Showdown between top young guns from around the world
For nine talented young race drivers from Porsche’s worldwide one-make race series, the last two days were the most important in their fledgling careers. The drivers, who must all be 24 years of age or under and were nominated by their respective Porsche brand trophy series, showcased their skills on and off the Lausitzring racetrack. During these two days they all had one clear objective: to be selected into the Porsche Motorsport Junior Programme. In addition to receiving 200,000 Euros from Porsche towards a Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup campaign, the successful candidate will also receive support in the fields of fitness, psychological training, media relations and driver coaching. The new Porsche Junior, however, will only be announced in a few weeks after extensive evaluation of all data and factors.
To start with, the pilots have to prove themselves at the wheel of the 460 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on the racetrack. In this regard the talented hotshots already have a great deal of experience from the brand trophy series. Two years ago, 21-year-old Matt Campbell from Warwick took on the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia. With six races still on this season’s calendar, the Australian currently leads the championship. Frenchman Joffrey De Narda (21) from Plappeville in the region of Lothringen was nominated by Porsche Carrera Cup France, where he ranks fourth with four races to go. Mattia Drudi (18) from Italy contests the Porsche Carrera Cup Italia. He has obviously inherited his racing gene from his father Luca, who back in 2002 clinched class victory at Le Mans with Porsche. Young Drudi lives right next to the Italian Misano race circuit and grew up with the sound of engines. In the Italian one-make cup he currently sits third with three races left.
The Canadian Scott Hargrove lives in Tsawwassen close to Vancouver. He has just finished the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, where the 21-year-old concluded the 2016 season as vice champion. Porsche Carrera Cup Japan put forward 23-year-old Yuichi Mikasa from Utsunomiya, who ranks second with one round left on the championship calendar. Sweden’s Philip Morin (20) was nominated by Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia and also took home runner-up honours this season.
Twenty-one-year-old Andrew Tang from Singapore and 24-year-old Zhang Da Sheng from China took part as representatives of Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. In the Asian series, they still have three races to contest, with Tang currently on fourth place and Da Sheng on fifth. Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain nominated Dino Zamparelli. The 23 year old was born in Bristol and began racing at the age of ten. He currently ranks second in the British championship.
“We have strong driver line-up from the international Porsche one-make race series this year. The ultimate decision on who we choose will not be an easy one for us. We look at the driving performance as well as the development potential of each individual pilot. And we also take into account their abilities away from the racetrack. No matter who wins in the end, everyone who has made it this far deserves it thanks to their tremendous efforts and an outstanding season,” says Andrea Hagenbach, the Head of the Porsche Motorsport Junior Programme.