Tiger Racing is a professional and vintage motorsport team based in the Los Angeles suburb of Covina, California and their lead driver is Paul Brown. The K&N sponsored driver says he essentially grew up in a garage and is a self-confessed "gear-head."
The win at the Long Beach Grand Prix came after only his second attempt at the race.
Brown says after his 2011 race calendar ends he'd love to get into Grand Am, or ALMS.
Brown has the kind of "mad-skills" that allow him to compete and express his talents successfully in a variety of motorsport venues. Piloting the K&N Motorsports Infiniti G35, Brown has already sent notice this year by setting several track records, and by winning the opening two rounds of the Redline Pro Time Attack Events for Super Modified RWD.
Then, at the opening weekend of the SCCA Pro Racing Pirelli World Challenge Championships at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix, Brown brought home an easy, second place finish in the team's brand new Mustang Boss 302S. After setting a new race lap record for GTS, Brown and the rest of the team geared up for their next event – the Long Beach Grand Prix.
Brown said that the new Boss 302S is just a kick to drive, and exceeded his expectations right out of the box.
The big story is your win at the Long Beach Grand Prix, can you explain what that win means to you and Tiger Racing?
"Long Beach was a huge deal for us for several reasons. We are a small team and the support of local friends, family and sponsors makes what we do possible, and to win in front of them means the world. This being basically a home race, and working with local sponsors such as K&N, and Lucas Oil just adds a bonus."
"It was actually only my second time racing at Long Beach, but I feel like we have been preparing for the last six months, as we had a huge focus on the race. In 2008, I competed at Long Beach in a Porsche GT3 Cup car with K&N sponsorship, but we struggled with an underpowered car, and got a nudged by a Viper late in the race, and lost a couple of positions to a very tough field."
"The Long Beach race also allowed us to bring attention to one of the non-profits that are close to my wife and me. My wife is on the board of Arcadia Methodist Hospital of Southern California's emergency department, and she works fund raising for their new ED. The reason we are involved with this hospital so much is that my wife, Carol, had a motorcycle accident when she was 18, and she was airlifted to their trauma center, where they saved her life. The trauma center has since been shut down, but their emergency department is under expansion and is about the closest to what is needed in our area."
You compete in a variety of racing venues, is that by design, are you of the mindset that the more you race the sharper your skills get honed? And do you enjoy one form of racing over another, or do you feel they all contribute to your skill-set? Also, if you had a race philosophy what would it be?
"I've been fortunate enough to be able to jump into a lot of different vehicles, and my job requires me to do race prep on wide variety of race cars from vintage to modern. One of the things that I think helps set me apart is my mechanical background and my understanding of vehicle dynamics."
"Not only can I translate what the car is doing, but I'm more in tune to adjusts and chassis set-up. I feel that this has been huge in the development of my driving skill-set. I can absolutely tell that the more I'm behind the wheel the sharper I get. I only wish I had this much practice when I was younger starting out. Guess it's better late than never though."
"I see myself as a racer first, whether I'm driving the World Challenge Boss Mustang, the G35, or a vintage car. As long as there is competition, I'm the first one in, but I do have a special place for street courses."
Was the thinking that the World Challenge Races would be a good warm up for Long Beach, and how do you feel about your results at St. Petersburg Grand Prix?
"Actually, Long Beach is just the first of many I hope to win this year. We've gone into the 2011 World Challenge season as strong as ever, and since we have not secured enough funding to run the whole season yet, we figured we needed to hit all the races as hard and fast as we could."
"St. Pete couldn't have started off better and then finish so badly. We actually struggled to get the car finished to the new rule spec and transported to Florida in time for the first race. We have a small crew, it's Adam Cox, Chris Fillias and me, and we put this car together. We qualified second for the first race, took the lead at the start, and looked to have it in hand. Unfortunately a late race caution came out and I lost a position on the restart, but we managed to finish a strong second and ran the fastest lap of the race."
"For Sunday's second race of the double header, we started on the pole and again took the lead into turn one and we pulled out a commanding lead. Again, a late race caution bunched us up, and on the restart we got caught up with the slower touring cars. The next thing I knew we got hit in the left front wheel, and had to limp the car back to the pits for a tire."
"We managed to get back out, and again we clocked the fastest lap of the race. Then on the last lap a puncture took out the right rear and that put us hard into the tire wall. So, a high on Saturday, to low on Sunday with a crashed car, 2500 miles from home and two weeks to get it fixed. Just getting to Long Beach was a struggle. It's actually been a pretty tough start to the season, what with running short on funds and time."
Next up for Brown and Tiger Racing is the Mosport World Challenge, then onto the next Redline Challenge at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.
Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.