

You have been working on a special Go-Pro build for SEMA. Can you tell us a little about that vehicle and what you will use it for? 

“I’ve partnered up with GM and GoPro to build a SEMA feature vehicle. My drift team, TMR, will build a Chevrolet Tahoe GoPro camera car. It has an 18 foot motorized camera jib that does 360 degrees rotation, 10 foot vertical gain, and all controlled by a wireless playstation controller. In addition to GM and GoPro, we have some really great partners like Continental Tire, HRE wheels, AERO paint, Accuair suspension, Magnuson Supercharger, Performance Friction Brakes, Mobil 1, and PDT Motorsports. Aside from filming awesome stuff this Tahoe is going to be badass! My plan for it is to be a functioning camera car and we just got done testing it and the footage is insane!”

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