The continued support and development of the best young drivers from around the Australasian region has been a key priority for both Michelin Australia and Porsche Cars Australia for several years now. The domestic collaboration has seen the initiative grow into benchmark driver development programme in the country and remain a vital feature of the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid.
For the 2021 season, the French tyre giant has announced that it will again support the Porsche Junior Development Programme offering eligible young drivers from the Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia and Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge series mentorship, support and training from the country’s leading sports professionals and coaches, as well as the opportunity to win their share of the $300,000 prize pool on offer.
The prize pool sees the top three Junior drivers from each series, receive a set of Michelin competition tyres every round, while the top placed Junior driver at each event will also receive a complimentary entry for the round.
The Michelin Junior Champion, which is crowned toward the end of the 2021 Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia season, will receive a trip to Germany to attend the Porsche Motorsport Night of Champions Dinner in December 2021.
The 2021 Michelin Junior Champion (and as a result the Porsche Junior Shootout nominee) will be awarded to the highest point scorer after the 5th round ( Perth 11-12 Sept ) of the 2021 Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia series.
Points are allocated as per the Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia Sporting and Technical Regulation’s,S11.2 (e).
In the event of a tie, the final positions shall be determined by comparing the race results achieved by each tied Driver, with the Driver with the highest number of first places being awarded the higher Series position. If at this stage a tie still exists, it shall be resolved by comparing the number of second, third or fourth places (and so on) achieved by each tied Driver until all positions have been determined.
To be eligible as a Michelin Junior in 2021, both Michelin Sprint Challenge and Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup drivers must born between 30.11.1997 and 01.03.2004.
All Michelin Juniors must carry additional Michelin Junior branding on their racing apparel and Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars.
The training workshop is an integral part of the Porsche Motorsport Development programme in Australia. Every year Michelin Junior drivers are invited to attend and receive professional coaching from the country's leading experts. Brad Hodge, Matt Campbell, Jaxon Evans, Joshua Rogers and Scott Pye were just some of the top drivers and presenters at the 2020 Michelin Junior Driver Training, which took place via a virtual workshop in 2020 due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Despite the Coronavirus pandemic putting a halt to both the 2020 Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia Championship and Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Series, Porsche Cars Australia conducted the online workshop via Zoom as many of the country’s leading Junior drivers were stranded in each state due to the current travel restrictions. The nine Michelin Junior drivers in attendance for the 2020 Training Workshop included Cooper Murray, Harri Jones, Christian Pancione, Aaron Love, Max Vidau, Courtney Prince and Ryan Suhle.
The 2019 training workshop saw the Juniors receive professional coaching on sports psychology, social media, media training, branding, sponsorship as well as nutrition and dietary advice, this year the program centred around mindset, mental preparation, managing their brand, producing social media content, sponsorship, heart intelligence, resilience and coherence.
In past years drivers also received nutrition and dietary advice after completing a thorough physical assessments.
Porsche Junior Shootout
The main incentive for the Michelin Junior drivers in the premier one-make series is an opportunity to attend the global Porsche Motorsport Junior Programme Shootout, which continues to play a crucial role in the development of the best emerging talent from the region and is seen as the most proven pathway for talented drivers to progress to the highest level abroad.
The 2019 Michelin Junior champion, Jordan Love, won the overall Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Championship and went onto to win the Junior Shootout nomination to compete against Carrera Cup Champions from the leading one-make Porsche championships around the world in three-day, all expenses paid driving evaluation at the Portimao circuit.
In 2020, Love joined 2018 Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia Champion and Porsche Junior driver, Jaxon Evans, on the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup grid, the premier support race for FIA Formula One World Championship.
Other drivers that have progressed up the Porsche Motorsport pyramid in recent years via the Australian Junior Programme, include the likes of Matt Campbell, Nick Foster, Andre Heimgartner and Dylan O’Keeffe, who have all gone on to succeed at the highest levels of the sport both locally and internationally.
In a new incentive for 2021, the Australian nominee to attend the global junior shootout will receive an exclusive test drive in the new 992 generation Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car ahead of its introduction in 2022. The global Porsche Junior Shootout will be utilizing the new 992 Cup Car for the first time this year and this prize provides the best opportunity for the Australian Junior nomination to perfect their skills before they head overseas.
Porsche Cars Australia and Michelin Australia have joined forces to launch one of Australian motorsport’s most extensive driver development programmes, providing total benefits of up to $300,000. The Porsche Michelin Junior Programme Australia supports seven young drivers across Australia’s two Porsche one-make series – Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia and Carrera Cup Australia – providing all Michelin Juniors financial support by way of entry fee support and an allocation of Michelin race tyres, along with access to training, mentorship and education throughout the racing season.
The Porsche Michelin Junior Programme Australia will consist of two teams – the GT3 Cup Challenge Junior Team, consisting of three drivers, and the four-driver Carrera Cup Junior Team.