Getting to Know Kaan Önder ahead of TT Cup Debut

The Audi Sport TT Cup starts this weekend, a new series for young drivers that follows the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters. One of these drivers will be 18 year-old Turkish driver Kaan Önder.

“Testing has been really productive focussing on set-up and the driving aspects and really learning the car. Doing my best and getting as much understanding of the front-wheel drive car this weekend is the critical thing – getting the set-up right now will help for the rest of the season. The races are going to be a challenge. The cars are so similar and overtaking will be very difficult so qualifying the first lap and strategy for using the power boost will be so important.”

Önder spoke to his team in order to help his fans get to know him a bit better.

When did you first drive?

“The first thing with wheels and a steering wheel that I drove was a small electric car that my grandfather got me. I used to drive in our garden when I was around 3 years old. I drove my first kart when I was 8 and started racing when I was 9 years old.”

Are you still studying?

“I’m currently studying in my final year of high school in Turkey. Next semester I will be moving to the UK to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Southampton. I believe this area of study will also improve my understanding of racing cars and will definitely have a positive effect on my racing career.”

What is the basis of your helmet design?

“All my racing helmets have been designed and painted by British airbrush artist Jason Fowler who works with many big names including Lewis Hamilton. My first karting helmet painted in 2008 featured a similar design but was dominantly red. After a couple of seasons we decided to keep the same design structure but go with the famous Turkish blue colour – turquoise. Since than I have kept the colour as it looks very striking and is certainly different from others. I feel like the colour and design give me a chance to add a personal element to my kit.”

Which languages do you speak?

“I speak Turkish and English but I’m also very keen on learning German. I’m sure this will help my communication skills and improve my options in motorsport in the near future.”

What is your ambition?

“I absolutely love not only racing and the driving but also the lifestyle it brings. Always striving for more and constantly training to increase my performance is what makes this sport magical! My long term goal is to win DTM. I also love British Touring Cars and would really like to race there as well.”

How do you manage your racing commitments?

“Currently I live in Turkey and travel to all my racing and training events. It can be quite energy sapping at times, but I still enjoy it as it is part of being a racing driver. I believe it will be a bit easier for me when I move to the UK to study in a few months.”

What are your interests outside motor racing?

“Other than motorsports I do a lot of Muay Thai (Thai Boxing), cycling and training. I really enjoy meditation, mindfulness and studying my mind. I have also been playing guitar for 6 years and I love music.”