Jump to content

Photo

Congratulations to Kenton Koch on Daytona 24 win


  • Please log in to reply
2 replies to this topic

#1
MPR22

MPR22

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,877 posts
  • Location:Houston
  • Region:Southwest
  • Car Year:1999
  • Car Number:22

Mazda Ladder scholarship recipient Kenton Koch was part of the winning effort in the PC class at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.  The kid is so talented, watched him 2 years ago at the Grand Prix of Houston in the MX-5 Cup race.  He was hitting his mark within inches at turn 6 lap after lap.   No other car in the field looked nearly as robotic.  

 

The race coverage focused on the other classes much more than PC but what a great accomplishment in any class.   


  • Johnny D, Mark, Jim Drago and 3 others like this
Majors Winner - Novel Approach - When a paragraph simply won't do... We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver Donor - Made PayPal donation

#2
jthuney

jthuney

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 31 posts
  • Location:Portland
  • Region:Oregon
  • Car Year:2003
  • Car Number:13
We have had the pleasure of Kenton joining us for a number of SM mini enduro races and the Cascade 8 hrs race here in Portland Oregon. Yes, he smoked us.....A true driving phenom that is a class act and willing to share his racing knowledge and craft with anyone that asks.

Congrats Kenton!
  • Danny Steyn likes this

#3
Johnny D

Johnny D

    Veteran Member

  • Moderators
  • 5,361 posts
  • Location:Fremont, CA
  • Region:San Francisco
  • Car Year:1999
  • Car Number:88

http://mazdamotorspo...gId=-1&button=y

Interview with Kenton Koch: Rolex Champ!

When one of our Mazda Road to 24 stars wins the Rolex 24 at Daytona in his first trip, you have to find out what he learned. With this being Kenton Koch, you won’t be disappointed.

How does winning your first Rolex feel?

It’s pretty unbelievable. To think that just three years ago I stopped in a Rolex store, gazed at the Rolex watch, tried it on and remember hoping that one day I would have the opportunity to win one someday. And now, the dream has come true; I still cannot believe I was lucky enough to win one and be wearing it right now. I plan on wearing it the rest of my life along with this smile on my face. I will never take this for granted.

Congratulations again, Kenton, you have earned it. So what was the toughest part of the 24-hour event itself?

The toughest part was not the racing itself, but calming myself down right after making my mistake on track - one that I don’t want to re-live in my time of glee. But immediately following it, I worked to get my emotions in check as did my crew. My crew did a great job supporting me mentally and getting the car back on up to speed. Though I have been fortunate to have kept the car clean for the most part throughout my career, and pride myself on this, one has to stay grounded in all situations – good or bad. You need to stay mentally strong immediately after an incident so you don’t compound the issues on track; that’s the short term goal. If other people perceive you as mentally weak, that can have devastating impact on your career long-term. What can be just as demoralizing for everyone involved is if you make that same mistake again soon after. That’s when you can experience both the short-term and long-term negative effects. So, you'd better keep your focus and learn from your mistake immediately.

Certainly a 24-hour race will test you mentally. How long was your longest stint and what was the most challenging aspect?

There are certain times of the race that drivers are more hyped than others. When you tether those times with other challenging aspects, such as exhaustion, it can be tricky. I drove from about 9 PM to 12:30 am in my first stint. It wasn’t easy. There was quite a bit of mayhem at that time in the race, with plenty of people battling. It starts to calm in the middle of the 24 hour race, but we hadn’t gotten there yet. In a time you are exhausted, you really have to stay on your game to not make a mistake. Fortunate for me, I engaged in a fantastic battle the last part of this long stint that kept me primed. I was on fresh tires and was catching Renger van der Zande of Starworks Racing in his PC car. In my pursuit of catching him at the time, I posted the fastest race lap for PC cars. I was pushing it. Once I caught him, we traded positions a couple of times. He is a very aggressive, but very clean. I was eventually able to get by him and keep in front, using the traffic to my advantage and pull away. At this end of this stint, you could say I was tired.

You and your team pulled a three lap advantage toward the end of the race. Tell us about your strategy to gain the advantage?

2016 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 Hours DaytonaIn endurance racing, it is important to take care of your tires while also putting together quick, consistent times. Granted, times can be consistent if every lap has one slide. So consistent corner to corner is key. Last year, in the Mazda Prototype Lites car, it taught me to do that. The tires fell off quickly if not managed, so I had to focus on this balance and precision. Taking this learning lesson to the 24 hour was more helpful than I could have realized. With multi-class racing, you have to get through traffic. Due to the speed differences, the changing track conditions and drivers, you have to be wise in how and when you do it. For those who are able to manage this well, the dividends are huge. For those who get stuck behind slower cars lap after lap, it is devastating to the overall time. Precision and balance.

Thank you, Kenton, for your time and support of Mazda.

I’d like to add one more thing, if that is okay? I want to thank Mazda, the entire team, for giving me this opportunity to race at the Rolex. I’ve come up through the Mazda Road to 24, following each step methodically. To have gotten where I am is all thanks to Mazda, JDC Miller Motorsports, ALARA Racing, Skip Barber, my family, and everyone who has supported me along the way. Thank you all.


  • MPR22 likes this
2011 NASA Western Endurance Racing Championship E3 Champ
We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Beta-Tester - Assisted us with beta testing the website. Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver Novel Approach - When a paragraph simply won't do... Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill - Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill Instigator - Made a topic or post that inspired other Make it Rain - Made Paypal donation of $100+




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users