Based on an impressive finish, you never would have guessed that this was Nick Boulle’s first time at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. The 26-year-old finished second in the Prototype Challenge (PC) Class at the 54th annual race, which took place January 29-31.
Boulle is the son of Denis and Karen Boulle, of de Boulle, an independent jewelry salon in Dallas and, now, Houston. De Boulle was the first retail jeweler that carries Rolex to compete in the demanding 24-hour sports car race.
This was a team effort, and returning PR1 driver Tom Kimber-Smith, Robert Alon, and Jose Gutierrez joined Boulle in driving the Le Mans Prototype Challenge car. Weighing in at 1990 pounds, the car reached top speeds of around 190 mph.
The event truly is 24 hours of straight racing, waged on the legendary Daytona International Speedway. It’s the first major auto race of the year, and it brings out some of sport’s biggest names. The team completed 698 laps and 25 pits around the 3.56 mile circuit — which translates to each driver spending about six hours crammed into the car as it whizzed around the track.
Boulle was also the PC class leader during the exciting race. “Halfway through the race, we were still first, but we had mechanical issues and lost 12 laps, so we ended up in fourth during the night,” Boulle says. The team ultimately moved back into second place, but if not for a faulty $14 part, they likely would have won.
Thanks to his dad’s love for cars, Boulle was drawn to motorsports and began racing go-karts at age 12. By the time he was 20, studying at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Boulle had produced top results in national events and was racing as a Volkswagen Junior Driver, in addition to coaching drivers in karts and race cars.
Although he stepped away from motorsports to focus on his digital marketing firm and eventually joining the family business, de Boulle, full time, Boulle stayed competitive through road cycling. When the partnership with Vista del Mar and Meridian Realty Advisors came together, it meant that it was time for him get back in the seat at one of North America’s greatest racing events.
And he never missed a beat at the Rolex 24.
“I have always loved motorsports,” he says, “and racing in the Rolex 24 has turned a dream into reality.”