GPR Autosport, originally named G.P. Racing, was founded by Sterling and Henry Cole in Bradenton, Florida in 1995. Born with racing in his blood, Sterling has a father who professionally built and raced motorcycles and offshore powerboats, a grandfather who enjoyed hill climbs in the Northeast and a great-grandfather who was a test driver for a well-known automobile company.
GPR Autosport’s first project was a 1972 El Camino that Sterling and Henry built from the ground-up to compete in local drag racing events. After a few years and quite a few quarter mile passes, Sterling decided to aim his interest in motorsports at something with a twist or two. After purchasing a racing go-kart and, again, rebuilding it from the ground up, GPR Autosport entered into its second chapter and began competing in kart races at local and regional events. A few years passed, and after performing well in his karting endeavors, Sterling decided to try his hand behind the wheel of a car. So, he headed off to the Panoz racing school. After matching his racing school instructors’ lap times in his third day, Sterling decided to attempt to use what they described as his “natural talent” to pursue his newly discovered passion: auto racing.
Not too long after racing school, Sterling purchased a 1993 Mazda RX7. After a complete overhaul of the car, he began competing in the Motorola Cup. Although his time in the series would be short, he was able to be very competitive in the races that the team participated in, leading laps at Sebring and overcoming many obstacles throughout the season. After a brief time away from competitive auto racing and relocation to Boston, Massachusetts, GPR Autosport resumed competition in motorsports, this time with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) New England Region (NER) race series. With podium finishes in the series and placing third place overall in 2005, the jump to SCCA proved to be a successful one.
In 2010 the RX7 was sold, and another car was purchased: a 1977 Mazda RX3. After more than a year of rebuilding, the car was tested throughout 2011. In its first season of competition at the hands of Sterling, it netted multiple first and second place finishes, culminating in a series championship title, followed by another championship year in 2012. Most recently, we have built and campaigned a GT2 Mazda in SCCA’s Majors series.
As was the case in 1995, GPR Autosport intends to showcase its racecar preparation and driving talent at every race this season and, at the same time, show its fans, sponsors, family and friends that with every bit of effort, we can improve our consistent and competitive prowess and create a winning team that attracts more attention and helps build a bigger and better GPR Autosport. We’ve come down a long and twisty road in the past twenty-plus years, and we are certainly looking forward to the long, twisty road ahead. Would a racecar driver really have it any other way?