BATAVIA, Ohio – Wright Motorsports of Batavia, Ohio, and Snow Racing of Pleasant Grove, Utah, have combined forces for a history-making entry in the 51st Rolex 24 at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
The entry marks the first time a mother and son will compete in this storied race, as Melanie Snow and her 17-year-old son Madison are two of five drivers of the Wright Motorsports/Snow Racing Porsche GT3 Cup No. 62 sponsored by Universal Industrial Sales (UIS) and Bilstein Shocks.
Headquartered in Lindon, Utah, UIS is among the largest suppliers of overhead sign structures and fabricated highway products in the country.
The other three drivers in the very strong line-up are veteran Porsche factory driver Sascha Maassen, 43, of Lontzen, Belgium; Porsche junior driver Klaus Bachler, 21, of Unzmarkt, Austria; and top Porsche driver and instructor Marco Seefried of Wemding, Germany, 36.
Wright Motorsports/Snow Racing’s white, red and black Porsche is currently one of 36 entries in the Grand Touring (GT) class for the Rolex 24.
Both Melanie and Madison Snow are making their first Rolex 24 starts, although they have extensive experience in other series. Along with her husband, Martin Snow, and another driver, Patrick Huisman, Melanie Snow was part of the winning GTS entry at the Twelve Hours of Sebring in 1999 in a Porsche 911 Turbo.
Madison Snow, of Lehi, Utah, started racing at the age of 4 in karts. He finished second overall last year in the top class of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama with three victories in a car prepped by Wright Motorsports. When he clinched that series’ Gold Cup championship in 2011 when he was 15 he became the youngest Porsche one-make Cup champion in history.
Although he won’t be the youngest driver ever to compete in the Rolex 24, at press time he’s the youngest driver entered in this year’s race, according to Grand-Am officials.
Maassen has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice and both the Twelve Hours of Sebring and the Petit Le Mans four times. He was the ALMS GT champion twice and he has also won the ALMS LMP2 championship and the FIA GT championship. He is also an instructor for Porsche, and one of his students is Bachler.
All five drivers participated in the official test for the event Jan. 4-6 at Daytona, where they logged 279 laps around the 3.56-mile, 12-turn road course that also incorporates most of the oval. They were in the top five in half of the eight test sessions, they were only out of the top 10 once, and they topped the charts in Practice 3.
“There were 12 hours of testing available, and we put 11 hours on the car,” said Wright Motorsports owner John Wright. “The car was strong; we were fast at the test. All the drivers showed good pace; there isn’t a weak link in our driver line-up, and the team is gelling nicely.”