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TREY SHANNON TAKES VICTORY AT JACKSONVILLE GRAND PRIX

Like the eleven run before it, the 12th edition of the Jacksonville Grand Prix at 103rd Street Sports Complex in Jacksonville, FL was a six hour endurance race meant to be run by teams of 3 or more drivers. But when the race promoter asked Trey Shannon if he’d like to run it as a solo driver, he couldn’t resist.

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The day began under beautiful sunny skies for the Endurance Karting organized event benefiting Spina Bifida of Jacksonville. Sixteen karts, driven by over 50 drivers, took to the track for their half hour qualifying session. Having never been to the track before, Shannon used the half hour to learn the track and put down a quick time without using up too much energy. After a few laps of feeling things out, Trey got into a draft and put down a time good enough for 7th on the grid.

At the start of the race, his plan was to stay in touch with the leaders for the first stint until the first pit stop. With 15 mandatory driver change stops, including two for fuel, everybody was going to be on different strategies. All teams knew they’d have to wait until the final stint of the race to see how things played out. Each driver change required a 20 second hold in the pit lane, so Shannon was unable to get any kind of advantage from not having to swap drivers.

Shannon’s race was fairly straight forward, clicking off laps, trying not to get too caught up in traffic, and maintaining a sprint-like pace. The real drama came in the final hour of the race. With just under 50 minutes to go to the checker, the skies opened up and rain poured down. With standing water beginning to form, and the karts’ air filters getting flooded, race control decided to temporarily red flag the race with just over 41 minutes to go.

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While everybody waited for the rain to subside, each team took to the scoring monitors to figure out where they stood and determine their strategy for the final 40 minutes. Shannon sat 2nd with one stop left, while the leaders were a lap ahead, with three stops still to go. Trey knew that all he had to do was keep the kart pointed straight for the final 40 minutes and the win would be his. With the karts being on slick tires though, even in the rain, that task was easier said than done.

Once the rain slowed, the race got back underway. Shannon made his final pit stop immediately in an effort to lose as little time as possible. The track slowly started to dry, and by the final 10 minutes, all karts were back on the racing line and back to full speed. The leader appeared to have about a half a lap lead coming to the checker at the end of the six hours, with Shannon still in 2nd. The “winning” team, however, had failed to make their final mandatory pit stop, handing the win to Trey Shannon.

Trey was ecstatic after the race, finding it hard to believe he had clinched the win after driving the entire six hours solo. “I can’t believe we did this,” Trey said after the race. “I have to thank my wife Amber for doing such an awesome job with the strategy. She kept us in the hunt the whole race and did a great job over the radio keeping me focused and relaxed. I also have to thank my sponsors Oktane Visual, AiM Sports, and Kart Sale. It seems like no matter what I do they’re on board, and I really appreciate their continued support. Last but not least, I need to thank Rick Mansfield, Chris McCoy, and Endurance Karting for putting on this awesome event. It’s always a pleasure to race with them, and I’m so happy to have been a part of this event to raise money for Spina Bifida.”

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WORLD RECORD KARTER TREY SHANNON ENTERS JACKSONVILLE GRAND PRIX AS SOLO DRIVER

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The Jacksonville Grand Prix is proud to welcome double Guinness World Record holder Trey Shannon as a participant in this year’s event. The Jacksonville Grand Prix is a European style high-speed 6 hour go kart race hosted by Endurance Karting. The event is held annually at the 103rd Street Sports Complex just outside of Jacksonville, FL, and raises funds and awareness for the Spina Bifida Association of Jacksonville. Teams of 4-6 drivers compete in equally prepared karts over the grueling 6 hour race on April 5th, with a portion of each team’s entry fee going directly to the charity. Shannon will be the first solo driver in the event’s ten year history.

Jacksonville Grand Prix event organizer Rick Mansfield is excited to have Shannon joining them for this event. “We are honored to have Trey join us and Endurance Karting for the Jacksonville Grand Prix not only as a World Record holder, but more importantly as someone overcoming challenges of his own and helping us raise money for Spina Bifida research,” said Rick. “I’ve participated in this event myself, along with logging plenty of additional laps around this place, and I can’t imagine one driver racing for 6 straight hours. We’re happy to welcome Trey to 103rd Street Sports Complex, and wish him the best of luck.”

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Trey Shannon is no stranger to endurance style karting. He holds the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance by a solo kart driver in both the outdoor and indoor categories. Alongside his records, Shannon also completed the Endurance Karting run 24 Hours of America, held just a few months ago at one of karting’s biggest stages, the Charlotte Motor Speedway. In addition to his endurance racing pedigree, he is also very familiar with racing for a cause. Shannon has Tourette Syndrome, and uses his world record attempts as a way to raise funds and awareness for the national Tourette Syndrome Association. Trey will continue to share his story of living and racing with Tourettes during his Jacksonville Grand Prix experience, but is also committed to helping the event’s charity Spina Bifida of Jacksonville.

“I’d like to thank Rick Mansfield, the Jacksonville Grand Prix, and Endurance Karting for inviting me to join them for the 6 Hours to Benefit Spina Bifida,” Trey said. “This is a phenomenal event, and I can’t wait to be a part of it. While I’ve done three separate 24 hour challenges, I’ve never attempted to go flat out for 6 hours, so I know this will be a very difficult race. I’m looking forward to the challenge, and am very excited to go for a top spot. More importantly though, this race is for such a great cause, and I’m very excited to help raise funds and awareness for Spina Bifida of Jacksonville.”

SBJ provides desperately needed education and awareness about the effects, treatments, and conditions associated with spina bifida. More importantly, SBJ offers direct help to families in our community through information, referrals, research, education, vocational development and more.

The Jacksonville Grand Prix 6 Hour race to benefit Spina Bifida of Jacksonville takes place April 5th, 2014 at the 103rd Street Sports Complex. Come out and see Trey Shannon and more than 20 other teams fight for top honors at this fun and exciting event. For more information, please visit JaxGrandPrix.org. To help the cause and make a contribution to Trey's entry fee, please visit his GoFundMe.com page at gofundme.com/6dq328. A portion of the proceeds from his entry fee will go directly to the charity.

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TREY SHANNON BREAKS 1,000 LAP BARRIER TO COMPLETE 643 MILES IN 24 HOURS OF AMERICA

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Over the October 18-20 weekend Racing For Tourettes made the trip to Concord, North Carolina to compete in the Endurance Karting 24 Hours of America. Racing For Tourettes driver Trey Shannon successfully completed 1,020 laps of Charlotte Motor Speedway’s infield kart track, recording a total distance of 643 miles as the event’s only solo competitor. Although Shannon’s #15 kart finished some 462 laps down from the winning ProCup Karting team who took the honors with 1,488 laps completed, making it past the 1000 lap mark was a moral victory for Trey and his team.

The race began at 10:30 Saturday morning under damp conditions. Taking a conservative approach from his 9th place starting position, Shannon gave up a few spots on the Le Mans style start. The wet conditions, however, allowed Trey to keep pace with the pack without expending too much energy, remaining in the top 15 and on the lead lap for the first two hours of the event. After making his second stop, the track had begun to dry enough that Trey had to begin pacing himself to make the entire 24 hours. Still running lap times within 5 seconds of the leaders, he got settled into a groove and put in consistent stints of 45 laps each. With his brother Drew and their good friend Jason Connole on the radio with him, Trey did a good job of keeping a reasonable pace and staying out of the way of those racing for position.

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Once again, Shannon had to deal with cold weather. Saturday’s running was under overcast skies, but the temperature was comfortably in the 60s. Overnight, however, the skies cleared up and the temperatures dropped to the low 40s. Coupled with the wind chill of driving a kart at speeds above 50 miles per hour, Shannon was starting to feel the effects during the early morning hours. Luckily the Speedway’s infield bathrooms were open to the competitors during the event, and Trey put them to good use dashing in during his stops to blow the hot air from the hand driers into his suit and warm him back up. He wasn’t the only one, as each time he went in there were always one or two other drivers doing the same thing to get ready for their upcoming stints, and warm back up after getting off the track.

With three hours to go, and 916 laps in the books, the Shannon brothers determined that the 1,000 lap goal was still within reach. Trey completed two more 45 lap stints to put him over the mark at 1,006 laps. At that point, there were around 45 minutes left in the race, and Shannon decided to wait until the last 15 minutes to go back out. Feeling refreshed and wanting to stay out of the way for the last few laps, Trey put in 10 qualifying laps to finish the event, setting his fastest lap of the race with a 55.9 sec lap, just one second off the fastest lap of the race.

“Since we weren’t going for a record, and had no real chance of competing with any of the other teams, we needed to set ourselves a personal goal for the 24 hours,” Trey said. “We broke through 900 laps on both of our world record attempts the past two years, but weren’t quite able to reach 1,000 on either, so we decided this race was going to be 1,000 or bust, and we made it. I also wanted to set my fastest lap in the last hour which I wasn’t able to do either of the last two 24 hour runs, but finally pulled off with this one.

“I really have to thank my brother Drew and our friend Jason for spotting for me the whole race. They were absolutely on point the entire 24 hours. I also have to thank my wife and parents for their support, especially my wife for updating all of our social media and discussion forums throughout the race. And last but not least I need to thank all my sponsors for helping me get here and allowing me the opportunity to compete and raise awareness for Tourette Sndrome. Without their help I wouldn’t be able to do any of this, so huge thanks to Oktane Visual, DB Motorsports, Karting Connect, Kart Sale, Racer of Tomorrow, AiM Sports, David Lee Motorsports Media, eKartingNews.com, Marren Fuel Injection, Autowash Express, KartSport NA, Yorel Integrated Solutions, Kart360.com, Performance Auto Mall, Acceleration Kart Racing, and PitFit Training. I also have to give a massive thank you to Chris McCoy and Endurance Karting for letting me do this, and literally bending over backwards to accommodate me and my team. This was an absolutely fantastic event, so big props to them for putting it all together and pulling it off so well.”

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Even though the 24 Hours of America has passed, it’s not too late help the cause. If you’d like to make a tax deductible contribution to the Tourette Syndrome Association, please visit Trey’s Active Giving page at active.com/donate/teamtsa/racingfortourettes. You can also access the page by going to treyshannon.com and clicking on the “Donation” link. Every donation, no matter how large or small, is greatly appreciated.