Daytona 24: Eric Lux preview

Eric Lux, 16-year old Buffalo boy, could be youngest driver ever to finish Rolex 24 at Daytona Buffalo, NY, January 27, 2005 -- Driving the Porsche 996 GT3 car of Phoenix Promotions and Team Sahlen, will be a 16-year old Buffalo boy, Eric ...

Eric Lux, 16-year old Buffalo boy, could be youngest driver ever to finish Rolex 24 at Daytona

Buffalo, NY, January 27, 2005 -- Driving the Porsche 996 GT3 car of Phoenix Promotions and Team Sahlen, will be a 16-year old Buffalo boy, Eric Lux.

This year's 24-hour race at Daytona, on February 5-6, boasts an impressive list of Indy Racing League and NASCAR drivers, as well as other racing greats, such as Unser, Fittipaldi, Earnhardt, Jr., Stewart, Labonte, Johnson, Busch, Leitzinger, Mears, Haywood, Borcheller, Tracy, Biffle, Rice, McMurray, Dixon, Manning, Pruett, Forbes-Robinson, and Paul Newman, among others.

"The Rolex 24 At Daytona is the most prestigious, and possibly the most challenging, endurance sports car race in America. Since the first time I attended this race at the age of 8, I have wanted to compete in it. It's an honor to be racing with some of the world's top drivers, and it's a privilege to be running with the awesome Nonnamaker team."

"This is a grueling race, for both car and driver," said Lux. "24 hours is a long time to be pushing a car at top speeds, especially on a heavily-banked track like Daytona. My personal goal," added Lux "is to finish the race. I hope to be the first 16-year old to do so."

Lux comes from a racing family. His racing career began in the womb when his mother, Mimi Lux, was racing in the IMSA Firestone Firehawk series. His father, Chris Lux, also a former IMSA driver, co-drives with his son in the Historic Sportscar Racing ("HSR") series. They race a 1975 Porsche 911 RSR 3.8L and a 1973 Porsche 911 RSR 3.0L. "Eric's passion is racing and we support him 100%," said Mrs. Lux.

Since April 2004, when Eric began racing in HSR, he has had 8 top-3 finishes, as well as 2 top-5 finishes and 1 top-10 finish in 12 race starts. He is the youngest driver ever to race in HSR, and he was awarded the HSR "Corner Workers' Choice" Award for excellence in driving.

"Being able to race high-performance cars on some of the best tracks, like Daytona, Watkins Glen, Virginia Int'l Raceway and others, is something I've always wanted to do." said Lux.

Lux's racing career began with karting at the age of 11, and he has raced in the U.S. and in Canada. He races a World Formula kart and a 125cc Shifter kart, and has had 84 kart

race starts. He has won numerous year-end regional championships, including a 1st and 3rd in 2001, 1st and 2nd in 2002, 2nd in 2003 and two 3rd places in 2004.

"Eric's commitment to racing astounds us," states his father. "His focus and discipline are amazing."

"I've always loved racing and I've known since childhood that I wanted to race," states Eric Lux. One thing many race fans don't realize is how exhausting and encompassing the training is, both physically and mentally.

Lux's physical workout begins at 6am, five-days a week for 2 hours. In addition, he has a personal trainer three times a week to guide him through specific exercises to build more endurance and strength for racing.

He also devotes a substantial amount of time to strategizing, visualizing track layouts, and studying racing techniques. "I watch tapes of my own races as well as tapes of winning drivers to analyze what worked and what didn't," states Lux.

Lux is especially fortunate to have Dave White, a racing legend as his mentor. White is the winner of the IMSA GT championship in 1978, winner of the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1976, and a former BMW factory driver, among other racing accomplishments. Lux and White were also co-drivers in 2004 in the HSR series, driving for Dave White Racing and Team Rembrandt.

"I've known this kid since birth," states White. "I taught both of his parents how to race, and now I'm working with their son. It's rewarding for me to see how well Eric is doing and how quickly he's progressing. I'm a task-master and he doesn't buckle under the pressure. Eric's showing some real talent and I can't wait to see where it takes him."

Lux is coached by another accomplished race car driver, Charles Espenlaub, senior instructor at the Panoz Racing school. Espenlaub and White recently won the HSR Rolex Endurance championship and the Porsche Klub Sport Championship for 2004.

Espenlaub and Lux were also co-drivers in the HSR series. "I really enjoy co-driving with Eric and I think it's great that he'll be racing in the Grand-Am Cup 200 and the Rolex 24 At Daytona," said Espenlaub. "His passion for racing and his determination to succeed are obvious. Eric was the youngest driver ever at the Panoz Racing School and his performance was way above average. I'm especially impressed with his consistency."

Besides school and preparing for races, Lux also works as a snowboard instructor at HoliMont, in Ellicottville, NY. He is an accomplished freestyle snowboarder who has obtained over 20 top-3 finishes since he started competing in1998. He recently placed 2nd in the USASA freestyle snowboarding competition in Ellicottville, NY on January 22, 2005.

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