Porsche has put to motion an international Youth Development Programme to foster young drivers as the German automaker prepares an expansion of its racing involvement and its entry into the LMP1 class at Le Mans for 2014.
Beginning with the coming 2012 racing season, two young drivers will receive the title “Porsche Juniors” and will receive Porsche support in the Carrera Cup Deutschland series. Porsche will provide these young talents with a large portion of the season’s budget and will allow them to choose a team to work with. In addition, a Junior Coach will assist the two drivers with their physical training outside the circuit as well as mentoring within.
If the young drivers deliver results, they will advance to the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup series, the fastest international one-make series, for their second year. On top of financial support, the sophomores will receive fitness testing with constantly adapting training plans plus media training to fulfill sponsor obligations. Also, Porsche will select new Porsche Junior prospectives to fill in the newly vacated spot in the Carrera Cup Deutschland.
According to Hartmut Kristen, the Head of Porsche Motorsport, “With our long term Youth Development Programme, we continue the extremely successful tradition of the Porsche Junior Team. For us, supporting talented youngsters is an investment in the future. In line with our LMP1 project, we want to expand our driver lineup. After all, aside from our works commitment in prototype racing, we don’t want to neglect our GT racing activities and we also want to support our customer teams with works drivers in the future.”
Heavily involved with supporting young drivers since 1997, Porsche Junior alums include Timo Bernhard, Marc Lieb and Patrick Long. Time will tell whether Porsche will find its Le Mans winning driver for its 2014 return.