Born : July 21 1998

Biography Thomas Preining

Thomas Preining, born on 21 July 1998 in Linz, Austria, came to racing at an early ag. His father Andreas enjoyed success in the motorcycle world championship between 1989 and 1994 with eleven top-ten finishes in the 250cc class. When Thomas was six years old, I bought him a mini motocross bike,” recalls Papa Preining. “He showed no interest whatsoever and the motorbike sat untouched in the garage for two years.” When the family went go-karting during a holiday in Mallorca, the then seven-year-old was immediately hooked. After winning several titles in the junior category, Thomas was crowned European Junior Kart Champion in 2014. He then advanced into the international ADAC Formula 4 Championship, where he finished fourth in the overall standings in 2016 after two race wins. “My big goal back then was clearly Formula 1,” remembers the Austrian. “I focussed completely on that.” However, financial constraints hampered further progress in the single-seater classes – which motivated Preining to turn his attention to GT racing with the same determination.

Porsche Junior shootout launches Preining’s GT career

In autumn 2016, Thomas Preining received a well-deserved confirmation of his talent and dedication to motorsport: an invitation to the shootout for the Porsche Motorsport junior development programme. During the selection process, the young Austrian beat more than 100 applicants at the Lausitzring and was named Porsche Junior for 2017 and 2018. For this, he received extensive support from Porsche Motorsport, which also included sports medicine and scientific training, media seminars, mental training and much more. “As a Porsche Junior, you have a coach to support you,” explains Preining. “In my case, it was Sascha Maassen, to whom I am incredibly grateful – as a young newcomer you have no idea how to act with sponsors, engineers or even board members.”

The support quickly paid off: Preining finished the 2017 Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland as the second-best rookie in sixth place overall. In 2018, he took a commanding title in this one-make championship with ten wins from 14 races. At the same time, he attracted attention driving for Lechner Racing achieving third overall in the 2018 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. “I don’t know of any racing car that demands more from you than the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup,” reports Preining. “In these two one-make cups, I learned first and foremost self-development. The tight regulations offer little leeway for the setup. You’re not allowed to set up the car exactly as you’d like it to be. Instead, you have to adjust your driving style to influence the balance of the car. There’s no other series where you learn this skill as well as in the Porsche Cups.” In 2018, the talented youngster also celebrated an overall victory at the 24 Hours of Dubai.

In 2019, Preining contested the ADAC GT Master as a Porsche Young Professional for Herberth Motorsport and also tackled the GTE-Am class of the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC with a Porsche 911 RSR fielded by the customer team Gulf Racing. At the 6 Hours of Fuji, the 1,000 Miles of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, he and his teammates clinched fourth place. In the 2019/2020 season, Preining also supported the Porsche TAG Heuer Formula E team as a test and development driver.

In 2021, the young racer signed on as a Porsche works driver and again contested the ADAC GT Masters, this time with teammate Christian Engelhart and the Team75 Bernhard squad. For 2022, he advanced to the DTM together with the team of the two-time outright Le Mans winner – and in July 2022 secured first place at the Norisring – scoring Porsche’s first victory in the history of the former touring car series, which is now contested with GT3 sports cars. “When I took part in the Porsche Junior shootout in 2016, I quickly realised what kind of career this youth talent development initiative could offer me,” explains Preining. “I think it is by far the best path out there for aspiring racing drivers. With Porsche, you can make it to the World Endurance Championship – and to the DTM, as well. In my opinion, its reputation across Europe is right behind Formula 1.”

Name, Nationality:Thomas Preining (A)
Date of Birth:21. Juli 1998
Place of Birth:Linz (A)
Residence:Linz (A)
Height:1,80 m
Twitter:@thomaspreining
Motorsport Career:
2017:Porsche Junior
2016:ADAC Formula 4
Italian Formula 4 Championship
2015:ADAC Formula 4
Italian Formula 4 Championship
2014:Winner Rotax Euro Challenge (Junior)
Winner BNL Karting Series (Junior)
Winner Dutch Winter Series (Junior)
2013:1st US Super Nationals (Junior)
Rotax Euro Challenge (Junior)
2012:Rotax International Open (Junior)
2011:Rotax International Open (Junior)

Edited Porsche Factory Press Release
Pictures & Video courtesy Porsche AG