Jan Seyffarth had a dream when he was younger, to become an F1 driver, working his way up through the single-seater categories to the top. As many racing drivers do, he started his career in Karts before stepping up to Formula KÃ¶nig and Formula VW in 2002/2003 before moving to German F3 in 2004.
This would be his final fling with single seaters when he was given chance to take part in the UPS Porsche Junior shootout, impressing many and convincing the young German to make the switch to sports cars. He admits “It was not always my goal to drive in a Porsche, but I am really happy with the situation.”
Fast forward to Barcelona in 2009 and Seyffarth is involved in a serious accident which leaves him on crutches for months. “When I woke up in the hospital, I realized, that my season was over.” he says. Despite Seyffarth accepting that his season was done with he admits he struggled, “The biggest problem I had with was that I always thought my team was working really hard the whole season and I didn’t have the chance to reward them.”
Pushing hard to get in to rehab he had the Abu Dhabi Supercup race clear in his sights, unfortunately the doctors thought differently. “I worked very hard to be fit for the Abu Dhabi Supercup race, but the doctor didn’t give me permission to race there.”
So with the 2009 season done Seyffarth concentrated on getting ready for the new season. “During winter I had to go to rehab, after I finished that I went to my personal trainer Gernot Emberger and worked out an ideal programme to save my hip.”
With a programme agreed Seyffarth pushed on. “I was indoor cycling the whole time and felt better and better! When I was sitting on the bicycle for the first time it was really cool to be back!” The results of the training showed promise and before too long the training programme was increased. “I now cycle for about 9 hours per week and go into strength training 3 times per week.
The opening rounds of the 2010 Mobil 1 Supercup lead Seyffarth and Veltins MRS Racing team to Bahrain, qualifying a solid sixth place as fellow German RenÃ© Rast took pole.
For the first race Seyffarth aimed for a realistic top 5 finish, so when he finished on the podium it was a surprise even for him. “I really had a good start, but I was stuck behind [Jeroen] Bleekemolen for 5 laps. Later I forced him into a mistake and overtook him.” As he shot past Bleekemolen he was the fastest car on track, the 2.5 second gap to Nick Tandy was quickly shrunk and within two laps he made the move pass him to take third spot.
Seyffarth believes he could of done better if he hadn’t of been held up by Bleekemolen. “If I would have had 2 more laps I could of attacked Rosina and Rast as well!” he admits.
Race two was one to forget, as the field headed in to the first corners Siso Cunill hit the rear of Seyffarth’s car, forcing him in to a spin and down to thirteenth position. Despite the set back he fought hard with Huisman, Maassen and the rest of the field but struggled with damage from the earlier accident with Cunill. Seyffarth was left frustrated with the race result, but took a positive outlook from it “When I overtook Huisman on the start and finish line. We had a gap of just 0.041 seconds, I was happy beat him!”
The next race sees the Supercup head to Barcelona, and despite Rast and Bleekemolen looking so strong in Bahrain Seyffarth feels that it’ll be a more level playing field for this race. “They both had an advantage at Bahrain because they were testing there with the new 2010 Cup Car. But now at Europe we have a really good car.” he says, “I think we have realistic chances to fight with Lechner for both titles!”
The Lechner team with Rast and Bleekemolen isn’t Seyffarth’s only threat for the race “We should not forget Konrad with Tandy, he was quick at Bahrain!”
Looking forward to the future Seyffarth looks set to stay in sports cars, “I like that driving style and I am quick in it.” he says. The long-term goal is to secure a factory sports car drive, but he does admit that if a DTM drive would come his way – “I would never say no!”
With such a long gap between the first rounds of the Supercup and the Barcelona race you would expect Seyffarth would be taking it easy and relaxing, this isn’t the case though.”In the gap I have a lot of things to do! Besides racing in Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, I do coaching as well.” he says.
“I am also doing data engineering in Porsche Carrera Cup Germany and the new C2 RaceCup I Germany.” Alongside this he is also involved in developing the C2 Cup Car.
With a month to go before the Barcelona round of the Supercup the Bahrain races may seem such a long time ago, one thing is for sure, Seyffarth will be pushing for the win.
You can follow Jan Seyffarth’s progress throughout the season on facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jan-Seyffarth-official/279381353166?ref=nf) and twitter (http://twitter.com/janseyffarth).