After two years competing in go-karts at the turn of the last decade, Max Edelhoff made his first steps into car racing with the Formula BMW Talent Cup in 2011. It was only in 2016 though that this young German superstar began to make an impact in the world of GT racing following starts in both the ADAC GT Masters and the 24H SERIES with Car Collection Motorsport. One year later, he was a race winner, and by 2019, Max had been crowned the 24H SERIES’ Junior Cup winner twice in three years. Unsurprisingly, an Overall Drivers’ crown is high on his to-do list.
Well, that and finally racing at the Nürburgring one day…
“My name is Max Edelhoff.”
“I’m 24 years old.”
“I started very young in kart racing, but my first ever car race was with Formula BMW [Talent Cup] on a German driving centre called Groß Dölln. That was 2015, so I would have been… no, actually, I was 16 years old, so it must have been 2011!”*
*The inaugural Formula BMW Talent Cup guaranteed its winner a full paid entry in the German Formula 3 championship in 2012. Interestingly, the inaugural 2011 Talent Cup also features future Formula E race winner, Maximilian Günther.
“My best moment so far was with CREVENTIC in 2017. We won that year’s Hankook 12H IMOLA overall race with Car Collection Motorsport in an Audi R8 LMS. That was a very special moment because we were a PRO-AM [entry], but we pushed very hard, every lap, as a team, and it was a very tough race against the Porsche of Herberth Motorsport and the Ferrari of Scuderia Praha. They pushed us very hard to the end, and to take the overall win felt very special because we felt like we deserved it.”*
*Max, together with Horst Felbermayr, Jr., Toni Forné and Dimitri Parhofer, beat Scuderia Praha to the line by just 37.243s, while RAM Racing in 3rd was just 19.423s further back. The 2017 Hankook 12H IMOLA also marked the first time in the 24H SERIES that a PRO-AM team took overall victory.
“Definitely Spa-Francorchamps. I really like the track. It’s fast and it’s always a great feeling to go through Eau Rouge and up the hill [at full speed]. That’s such an amazing feeling!”
“[Pause] There’s only one thing I’ve got in mind. I was very young, I was karting, and I was leading a race with a big gap, and I went to overtake the [driver in last place]. We touched each other and I lost my rear bumper. In the end, I ended up being 150g too light [on the scales], so I lost my win. It was very disappointing for us, so that’s probably the craziest and most frustrating thing I can remember.”
“My helmet design is blue and white. It matches the car we drive, the Audi R8 LMS. And at the back of my helmet, there is my family shield. My father [Gustav] has the same on the back of his helmet, so that’s very special to me.”
“I’m very fast in the night! I can see pretty well in the dark, and the feeling to run in the dark is very cool. I’m not sure why, but maybe it’s because I can just focus on the track and not the other cars or the other [distractions] you see during the day. I’m usually very relaxed before the start of a race too, and before a driver change.”
“Maybe How I Met Your Mother, Barney Stinson! He’s quite funny, in his own way, and I think I’ve got a good sense of humour. Not all of my friends have the same opinion [laughs] but I think that would be a good [representation].”
“An [Overall] Driver’s title in the 24H SERIES would be great. I also want to do the Nürburgring 24 Hours. I’ve never been to the Nordschleife, so that is definitely a goal. I’d also like to race at Laguna Seca one day. The Cork Screw is something I really want to experience.”
“Actually that’s a funny story. Normally before I get in the car, I listen to one song, Pumped Up Kicks. In my Formula BMW [Talent Cup] season, I had an instructor who played this song every time on the starting grid through my radio! So I still try to listen to that that song when I get into the car.”
“I really like sharing the car with my team. It’s fun. With an endurance race, you have to be all on-point, every driver, every crew members. It’s a team race. You have to communicate and put a car together that everyone can drive. I think this is the best part of the 24H SERIES, developing that relationship. It’s very satisfying, as a driver.”
Max Edelhoff was speaking with Quinten Kentie and James Gent at the 2020 Hankook 12H MUGELLO. Images courtesy of Petr Frýba.