The final stage of the 2020 / 2021 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Junior selection process will take place at Silverstone on Wednesday 30 October, when four finalists will be put through a challenging multi-faceted assessment programme taking place over an intense 24 hour period.
A quartet of promising talent is closing in on the coveted Junior role that has seen the past three incumbents take the Porsche Carrera Cup GB championship title. Luke Browning (17, Kingsley), Louis Foster (16, Odiham), Lorcan Hanafin (16, Guiseley) and Harry King (18, Maidenhead) have been shortlisted from over 40 high calibre applicants, of whom 10 were invited to interview earlier this month in front of a panel made up of the Porsche GB Motorsport team at the Porsche Experience Centre, Silverstone.
James MacNaughton, Motorsport Manager, Porsche Cars Great Britain, commented: “There is huge global interest in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Junior programme, underlined by the number of applications we received from drivers with a diverse range of motorsport backgrounds. The position Porsche Carrera Cup GB enjoys within the Porsche Motorsport pyramid, and top-level motorsport generally, means it’s viewed as a proven stepping stone on the path to domestic and international motor racing success.
“Selecting the four finalists was a difficult task given the sheer calibre of the applicants. Each finalist has excelled in their motorsport career to date and stood out at the interview stage. All four will now have to impress in very specific disciplines at the Junior Shootout where they will be placed under extreme pressure to perform both on and off the track.”
Under the watchful eyes of the expert Porsche Carrera Cup GB team, the assessment programme will include timed laps in the 485 hp second generation ‘Type 991’ Porsche 911 GT3 Cup around the Silverstone National circuit. Raw driving skill is not the only element under evaluation during the test, each driver’s technical ability will also come under the microscope – analysis of data, articulation of feedback and interaction with Porsche engineers will all play an important part.
Away from the track at the Porsche Experience Centre, the four finalists will undergo scientific fitness tests with the Porsche Human Performance team in a specially equipped gym, and take part in a media workshop with professional interviewers who form part of the TOCA weekend’s live television coverage.
How the finalists cope under pressure, digest feedback and their ability to develop throughout the day will prove decisive, the results from each aspect of the assessment day being collated to reveal the successful 2020 / 2021 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Junior candidate.
Last known as the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Scholarship for the 2016 / 2017 seasons, the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Junior programme aligns with similar support programmes offered internationally by Porsche – all are designed to nurture the racing careers of young drivers, fostering their entry into the Porsche Motorsport pyramid. In its search for prospective talent, the Junior programme offers one of the largest prizes in UK motorsport. This opportunity has already been a significant contributing factor to the racing careers of several drivers – over half of the current roster of Porsche factory drivers are former Juniors.
Outgoing Porsche Carrera Cup GB Junior Dan Harper (2018 / 2019) was recently crowned 2019 Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion – making the 18-year old the youngest title holder in the history of the championship. Likewise, former Porsche Carrera Cup GB Scholars Josh Webster (2014 / 2015) and Charlie Eastwood (2016 / 2017) each took title honours before furthering their careers on the international motorsport stage. Both Harper and multiple Porsche Carrera Cup GB race winner Dino Zamparelli will be on hand during the Junior Shootout to offer expert opinion and guidance in the search for a successor.
Luke Browning has competed on the TOCA package for three years, with two seasons in the Ginetta Junior championship (2017 and 2018) and one in British F4 (2019) where he is a proven race winner. Following a similar career path to Browning, Louis Foster – Ginetta Junior Rookie champion 2018 – arrives having placed third in his maiden British F4 championship campaign in 2019. Lorcan Hanafin has competed on the TOCA package across two seasons in the Ginetta Junior championship, recording two victories on his route to fourth in the 2019 standings. Harry King graduated from the Ginetta Junior championship to Ginetta GT4 Supercup where he has recorded multiple race wins in the Pro category. King also took the 2019 Ginetta GT4 Supercup title, claiming an impressive 11 wins along the way.
Following the Junior Shootout, all four finalists will face an anxious wait until the 2019 Porsche Carrera Cup GB end-of-season awards on 9 November when the 2020 / 2021 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Junior will be announced. The new Junior will receive a £85,000 budget contribution per season, one-to-one support from Porsche Motorsport engineers – experts in data analysis and the 911 GT3 Cup – as well as a fully-funded drive in the Silverstone round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in 2021. In addition, the Porsche Human Performance team will assist with the physical demands of competing in Porsche Carrera Cup GB, creating a fully bespoke fitness programme for the successful driver.