Sharing the lineage and same last name of a world champion could become a blessing or a curse for a second-generation driver like Sebastian Priaulx. With all of Andy Priaulx’s accomplishments in the BTCC, WTCC, endurance and sprint racing as a factory BMW driver, and more recently as a pillar of Ford’s FIA WEC GT program that ran through 2019, his son might struggle to carve out a racing identity of his own.
Fortunately for this second-generation driver, his father’s long shadow has been nothing like a hindrance; aligned with Ford and Multimatic in IMSA’s Michelin Pilot Challenge GT4 category last season and thriving this year in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America series, the 20-year-old from Britain is making the most of his opportunities in the U.S.
“I love it in America,” Priaulx told RACER. “Obviously, my dad is a world champion, racing a lot in Europe, but I’m basing myself in America where there’s great racing. I just can’t believe it. Really, it’s just amazing.”
Coming off a big pair of recent wins at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the No. 15 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry, Priaulx took the championship lead with two weekends left to run. The new IMSA-sanctioned Porsche one-make series, with 992-based models that run within a few seconds of full GT3-spec Porsche’s 911 GT3 R products, have been a new driving experience for Priaulx.
Sitting on four wins since he opened the year with a debut victory at Sebring, the move from a front-engine Ford Mustang GT4 to the mid-rear-engine 911 GT3 Cup car has been a surprisingly easy transition for Priaulx.
“What amazing race car for my first year racing in the Porsche,” he said. “You know, I’ve never had driven a rear-engine car before, and it’s really special. But what amazing machine which handles so well.”
As a rising young star in the sport, the future appears to be a bright one for Priaulx, even if he isn’t exactly sure which paddock he’ll call home in 2022.
“I raced for Multimatic for a couple years and there’s a great relationship there with my boss, Larry Holt,” he said. “He’s got some amazing, amazing things going on. And you know, I’m not sure I’m doing yet next year, but I’m sure that they’ll have something great 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 then what I can do next year.”