Larry ten Voorde fought to the end in the 2023 season of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, but unfortunately missed out on the title. From the start of the season, Ten Voorde was in a battle with the two gentlemen from BWT Lechner Racing, who were too fast for him here and there. Although Ten Voorde is not large in stature, he is absolutely impossible to make small. Those two titles of the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany and Italy felt extra good.
For the viewer it was a lot of nail-biting for fourteen laps as soon as the lights went green for the season finale in Monza. Ten Voorde was 22 points behind the championship leader, Lechner driver Bastiaan Buus, with whom he had been battling all season. The Dutchman was lurking, because if the driver in the pink Porsche made a mistake, anything was possible. “I literally bit into the steering wheel with my teeth,” Ten Voorde looks back on that race. ‘I would have pulled out the steering wheel if I could!’ laughs the Tukker.
At one point in the race Buus spun and ended up in P27. Buus only had to finish thirteenth, which meant that Ten Voorde had to win to have a chance at the title. The 27-year-old was stuck behind Buus’ teammate, Harry King, and had to pass him. “King was just way too fast at certain times, and I couldn’t join in and keep putting constant pressure on him,” Ten Voorde continues. ‘I had to rely on two moments. Actually, I didn’t expect it to be exciting at all.’
In the car, Ten Voorde was focused on one thing: if Buus were to throw it away, he could become champion. ‘I felt inside that I had to fight very hard to keep up with King, and I think I hit him behind the safety car thirty times with my bumper to push him along and put pressure on him. I thought those were very nice moments,” says the multiple Porsche champion, who is audibly reminiscing. ‘And it is very nice to see that I have the mentality of never giving up. I’ll always keep fighting, that’s how I am. I want the best. With 22 points behind the number one, and then he almost gives up. Then you want to have fought until the end.’
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Battle for the succession to the throne has begun: ‘I want to take that title again!’
His energy and mentality are admirable, especially when considering his hectic schedule filled with Supercup races, as well as championship races in Germany and Italy. Ten Voorde finished first in both classifications. “I learned a lot in the Super Cup that I was able to apply to the German Cup,” continues Ten Voorde, who thinks back to the race at Silverstone, where he came into contact with another driver and ultimately a DNF to his name. had to put.
‘I ended up in that situation where we all wanted to go through the corner, and then I could have chosen to give up a spot and strike again at the next corner or the next lap. So I learned from that.’ There were more aspects that contributed to the 2023 Supercup season being tough for both the driver and the team. “I think we did everything we could, but we weren’t always fast enough,” Ten Voorde explains. ‘I had the feeling that the competition was sometimes faster. We had our boxing gloves on every time to fight and go for it again, even if it was a tough weekend.’
All in all, it is not a bad season. Despite a dropout, Ten Voorde still managed to finish second. ‘I’m really very happy. Became champion twice, and second once. But I want to win, so I’m going to do everything I can to get that title back!’ Ten Voorde wants to regain the Super Cup title in 2024, but in the other two championships he is the reigning world champion and he must defend those titles. This year, in addition to the Supercup, Ten Voorde will once again be joining forces with Italian Porsche team Enrico Fulgenzi. ‘I really enjoyed last year. I didn’t fully participate for two weekends, but I still became champion, and that was very special. It gave me a boost, a new environment, a completely different energy. And if something goes wrong, it’s all a bit more temperamental.’
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‘Verstappen did not become a Formula 1 driver overnight’
De Tukker has given his resume a significant upgrade in 2023, and he has taken care of those records and additions to the statistics himself. ‘I am constantly working on how I can improve myself. Winning in the German Cup with an eighty-point lead over P2 is great, and I am very proud of that,” the 27-year-old continues. ‘What I am doing now, and the results that are coming out, testify that all the old work that has gone into is increasingly paying off. Verstappen did not become a Formula 1 driver overnight either. We still know what kind of misery Red Bull went through with that engine that kept breaking down.’
The combative Porsche driver can’t wait to get behind the wheel again, and luckily that won’t take long. At the end of January, Ten Voorde will participate in the 24 Hours of Daytona with MDK Motorsports. ‘I was already involved in that deal in 2021, but then I got Covid. I persevered and now made that deal, thanks to Kerong Li, one of the drivers,” says Ten Voorde. ‘This will be my first 24 Hours of Daytona, although of course I already have experience in Dubai and Le Mans. Crazy to be able to do this race and to be able to cross something off the bucket list again!’