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Driver Presentation: Saul Hack from South Africa

The first driver to enter the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East 2017/18, South African Saul Hack,  is bound to become a very interesting new face in this international winter racing series. Sports played always an important role in his life and for quite some time he was divided between racing and swimming. When he was only 3 years old, his father put him on his first four-wheeled motorbike. “I always wanted to race cars and from a young age I used to beg my father to let me race in Karts which never happened because of the swimming and other sporting commitments.” 

At the age of 20, he drove on the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit for the first time, “which was also my first experience in a real car on a race track. My father and uncle allowed me to use their Porsche 997.1 GT3RS. That was the day I knew I had to pursue a motor racing career at some point in my life if given the chance.” But at the same time, he received a swimming and studying scholarship to swim and study in the USA the same year – always just knocking at the door of the South African national team as well. So the racing had to wait a bit, until he tested a Formula Ford  for the first time in 2014, taking part in some races in 2015 while also doing a summer internship with Porsche South Africa: “Toby Venter, the owner of Porsche South Africa had just started renovating his recent purchase,  Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit. As the administration team was short staffed, Toby provided me with the experience of a lifetime in being part of the team that renovated the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit.”

After completing his studies and obtaining his business degree in May 2016, he returned from the USA and continued racing Formula Ford,  participating in a further two races both with top-eight finishes. In August 2016 at his 3rd race of the season, he suffered catastrophic brake failure. The video of the spectacular crash can be seen on Youtube. “Luckily I wasn’t injured too badly and walked away with bruising, dislocated shoulder and minor whiplash. But the experience served me well and gave me a new direction with my racing.”  Together with his father, he decided to go for a more professional approach and they partnered up with Toby Venter (Porsche South Africa), who put together a new chassis of a Porsche 996 Cup together with 997.1 cup engine and sequential gearbox for him to race in the extreme supercar series as a class C competitor. “My first test with the car was 3 days before the first race which was held in April earlier this year. I ended up winning class A overall. This is where Toby introduced us to Walter Lechner for the first time who invited me to come test with his team in Hungary. After the Hungary test, Walter invited me to race with his team in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East.” 

Always strongly connected to the Porsche brand since his childhood days, he still faintly remembers  “the Porsche GT1 winning at Le Mans in 1998 and to this day it remains my ultimate dream car. As a kid growing up, I always remember my father having a Porsche in the garage, I was his co-pilot at every event including the Porsche Parades held in Cape Town in 2000 and 2005.” So the  Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East for him “is the best place for me to start my international career. I’ll be racing with a brand that has been part of my life since I can remember.  It’s a very competitive environment and has had some great drivers involved in the past. The Porsche Cup as I know it has always been a breeding ground for Porsche’s top drivers over the years and I’m excited to be part of it. “ For his first season, his goal is “to soak up as much knowledge as possible from the ever so experienced Lechner crew and win my category for the season. Anything else will be a bonus. I am looking forward to a successful season without incidents.” 

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