"Once I get into the car everything changes for me," Starck said. "It's like a switch flips and sometimes I am really surprised and amazed about myself that suddenly a human being can be in a completely different mindset and level."
With his helmet on, Starck transitions from SportsCarBoutique's President to an intense opponent fighting for position.
Starck began racing last year in the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin Series after coming through the ranks of the Porsche driver education program and PCA club racing.
The driver role is one of many he fills for SCB, and one he wanted to learn in order to gain a first-hand perspective of the car.
"I want to drive the car so I know what it is capable of," Starck said. "That way I'll always have the knowledge to back up my staff and if other drivers have ideas I can listen to their experiences and truly understand."
When his feet hit the pavement after a race he removes his driver helmet, puts on his owner's cap and is back to work, in another role.
Ilker founded SCB in 2010 with his wife Isabel Starck, when the two decided to blend their passion for sports cars with business experience. Starck founded the team after selling a wholesale distribution fashion company.
The familial bond within SCB extends into the two-car racing team.
"I think because we have been operating this business on a very up scale level and have control as owners, the drivers and staff feel that sense of family and direct connection," Starck said.
To add to the family sense, the Starcks recently welcomed their first child in December. The possibility of adding to the family doesn't end with a baby, as many are ready and willing to come work for Starck's team.
While the Austrian-native who calls Toronto home is currently behind the wheel for SCB, his crew chief Steffen Rilli hailing from Germany and FIA-GT1 series along with engineer Jonathon Rolstin of Ontario have engineers and others lined up to become part of the team when another driver signs on. A compliment to the work Ilker and Isabel have done thus far with SCB, many engineers and support staff have expressed an interest in joining the team.
The ultimate goal for SportsCarBoutique is to work toward a bigger race team to take off some of the pressure Starck faces as a jack-of-all trades with SCB. Recently, SCB added driver Andrew Danyliw for the Gold Cup class. Danyliw will drive the No. 38 car for the team at the Victoria Day Speedfest.
"Driving the car in addition to being the team and company owner is challenging," Starck said. "But it's also a reward in a way for many years of hard work building the company."
If another driver signs on, Ilker is willing to take off his helmet for good.
"Customer is king and they need to feel they are getting everything they ask for," Starck said. "So if a driver needs more practice time or we sign another one on I will get out of the car."
For now, Starck will remain in the cockpit gaining perspective and knowledge to pass on to SportsCarBoutique's next driver. Although a challenge, Starck enjoys handling the legendary Porsche 911 and his staff enjoys helping him prepare the car.
"At the end of the day we'll only go racing as long as we have fun," Starck said. "I think everyone knows that. For what we do and for this level of racing, we are a group of people enjoying ourselves and we are friendly with our competitors."
Previous experience running his fashion company gave Starck marketing and business skills necessary to acquire main sponsors that make it possible for SCB to continue presenting cars on the track.
"We are proud to be sponsored by such reputable companies in the industry and are excited to continue our partnership with Downtown Porsche, 3M Trimline, Vaughan Fine Touch Collision Repair and Motul," Starck said. "It sure adds a more professional touch to our race team and the possibility to enter more cars in the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin Series."
Downtown Porsche is once again the main sponsor whereas 3M Trimline handles the vinyl graphics and wraps for Starck's cars, Vaughan Fine Touch Collision Repair and Motul - SpecLube are associate sponsors for the 2013 season.
Starck and SportsCarBoutique take the track May 17-19 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the first race of the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin 2013 season.
ABOUT IMSA DEVELOPMENT SERIES: the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin:
The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin is one of three official Development Series sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). It is also the fastest-growing single-make series in North America.
The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin produces intense, exciting competition for semi-professional drivers alongside some of the most promising career-minded GT drivers in one of the world's most successful and iconic race cars, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, and on classic Canadian road courses such as Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
For more information on the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin, visit http://www.facebook.com/gt3canada on Facebook and @GT3Canada on Twitter.