Recently crowned Carrera Cup Australia champion Harri Jones and 11 other accomplished young drivers from a round the globe have descended on Circuito de Jerez with the goal of becoming the 2023 Porsche Junior.
Twelve drivers from different Porsche one-make cups have nominated and they will compete in a three-day shootout at the famous Spanish track.
Of the global drivers who have have travelled from 10 different countries, Aussie Jones has made the biggest journey.
The 23-year-old clung onto the Carrera Cup Australia title in tense, but memorable style on the streets of the Gold Coast last month.
Jones hopes to follow in the footsteps of Matt Campbell (2016) and Jaxon Evans (2018) who are the two Australians to win the Junior Shootout and have progressed up the Porsche pyramid to forge international careers.
Other big names to have won are Timo Bernhard, Marc Lieb and Earl Bamber, while Porsche Junior Program has boosted the careers of 28 drivers in total.
Former Porsche factory driver Sascha Maassen is mentoring the current crop of drivers and said the programme analyses all aspects of racing.
“Porsche has provided the most level playing field possible in Jerez so that it’s the participants in our shootout who make the difference,” Maassen said.
“We have a huge responsibility in selecting the new Porsche Junior, and we take great care in doing so. Of course, fast lap times and a performance that’s as flawless as possible with the 911 GT3 Cup are important to us – that’s the baseline.
“But we look just as closely at how talented the drivers behave beyond that: What feedback they give the engineers and their ability to learn, whether they can motivate a team and represent Porsche, how they handle media, and whether they are capable of developing mentally.
“Ultimately, it’s all about the overall package that the participant offers us.”
Jones will be competing with drivers from all over the world including 23-year-old Duo Kailua, who has travelled from China and Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup entrant Dorian Boccalacci.
Dane Bastian Buus has been busy racing in the German and French Carrera Cup and Supercup, while Kiern Jewiss won the British Carrera Cup aged 20.
Keagan Masters from South Africa (22) represents the Carrera Cup Italy as runner-up, while Kay van Berlo from the Netherlands, Enzo Elias from Brazil and Harry King (United Kingdom) have taken part in the selection process for the second time.
Rounding out the swift dozen as wildcard entrants are Dutchman Loek Hartog, Giorgio Amati from Italy and Jasin Ferati from Switzerland. Ferati is the youngest of the twelve rookie drivers. The 19-year-old won the GT3 Cup classification in the Porsche Sprint Challenge Switzerland.
The new Porsche Junior will be announced at the “Night of Champions” on December 17th at the Porsche Development Centre in Weissach (Germany).
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