Adam Smalley (20, Poulton-le-Fylde) has been announced as the Porsche Carrera Cup GB 2022 / 2023 Junior at the Porsche Motorsport GB ‘Night of Motorsport’ end of season awards. Smalley succeeds 2020 Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion Harry King in the role, following in the footsteps of former Juniors Dan Harper (2018 / 2019), Charlie Eastwood (2016 / 2017) and Josh Webster (2014 / 2015). All three took title honours before furthering their careers on the international motorsport stage.
Smalley, the newly-crowned 2021 Ginetta GT4 Supercup champion, was one of four talented finalists picked from over 50 applicants; Gus Burton (18, Kelvedon), Porsche Visit Cayman Islands Sprint Challenge GB 2021 champion Theo Edgerton (17, Stourport On Severn) and Alex Walker (18, Bedford). The four young drivers were put through a challenging multi-faceted assessment day on- and off-track at Silverstone on Wednesday 3 November.
An expert Porsche Carrera Cup GB panel – including the Porsche Motorsport GB technical team, media and psychometric professionals – and outgoing Porsche Carrera Cup GB Junior Harry King and 2021 vice champion Lorcan Hanafin, evaluated the four drivers for their technical ability, media aptitude, physical fitness, psychological approach, and driving skill. Each driver took to the Silverstone International circuit in the new 510 hp ‘Type 992’ 911 GT3 Cup for qualifying and race simulation runs against the clock.
The Porsche Carrera Cup GB Junior programme seeks to identify and nurture young racing talent, offering one of the largest prizes in UK motorsport – including a £85,000 budget contribution per season – and facilitating an entry into the Porsche Motorsport pyramid. Underlining the effectiveness of the opportunity for career development comes the current global roster of Porsche factory drivers – over half were previously Juniors.
Outgoing Porsche Carrera Cup GB Junior Harry King (2020/21), Dan Harper (2019/20), Charlie Eastwood (2016/17) and Josh Webster (2014/15) each secured Porsche Carrera Cup GB championship honours during their time with the programme, using the opportunity as a springboard to further their careers. King is only the second Junior to win the title in his maiden year (after Webster) and will compete to become the next Porsche Supercup Junior for 2022. 2017 champion Charlie Eastwood and 2019 champion Dan Harper both progressed to factory drives in international endurance racing with Aston Martin and BMW respectively.
James MacNaughton, Manager, Motorsport Porsche Cars GB commented: “The Junior programme is incredibly important to us, it is one of UK motorsport’s most coveted opportunities. Over 50 hopeful applicants sent their forms to us this year and that’s where our scrutiny started. We managed to whittle our shortlist down to 12 for the interview stage and, from there, selected four drivers to take part in our shootout event.
“All four drivers put in very impressive and determined performances on the day, proving to us that they really wanted to be the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Junior for the next two years. Our decision process was as difficult as always, but Adam emerged ahead. However, we’re certain that Gus, Theo and Alex are all capable of impressing in Porsche Carrera Cup GB and we hope they join the grid in future.
“The Porsche Carrera Cup GB Junior role has become a proven route to motor racing success on the international stage, I am confident that Adam will thrive as he sets out to replicate the success of his Porsche peers and to act as a Porsche GB ambassador. We’re certainly excited to help enhance Adam’s already exceptional skills both on and off the track during the next two years.”