Where you learn to win
Porsche and talent, are almost two inseparable words. And in the hunt for new talent, Porsche is of course targeting young drivers, including in the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux. In 2021, that search will continue, with the input of none other than Sascha Maassen.
The talent program of the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux is not new. Olivier Aerts, the Series manager of the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux and therefore also jointly responsible for the talent program, dives into the history of the quest for talent:
"We go back to 2018 and Ayhancan Güven. Güven comes from an environment where the necessary financial support for motorsport was not available and the motorsport culture was also unknown to him. Through the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux and the guidance he received as a young driver with us, he took the first steps of his career at Porsche. Today he drives as Porsche Junior at the front of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Another name is Loek Hartog, who, however, due to everything that Covid entailed, may have been able to use slightly fewer possibilities for the time being. With our continuous efforts, we want the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux to be on the shortlist of young drivers who want to grow in motorsport even more than today. This concerns Belgians, Luxembourgers and Dutch, but also young talents from outside the Benelux. The only condition to participate is that he or she has competed in a maximum of five Carrera Cup races and is between 16 and 24 years old."
So where do things stand today?
"Four young drivers from our championship are competing for a place in the Porsche Motorsport Shootout later this autumn: Huub van Eijndhoven, Thierry Vermeulen, Steven van Rhee and Sebastian Freymuth. They receive guidance from Sascha Maassen, the Porsche Junior Coach, but also the KULeuven, via the Bakala Academy, is involved in the program for physical preparedness and we also provide media training. The aim is to allow the drivers involved to grow as much as possible and to prepare them for the next step in motorsport. After the championship final in Hockenheim, we will then know who can prepare to represent the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux during the international Porsche Shootout. There, 12 different young talents will compete to become the next Porsche Junior to compete in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in 2022 with the financial and logistical support of Porsche Motorsport. That support amounts to no less than 225,000 euros."
The arrival of Sascha Maassen, Junior Coach, but also a former Porsche factory driver himself adds an extra dimension to this year's program and the future programs.
"I have been head of the program since 2013 and with that experience, I will also come to the Benelux. My starting point remains the same as in the other competitions, I want a Porsche Junior to win and in our motorsport environment you learn to win. Working with talent, especially in this context, is tremendously motivating, whether in Asia, Germany, the Benelux or elsewhere. The working method is different from that of a teacher, who has about 30 students. Because we work here with four young talents, I can adapt to what they need, because every individual is different and has different needs. I work, as it were, à la carte for the young drivers individually. It is a very personal approach that should lead to a clear growth in the various areas. Of course, we work with data, but also a lot with observation."