After winning the Porsche GT3 Cup Championship and graduating from high school in 2018, Estep found himself at a crossroads. "I was faced with a tough decision after graduating from high school,” said Trenton. “My parents had a Texas Prepaid College Tuition Plan in place, which would allow me to continue my education and live in my hometown of San Antonio, TX or I could try my best to continue racing. Kevin King, in Columbus, OH, one of my GT3 Cup sponsors at JDX Racing, offered me a job with the opportunity to continue to pursue racing. It’s been my life's goal to make a career in auto racing and the opportunity Kevin presented allowed me to do that, so I made the move to Ohio.”
2019 proved to be a challenging year for young Trenton. Moving halfway across the country to an unknown city, starting his first job and leaving everything he had known behind in Texas left some doubt in his mind that he did the right thing. With the help of his friend and fellow driver, Spencer Pumpelly, Trenton
managed to remain active in the racing community, coaching other up-and-coming drivers and seasoned veterans. Estep continued to talk to everyone in the IMSA paddock, always with a smile and just happy to be at the racetrack. Trenton added, "JDX Racing Managing Partner, Jeremy Dale, and my GT3 Cup teammate, Mark Kvamme, really helped keep my name out there and provided me with some “one-off” drives that were invaluable while we all continued to look for opportunities.”
“The introduction to Tim Pappas came through Jeremy,” Trenton continued. “After meeting Tim, I kept in touch with him and probably became a real pain in his side! Tim called one day and offered me a spot on his Black Swan Racing team for the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona. This was a dream opportunity that was immediately accepted!” After a successful showing at the Roar test, qualifying the car 6th in class and being the quickest Porsche in GTD, Estep was right where he needed to be and fitting in with his new teammates perfectly.
"Over the years, our team has had a nice mix of veteran drivers and young talent and this year is the true representation of that approach,” said Tim Pappas, Black Swan Racing team owner. “I really like the dynamic that’s created when a young, championship winning driver like Trenton is brought into a team with guys like Jeroen and Sven. Trenton did a very nice job at The Roar and I have no doubt he will continue to get the job done at the Rolex 24. I'm pleased we were able to provide an opportunity for him and expect you'll see great things in his future.”
Trenton concluded, "My family did an amazing job, getting me through 15 years of racing, culminating in the Porsche GT3 Cup Championship in 2018. I am determined to live my dream and it takes good people in your life to help you along the way. My parents, Jeremy [Dale], Harrison [Brix], Mark [Kvamme], Kevin [King], Rob [Ferriol], Harris [Levitas] and countless other people have helped make this possible. Now Tim Pappas and the Black Swan Racing team are making my next dream come true. Words cannot express my gratitude to everyone for this opportunity."
Trenton Estep Makes His IMSA WeatherTech Debut
in the #54 Porsche 911 GT3 R for Black Swan Racing