Starting in 1957 racing an MG-TC, Paul Cooke went on to an illustrious career racing a variety of road racing cars for many years before contributing to the sport as a team manager, mechanic, and senior race official.
After competing for several seasons in the early 1960s in cars such as Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, and Austin-Healey in which he won the sports car championship, Paul won the 1964 CASC Touring Car title with the Comstock Holman and Moody-prepared Ford Falcon.
It was also at this time he headed up the Ford of England efforts for the Shell Trans-Canada Rally, and became manager of the Comstock Racing Team for six years, including preparing the winning cars for the Shell 400 rally Fords on three occasions.
During this time, Paul was involved with the elite of Canadian road racing, with considerable success overseeing the programs of 30 race teams with drivers such as Eppie Wietzes and Ludwig Heimrath in the Shelby King Cobra and Ford GT40 race cars.
It was during the Comstock era that the very first racing Mustang was built which Paul raced to its first victory in Quebec.
Paul switched gears after that with a stint as team manager for George Eaton in sports car racing during the Can-Am years, and then with Roger McCaig in Can-Am, Formula 5000, Formula Atlantic, and Formula One.
After his successful career as a team manger, his work included three seasons as race director at Mosport from 1975-77 including F1 races held there.
Paul continued with his involvement with major open-wheeled events in Canada, including the Formula One races in Montreal as Clerk of the Course, a position he still holds today, as well as providing the same duties for the Vancouver and Edmonton IndyCar and IRL events.
Behind the scenes, Paul went on to become Vice-President of the Canadian Racing Drivers Association, and was its competition head from 1985 to 1990, and is presently Vice President, Competition and Director of Karting for ASN Canada FIA.
More recently, Paul partnered with Ron Fellows and Tom Ryley to help vault Canadian kart racers to international prominence leading to Canada in 2010 having four karting World Champions.
Throughout his racing career, Paul has made an outstanding contribution to the development, sustainability, and safety of motorsport in Canada.
Image courtesy of Ken Graham.