Family Traditions and Home Field Advantage: Brad and Dean Baker
DEERFIELD BEACH, Florida (May 29, 2019) – Performance Tech Motorsport drivers Dean and Brad Baker are creating a new norm for competitive brothers by racing alongside rather than against one another in IMSA Prototype Challenge.
The family owned and operated team has a history of bringing families closer together through racing. Performance Tech Motorsports has seen cousins, fathers and sons and now brothers take to the track together, bonding over their passion of motorsports. The Bakers are the newest addition to their family-like team. However, while the brothers are new to Performance Tech, they are by no means new to racing.
While neither of the Baker brothers had the opportunity to drive with their father, they deeply credit him for their love of all things automotive. The lessons and values instilled in the two brothers during days at the track with their father were the driving factors in growing their business, Kerr Industries, which manufactures and installs custom equipment into working force vehicles. Taking to the track together in the No. 19 Kerr Industries LMP3 for the 2019 IMSA Prototype Challenge season is their most sought-after piece to the motorsports puzzle, which they began with their father.
“Our dad was a club racer in the 1960s.” Dean Baker said. “He built and maintained his own cars to compete in Ontario and Quebec. It was much different then but since we were kids our summer months were spent at the race track. He taught us a lot about the mechanical aspect of racing which we still use today at work. To be competing as teammates in the IMSA Prototype Challenge would make him especially proud, there is no question about it. We often laugh and joke about what he would say if he were here to see us. Our dad loved racing.”
In true racing fashion, the motorsports family bug did not end with Brad and Dean. When not at an IMSA event the brothers can be found traveling across Canada following their sons respective racing series. The pair feel a sense of nostalgia as they load up for family weekends at the track, similar to when they were growing up.
“My son Avery is running in Radical Cup Canada,” Brad Baker said. “Up until this point he played other sports, but it’s clear that racing has given them the bump. It’s a great series with tight competition that’s really fun to watch. I’m so happy I get to share a passion with my son the same way I did with my father.”
Dean Baker shares in Brad's enjoyment of being a spectator as he watches his son progress in his racing career.
“I love getting to go to the track with my son Sam who is now running a Spectrum in the Ontario F1600 series,” Dean Baker said. “He never karted growing up but we like to joke that it actually is an advantage because he has no bad habits to break! I’m looking forward to getting to grow in motorsports together and spend more time at the track.”
The Bakers are adding to their family-oriented racing resume at the next race as the series heads to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, their home track. The pair look forward to having home-field advantage as well as their very own fan section. Regardless of the number of laps they have turned there, both agree that Canadian Tire Motorsports Parks never disappoints.
“It’s safe to say we’ve raced at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park a few hundred times,” Brad Baker said “It’s one of the greatest road courses in North America. Few tracks have the same combination of elevation change, speed, blind corners and room for passing. The track has some legendary moments associated with it so it’s very appealing and exciting to drivers of all levels.”
While winning is always welcomed, for the pair racing is about living in the moment and enjoying the company of the people around you.
“I think the best part so far has been the overall improvements as a team,” Dean Baker said. “Canadian Tire Motorsports Park should be great, especially because we have a lot of people coming to cheer us on! The expectations to perform well for them is there but we recognize we are not the young stars of tomorrow. Looking towards Canadian Tire Motorsports Park what we gain in the experience we lose in age. We would gladly give up some local track knowledge if we could get 25 years back!”
At the end of the day, Performance Tech’s family dynamics were exactly what the Bakers were looking for in a team. The ability for the two to grow their racecraft together alongside making new memories is immeasurable. They have a deep appreciation of each race bringing new challenges and successes to celebrate.
“We could talk about bucket list stuff but this is so much more than that.” Dean Baker said. “So long as the last lap was faster than the first then we have learned something and the goals get reset. I guess you can call that progress and learning. We get a bit better every time out and that is enough for us. Just being able to partake in what we grew up watching on TV is amazing in itself.”
Round Four of IMSA Prototype Challenge at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park kicks off July 5, 2019. The Baker’s No. 19 Kerr Industries Ligier LMP3 currently sits eleventh in the championship but is only ten points outside of the top five. Their experience around the incredibly technical 2.459-mile track will be a key factor to their success. For event information and a more detailed schedule visit prototypechallenge.imsa.com.