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KOLKMANN: Coming to America

Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama rookie David Kolkmann files his first Sportscar365 column…

Photo: Park Place Motorsports

Hello, my name is David Kolkmann, and I compete in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama in my first season of racing in North America.

I’m 21 years old from Sendenhorst, Germany chasing the race car driver dream. I’m excited to document a part of my time here in the U.S. with Sportscar365.

We just finished our third race weekend at Mid-Ohio, we’ve also raced at Barber Motorsports Park and Sebring International Raceway.

Mid-Ohio showed me again that we have great pace. I’m focused on scoring points, and podium finishes in every race now to close the gap to the championship leaders.

We lost many points in Sebring because of car issues, and then I was taken out by another car, but we have already managed to recover to P3 in the championship standings.

I sit 19 points behind the leader. I think the key to coming back strong is my ability to focus from race to race. Every race track is new to me, and that’s a particular challenge, so I try to get the maximum out of every weekend.

Photo: Park Place Motorsports

The Mid-Ohio track was actually quite good. It’s not my favorite track, but its challenging and you have to try many things to be fast on that track, which was very different compared to the first two race weekends.

We only had one proper dry practice session which made it difficult to setup the car for qualifying. We knew in which direction we had to go but struggled a bit in qualifying.

We had some more ideas for the races, and we developed the car in the right direction which made me very happy.

I managed to win one race and finish second in the other race. I started Race One from P4 and overtook two cars in that race. Our race pace was pretty good, and I got to start from P2 for the second race. I had a hard but fair battle with Trenton Estep for the lead in the first 3 corners.

I couldn’t see him in the mirrors, so I had to guess where he was driving. I managed to win the battle, and I was leading the race. It was very close racing and a good battle during the whole race.

In the end, I stayed in front, had a small gap on him and won the race. That was the second victory for me and Park Place this year.

The area around the track was interesting; there were not many houses and a lot of land. I was surprised that we got so many visitors at the race track.

It was good to see though where they came from I don’t know. There are also a lot of horses in the area. Some people use the horses for transportation instead of cars, which was very surprising.

It was funny, on the way to the race track from the airport I couldn’t find a good radio station. We didn’t have good music all weekend. We kept losing the radio station while we drove. I only found this gospel-country music radio station which was really funny and unique I would say.

Next, we visit Watkins Glen International. Watkins Glen is quite a famous track. I think there will be a great atmosphere around, because of this historic track. I’m very excited to go because it’s one that has had so many great drivers race there.

I will have the honor to test the Porsche GT3 R on this track. That’s a faster car than the Porsche GT3 Cup car, and it’s maybe a different driving style too. I have watched some videos, and I cannot wait to try it myself.

The first sector looks very fast and the last sector as well. It will help me to approach my race weekend with Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA in a different way.

I will not need to learn the track anymore, and I can start to push from the very first session. The test will help the team and myself to be prepared for the race.

I’m excited to get back to the U.S. and back to work in the car.

Photo: Park Place Motorsports

I like everything in America, to be honest. There is nothing that I don’t like or miss in Germany except the non-existing speed limit on the German Autobahn.

When I compare Germany to America, I have to say that everything is bigger in America. It’s not a bad thing, but it took me a bit of time to get used to it all.

At Sebring, everything was new to me. I had to get to know everyone, and I had to figure out how everything works and how the people like to work. Once I understood it, I felt more comfortable and knew what I had to do.

Right now, I like everything, and I feel very comfortable with the team. I think we understand each other and know how to work together. We proved that with the two wins and I’m sure that we will continue to improve even more.

I hope to celebrate with them at Watkins Glen with two wins this time.

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

David Kolkmann (@KolkmannDavid) is German driver competing in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama series with Park Place Motorsports.

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