Personal tips from the champion

When you have reached a high standard at a discipline but are looking for inspiration to progress further, the next step is straightforward – you choose the best. For an aspiring race driver, for example, could there be any better coach than a two-time world champion driver and Le Mans winner. Because that’s exactly what participants encounter on the one-on-one Porsche Track Experience – Learn from the Best training. Enter Timo Bernhard. 

Timo – a long-standing Porsche works driver – loves to share his knowledge with racing enthusiasts, helping to build on their particular knowledge level, define personal goals and maximise their training success. “Focus on the details to keep progressing. Have fun but be happy to put the work in to keep improving,” is how Timo describes the secret to success for drivers who are on the finishing straight to becoming professional race drivers. “The best thing that can happen to someone is to have a dedicated coach who recognises that individual’s personal strengths.”

Car driving towards instructor on a race track
A personal coach on the Learn from the Best training works with each participant on their individual goals

Giving something back

When it comes to mentoring, Timo talks from a position of experience – having one by his side was key to his career, he says. It began early, starting with his father Rüdiger, a rally and race track driver in the 1980s, who coached his son intensively for his first karting races. His dad was also by his side as he claimed his first successes in German, European and then World Championships. “My father was technically very adept and was able to teach me a lot at the beginning of my career,” explains the 40-year-old, who is a Porsche works driver of long standing. Back then, and later on in the Porsche Junior Team, the benefits of having a mentor were vital to helping him improve his driving skills. Today, as an official partner of the Porsche Track Experience, Timo is committed to giving something back by sharing his professional experience with the race drivers of the future. On the Porsche Track Experience – Learn from the Best training course he teaches talented drivers how to enhance their driving skills, practice overtaking and shave seconds from lap times. 

For participants who have done a number of training courses over the year, it gets to the point where we become like a small racing family
Timo BernhardTwo-times FIA World Endurance Championship winner and Porsche guest instructor
Race drivers sat at table talking and discussing tactics
One-on-one, post-lap debriefs with Timo are detailed and highly informative

Professional support: the secret to a driver excelling

Timo says that the most important coach in his career has been Roland Kussmaul, then one of the leading race engineers at Porsche, who invested a lot of effort in the personal advancement of the budding race driver, back when he was on the Porsche Junior Team. “He showed me how to warm tyres, prepare for qualification, how to divide up a race and work with the other people on the team,” he says. It was also the first time that he got to experience that special spirit that surrounds a racing family and just what effective mentoring can do for you. “As a race driver you build up a kind of toolbox that you can use in a range of different situations. Having someone on your side who recognises your potential and really supports you helps too, of course.”

For Timo, it was Kussmaul who recognised his true strengths and continuously fed him with new tasks he had to complete. Now, this World Champion driver’s mission is to help every participant of the Porsche Track Experience – Learn from the Best training course build up their own toolbox of experiences that they can call upon at any given moment and help them grow as a race driver.

Porsche instructor Timo Bernhard chats with driver in pit lane
With over 20 years’ professional racing experience, a one-on-one session with Timo Bernhard is invaluable for drivers

Invaluable lessons: Porsche Track Experience – Learn from the Best

During the two days of the training course, each member of the small group of participants improve their driving skills under motorsport conditions. After the Master Licence and Master GT4 levels, participants have an opportunity to really work on individual goals defined at the beginning of the course. Once the theory has been covered, it’s onto the race track behind the wheel of a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport or a 911 GT3 Cup. 

Two race drivers in helmets chatting
Mentoring from a World Champion driver promises a steep learning curve

The intensive mentoring provided by the personal instructors on the Porsche Track Experience – Learn from the Best training allow an aspiring racer to concentrate on new and ever-more demanding challenges. Timo himself provides personal mentoring as the guest instructor for selected units, mainly working with drivers on fine-tuning – like how to wring tenths of a second from the vehicle with each passing lap. It’s just one of a seemingly limitless number of personal goals that participants can set themselves. So, what would yours be?

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Race helmet is laying on the car and driver stands beside