posted on March 3rd, 2016

Turo is driven by a love of well engineered cars, a passion for driving, and a strong, collaborative community. So it makes sense that Turo has teamed up with one of our dynamic community members in a shared love of driving. The only catch? This young prodigy isn’t even old enough to rent a car on Turo yet.

15-year-old Robert Megennis, while not old enough to drive in most states, is a seasoned driving professional. This year, he is piloting the Turo-sponsored car in the USF2000 class for Team Pelfrey on the Mazda Road to Indy series, as one of the youngest drivers racing at this level in the world. Currently the youngest driver in the Indy 500 is 19 years old, and Rob may be on track to beat that record.

This spring and summer, follow Rob as he blogs from the road and reveals what it’s like behind the wheel of a bonafide race car.


All roads lead to Indy

Rob got his first taste in a go-kart when he was nine, and entered his first real kart race at age 11 at a local track in New York. By the time he was 12, he finished second in the New York championship in the under 16 bracket. At age 13, he moved up to the under-16 Northeast (Canada to Pittsburgh) karting championship and finished second. At 14, he graduated to cars and drove for Team Pelfrey in the Formula 1600 championship, where he stood on the podium eight times in 15 races as a rookie.

Now, at the age of 15, he’ll be driving for Team Pelfrey on the Mazda Road to Indy series in a USF2000 car as a support race to the Verizon IndyCar series, and we’ll be following this young gun on his junket through the spring and summer racing series.


Racing 101

There are basically two different kinds of car racing in the world — sportscar racing and open-wheel racing. Sportscar racing features modified cars and the most famous series are Nascar, V8 Supercars, and LeMans.

Open-wheel racing features cars that, from aerodynamics to mechanical and computer engineering, are all designed from the ground up to be as fast as possible. They are the fastest cars on the planet, and their drivers are referred to as “pilots”.

In Europe, Asia, and South America, the premier open-wheel series is Formula One. In the US, the premier open-wheel championship is the Verizon IndyCar series.

The IndyCar series begins with the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March and ends in California in September each year. The most famous race on the schedule is the Indy 500, and this year happens to be the 100th running of the Indy 500.

The IndyCar series features four levels (four races per weekend) of competition. The Verizon IndyCar series is the top level (200 mph), followed by Indy Lights (180 mph), Pro-Mazda (170 mph), and USF2000 (160 mph). Robert will be competing in the latter.

Come along for the ride

Throughout the IndyCar series, Rob will be blogging from the driver’s seat as he tours the US. First up? The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 11-13, 2016.

Stay tuned as he hits the track, and shares the adrenaline rush of 160 mph.

Megan is the copywriter and content tsarina at Turo. She lives to wander near and far, never met a beach (or dog) she didn’t like, and loves to talk postmodern lit and theory to anyone who’ll listen.