Jaden Conwright will join the Porsche Carrera Cup Italia (PCCI) with Dinamic Motorsport this year, as the rising American star seeks to carve out a professional career in GT racing following a successful apprenticeship in single-seaters – with promotion to the prestigious Porsche Motorsport Scholarship Programme in 2020 firmly in his sights.
One of the hottest young prospects on the junior racing scene, Conwright returned to the fray in 2018 following a year’s absence and immediately made his mark. Contesting the inaugural F3 Asian Championship certified by FIA, the 19-year-old Californian tallied five podiums – including a victory – three pole positions and an impressive 13 top six finishes from 15 starts, earning him third place in the final standings out of the 26 high-calibre contenders.
Along the way, Conwright outperformed the likes of ex-BRDC British F3 front-runner Ben Hingeley, GP3 Series race-winner Raoul Hyman and 2017 Euroformula Open Champion Harrison Scott on occasion, and was one of only a handful of competitors to register a top three result at every circuit on the calendar.
That eye-catching form meant the talented teenager was much in demand over the winter, and brought him to the attention in particular of defending PCCI title-holder Dinamic Motorsport, attracted by both Conwright’s pace and potential as well as his prior knowledge of the Italian tracks, following a stint in the Italian F4 Championship in 2016.
The Fremont, San Francisco Bay Area-born ace will duly compete for the Reggio Emilia-based outfit over the course of the forthcoming 14-round campaign, which revs into life this weekend (6/7 April) at celebrated Italian Grand Prix venue Monza and stops off at similarly iconic circuits Misano, Imola, Mugello and Vallelunga before returning to Monza for the season finale on 19/20 October.
Conwright’s new ‘office’ will be the 485bhp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car, based on one of the most famous road-going models of all time. With just a matter of days remaining until he gets to take to the track in anger, the former World Speed Motorsports Rising Star / VMB Scholarship Award-winner and Carlin Academy member can scarcely contain his excitement.
“I’m very happy to finally announce my programme for 2019,” he enthused. “I can’t thank Dinamic Motorsport enough for keeping a door open for me over the winter and providing me with this fantastic opportunity. Dinamic have achieved many victories in the Porsche Carrera Cup Italia while simultaneously establishing themselves in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, and most recently they launched a new programme in the Blancpain GT Series.
“I have to say, it feels great to have a Porsche badge on my race suit. It’s an honour to link my name with such a legendary marque in the history of motorsport, and quite a surreal feeling being able to pilot such a heritage-rich car.
“My transition into GTs is something I had envisaged for a long time. Though I followed Formula 1 as a kid – like most aspiring racing drivers – I was always inspired by the versatility of sportscar competition. Being from California, Super GT was quite a popular championship in the area, so I was exposed to the exciting and unpredictable nature of multi-class GT racing from an early age.
“The Porsche programme is an amazing opportunity in motorsport, and the Porsche Carrera Cup is the ideal first step for any driver targeting a professional career with the brand. I chose PCCI because I believe it’s one of the strongest Carrera Cup series and the perfect platform for a driver aiming for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, like I am. Additionally, I have already driven all of the circuits that we visit on the calendar, so I can focus more on developing my skills with the car.
“I had the chance to run a couple of tests in preparation for 2019, and the first thing that surprised me was the speed of the 911 GT3 Cup car. The driving style is completely different from that of a single-seater and it’ll require some time to adjust to the different lines and how best to manage the additional weight, but the experience I’ve gained in open-wheel racing will nonetheless be very beneficial in helping me to adapt to the car and the behaviour of its tyres.
“I was able to get an initial gauge of the calibre of the championship during the official test day at Imola last week. Most of the drivers are veterans of the series, and the competition will clearly be very tough. As a rookie, I’ll need to focus and work efficiently if I want to close the gap and achieve a strong result at Monza this weekend.”
“I couldn’t ask for a better environment for Jaden to make his transition into GT racing than with Dinamic Motorsports in the Porsche Carrera Cup Italia,” added Conwright’s manager at Williams-Harfield Sports Group, Giacomo Sgarbossa. “The Porsche Carrera Cup programme is one that has launched the careers of many of today’s elite GT drivers, and Dinamic Motorsport is one of the fastest-emerging teams within sportscars, so Jaden is well-placed.
“The goal for us is to build up a long-term relationship with Porsche and Dinamic Motorsport. We are here because we believe Jaden has the capability to climb the ladder in the Porsche racing pyramid, and the target for the next three years is to replicate with him what drivers like [2016 PCCI championship runner-up] Mattia Drudi and [reigning champion] Gianmarco Quaresmini have accomplished in the past with this team.
“Last year was a turning-point in Jaden’s career, and we received many proposals over the winter from teams eager to run him in 2019. The idea to pursue GT racing was already in our plans since we started working with him, and Dinamic presented us with a very exciting project and showed true interest in having Jaden on-board. The synergy with the team is really high – as is the level of competition in the Porsche Carrera Cup Italia.
“There will be 25 cars on the grid, and at least ten of those drivers will be fighting for a spot in the end-of-season ‘International Shootout’. Jaden will be amongst them, and we are sure he will do everything he can to be part of the Porsche Motorsport Scholarship Programme in 2020.”
Source. Russell Atkins Media