Meet the Co-Drivers: Tyler Ptacek
Many of the most exciting teams in the Rally America National Championship are as fun to watch as they are thanks to many years of driver and co-driver cooperation. 2018 marked the seventh year that Tyler Ptacek sat in the co-driver’s seat for Micah Nickelson, and the duo have earned a number of regional victories in their popular Volkswagen Golf GTI. We got to know Micah yesterday—today, it’s Tyler’s turn:
What made you want to start rallying?
I've always loved competition, any kind of it, but seeing rally in person, then having a guy right next to me say he wanted to drive made it really easy to go from that would be fun to lets do this.
When was your first event and how did you do?
2012 100 Acre Wood. We took care of a lot of firsts: on day one we missed a transit road, were late to the first stage, went wide and got stuck in a hole then received help from spectators, broke down and fixed the car on stage, and met sweep all before running out of fuel. On day two we got into a good rhythm and passed several cars before the engine let go. We didn't finish, but I don't think anyone had a better time than us.
When was your first really memorable result—win or podium—and how did you get there?
2013 Sno*Drift Regional. On day one we took first in G2. I would say we got there through proper notes, recce, Micah was involved, oh yeah, and it was the first full day of rally we finished.
Do you prefer to work with a single driver or multiple drivers?
As I have only ever worked with one driver, I'll go with single. By working with one driver, a high level of trust is developed, you both know the car and are invested in it, and you go into everything with the same mindset, willingness, and expectations.
What’s your favorite event on the Rally America schedule?
At this particular moment, I would have to go with Sno*Drift. It is unlike any other rally on the schedule and we have had much better luck with the old Golf staying together up there.
Do you have any pre-event routines?
Just the standard stuff: going over the car, keeping Micah's stress levels in check, and doctoring up the notes.
Which other co-drivers in the sport do you respect the most?
Jimmy Brandt, I can only hope that when I reach his level of experience I will have the same amount of enthusiasm he exhibits. Press on...