Never before has Porsche supported so many young drivers at one time. Four Porsche Juniors will tackle Porsche’s brand trophy series in 2013. Now that they have chosen the teams with which they will compete, the four talented young racers enter the critical phase of preparation for the 2013 season. Austria’s Klaus Bachler (21) contests the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, which starts on 12 May in Barcelona, with FÖRCH Racing. Michael Christensen (22) from Denmark drives for the new French Supercup team DAMS, last year’s champions of the GP2 Series. In the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland which kicks off in Hockenheim on 4 May, Spaniard Alex Riberas Bou (19) competes for Attempto Racing, with American Connor de Phillippi (20) driving for FÖRCH Racing by Lukas Motorsport.
For Klaus Bachler and Michael Christensen, 2013 marks their second year as Porsche Juniors. Last year the pair contested the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland and promptly demonstrated their ability: Michael Christensen celebrated his first victory at the season final in Hockenheim, whilst Klaus Bachler scored a podium spot at his home race on the Red Bull Ring. In the international Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup run as support for the Formula 1 races they are now eager to forge ahead with their successes. Porsche’s Head of Motorsport Hartmut Kristen is convinced that they will succeed in this with the new 460 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup that was developed parallel to the recently presented 911 GT3 at the Geneva Motor Show. “They have huge potential and are following the path that we had in mind for our junior support programme.”
As a thank you for their strong performance in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, the juniors are not only promoted to the top series of Porsche’s brand championships. With support from Porsche, they also contested the famed 24 Hours at Daytona/Florida in January which proved to be not just a fantastic new experience for the pair but also gave them an added motivation. “This is a big vote of confidence from Porsche. I will again work hard to live up to these expectations,” says Michael Christensen. And for Klaus Bachler, “it’s a dream come true. I’ve learned a great deal in the Carrera Cup and I’m now looking forward to using what I have learned in the Supercup.” The duo joined the Porsche works drivers at a training camp in Tenerife to build up the fitness levels required for the demands of a long racing season.
Alex Riberas Bou and Connor de Phillippi tackle their first season as Porsche Juniors. In a tough, two-tiered selection process where factors like fitness, mental strength and technical understanding as well working with engineers, and simulated qualifying laps were taken into account, in Potsdam and Vallelunga the two outshone other talented youngsters from all over the world. “I’m very proud to be chosen by Porsche, especially when I see how the careers of many successful Porsche works drivers began as junior drivers,” says Alex Riberas Bou. Connor de Phillippi, who like Alex Riberas Bou has driven single-seaters until now, is looking forward to getting behind the wheel of last year’s spec Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. “It’ll undoubtedly be a huge challenge.”
Porsche takes on a large proportion of the four juniors’ budget for the season and also assigns them Sascha Maassen as a junior coach. The successful professional racer from Germany won the American Le Mans Series three times with sports prototypes and GT race cars and celebrated class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Sebring 12 hour race. Moreover, he has a great deal of experience as a talent scout, coach and driving instructor.