Cassels, British Columbia, is a business owner, a race car driver and a father of four. While a schedule as hectic as his would often leave little room for family time, Cassels children are fully immersed in his motorsports world even partaking in it themselves. Cassels’ time racing and karting with his kids gives the family more quality time together.
When not at school or work the family is traversing North America following multiple racing series. Cassels and all four kids participate in the Challenge of the Americas’ karting schedule. In addition to go-karting Cassels himself competes in the IMSA Prototype Challenge and Michelin Endurance Championship series.
“My first goal is to make sure my wife, Tanya, does not have a heart attack watching all of us race hard and sometimes make mistakes,” Cassels said. “I bet she was hoping the racing would end with me. It’s not looking that is in the cards anytime soon. Seriously though, we really do not have an over reaching goal other than to have fun and continue to progress. We were fortunate enough to have found a great friend in the karting world, Daryle Redlin, that keeps the entire karting program running smoothly for all of us, especially when I am away racing the big cars.”
His children became even more integrated into Cassels racing career this year by designing the livery for his No. 75 LMP3. Previously sporting the classic Performance Tech racing red with a pop of chrome, Cassels children gave his car a total makeover for the 2019 IMSA Prototype Challenge season. Their final design features a white base for the Ligier with geometric chrome-blue accents.
“It was amazing how different each idea was,” Cassels said. “For some of my kids it was ensuring that every inch of the car was colored. In the end the design had parts from each of the kids’ design.”
While Cassels’ car design is bound to catch onlookers eyes he’s got more than just aesthetics on his side, he has the pace as well. Cassels uses his time at the Challenge of the Americas’ karting events to hone his racecraft alongside his kids. Karting is a close contact sport that takes a great deal of technical skills and fast reflexes in order to finesse the machine around the track. Cassels feels these skills directly relate to his improvement in pace and technique over the past year marking him as a champion contender for 2019.
“Seat time is seat time,” Cassels said. “Although the way you drive a kart and the chassis is so much different, there are still enough similarities to make it worthwhile. Besides, it is so cool to be able to do a practice with me on the track at the same time as my kids. I’m a pretty proud dad following each one of them around the track.”
Over the past few years Cassels has learned how to make good use of his seat time at the kart track while still being present for his children. Cassels’ youngest son, currently running in the mini class was the driving force behind the family starting in karting. His oldest daughter and son race together in the junior class where they can be seen emulating an amusing blend of sibling camaraderie and sportsmanship. His youngest daughter rounds out the pack racing in the ever competitive micro class.
Following the completion of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship Rolex 24 At Daytona International Speedway, the Cassels family immediately switched gears to the first karting race of the season. With only a few days between the two races the family dried out the best they could from the rainy Rolex 24 before once again braving wet conditions at Calspeed in Fontana, California.
“Even though the weather was not the greatest, we managed to escape the deep freeze that most of Canada was under,” Cassels said. “All of the kids showed great progress and continued to find speed in each of their dry sessions. Overall, it was a great event for everyone.”
While the family is enjoying their time together, their inner racers can’t help but look towards the future.
“Driving together in an iconic race such as the 24 hour would absolutely be a dream come true,” Cassels said. “Right now it is definitely something that the entire Cassels family is eager to work toward. You just never know, but you’ll know it’s us out there if we do. It’ll be the car that has every inch of it covered with a different color.”
Cassels takes to the track again March12-14 at Sebring International Raceway for IMSA Prototype Challenge Race Two. He will be joined in his No. 75 NorCan LMP3 by James French, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, for the two hour and forty-five minute endurance race.
Source. Performance Tech Motorsports