A brand new year, a brand new season and a brand new start to the 2017 season with the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and I am excited, more than ever as we head into the new season.
There is just something about the Porsche one make series and the Porsche GT3 Cup car that never bores me and never leaves me short of inspiration or determination. I feel as committed as ever to a better season ahead as I head into my 9th full season of Asia’s greatest series; the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia.
Like the previous two seasons, 2017 will be spent with Team Jebsen and the family that makes the team. The same staff, engineers and mechanics and for this, I am massively happy as there were forces that could have broken us up. Though here we are once again ready to go.
As things get more competitive, pre-season preparation has become as important as ever and I have been approaching this in different ways. Of course driving the car during the pre-season has something that we have already started and on Jan 1st, the missus and I were on our way to the Sepang International Circuit for a two day test. Throughout the off season, I also drove other cars and karts and I must say, it almost feels like I haven’t stopped driving during the off season which has been hugely beneficial. Feels good.
Fitness is another element that I have focused on much more during the pre-season in 2017, heading to New Zealand to participate in some pretty challenging fitness tasks that definitely separate the men from the boys, which was a lot of fun as well. To do things in a different environment freshened things up as well and gave a new perspective on how to get race fit as we head into the new season. No matter how many race seasons past, what I have learned is that you can never be prepared enough. If there is something more I can do to become more competitive, I am all for it! I will be thirty-five years old by the time we start the new season so got to put a little more effort into fitness; naturally! – Drop a little into the midfield and use experience to move forward for all of your football fans out there.
2017 has also seen some old partners of ours staying and a new one signing on as well. From 2016, Leica, Fearnley LNG, EVO Magazine and The Karting Arena are still with us though Singapore car workshop Exquisite Marques and I have parted ways after three good years together. It is a little bit of a pity as I have met some great friends over there but that’s racing life.
Though with every disappointing moment in life comes an opportunity! In 2017, a company that many EVO Magazine readers know has signed with us for the 2017 season. Singapore’s home grown insurance giant, Anika Insurance will be with us taking the spot of Exquisite Marques and we are really looking forward to working with their CEO over there, Timothy Wimala as his massive enthusiasm into the new season has been nothing short of spectacular. Often, we find that sponsors with enthusiasm can get a lot more out from marketing than one that is not. I guess that just doesn’t go for sponsors but life in general!
Going into my 9th racing season with the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, there have undoubtedly been questions that I have asked myself from a more philosophical level as age definitely breeds wisdom if an individual can enhance it. How much commitment is required to get a good result in the 2017 season? What is the difference between impatience and doing things quickly with precision and accuracy? When do you call it time when one element in a team does not want to play with the others? How much mental capacity do we have and how much are we wasting on the white noise of the world? All big questions that would make a difference in the season but all very important ones. – one thing is for sure; over-engineering things, preparing them way ahead and rehearsing them over and over again does not hurt.
The reasons for these questions are simple. Taking victories in category is the only target every time we get out on the race track and obviously, there are some fantastic drivers out there that are going to make my target extremely difficult to achieve. With new drivers coming into the series that I have never raced before, the quantity of the unknown is also a big reason why preparation is so important.
It’s time to go racing soon!