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 2022 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 will be awarded to the leading point scorer after round 6 of the 2022 Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia season in August 2022, will receive a trip to Germany to attend the Porsche Motorsport Night of Champions Dinner in December 2022. The main prize for the Michelin Junior drivers is to be nominated to attend the global Porsche Motorsport Junior Shootout to represent the Carrera Cup Australia.
The Junior Shootout continues to play a crucial role in the development of the best emerging talent from the Australasian region and is seen as the most proven pathway for talented drivers to progress to the highest level abroad. To be eligible for nomination all Carrera Cup drivers must be born within the following time frame: 30/11/1998-01/03/2005. Further details and requirements for the 2022 Junior Shootout will be communicated at the mid-point of the season.
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 for nomination, both Michelin Sprint Challenge and Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup drivers must born between 30/11/1998-01/03/2005.
All Michelin Juniors in each series 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 and an exciting one-of-a-kind experience is scheduled for 2022.
While Covid-19 travel restrictions prohibited the running of the 2021 workshop, in 2020 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 seminar due to the restrictions at the time.
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 is an opportunity to represent Carrera Cup Australia at the global Porsche Global Junior Shootout. The shootout 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.
Cooper Murray was the Porsche Michelin Junior Australia Winner for 2021, earning PCA’s nomination to attend the Porsche Junior Shootout in Europe that year. Murray arrived prior to the Shootout to test drive the new 992 generation Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car at Portimao Circuit in preparation for the Shootout and conduct a further two-day test session with Porsche Mobil1 Supercup Team, Martinet by Almeras, at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France on the 20-21 November before contesting the final round of the Porsche Carrera Cup France Championship on the weekend of the 22 – 24 October.
Martinet by Almeras is the same team which supported 2018 Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia Champion, Jaxon Evans, to second position overall in the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup Championship in 2021.
Drivers that have progressed up the Porsche Motorsport pyramid in recent years via the Australian Junior Programme, include the likes of Matt Campbell (Porsche factory driver), Nick Foster, Andre Heimgartner, Jordan Love, Cameron Hill and Dylan O’Keeffe, who have all gone on to succeed at the highest levels of the sport both locally and internationally.
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.