“It was at the Porsche GT3 Cup banquet that I learned that I had been picked to join Carlos’ [de Quesada] team to contest the Rolex 24,” said Lazare.
It was a huge honour, a huge step forward, and a huge vote of confidence for the 19 year-old Canadian. His teammate for the Rolex 24 Hours, Daniel Morad summed it up perfectly, “Jesse got here on merit and talent; he has earned this opportunity.”
Alegra Motorsports took possession of the new Porsche 911 for the GTD class just a few weeks before the big race. In two short tests, the team gelled together. It would consist of Carlos and his son Michael, Daniel Morad, and Porsche factory driver Michael Christensen.
The team had a solid plan entering the race, but it was clearly an underdog in the 26-car, GTD field. The team’s plan was to stay in touch with the leaders until the morning, then look for an opportunity.
“It is much different,” Lazare said. “I am used to driving just by myself. There is a whole new kind of pressure with this race. Carlos and the whole team put in such a big effort to get here, you don’t want to be the one to mess it up for the whole team.”
The team executed its plan perfectly, and in the late morning, luck shone on the emerging team. “We all did a great job,” Lazare said. “We all stayed out of trouble. We all saved the car as much as we could. We all were focused on a common goal – and that was to get Michael the best car we could for the final stint.” Lazare said.
Cue the racing luck…. “Really, I was so happy that a possible podium was in reach,” Lazare said. “But then the leading Ferrari – which was quicker than us – suffered some problems. All of a sudden a win was possible!”
The car was handed over to Christensen for the final stint and he did the job. He brought the car home first in class, making Alegra Motorsports GTD champions for 2017. Lazare drove a total of five hours in four stints.
“I can’t thank the team enough,” Lazare said. “From Carlos, to all the team members, the helpers, the supporters, and also huge thank you to Dan [Morad]. I know he was a big factor in getting me here. Thanks also to my family and supporters back in Canada.”
JESSE LAZARE QUICK FACTS: Jesse Lazare is a 19 year-old racer from Montreal, Quebec. 2016 was the third year for Lazare in GT3 Cup after a stellar karting career which included three Canadian National Karting Championships, along with representing Canada in the Rotax Max World Finals. Lazare finished second in the Porsche GT3 Cup USA series in 2015 and was invited to the Porsche Young Drivers Academy 2015.
Away from the track, Lazare enjoys skiing and hockey. Keep up with his latest news on the ‘Fans of Jesse Lazare’ Facebook page.
Lazare is supported by: Door Doctor (DoorDoctor.com), Porsche Prestige (PorschePrestige.com), Garaga (Garaga.com), Micanan (Micanan.com), TNR Doors (TNR.com), Olymbec (Olymbec.com), Smoke Show Sauce (SmokeShowSauce.com).