Wright Motorsports and Snow Racing have combined forces for an unusual entry in the 51st Rolex 24 at Daytona. The No. 62 Porsche GT3 Cup entry will be the first to feature a mother and son driving together, as Melanie Snow and her 17-year-old son Madison are two of the five drivers on the driving team for the effort sponsored by Universal Industrial Sales and Bilstein.
The other three drivers in the team's lineup are veteran Porsche factory driver Sascha Maassen, 43, Porsche junior driver Klaus Bachler, 21, who has been competing in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, and Porsche racer and instructor Marco Seefried, 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 Sebring 12 Hours n 1999 in a Porsche 911 Turbo.
Madison Snow 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.
“There were 12 hours of testing available, and we put 11 hours on the car,” said Wright Motorsports owner John Wright, who is participating in this race for the 19th time. He has been on the podium at this event many times in various roles, most recently in 2009 when he was the team owner/manager of the car that finished third in the GT division. Maassen was one of the drivers in that effort.
“The car was strong; we were fast at the test,” Wright said. “All the drivers showed good pace; there isn't a weak link in our driver lineup, and the team is jelling nicely."
Last year, Wright Motorsports drivers finished first, second and third in the driver point standings and it won the team championship and Rookie of the Year award in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama. The team won 11 of the 15 races and had 27 podium finishes and 12 poles.
“We enjoy combining veterans with rookies,” Wright noted. “We pride ourselves on our driver development program. It fits our business model well, and it's a way for us to help mold the sport's future.”