Although Jeremy Sundt grew up at the racetrack with his parents, he had no interest in making motorsports his career. Instead, his goal was to be a teacher.
Sundt, a Huntington Beach, California native, went to Long Beach State University where he majored in sociology. But after graduation, his career plans took a turn - he was recruited out of college to work for a motorsports company.
Sundt is now a member of the Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) track support team, which provides comprehensive technical assistance to Porsche customer teams in a variety of North American sports car racing series, including the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA)-sanctioned Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama."I grew up going to all kinds of car races with my parents," Sundt said. "My dad's hobby was to help at local events and build chassis harnesses in our garage. However, he did not encourage me to work in racing. When I lucked into my first position it was only supposed to be for a year. But here I am, I've been in professional motorsport since 2005."
The job of the PMNA track support team is simple in theory and very detailed in execution. PMNA track support engineers work with teams during race weekends to help them get the most out of their vehicles and have a positive experience with the product.
After a customer at that bike shop offered him a job within the motorsports world, Sundt worked at various businesses including Cosworth, PI Research, and McLaren Applied Technologies before coming to Porsche.
"I've always loved Porsche as a brand - it's just such a refined and complete product, which is rare in motorsports," Sundt said.
So how does a guy who used to want to be a teacher survive in the fast-paced world of motorsports? Sundt experienced what he called "education on the street" - essentially, he learned as he went through real world practical education growing up in a racing environment from a very young age.
"I appreciate that Porsche is always coming out with new products. Other racing sanctions have the same products for five years or more, but Porsche just came out with the 2017 911 GT3 Cup car and will have many new cars over the years to come. It's fun because I'm teaching customers about the car and working with them hands-on.
"I really enjoy the lifelong learning aspect of the job. IMSA is always evolving and developing. My phone rings off the hook so it's just interesting because I'm interacting with mechanics, engineers and others on all types of topics."
"There's nobody working at PMNA who isn't passionate about the Porsche brand so it's an electric environment to be in," Sundt said. "We've had so many customers I've met with in the past three months I've been here that have been a customer with Porsche for 30 years."
"When I look at other foreign-owned motorsports companies in America, they aren't making huge investments in this country," he said. "Porsche just invested $60 million in a beautiful facility in Carson, California. As a support specialist, it's great to see a motorsport company investing in experiential marketing."
"This new facility is a good fit for my skill set so it's a great place for me to be. Actually, I think it may be the best place for me to be. Plus, I have worked in almost every form of professional motorsport in locations all over North America but I truly love Southern California."
Sundt is engaged to his wife-to-be, Brandy, and has one stepson - 22-year-old Anthony.
"All of my jobs have been about recreation and I'm really grateful for that. Whether it's riding motorcycles, bicycles or being at a racetrack, I try to get my money worth out of my life every day. I feel like this position with PMNA is going to allow me to do just that."