deBoulle at Daytona

What does a Texas-based jeweler and a 24-hour endurance car race have in common? Much more than you could possibly imagine. Participating in the 54th Annual ROLEX 24 Hours of Daytona was River Oaks District’s very own jeweler, Nick Boulle, of de Boulle. Nick, the son of owners Denis and Karen Boulle, recently completed the demanding sports car race, placing an impressive second place in the Prototype Challenge Class at the legendary Daytona International Speedway. “My mom definitely worries at the start of a race, but she's been able to see me grow as a driver over time so she has a lot of faith in me to stay out of trouble. It used to be tears at the start of every race though!” jokes Nick.

Inheriting his Dad’s love of cars, Nick started racing when he was 12, developing his love of motorsports through his college years by racing in national events, eventually coaching drivers in karts and race cars. A recent partnership between Florida real estate project Vista del Mar and de Boulle created the opportunity for Nick to take part in the ROLEX 24 Hours of Daytona. Nick reports; “I grew up racing karts and eventually moved to Formula cars & GT Sports car racing. The event is like an all-star event of Motorsports for the USA. Some of the best drivers from around the world take part, oftentimes, in one-off appearances away from Formula 1, Nascar, Indy Car, etc.”

The race itself consists of four driver teams each taking six hour shifts of driving, completing an unbelievable 698 laps around the 3.56 mile track. Rounding out the team were returning PR1 driver Tom Kimber-Smith, Robert Alon, and Jose Gutierrez all racing the Le Mans Prototype Challenge car. Nick spent an impressive six hours behind the wheel, reaching top speeds of 187 miles per hour during the event. Excitement lasted all the way until the grueling end, “The best part was getting back into the car and finding out we'd caught up to 3rd and then watching as my teammates continued to pull us back up the order. We eventually finished 2nd which was a fantastic result for Vista del Mar, de Boulle and myself considering everything that had happened over the 24 hour race— and it was only our first try!”

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Stacie Ellis