Tyre prizes, entry fees and a trip to Germany… young Australian-based Porsche drivers will this season race for a substantial $300,000 prize pool as part of a new-look Porsche Michelin Junior Programme Australia in 2019.
Porsche Cars Australia and Michelin Australia have again partnered to deliver one of Australia’s most comprehensive and successful driver development programmes spanning across both Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia and Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia one-make sports car championships.
Instead of nominating a select few Michelin Juniors at the start of the season, the new format allows all drivers who meet the selection criteria to race for a variety of prizes at each round. Across both series, each Michelin Junior round winner will receive free entry for the subsequent round, while the top three placed Michelin Juniors for each round will receive a free set of Michelin race tyres. All Michelin Juniors will also be invited to participate in a driver education and training course in March.
The programme will now also feature a Michelin Super Round, to be held at the Australian Grand Prix, from which the round-winning Michelin Junior will receive a trip to Germany to attend the Formula E Berlin E-Prix on May 25.
The Porsche Motorsport Junior Programme Shootout will continue to play a crucial role; the best placed Michelin Junior in Carrera Cup at the time of nomination for the Shootout will be the series’ selection for the 2019 driver evaluation event, giving the selected Michelin Junior the chance to follow in Matt Campbell’s and Jaxon Evan’s wheel tracks to Europe.
The 2019 Michelin Junior winner from Carrera Cup will also receive a trip to Germany in December to attend the 2019 Porsche Motorsport Night of Champions in Weissach.
“The Porsche Michelin Junior Programme is an important element of Porsche Cars Australia’s motor racing programme and we’re therefore thrilled to announce this new-look format for 2019,” said Troy Bundy, Porsche Cars Australia Motorsport Manager.
“Our local Porsche Motorsport Pyramid has proven success, initially with Matt Campbell establishing his professional racing career in Europe. Then 2018 Michelin Junior Jaxon Evans followed two years later upon winning the international Junior Programme Shootout. Locally, we’re immensely proud to have had these two incredible talents rise through our system and we hope that this programme gives the current cast of Michelin Juniors the best possible chance to follow in Matt’s and Jaxon’s footsteps.
“Such a comprehensive driver development programme wouldn’t be possible without the support of Michelin Australia, who sees the potential in current Australian-based Porsche drivers and the importance to providing a programme through which young drivers can realise their racing dreams.”
Michelin Australia’s Marketing Manager Oceania, Swaroop Tulsidas, is excited to continue the French brand’s support of the region’s young racers.
“Michelin is proud to once again support the Junior Programme in 2019. The local partnership we have built with Porsche provides the Australian motorsport community with the most successful driver development programme currently available and we look forward to continuing this support into 2019,” said Tulsidas.
“Michelin’s ultimate goal for this programme is to help fast-track young and talented drivers from the region to the highest level of international motorsport. This year, we have made some improvements to the programme to benefit every Michelin Junior looking to grow on and off the track, including the exciting Michelin Super Round concept to include some added incentive at the Carrera Cup round at Albert Park.
“Le Mans winners Matt Campbell and Earl Bamber are providing a clear picture of what global success looks like with Porsche and Michelin. We wish our 2018 Michelin Junior Jaxon Evans the same fortune and look forward to welcoming and growing the class of 2019.”
To be eligible as a Michelin Junior in 2019, GT3 Cup Challenge drivers must be aged under 23 as of January 01, 2019, and Carrera Cup drivers must be aged under 25 as of January 01, 2019, without having previously attended the Porsche Motorsport Junior Programme Shootout. All Michelin Juniors in each series must also commit to a full season and carry additional Michelin Junior branding on their race car and helmet.