Auston Harris completes the Rolex24
Daytona, FL January 28, 2007-- --At 16 years and 47 days old Auston Harris is the youngest driver to compete in and complete the Rolex24. This was Auston's second long distance endurance race in the last two months having participated in the 2005 25 Hours of Thunderhill in early December placing third in class and fourth overall, an event he finish third overall and in class in December of 2005 as well. Auston co-drove the TRG #67 Porsche GT3 Cup entry with the support of Mo's Gold.
Starting 61st on the grid and 33rd in the GT class the four drivers did a outstanding job of managing the car through the entire 24 hour race bringing the car to the checkered flag in 28th position overall and 12th in class capturing the SunTrust Improve Your Position award for the GT class. Auston and co-driver Tom Cloet of Belgium, an endurance specialist, took turns setting fast race lap in the TRG #76 Porsche GT3 Cup entry with Cloet securing the fast lap after Auston's final stint. Auston was credited with an hour plus of driving time while he sat in the pits during the 3rd ever in Rolex24 history red flag while an eighty foot section of guard rail was replaced.
Nevertheless he made the most of his time in the car consistently turning quick laps that kept the car competitive while being conservative enough to bring the car to the checkered flag. The car completed 588 laps (2093 miles) in the 24 hours without any problems whatsoever. "The TRG team did a stellar job both in the preparation of the car and in the servicing during the race" said Auston. "Endurance racing is truly a team sport where everyone is important to the final outcome. The crew efforts in preparing and supporting the car at the track and the drivers managing the equipment to make it to the final lap" stated Auston, reflecting upon the weekend. "I am so grateful to my dad, Kevin Buckler, Mo's Gold, and the TRG crew for getting me here and providing me with this opportunity. My co-drivers were fantastic, the car performed flawlessly. This was simply an awesome experience." Auston's plans for the remainder of 2007 are undecided at this time.
Auston placed third in the 2005 Formula TR 1600 Championship, third in the 2005 25 Hours of Thunderhill, was the leading rookie in the 2006 United States Touring Car Championship until his age restricted participation at several tracks, was third in class, fourth overall in the 2006 25 Hours of Thunderhill in the Car and Driver BMW Diesel and now SunTrust Improve Your Position award winner in the 2007 Rolex24.