Trading Places: Park Place Motorsports Edition

DALLAS (May 21, 2018) –  Park Place Motorsports No. 71 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA driver David Kolkmann likes to switch things up in his off time, trading his role in the driver’s seat for a spot on the pit stand.

Every month is different for the Sendenhorst, Germany, native as he balances a full season in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, one-off races in Europe and a full coaching schedule. In May alone Kolkmann has collected two, second-place finishes and two wins in Porsche GT3 Challenge USA competition, has driven in Spain, and has coached in Germany. Though his itinerary is hectic, Kolkmann takes the challenge in stride, learning as he goes.

“I’m learning every time I´m on a racetrack or in the car,” Kolkmann said, “But I feel like I learn even more in my Park Place Porsche. I don’t only want to improve me as a driver, but also learn about the setup. Driving with Park Place helps me so when I coach more experienced drivers, I can start to change the setup for the driver and know what effects what on the car. They’re really helping understand more of the engineering and setup side of racing that I can apply to my coaching as well as driving.

Kolkmann is never shy to admit that a Porsche is his favorite car to teach with, he often finds himself coaching individuals driving all makes and models. This is due to his new position as a coach at Fast Track Racing Center, Germany. The center is an accelerated program for novice, intermediate and advance drivers.

“We want to get the drivers to their maximum performance level,” Kolkmann said. “This program includes fitness tests, simulator tests, mental training, tests with the real car and so on. My main job is the simulator work with the drivers. It’s quite realistic making it easier for me to tell the drivers what they need to work on.”

Since stepping into the coaching role, Kolkmann has noticed improvement in his own driving. Each student brings something new to the discussion giving him equal number of techniques to learn as he can teach. Through coaching Kolkmann has even found it easier to receive critique and apply it to his own driving style.

“I think coaching improves me as a driver,” Kolkmann said. “For example, when you sit next to someone in the car, you sometimes get an idea about something that you’ve never really thought about or tried before. It could be a different line into a corner or different braking, anything really.”

“I also think that it helps me to understand the engineers more and how they try to improve the driver. I know what kind of feedback is helpful for the engineer and that makes the communication easier. I’m learning driving techniques as well as communication skills as a coach.”

When it comes to Kolkmann’s personal preference he doesn’t stray far from his German roots, rating the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car at the top of his list. For those looking to get started in racing, Kolkmann suggests the Cayman GT4 Clubsport. The breathtaking edition is new to the track and can compete in multiple series and levels across Europe and North America.

“My favorite car is actually the Porsche GT3 Cup car,” Kolkmann said, “Which I’m currently racing in America, and the Cayman GT4 Clubsport. The Porsche GT3 Cup car is not easy to drive and the driver really has to understand what he’s doing. The car has no ABS and no Traction Control. That makes it very difficult to drive but a great car to learn in.”

“The Porsche Cayman GT4 is a mid-engine car that has ABS and Traction Control. It also has less power than the Porsche Cup car. This is a car for beginners and it is quite easy to drive. It is a great car to help understand the basics of a race car.”

Kolkmann is currently coaching in Germany but will soon return to the United States for Round 7 and Round 8 of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama at Watkins Glenn International June 30 – July 2. He currently is sitting third in the points championship, proving true his theory that teaching improves his driving. Both races on the historic 3.4-mile track will be streamed live on IMSA.tv. For a full weekend schedule visit imsa.com.

Lindsay Lindsey