Porsche revamps its talent development program

By J.A. Ackley
Nov 17, 2022 | Porsche, SRO Motorsports Group, Patrick Long, Porsche Motorsport North America

Photography courtesy Porsche Motorsport North America

Porsche Motorsport North America said it seeks to develop the next generation of successful racers. They look to do this by creating a new Porsche Motorsport Pyramid program, which provides a clear path from high-level karting to GTP.

The long-term goal is to find someone in karting, develop them through Sprint Challenge, Carrera Cup and GT racing, ultimately having them on the podium at Le Mans. ” said Volker Holzmeyer, President and CEO, Porsche Motorsport North America. “[We hope] to find the next Patrick Long.”

Porsche Talent Identification Program

The road to GTP begins by finding talent at higher levels of kart racing, which they look to do through the Porsche Talent Identification Program. Its goal is to not only recognize talent, but also provide karters with the platform and tools to perform in Porsche race cars. Porsche will hold a shootout among four chosen karters by placing them in Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport cars. The winner of the shootout will earn a scholarship next season for the Cayman class of the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama.

Porsche Junior Carrera Cup and Sprint Challenge Junior Programs

This program seeks to bridge the gap between single-make racing and factory driver status. Porsche will train “exceptional talent” to maximize their performance at the factory level.

Porsche Junior Carrera Cup will now receive increased education and financial support.

Drivers in the Sprint Challenge Junior Program will receive training in area such as tires, chassis dynamics, media and fitness, as well as financial support.

Porsche Selected Driver Program

The 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup North America champion Parker Thompson and two-time Carrera Cup race winner Trenton Estep will take part in the 2023 Porsche Selected Driver Program. Both drivers will receive mentoring from Patrick Long, as well as financial support and assistance in securing a seat with a Porsche customer race team at the next level, such as in IMSA or SRO.

Thompson’s plans have yet to be finalized, but Estep will race in the SRO Fanatec GT World Challenge powered by AWS. He’ll compete in a new type 992 Porsche 911 GT3 R race car with Seth Lucas.

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