30th of March finally came and the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux was officially launched with the roll-out and presentation of the drivers.
It was a spectacular day, the weather was beautiful and I was thrilled to show my car and introduce my coach Jos Verstappen, the best coach I could have wished for and I could not be more excited. Since coaching his son Max Verstappen all the way to Formula 1, Jos returns to the motorsport as my coach.
Seeing the tens of Porsches 911 GT3 5type 922 out doing laps during the practice sessions was a great feeling. I chose number 69 for my car and Jos of course chose the iconic number 33 for his car. Even though Jos will not be racing, it is great to be able to have him with me on the track for training, the experience he brings is invaluable. He teaches me the tricks of the trade and together we analyze everything so I can take it to my
engineer. You really learn to battle out there if you’re both on the track and let me tell you Jos is not going easy on me! But as he says: “This is just fun to do, I’ve known Thierry since he was in diapers… I wouldn’t have done it had there not been a good connection. For me this is a lot of fun. We have something we can work towards together. This is where the challenge lies. How far can we get together? Thierry has it in him. In a short time, he has made big steps forward, but we’re still a long way from the endgame.”
We have drawn up an ambitious three-year plan because really if you put my dad and Jos at the table, you know they mean business. But I am also very grateful to have the support of Dragon Investments behind me. The Rotterdam based investment company, led by Michel Perridon, believes in our strategic project with former Formula 1 driver Jos Verstappen as coach. Perridon was immediately enthusiastic to support the project with Dragon Investments and as their slogan is “from investment to finish”, he actively participated in drawing up the strategy committing to its success.
The aims are as follows: This year’s aim is victory in the Porsche Carrera CupBenelux, the target in season two is the German branch of this class and in year 3 the highest podium of Porsche racing: The Mobil 1 Supercup.
To be honest, the ball started rolling after I did a private test in Portimao when Max told me: “carry on with this, it’s looking good. My dad then also said: Let’s do it.” I took the plunge and raced in the Porsche Sprint Challenge Benelux, where as a rookie I won no less than 11 out of the 12 races and was crowned champion in my debut year. Beginning of 2021 the ambitious plan with the cooperation of Dragon Investments took shape and now the next step is competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux championship.
So now I’m on a little bit of a crash course with Jos, in this class it is so important to get the set-up right, and there’s no one like Jos with his experience and intuition. He’s very direct with me and says it like it is which I appreciate a lot! It’s the best way to learn and I really hope we can achieve a lot together.
Our three-year plan is aimed at earning a spot in the prestigious and well-occupied Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in 2023.
Jos says: “This is the class that drives the preprogram of the Formula 1. I find this a serious and interesting project, a great challenge to accept. Formula 1 is not the goal but there must of course be progress.” Jos continues: “Look, what I did with Max, I wouldn’t do anymore. I was busy with it seven days of the week, it was very intensive. Thierry finds himself in a good team with GP Elite, the entire team can count on my support and experience. I keep everyone on their toes, we want the best of the best.”
I fully agree, we’re testing in Spielberg, Silverstone and Spa-Francorhamps to be ready for the first race beginning of May. We don’t want to participate in something without being prepared to the max, we’re here to win.
I am also very happy with the partners who joined me on this project and I would like to thank Dragon Investments, Exxaero, Maxicool and the Merchandise Company for their support. Together we will do everything to reach our goals!