Three Teens Are Competing With The Same Car For The Rolex 24 At Daytona

The 2014 Rolex 24.
The 2014 Rolex 24.
Photo: Chris Trotman (Getty Images)

When their kid turns 16, most parents are dealing with the existential crisis that comes from teaching them how to drive, but just know that it could always be more stressful. Your kid could always be teaming up with some his fellow teen buddies to compete in the Rolex 24 endurance race at Daytona International Speedway.

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That’s pretty much what we’ve got going on with the Performance Tech lineup for this month’s race. Let’s run you through who we’ve got for the No. 38 machine:

  • Mateo Llarena, 16 years old
  • Ayrton Ori, 16 years old
  • Rasmus Lindh, 19 years old
  • Cameron Cassels, 51 years old

“This isn’t the first time we’ve had this many new faces and regulations and it won’t be the last,” team owner Brent O’Neill said. “One of the things that really sets my crew apart is their adaptability. I would even go so far as to say that they excel under these conditions.

“I know all of the drivers are quick and are good teammates so there won’t be an issue there. What it really comes down to is getting to the track and treating each session like it is the race so by the time the green flag flies we are the most prepared guys on track. That’s how you win an endurance race.”

I must admit that his confidence is somewhat comforting, especially since the youths will have a veteran to confer with about competing. It’s definitely going to be the team with the highest ratio of young folk, but it’ll be interesting to see how the strategy pays off.

To view the full entry list for the Rolex 24, click here. The race itself will start on January 30, 2021. The broadcast itself spreads over several different channels, but it starts at 3:30 PM ET on NBC, IMSA.tv, and TrackPass. The full broadcast schedule, complete with practice sessions, is here.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

DISCUSSION

I’ve had the skills to be a race car driver since I was twelve, and here I am at twenty five with still no opportunity to use them. Yet these kids are getting American Le Mans seats at sixteen. If I’m honest it makes me a little jealous.

But my bigger thought is, it really makes me wish there were more ways for people to get into racing at a basic level and be able to progress from there. Many times there’s no crossover from hobbyist racing like autocross and grassroots rally to bigger series with better safety and support. Not unless you buy a team or get into dirt track racing, which is basically paying for an entire lifestyle just for the car and equipment.