Sharing the lineage and the same last name of a world champion could become a blessing or a curse for a second generation pilot like Sebastian Priaulx. With all of Andy Priaulx’s accomplishments in BTCC, WTCC, endurance and sprint racing as a BMW works driver, and more recently as a mainstay of Ford’s FIA WEC GT program which has grown run through 2019, his son might struggle to forge a racing identity of his own.
Fortunately for this second-generation driver, his father’s long shadow is nothing like an obstacle; Aligned with Ford and Multimatic in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge GT4 class last season and booming this year in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America series, the 20-year-old Briton is making the most of his opportunities in the United States.
“I love it in America,” Priaulx told RACER. “Obviously, my father is a world champion, he races a lot in Europe, but I am based in America where there are good races. I can not believe it. Really, it’s just amazing.
After a great pair of recent victories over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the No.15 Kelly-Moss Road race and the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race, Priaulx has taken the championship lead with two weekends to go. The new IMSA-sanctioned Porsche single-make series, with 992-based models that run full Porsche 911 GT3 R products of the GT3 specification in seconds, was a new driving experience for Priaulx.
With four wins since the start of the year with a first win at Sebring, the switch from a front-engine Ford Mustang GT4 to a rear-mid-engine 911 GT3 Cup was a surprisingly easy transition for Priaulx.
“What an amazing racing car for my first year of racing in the Porsche,” he said. “You know, I’ve never driven a rear-engined car before, and it’s really special. But what an incredible machine that handles so well.
As a young rising star in the sport, the future looks bright for Priaulx, although he is not sure which enclosure he will call home in 2022.
“I ran for Multimatic for a few years and there is a great relationship with my boss, Larry Holt,” he said. “He’s got some amazing and amazing things going on. And you know, I’m not sure I’ll be doing it next year yet, but I’m sure they’ll have something awesome for me.
“But I’m going to keep pushing hard so I can win this Porsche Carrera Cup North America championship, and then I can discuss it and then what I can do next year.”