16-Year Old Auston Harris Prepares for First Professional Race at 2007 Rolex 24 At Daytona PETALUMA, Calif. (January 19, 2007) -- Auston Harris, a 16-year old high school sophomore from Hayward, California, will join Rolex 24 At...
16-Year Old Auston Harris Prepares for First Professional Race at 2007 Rolex 24 At Daytona
PETALUMA, Calif. (January 19, 2007) -- Auston Harris, a 16-year old high school sophomore from Hayward, California, will join Rolex 24 At Daytona Champions TRG to contest the 2007 version of the endurance classic. Harris, a Formula TR and United States Touring Car standout, earned his spot with TRG at two testing sessions in 2006, driving a TRG Porsche 997 Cup Car. Harris has been mentored dually by TRG team owner Kevin Buckler and TRG driver Andy Lally, who among them have multiple championships and wins at the world's most prestigious endurance races.
Harris said, "I'm thrilled to be making my first professional start, especially at Daytona International Speedway. It's a dream come true for me to race with some of my heroes out there on track, but I'm keeping my feet firmly on the ground - it's going to be a lot of work, and a lot of learning. I'm comfortable driving the 997 Porsche, I've been able to get in quite a few laps in the car both at Miller Motorsports Park last fall and here at Daytona for the test a couple of weeks ago, and I'm excited to see how I stack up against the rest of these guys."
Auston is looking forward to competing against the All-Star lineup of international driving talent at the Rolex 24. "No doubt, I'm excited to share the track with drivers like Jeff Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jimmie Johnson - to be driving with Daytona 500 winners, Formula One drivers and IndyCar Champion is pretty cool. My approach for the weekend is to be learning all the time - every stint I'm in the car, I want to learn something new. How to brake deeper, how to get back to power earlier, the technical side of racing. I'm grateful to Andy Lally and Kevin Buckler for their guidance - I've tested for TRG now at Miller and here at Daytona, but the two of them have helped me decrease my learning curve a bit. I'm a little bit nervous going into the race - but once the green flag drops, it's just another race."
TRG has a proven history of running young gun drivers at the world's biggest endurance race. In 2005, TRG undertook the famous "Team16" project, and that team of young drivers finished 6th in class. Team owner Kevin Buckler reiterated his support for Auston Harris. "Auston's a great young driver, and someone we've had our eye on for a good while now. He's smart, naturally fast, and easily sets aside his ego to learn from others with more experience. I have high hopes for him in the race and his future career as a professional driver!"