Sportec is one of Switzerland’s premier race, tuning, plus restoration houses. CEO, Gregor Burkard fills us in on the company’s greatest achievements, their unique philosophy, and the future of the brand.
Gregor, thanks so much for chatting with us today. Firstly, how did you come to occupy the captain’s chair at Sportec?
I am a longtime Sportec fan and customer with regard to both tuning and motorsport. After several optimized vehicles and three years in the Porsche Sports Cup Suisse, I took over the majority stake of Sportec in 2020 plus would like to lead this company into the next era.
In the changing times, Sportec must also change while staying true to our values, which are passion, performance, and technical excellence and under the particular label “Swiss Made”. We are working under high pressure on various new products and projects in the areas of tuning, Porsche Classic, and motorsport. I want to lead the organization to a new golden age.
How would you describe Sportec, plus what could you say is your specialty?
What really sets Sportec apart are the people — we’re the bunch associated with car lovers living our own dream. We currently have a healthy mix of experienced founding fathers and young, committed, innovative-thinking plus energetic employees. All workers have their voice and are heard, and these differences of opinion and the open exchange are extremely important. This is the only way we can create something new, build modern project vehicles, and thus prove the technical excellence over plus over again. The willingness to help is always high, knowledge is shared, and we work together to achieve the desired goals. I see Sportec as my family.
We have an extremely wide range of activities, from maintenance work on collector’s items, to complete vehicle construction. This requires a high degree of competence and flexibility from every employee, and I am aware that the demands on our employees are higher than in a normal workshop. All of us all move between hard days around the racetracks associated with Europe, restorations, complete conversions, and servicing work. I realize our mechanics as technical and aesthetic artists who bring our projects to life. You breathe soul in to the vehicles with your manpower plus wealth of ideas.
We all look back on 30, 40, or 50 years of experience in various fields and today we are usually in the process associated with passing this knowledge on to the particular next generation. For the founding fathers, overall performance in all areas has always been the number one priority. We are still walking this particular path today and everyone lives it that way. Sportec is not just the story of successes with its products, automobiles, or world records. In the end, it is all employees who write this story.
Tell me more about Sportec Racing : when did it start and what have already been your greatest achievements?
Sportec Racing (formerly Sportec Motorsport) was founded in 2010 by Andreas Hodel, brother of Ueli Hodel (also a founding member). Since Andreas comes from motorsport and Sportec customers wanted more and more to go to the racetrack, it was a logical step to set up a professional racing department. Sportec Racing has grown over the years, and last year we bought our own facility for the department.
Sportec Racing offers competed in a variety of national plus international racing series, such as the 24h race in Barcelona. We’ve also been a part of the particular Porsche Sports activities Cup Romandie since the beginning. Within 2018, along with Ernst Keller, we won the championship and have usually been seen with different drivers upon the podium. A notable part associated with our increase in successes in motorsport is furthermore due to Marcel Fässler, that joined us in 2021. Thanks to him, our clients benefit directly from the particular know-how of a multiple 24h Le Mans winner and can implement these tips and tricks directly into podium finishes. Marcel is also jointly responsible regarding the final set-up in our vehicles and tests them regularly within the racetrack. For me, it is admirable that a motorsport great is putting his potential into our own small company.
In 2021, with the new KTM X-BOW GT2 and Christoph Ulrich, we won the newly-created SRO GT2 Championship within the AM classification. It’s remarkable that a small company from Höri overshadows the KTM factory team plus everyone else early on within a new series with a new and previously unknown automobile, isn’t this?
In addition, we look after a large number of track day customers with their GT4, GT3 Cup, or even their GT3 vehicles. This mostly for the Porsche and Lamborghini brands. We also provide our own racing automobiles from the KTM X-BOW range (GTX & GT2) as well as Porsche Cup vehicles from different generations for rent.
While we’re in it. What is your goal with the Sportec Trackday Academy?
We see more plus more that our customers want to test themselves on the racetrack. With the Sportec Academy, which is headed by Marcel Fässler, we want to enable those along with a passion. We start on rather short and easier circuits and function our method up in different stages. With a lot of talent, experience, as well as the right skills, a person can get into a racing car with us at the end of the academy.
This is how we accompany our customers right through the begin. With our Trackday Academy, all of us also have the particular opportunity in order to optimally prepare and go with potential customers who else want to become a racing driver. Along with Marcel Fässler we have 1 of the best race drivers ever, who may bring the course participants closer to the particular race track in a credible and serious manner. I can’t think of anyone better in order to introduce the customers to the racetrack.
Moving on, could you tell me about Sportec Traditional?
Old but gold… this is where our artists come in. Everything that revolves around the older Porsche models goes straight in order to our Porsche Classic division. Sportec launched its first Porsche Classic conversions 10 years ago and had already taken care associated with numerous vehicles from your Traditional area before that, such as a radically converted 964 along with carbon-kevlar wide body.
When it comes to conversion rates, there are almost no limits to our imagination. As a Swiss company, quality is not just a single concept, but the core of our own mentality. Our Porsche Classic department provides been managed by Raphael Jaggi intended for four many years now. I see great possible in your pet. Thanks to his training as an automotive engineer, he brings with him the great deal of theoretical knowledge and a structured working method. This particular knowledge complements the know-how of the old guard perfectly plus both sides benefit from each other. To strengthen our Porsche Traditional department, we now have hired young, competent, and ambitious technicians who drive the work forward. So I can be sure that our own classic vehicles are in good hands. Today and tomorrow.
The industry is currently suffering from a global shortage of skilled workers plus the old, experienced mechanics who learned on these types of vehicles are usually retiring. So it is all the more important to me that we pass on the knowledge of our old guard to the younger generation of Sportec mechanics. Our own know-how through 50 many years of Porsche engines remains in-house. Fortunately, the old safeguard continues in order to work energetically, is always dedicated, strives to get knowledge transfer and invigorates the younger minds along with constructive solutions.
You mentioned your own models. Are a person talking about the particular Ferdinand and the SUB1000?
Yes, we are about to reveal two various Porsche restomod series, dubbed Ferdinand plus SUB1000, every using their personal unique approaches. In the case of both models, each car will be an absolute one-off with many innovative options from Sportec. To guarantee this, every colour will only be assigned once.
With each models, we all start with a freshly built, painted bodyshell that has been refined and widened with carbon elements. The particular Sportec SUB1000 is our puristic driving machine, which should appeal to anyone which wants to experience true driving pleasure. It’s based on the G Model 911 and, because the name suggests, should weigh under 1000kg. Lots of carbon, no insulation, simply no radio, no air conditioning. Instead, the completely rebuilt drive train with a choice between 280hp to 330hp and up. It has a custom exhaust system, a custom-made chassis from BILSTEIN’s motorsport range, the larger brake system, and numerous technical in-house solutions for more efficiency, safety, mileage, plus cooling. We don’t wish to go in to much more detail here, yet in any case, our own classic sales should be on the road pertaining to another 40 years and there is always room meant for individual customer requests, albeit reduced due to the prescribed maximum weight associated with 1000kg.
Ferdinand, on the other hand, is based on a Porsche 964 and will be presented towards the public this autumn. Performance will be still a top priority for this model, although not implemented as radically as with the SUB1000. We want the particular customer to drive it comfortably every day time. Here, too, the generate train is usually completely rebuilt, the internals of the engine are usually adapted, we’ve designed the custom exhaust system, almost all in keeping with road standards. The engine has already been tuned on this test bench and delivers 325 hp and 399 NM. Of course , the chassis, brake program, and so on are also optimised designed for Ferdinand. Here we have significantly more options for customisation without the weight limit. The interior is rounded off simply by a modern media solution including air conditioning, both wonderfully integrated directly into the classic design.
What’s your restoration viewpoint and how does Sportec differ from its competitors?
“Swiss Made” is furthermore the goal and the claim here. We aim for perfection in everything we do. I actually learned through my father that this difference is in the particular details. Especially in the vehicle interior, in which usually the driver spends hours, we want to create a harmony. Ultimately, all the senses are addressed. The particular driver literally sees, feels, hears and smells the vehicle. These four senses are usually our guide to our excellence.
As an example: when we buy modern vehicles nowadays, we know from the same time that they will lose quality. New vehicles are now manufactured below massive cost pressure plus this is definitely noticeable. In my new car, for example, various plastic elements vibrate when I listen to music. I almost grit the teeth, it almost ruins my experience with the vehicle. Our goal is not in order to build the particular strongest, fastest, loudest, or flashiest automobiles. But to coordinate the combination of different elements or senses in such a way that the overall experience constantly feels perfect.
Are there any recent restoration highlights you’d want to mention? What’s your favorite car you’ve restored?
Probably the particular most beautiful restoration task we have done recently was a 964 RS N/GT that suffered damage upon the race track. The vehicle caught fire and the damage was significant, but all of us felt the vehicle should be rebuilt despite this. During construction, it was revealed that will this has been chassis #1 – formerly a press car – of the particular RS N/GT limited series. In a process lasting many years, the entire vehicle had been completely restored and constructed 100% true to the original, working closely using the owner.
We frequently invite our customers in order to updates on the automobile project and discuss the individual steps inside detail. With regard to us, the “perfect experience” begins with all the discussion from the ideas plus continues through to the subsequent maintenance and further support. We need the customer to feel part of the particular bigger picture.
Now, back to the 964 RS N/GT. Due to the particular impact, we all had to adjust the body to the initial dimensions. In the end, the deviation was less than 1 mm, which was excellent because the vehicles that left the works at that time had considerably higher tolerances, so we surpassed the particular factory specifications.
After the straightening, the body lay was given a lye bath and has been repainted in the first colour, a beautiful deep black. Of program, the engine, gearbox, suspension, chassis, plus all other technical components have been overhauled, refurbished, or replaced with original Porsche parts. Today the vehicle is like new and puts the smile upon my face every time I visit it. The fact that will it is framework number one makes the whole thing even more special.
To finish, how does your own approach vary between contemporary and traditional cars?
That’s a good question. From my point of view, the biggest difference lies in the particular duration associated with the tasks. As mentioned above, the overall experience is incredibly important in order to us. We want to generate this overall experience of every vehicle we deliver. With Ferdinand or SUB1000, we have a construction time of regarding a year. In comparison, a completely rebuilt B9 RS4 takes about two to three weeks. Thus, the particular supervision of a classical project requires a lot a lot more resources, conversations, and, depending on the vehicle basis, a certain degree of uncertainty.
In the particular end, what counts for us is the love of cars. That might sound a bit strange, but it is what this is. We love vehicles and would like to share this particular with our own customers. We are firmly convinced that this can end up being felt when you visit us in Höri.