When the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup starts their new season in May, there will once again be a Dane on the starting grid.
21 year-old Mikkel Overgaard Pedersen will once again represent the Danish colours in the International one-make series, which runs as a support to the European and once over seas round of the Formula 1 World Championship.
That will be the fourth season for him in the Championship, with 2015 only being a single round at COTA in the USA. He did Barcelona, Monaco and Hockenheim in 2016, in a Porsche 911 GT3, that was getting a bit long in the tooth. But an upgrade was made for the 2017 season, which was a full season drive in the very latest model of the iconic race car.
He will race in the same car again in 2018, and will once again be running with the Molitor Racing Systems (MRS) team, who will run the car and service it between the races. Mikkel only has to show up with helmet and race suit, and the car will be ready to go in perfect condition.
When the young racing driver is being asked about his goal for the 2018 season, he doesn’t hesitate to say: “The podium. We were close last year, but we have to wait and see – it’s a difficult field.”
But even though it was a tough field, Mikkel proved his speed several times last year. He was around top-10 several times, but when you get close to that, the elbows comes out a bit harder from the opposition. That became very apparent at Monza, where he was heading towards a career-best finish, before being sent out on a high-speed spin. Luckily he still crossed the finishing line in the points, but several positions lower than before his competitors gave him a nudge.
With a full season of experience, he knows all the tracks on the calendar. That is going to be a huge advantage in 2018. Porsche Supercup only has 45 minutes of practice, before heading in a 30 minutes Qualifying session, and the approximately 35 minutes of racing. So you have to be right on the beat from the go, plus have the luck on your side, when you get out on new tires in the Qualifying. It’s only possible to put down a very fast lap in the first few laps with the new tires, before they drop off by a few tenth. It’s not uncommon that 5 cars are within only a few tenth, and actually there was less than a second from second position to 19th at the opening round in Barcelona 2017!
The 2018 season will consist of 10 races, held at 9 venues. 8 of those weekends will be run in Europe, while the finale will be in Mexico City.
If Mikkel Overgaard Pedersen can get some good results in 2018, there are good opportunities for the coming season. A big part of the drivers through the previous seasons, are running 24 Hours of Le Mans or other sportscar racing series all over the world, and especially the French classic in the ultimate goal for Mikkel.
Prior to the start of the season, a two days test will be run at Circuit de Catalunya in Spain on 25-26 April, with the opening round being run two weeks later.
Mikkel Overgaard Pedersen will compete with at least 27 other driver during the 2018 season, so he has to put the pedal to the metal, if he wants a chance to grab some trophies – but he isn’t afraid of doing so, as he has proved so many times in both Denmark and the rest of the world.
The full 2018 calendar can be found here.