The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship Powered by Mazda was developed to support the American Le Mans series, one of the premier prototype and GT endurance racing series in the world. The series features global race car constructors Élan Motorsport Technologies and West Race Cars and offers racers from around the world the opportunity to compete at historic venues like Sebring International Raceway, Road Atlanta and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Former Prototype Lites drivers have used the series to move up the ranks in racing.
The Prototype Lites mission is two-fold: present an opportunity for semi-professional race car drivers to compete in a world-class environment, while also providing an avenue for drivers to move up the ladder into the LMPC or LMP classes in the American Le Mans Series Presented by Tequila Patrón. Offering more avenues for potential professional race care drivers and a more professional atmoshpere for the semi-professional race car driver is the Prototype Lites way of advancing the competition of sportscar racing.
Built on the Élan DP02 chassis, these high-tech, purpose-built race cars are designed to develop the more advanced drivers who have aspirations to graduate to the next level of professional racing. The Élan DP02 features a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, a six-speed sequential gearbox and a full aerodynamic package. The DP02 is powered by the 230hp 2.0L Mazda MZR engine, sealed by Élan Power Products.
Featuring the West Race Cars WX10 and WR1000 chassis, this smaller and lighter weight prototype features a state of the art semi-monocoque frame which shelters the driver in a 1" thick monocoque tub for driver safety and stability. A complete aerodynamic package is part of this class, including full tunnel floors, front diffuser, rear wing and dive planes. Shifting is optionally controlled by an F1 inspired paddle shift system. The West cars are powered by 1 liter motorcycle engines - either a Kawasaki ZX10R or a Suzuki GSXR. Both motors rev to over 12,000 rpm and develop up to 180 hp.
There’s nothing quite like the rigors of competitive motorsports. It’s an extreme environment for drivers -- one that encourages, and rewards, fast learners. And, in this world, experience counts for a lot. Fortunately, Cooper has plenty. We’ve been racing on two wheels and four since the 1950s. Over the years we have competed at every level of competition, from grassroots club series to Formula One, Le Mans 24-hour endurance events, drag racing, rallycross and even ice racing. We currently supply more than 150 race series and championships around the globe, continuing a winning tradition in racing and competing at some of the highest levels that motorsports have to offer. With Cooper, the road from racetrack to driveway has been a direct one. We know that lessons learned on the track can quickly be converted into dynamic advances for all of our road tires, which is why motorsports are so important to us. Which means, the results of our racing experience find their way into every Cooper tire.