Le Mans Winner Helps Guide Young Canadian Star
Jesse Lazare wanted to further his racing career, a challenge in its own right. But rather than just finding help, he found a mentor to push him and a series that gives him tough competition. Canadian Lazare, 17, is the driver of the No. 31 Door Doctor/Moorespeed Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car fielded by Moorespeed in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.
Original article courtesy IMSA:
The team is run by 1990 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Price Cobb, who is much more than a general manager for Montreal resident Lazare – he’s a mentor and confidant. “Price is everything,” Lazare said. “He helps everyone out. He helps me, he helps the mechanics, and he’s even booking the hotels. It’s great to have him work with me. I never have to double-think on if he’s giving me the right information. I learn a lot from him. “He’s taught me how to give feedback to the engineers and explains exactly what I should be feeling when I’m out there in the car. There’s a lot more to it now, being in a Porsche.”
Cobb also had a hand in helping Lazare choose the series to bring the talent he showed while winning three Canadian karting championships. Cobb also has a storied past with Porsche and understands the factory’s ability to offer advice and help to developing drivers through single-make series such as GT3 USA and beyond. “I felt unequivocally that we could accelerate the decision making by putting Jess in a 911,” Cobb said of Lazare’s career path. “Porsche engineers have masterfully tuned the car to mask the fact that the engine is behind the rear axle, but it is still the defining sports car. Drive it well, and your resume will be far richer for it.”
“The Yokohama Porsche GT3 Cup series is tough. It’s at the top and runs at the most prestigious tracks alongside the series that has other cars racing where Jesse might ultimately drive as a professional.” Lazare needed a series that would promise him bright future, so he turned to sports cars. He needed a series that has successfully developed drivers, so he turned to the Porsche single-make series. More importantly, he needed competition and a healthy amount of track time, so he turned to the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.
“We looked around, and sports cars just promised a better future,” Lazare said. “My manager hooked me up with Price, and that’s how we got started in the GT3 series.”
Lazare and the Moorespeed team enjoy the tracks in the American series, but they’re still tough to learn for the series rookie while he also balances the challenge of devising a quick setup with his engineers. “More laps you have on a track, the better,” Lazare said. “Once you know a track, you can focus on the car. That’s been the hardest part for me. I’ve never been to any of these tracks. Testing is expensive, so I rely a lot on the track walks and practice sessions.”
But the next stop in the series is familiar ground for Lazare, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario. The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama will race there July 10-12. The fearsome, 10-turn, 2.459-mile circuit is Lazare’s favorite track and the only one on the schedule on which he has raced before this year. “I have a good shot there,” Lazare said. “I’ve raced there at least 15 times in formula and stock cars. We definitely have our hopes up for that one. I’m going for the win. I have the best shot there because I finally have an equal playing field. I have a lot of experience, and I know where to pass.” Lazare put that circuit knowledge to work Friday, July 11 by earning his first career pole in the series, buoyed by plenty of support from his family and friends in the Montreal area this weekend at CTMP.