Following the announcement of series leader Jaxon Evans as Carrera Cup Australia’s nominated driver, O’Keeffe has been accepted by Porsche Motorsport as a Wildcard nomination for the young driver evaluation event, to be held shortly after this weekend’s Carrera Cup season finale in Gold Coast at a yet-to-be-announced French circuit.
The Shootout is an evaluation for young drivers from Porsche’s international one-make series; each Carrera Cup is able to nominate one eligible driver and further submit Wildcard submissions for Porsche Motorsport’s consideration.
The 2018 evaluation event will be O’Keeffe’s second attempt at the Junior Programme Shootout following his nomination and attendance at last year’s two-day event at Lausitzring, Germany, which was ultimately won by now-Porsche Junior, Julien Andlauer.
O’Keeffe’s selection is just the second time a Carrera Cup Australia driver has been selected as a Wildcard for the Shootout; Richard Muscat was Porsche Motorsport’s Wildcard selection in 2015, when he joined eventual 2015 Carrera Cup champion Nick Foster at the Shootout.
“I’m thrilled to be selected as the Wildcard nomination for the Junior Programme Shootout. Last year’s Shootout event was such an incredible experience and I had never thought that I’d have the opportunity to return for another one. I feel like I’ve reached a new level in my driving this season and, with another season in experience under my belt, I’m well prepared for the Shootout to be able to give myself the best possible shot at success this time around,” said O’Keeffe.
“I have a lot to focus on between now and then, however. With the final Carrera Cup round on this weekend, my main focus is on the next three races and do all I can to secure the Carrera Cup title. It’s been great competition all season and I’ve enjoyed racing Jaxon all year, so I’m looking forward to getting on track for the final round of the season.”
Much like Evans and Matt Campbell, O’Keeffe used Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia as a motor racing springboard to Carrera Cup. Thereafter, Campbell paved the way for young Carrera Cup Australia racers by winning the 2016 Junior Programme Shootout and ultimately launching his international motorsport career. In 2017, Campbell placed third in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup as a Porsche Junior before being promoted to a Porsche Young Professional in 2018, contesting the 2018-2019 FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season and several one-off endurance races.
The successful driver from the Porsche Motorsport Junior Programme Shootout will receive a position in the Porsche Motorsport Junior Programme as a Porsche Junior and significant funding towards a drive in the 2019 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup season.
Previous Carrera Cup Australia representatives to attend the Junior Programme Shootout include Andre Heimgartner (2012), Sam Power (2014), Nick Foster (2015), Richard Muscat (2015), Matt Campbell (2016) and O’Keeffe (2017).