Driver Spotlight: Sean Rayhall
Driver, No. 25 8Star Motorsports Oreca FLM09 (PC)
How did you get your start in racing?
“I started racing when I was seven-years-old in go-karts. My Dad raced cars as an amateur and ended up getting a go-kart at one point, then he got me one. I was racing at the local track, the only track, in Georgia.”
Do you like the race format for Mazda Raceway (PC/GTD race first then P/GTLM)?
“I think it’s going to be good. I like that fact that IMSA is changing things up and making some different venues for us. I think it will be cool to have two separate races. The fans get to see two races and it’s cool that, being a PC driver, we can go for the overall win. I’m really excited to do it because there’s going to be less cars on the track and it’s going to come down to a little bit more pure speed, rather than traffic. ”
How different is it for a driver going from a 24 and 12 hour race, to a two hour race?
“Personally, I like the shorter races. I’m excited to be able to get down and get with it for a couple of hours and really get it done. Obviously the Rolex 24 and the 12 Hours of Sebring are really prestigious but going to Mazda Raceway, where I’m a household name at, is really comfortable for me and I’m really excited to throw down with Luis Diaz for two hours and just really get the job done. Sometimes with too many hours in the race it leads to cautions, mechanical failures, and everything else and I feel like a short race it comes down to what your speed is and you can really just finish.”
How will the track surface at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca evolve during the race weekend?
“The track changes a lot. It’s really deceiving, the grip, it looks like it has a lot more grip than it actually does but we’ll have our Continental tires on our car and have plenty of grip with that. It’s really difficult to perceive that track. You have to take every lap as it comes to you. The sand blows over it and makes it a bit slick at times and you really have to have eyes up and focus ahead, but it’s also difficult when you have traffic and your passing cars and battling cars. It’s a tedious race track but if approached right, you can be very successful.
What are the top racing movies that everyone should either rent or own?
“‘Rush’, no doubt… ‘Rush’ because it’s just raw and exciting. I guess ‘Driven’ because that brings back the old Champ Car days and how cool it was. And the original ‘Need For Speed’ because it’s so corny but I still love it.”