Motorsport has been closely intertwined with the brand since the early history of Porsche. Yet it requires a specialist approach, which is why Prospeed Competition is committed to providing technical support to teams in the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux and the Porsche Sprint Challenge Benelux. “We strive for them to be able to work as autonomously as possible,” says manager Rudi Penders.
Prospeed Competition, located in the Belgian town of Zonhoven, has a respectable track record. “As a Porsche dealer at the time, I started racing myself in 1998,” says Penders. “Mainly in the Belcar, but also in other championships. In 2006 we wanted to take a step forward by signing up for FIA GT, in which I raced a 911 RSR a few times. It was the start of an internationalization of our program, with the following year including the 24-hour races in Spa, Zolder and Dubai on the calendar. In 2008, with factory support from Porsche, we were able to enter drivers Emmanuel Collard and Richard Westbroek in the FIA GT2 division, where we won the 2009 Drivers' Championship, plus the GT3 title in the Porsche Cup, the Belgian GT Championship and the 24 Hours from Zolder. After the discontinuation of FIA GT, we turned our attention to the ELMS Continental Cup and to Le Mans, where we finished seventh in the GT division with Paul van Splunteren among others.” The victory march reached from FIA GT3 and ELMS to Belcar, while Prospeed Competition also appeared in the WEC in 2012 and 2013.
Together with Paul van Splunteren and Steven Stichelbout, Rudi Penders stood at the cradle of the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux, almost ten years ago. “That question came from the factory, which itself had just acquired a stake in Manthey-Racing, thereby shifting the focus from customer support to its own racing activities. Reason enough for us to wind down our program and to embark on the new adventure of a championship as you have already seen it in many countries in the world. We had established that neither GT3 nor GT4 really got a foothold at national levels, but we saw a lot of potential in a cup around one brand, especially since the Benelux has traditionally been a very strong market for Porsche. The factory approached us because the Netherlands and Belgium have a rather special situation, in which private importers represent the brand, who emphasize commercial activities rather than facilitating motorsport. Within a close collaboration with Pon Porsche Import in the Netherlands and D'Ieteren in Belgium, we naturally follow the official guidelines with the organization as they apply to all countries where such a championship is running."
It is up to Prospeed Competition to start up an all-encompassing aftersales service for the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux. Penders: “With the people from our previous race team, we had all the knowledge in-house and, moreover, built up a strong reputation with our international successes, so that Dutch and Belgian teams quickly found their way to us for technical support, i.e. service, overhaul work and advice, especially in relation to today's complex electronics. Diagnosing, for example, ABS or a sequential gearbox requires very specific expertise. This is certainly also part of the teams, but sometimes solving an issue goes a step further and then we are ready. In any case, we are present at all events to offer support, also as an official parts supplier for the Benelux on behalf of Porsche Motorsport. The participating teams do not necessarily have to order from us. Yet most do, because it ensures optimal aftersales with in-depth know-how of racing and has access to a large stock of parts. We also provide team equipment, such as a bowser unit for the mandatory drip-free refueling and special tools for dismantling and assembling, for example, knuckles, wheel suspension parts and gearboxes.”
The customer base of Prospeed Competition represents more than 200 Porsches that are actively involved in motorsport. "Mostly cup cars and GT3s from the FIA and SRO championships, so a lot of 992s, but also a large number of 991s," Penders said. “In addition, models of the caliber 991 GT3 R, 997 GT3 R, 996 and even older generations. Make no mistake, many of our engineers have been in racing since the early 1990s, when the 993s and 964s were in full circulation. They know those types through and through.” However, the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux and the Porsche Sprint Challenge Benelux determine the main part. “Every year, our employees follow a training program at the factory, completely focused on competition models. They share their knowledge with the teams, which are themselves highly qualified.