Lucas began his career journey at the age of 12 well before when most find themselves considering what their skillset accumulates toward professionally. Now, a mature 17-year-old, he finds himself paired with Trenton Estep in the No. 53 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R as a PRO Class entry in the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS.
Lucas’ four-year leap from go-karts to his Porsche race car came in segments. He made his debut in car racing in 2020 with the help of a GT4 KTM and shortly after took home his first career win. In 2022, he joined the SRO Motorsports America system as a Toyota Racing Development (TRD) driver in the GT America powered by AWS series.
In 2023, the PRO classification has suited Lucas well. While the first win is still a box left unchecked Lucas and the MDK Motorsports team have shown consistency worthwhile of winning. Through multiple races of attrition, Lucas and Estep have held steady to earn a second-place finish in Race Two at NOLA Motorsports Park and a third-place finish in Race Two at Sonoma Raceway.
Lucas’ ability to stay calm during hectic races is all thanks to the team.
“I have a great team with MDK. Even though I am very short on experience my team is not,” Lucas said. “We have a very specific plan for each day, something I was not used to previously. That plan keeps me focused on each lap and what I can and cannot do.”
The ins and outs of the daily grind for a race team is new to Lucas as it would be for many competitors. It’s a rare occasion that the team and drivers are in the same location outside of a race weekend. The ecosystem of MDK is in Pataskala, Ohio; near Lucas’ hometown of Powell; both cities lay outside of the Columbus Highway 270 loop.
“Even through go-karts, I have never raced for a hometown team,” Lucas said. “It’s great to be able to go to the race shop after school and hang with the crew. Mark and Meg Kvamme were very welcoming from the first day I met them and being able to get a seat in a new Porsche 992 was unbelievable given the limited number of cars available to the U.S. at the start of the season and with those cars going to drivers who have proven their worth.”
Lucas and the precision of MDK Motorsports was recently on display at Circuit Of The Americas in Austin, Texas. MDK Motorsports and Lucas took home a third-place finish in Race One and Race Two. The weather threw a few curve balls to competitors with cool, humid weather combined with light rain. The team once again showcased the levelheaded maturity that has come with each of its podium finishes this season.
While the team and driver had tested at COTA, this was Lucas’ first race weekend on the FIA Formula-1 grade circuit. The track quickly taught Lucas; it would keep him honest.
“I was surprised,” Lucas said of his first outing. “It’s a very flowing track. If you mess up Sector One, you mess up the whole lap. At other tracks, you gain time back in other areas. I think of all tracks I find VIR to have more similarities because of the corners. It gives you that same flowing effect. If you mess up sector one, you don’t gain time back until the last sector.”
While he’s got the feel for flowing racetracks, Lucas will apply what he learned at COTA to the following rounds of racing conveniently located at VIRginia International Raceway.
“I think the COTA to VIR transition on the calendar is great,” Lucas said. “To prepare I’ll watch a video from last year in my GT4 car. I’ll watch a recent video of GT3 cars on track. I’ll relate my driving style to theirs. I watch to see how I can mimic their laps and apply my own style.
“Trent (Estep) is super helpful in getting me up to speed. We go over data and video together. He’s actually correcting me in real time when I’m on track too. He’s not going into depth but he’s giving me those data points like you’re breaking late to help me figure out what’s next.”
VIRginia International Raceway welcomes the Fanatec GT World Challenge powered by AWS series along with the GT America powered by AWS, Pirelli GT4 America, TC America powered by Skip Barber and Toyota GR Cup North America. Secure your spot in the fun by purchasing tickets now. Car corrals are also available for all car owners. Nissan hosts its own for Nissan owners. Operation Motorsport puts on the Patriot Car Corral available to all makes and models. The parking fee is donated to the non for profit that supports veterans medically discharged from the United States and Canadian military.