AETHER Asks: Sean Neel
How did you get into racing?
Since I was a child, car racing fascinated me. I would go to races, watch races, talk to others about racing, and read about it. After working very hard, I decided to chase a passion, so here I am.
What has been your most memorable win?
All wins are memorable for one reason or another. My very first win came on the Auto Club Speedway Roval in the Festival of Speed against the national champ. That’s my local track, so I was fortunate to have a lot of supporters there, including my mom. The Rennsport Reunion VI win was my first year in partnership with AETHER. And the 25 Hours of Thunderhill in 2019 was a grueling race, and our team just smashed it. AETHER kept 30 people warm and dry. Again, winning never gets old, so I just keep trying. ↓
What brought you to LA, and why do you love it?
My parents moved here when I was three or four. LA just works for me. I love warm weather, so the beaches and climate are great for me.
How did you come together with AETHER?
I was introduced to [AETHER co-founder] Jonah [Smith] through a mutual friend. We both shared an entertainment business background. Jonah was kind enough to find a way to support my passion, and we have been enjoying a growing friendship ever since. ↓
How has our partnership played into your past few seasons and worked for you as a racer?
Firstly, we are the best outfitted and most stylish team in the paddock, and people let us know that. It has kept us healthy during horrible weather; it’s kept my teammates warm, and we’re proud of our attire. Secondly, it has brought a ton of equity to me and my team. The AETHER branding on my 911 has really helped establish us. Tire manufacturers, suspension companies, and others, have signed on as partners, too. That has really helped. But I guess the most rewarding part is the relationship that has been forged with the whole AETHER team.
You also won the 25 Hours of Thunderhill endurance race. How did AETHER play into that grueling race for you and your team?
AETHER was kind enough to supply our race team with jackets, hats, and t-shirts. The 25 Hours of Thunderhill is held every year during the first week of December, 90 miles north of Sacramento. It is the longest endurance race in North America. There is more dark than light, and the weather is just plain miserable. In the middle of the night, through pouring down rain and strong winds, our crew was able to operate at a high level because they were dry and warm in AETHER. That was definitely one of the contributing components to our success. ↓
Do you have a favorite piece or pieces of AETHER? If so, what and why?
The Fairfax Pants, several heavy jackets, and the Pique Polos. The pants and polos are all I wear at the track. And the Passage Jackets, which were provided to the team, allowed us to persevere in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. I also love the Omega Jacket and the Fuse Hoodie. ↓
How do you spend your time when you’re not working or racing?
Cooking, entertaining friends, biking, and traveling. I love to travel. I would say that is the one thing I miss in the current situation. I also live at the beach, so that's my playground.
What is the first trip you'll take post pandemic?
France or Italy!
What is the biggest lesson you've taken away from this past year?
To slow down and take stock of what's really important. Also, self care, compassion for others, listening to people, and really figuring out what's important in the big picture of life. •