Ayhancan Güven still vividly remembers the moment after the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race in Silverstone, Britain: With fists clenched, the 21-year-old raises both arms in the air, before leaping overjoyed into the arms of his team principal, Philippe Alméras. Güven has just won his first race in the Supercup: “That was an incredible feeling. My video of the celebrations on the podium has been seen by almost a million users on Twitter.” The young Turkish driver is one of six rookies showcasing their talent in the international Supercup this season.
As well as Güven, Kantadhee Kusiri (Thailand), Dorian Mansilla (Argentina), Joey Mawson (Australia), Marius Nakken (Norway) and Ewan Taylor (South Africa) are also looking to take the next step in their fledgling careers in the Supercup. One thing is particularly notable: These six youngsters each come from totally different motorsport backgrounds. Güven discovered his passion for motor racing through sim racing and caught the eye with several titles on the gaming scene. As the reigning champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup France and the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Benelux, he has also enjoyed success in the Cup car. Nakken and Taylor had also previously taken their place at the wheel of the 485-hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the German Carrera Cup. In contrast, this is the first year in GT racing for Mawson, who was crowned ADAC Formula 4 champion in 2016. 18-year-old Mansilla is swapping his kart for a powerful racing car for the very first time this season, while Kusiri has predominantly been involved in touring car racing in his native Thailand.
On their path to becoming professional racing drivers, the six rookies in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup are receiving valuable support from an expert: Professional racer Marco Seefried attends the race weekends as their Rookie Coach. The former Supercup driver has celebrated on the podium at major motorsport events. His CV features class victories at the iconic endurance races in Daytona, Sebring and the Nürburgring. The Supercup Rookies also dream of enjoying this kind of success, and the talented youngsters receive intense coaching from Seefried to help them on their way. Every race weekend starts with a track walk, followed by detailed track analysis and individual meetings. During the sessions, Seefried keeps a watchful eye on his protégés, before giving each driver individual feedback. Corner by corner, Seefried points out the optimal braking point, explains peculiarities such as track limits, and shows clips of races from last year. However, Seefried is more than just a coach to his six rookies. As well as tips on finding the ideal racing line, he sometimes also assists them with personal issues. The road to becoming a professional racing driver is about more than just being the fastest out on the track.