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motorbase performance - patrick de groot

July 10th 2009

A key part of the Motorbase Performance operation in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB is Dutch race engineer Patrick de Groot, who flies in for race weekends to bring his extensive Supercup knowledge to the team.

Patrick de Groot"My background in racing is that I was introduced to a Renault dealership and they wanted to start a race team, which I built up from zero," said Patrick, who brings a little piece of Holland to the Motorbase team. "The guy stopped racing in 2001, so I took it over and started my own company in Haarlem in Holland, which is near Zandvoort. I've always been in motor racing."

He worked in the Dutch Touring Car Championship and in 2005 also worked on a Porsche championship in Holland. Then he was invited to the Porsche Supercup race at Indianapolis to work on Jeroen Bleekemoelen's car with a Dutch team called Jetstream. "So it started with that one race in 2005 and I was invited back for Monza and that also went well. We had Richard Westbrook on board for 2006," he says, modestly over-looking the fact that he played a key role in helping Westbrook to win the Supercup title.

"Then I was approached by a German team to help them set up 2007 and I knew that Richard was going to race with them; that was Hisaq Competition. They wanted to step up into FIA GT for 2008, but that didn't work out," he says. "So I joined Irwin Racing with Simon Leonard to work with Patrick Huisman and David Saelens."

Patrick de GrootWhile working on the Supercup in 2007, Patrick also made his first foray into the Carrera Cup GB. "David Bartrum approached Richard Westbrook to see if he knew someone to come and work in Britain. So I came to a test at Brands and it was a very cold day. Sam Hancock was driving and I jumped in straightaway and it went on from there." A typical race weekend has Patrick arriving on Thursday evening and flying back to Amsterdam on Sunday evening whenever possible.

Now, in 2009, he continues to work at all the Carrera Cup GB weekends as well as some Supercup races. "I have my own team back on track in Holland in the new GT4 series and I'm running two Porsches there as well. So life is busy. I come over for all the races and most of the tests and as long as it works well for the team, I'm happy with that."

He has clearly settled in well at Motorbase, and has widened his English vocabulary over a season and a half with the crew. "They are a great bunch of guys at Motorbase. They are fun to work with and there is a lot of humour, which is very important. We have phone conversations during the week and I send set-up information by e-mail. So the cars are well prepared by the time I get to the circuit."

So what does he think of the Carrera Cup GB and the Motorbase drivers? "Carrera Cup GB is getting stronger and stronger and the field is nice. I definitely enjoy coming to England, except for the weather sometimes. Ollie Jackson is progressing along very well and it's nice to work with Michael Caine. He still wants to learn."