We've talked about the Porsche Junior program before. In fact, in very recent history, both Michael Christensen and Earl Bamber were both promoted from the Junior program to the Factory Works program. Now, as the talent search for 2016's Porsche Junior comes to a head, we're wondering who will be left standing?
It started with more than 100 applicants (this was the first year that Porsche allowed applicants to apply on their own) from which Porsche chose 8 to take part in the first stage of the selection process. Now, just four (4) remain to take part in the driving tests.
“This is the first time candidates were able to apply for the scholarship on their own. We received more than a hundred requests and we invited eight talented youngsters to Potsdam to participate in the first stage of the selection process. From these eight we chose four pilots to take part in the driving tests. We were impressed with all of them. Selecting our new junior won’t be easy. In addition to sheer speed on the track we also take into account their personalities, how they work within a team and their communication skills. We will meticulously evaluate all the data over the next few weeks and we’ll then make our decision,” explained Andrea Hagenbach, Manager of the Porsche Motorsport Junior Program.
On Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, the candidates congregated at the Lausitzring in Germany. The finalists were Germany’s Marvin Dienst (18), South African Raul Joshua Hyman (19), Kevin Jörg (20) from Switzerland and the Norwegian Dennis Olsen (19).
- Marvin Dienst comes from Lampertheim in the federal state of Hesse and last weekend secured the title of the ADAC Formula 4.
- Raul Joshua Hyman was born in South Africa but now lives in London and races in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.
- Kevin Jörg comes from Weesen in Switzerland and races in Formula Renault.
- Dennis Olsen from Valer i Ostfold in Norway and races in Formula Renault.
Remarkably, none of the four young drivers have any experience in GT racing as yet.
The Track Test
At tests with the 460 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, each of the talented young drivers is given the same number of tires and works with the Porsche engineers to best set up their vehicle. On site is the current Porsche Junior Sven Mümller. His lap times are used as the Benchmark for the four finalists to race against In several driving sessions, a race weekend was simulated with practice runs, a qualifying session and a race.
What The Porsche Junior Receives
The most promising young driver receives a scholarship grant of 150,000 Euro and extensive support: Driver coach Sascha Maassen accompanies the Porsche Juniors as an instructor. In addition, as part of the program, the juniors receive training in media matters, fitness and mental preparation as well as sponsor obligations.