Seth Lucas has plunged into the deep end of sports car racing, opting to continue his post-karting motorsports career in GT and prototype machinery rather than the traditional junior open-wheel categories.
In the last six months, the 17-year-old Lucas has run the Indianapolis 8 Hours where he and Zelus Motorsports won the Am class. He then finished second in the GT3 Pro-Am class at the Dubai 24 Hours and raced in the Sebring 12 Hours before embarking on a fulltime Fanatec GT World Challenge America campaign with MDK Motorsports in GT3 Pro.
Lucas, who is managed by his father Chris — a former off-road racer — decided to pursue sports car racing because of the greater opportunities it offered.
“We were debating (open wheel) but there’s not much of an opportunity there,” Seth explained. “There’s obviously a ton of people going that route. We figured it would be better to go the sedan route and then maybe lead us into prototypes.”
He broke into sports car racing with a one-off drive in the Audi R8 GT4 at his home track of Mid-Ohio and an outing in a KTM X-Bow at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Piggybacking off that success, he moved into the SRO GT America and SRO GT4 America series for 2021 with the highlight being a weekend sweep at Watkins Glen with Hattori Motorsports in GT America.
“It’s been pretty crazy, but it’s all been manageable,” Lucas said of his last six months in racing. “My dad manages me and obviously we talked before to make sure I’m all comfortable with it.”
Lucas expects to keep his focus on his GT program with MDK Motorsports this season, but he is keeping an eye on future prototype opportunities, including those in LMP2 next year.
“The end goal is definitely prototypes, I would say. I really like the new LMDh class. I think it’s very cool, so(I’d like to do that) at some point, but for the next couple of years I could see LMP2 for a little while,” Lucas explained.
Alongside Lucas in his IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut was Trenton Estep, who he will share the No. 53 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-R with this weekend at Sonoma. The 23-year-old Estep with the 17-year-old Lucas makes one of the youngest lineups in professional racing.
“He’s a great guy,” Lucas said of Estep. “For his young age, he’s got a lot of experience. He knows a lot about the car and how it works mechanically, which is pretty impressive to me — which is something I’m still trying to learn — but he seems to know a lot. We have a good connection.”
In addition to his GT World Challenge America campaign, Lucas will be competing in the 24 Hours of Spa with Huber Motorsport. He’ll also be staying on top of his schoolwork with the aid of supportive teachers who give the high schooler his work to-go.