Shawn Price – Rolex Winner
Wolf Henzler, Dominik Farnbacher, Pierre Ehret and Shawn Price combined to win the GT class at the 2005 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, in a Farnbacher Racing Porsche. So what?

dailysportscar.comOn the surface, we have one hot shoe driver, combined with a strong driver who is also a family member of the team, a consistent veteran driver and some gentleman driver with the money to buy a ride in an ultra competitive car. That is not all that unusual. But there really is more to this story. Read on…

On the surface, Shawn Prince (with the big grin, right) is a gentleman driver who has just won a Rolex. He paid his money and got in a good car. But on the interview stand in the media center, after the race was over, there was just something different, difficult to explain, about Shawn. Maybe it was his genuine joy and the simple fact that he won the coveted Rolex Daytona in his first professional car race?

So, how did Shawn arrive at this? Well, it’s been a long and interesting road, spread over 41 eventful years…

Born in Ottawa Canada, Shawn Price is the son of a Canadian foreign diplomat. It was because of this that Shawn literally lived around the world, spending time and being brought up in Europe, Africa, Australia and the West Indies. Always an athlete and always involved in athletic adventures, he started to gravitate towards motorcycle racing, eventually being a part of the Kenyan National team. As a means to allow him to pursue his interests, Shawn enrolled at the University of Western Ontario. This educational background allowed him to enter the Tech business arena, when he got out of school.

Currently, Shawn is the CEO and President of Savvion, a leader in the business software market, based in the Silicone Valley region of California. Previous success in various fast track business developments “afforded me the opportunity to take three years off and devote my time towards pursuing my interest in motorsport.”

dailysportscar.comHe originally struck out racing motorcycles, and again he found success. In 2002, Shawn finished fourth in the motorcycle class in the Baja 500, followed by a first in class in the Baja 1000 later that same year.

He followed that up with being the top finisher from any of the American continents in the 2003 Paris-Dakar Rally. In this event, he covered over 7000 miles through the African desert in 19 days.

“The trials and tribulations of running in a race like the Paris-Dakar are incredible. Somewhere around 64% of the starters fail to finish.

"Let me tell you, that was really my first taste of endurance racing. It was in this type of racing that I found that I had an internal sixth gear that I was not aware of.”

Eventually, Shawn found his way to racing cars, and that was made much easier owing to the fact that he lives close to Infineon Raceway (Sears Point). He found himself owning a 3.4 liter, tube framed Porsche 911. Through the support of the likes of Kevin Buckler, Johannes van Overbeek and Craig Stanton, he found himself becoming more and more immersed in racing sportscars. Johannes was even “kind enough to get in the car and coach me.” Shawn won his first club race and ended up taking eight wins out of the 14 races that he started.

Even now, it is not uncommon to find Shawn at Infineon in his Porsche, putting in seven hour days at the track. “I get in the car in the morning and just keep driving. I’ll stop for lunch, and then get back in and continue to drive.” Besides that sort of training, he continues to be in the gym 4-5 days a week, with the main point of increasing his endurance.

When he hooked up with Farnbacher Racing at the testing for Daytona, “it was intimidating at first. The testing helped, but you just can’t overcome time in the seat. There are so many parallels between what I was doing on the bikes and racing cars. Achieving something like that solo on a bike over that distance really prepares you. It teaches you to keep a steady pace and let me tell you, it is much easier to go wheel to wheel when you have gone handle bar to handle bar.”

“Working with Farnbacher has been an incredible experience. Our team is made up of superb drivers, mechanics and a crew chief who really helped me to get up to speed quickly. I’m honored to have been trusted with the responsibility by Horst Farnbacher and Peter Goebel from Farnbacher Racing. It was an exciting time and I felt I held my own. I was the third fastest in the line up. My lap times were from a low of 1:57 and a high of 2:00. Early in the race, when I got in, we were in third, and by the time I got out, we were back in first. That felt good.“I paid significantly less for this ride than any that were available. My ride, or the partnership that we formed, was based upon proof that I could more than hold my own. I have learned quite a bit from the studied eye of Horst. I believe he is the best set-up guy in the world when it comes to Porsches. Through their use of data management, I was able to see what Wolf was able to do on the track and what I wasn’t. That really shortens the learning curve.”

Shawn Price truly believes the speed of the Farnbacher Porsche is due to the team and the drivers. “We are ‘teched’ after every session, including the ride height. The engine is sealed and cannot be tampered with.” Shawn felt that if they were doing anything illegal, which they weren’t, it would have been picked up. As a team, they also paid close attention to the tires. “We were taught tire management. Conserve the tires – don’t be hard on them. Again, it is just more of the expertise of the team coming through.”

So, what’s next? “I’ll just have to see what I can make this into. I do plan on racing in the recently announced IMSA Porsche Cup series, and would like to do some Porsche Supercup races this year, possibly at Indy and at another (European) venue. I’m discussing other options for this year, but at this time I plan on running the entire Grand Am GT series next year. I haven’t yet been in a RSR, but I really would like to try one out.”

Who knows what the future could hold for Shawn Price, behind the wheel of a race car…
Gary Horrocks


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