The setting in the Nürburgring pits looks completely normal at first glance, with a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup sitting in the garage. A group of young people are standing around the car, all in overalls, and two of them are working hard. Fabian Bethien and Lukas Zaeske move frantically around the Cup car, totally focused as they take turns changing tyres.
The task at hand is called the Pitstop Challenge and again and again the whine of the wheel gun echoes through the air. What looks like a typical scene from an endurance race is actually part of a pilot project for the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland. Here at the Nürburgring, 13 trainees from Porsche Centers all over Germany had the chance to actively participate in a one-make cup race weekend for the first time.
“Our Porsche Centers are synonymous with the highest quality and are an elementary component of the brand experience. Like motorsport, they are an integral part of the attractiveness of Porsche,” explains Alexander Pollich, CEO of Porsche Deutschland GmbH. “From this came the idea of offering the youngest members of our ‘family’ a very special Porsche experience where they can get involved in motorsport and integrate our brand values into their daily working lives.”
The Porsche centers in Berlin Potsdam, Berlin Adlershof, Berlin City, Hamburg and Stuttgart have nominated their apprentices for the project. During an action-packed weekend at the Nürburgring, the band enjoys an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the one-make coupe.
Visit of the headquarters of Manthey
The first busy program is a trip to the headquarters of Manthey. The Meuspath team has won the legendary Nürburgring 24-hour race seven times. Racing is in the DNA of the partner Porsche, which also provides support and technical expertise to the Porsche Carrera Cup teams. While apprentices work with production cars on a daily basis, at Manthey their entire training is entirely focused on the latest Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“Honestly, I didn’t expect to get such a deep look. There was so much to see and I got a lot of new impressions,” says Sophie Gruhn afterwards. The Berlin City Porsche Center apprentice is in her second year of apprenticeship as an automotive mechatronics engineer and this is her first motorsport weekend.
Support for professional teams
On Saturday, things speed up as the trainees have the opportunity to support the professional crews taking part in the ninth round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland. Under clear blue skies, a 32-driver capacity grid provides fans in the packed stands with thrilling racing action. Before the race, the trainees are divided into teams so they can learn by doing – the heart of a professional racing series.
Then David Prusa, whose CarTech Motorsport by Nigrin team participated in the pilot project alongside Allied-Racing, Black Falcon, Fach Auto Tech, GP Elite, Huber Racing, HRT Performance and IronForce Racing by Phoenix, said: The Porsche Carrera Cup offers a special environment. The trainees took on the challenge and I think it’s fantastic that Porsche has made this experience possible for them.
Gain exciting experiences
“These young people were introduced to racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland. It was our goal. It was a great opportunity for our apprentices to immerse themselves in the world of Porsche motorsport over a weekend and gain exciting experiences,” adds Steffen Knies, Managing Director of the Porsche Center Hamburg Nord-West.
“For me, as a motorsport fan, the weekend at the Nürburgring was an incredible experience. I particularly appreciated the combination of theory and practice,” concludes Fabian Bethien from the Porsche Center Hamburg. young apprentice has another reason to be happy: at the end of the weekend, he and his teammate Lukas Zaeske win the Pitstop Challenge trophy after changing tires faster than all the other participants.