Porsche China Junior Programme
The Porsche Junior Programme was launched in 1997 and has transformed into a proven and powerful motorsport talent development model. Every one of the 21 Porsche Junior drivers that have been selected from Porsche Carrera Cup lineups around the globe have made the grade as professional drivers. That impressive list comprises some of Porsche’s most well-known and celebrated works drivers, including Timo Bernhard (GER), Marc Lieb (GER), Patrick Long (USA), Michael Christensen (DEN) and Earl Bamber (NZL).
Earl Bamber, who recently claimed his second overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2017, famously got his start as a young driver in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, where he dominated in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. After seeing the talented driver in action, Porsche signed Bamber as a works driver heading into the 2015 motorsport season, putting him on his path to glory as part of the gifted Porsche squad that went on to win Le Mans the same year.
In 2015, Porsche China hosted the first official Porsche China Junior selection programme, giving one promising young Asian driver invaluable on-track experience in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and the chance become part of the global selection process.
This year, Porsche China once again opened the door to this life-changing opportunity, inviting aspiring young drivers in Asia to take part in the 2018 Porsche China Junior Programme selection. Through this programme, Porsche China is harnessing more than 60 years of global Porsche motorsport success and experience, and helping open a path to the highest echelons of GT competition for exceptional young drivers.
The goal of the global Porsche Junior Programme is to provide aspiring young talent the guidance and opportunity needed to become a professional race driver. In Asia, the Porsche China Junior Programme is operated by Porsche China as part of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia one-make series.
Incoming Porsche China Junior candidates must undergo a rigorous and multi-faceted review by a leading panel of motorsport experts to determine their ambition, drive and talent as an aspiring race driver. Following thorough deliberation, the best performing driver is then rewarded a contract as a Porsche China Junior, and receives a sponsorship package worth RMB 1 million to support his or her participation in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. In addition, he or she will receive ongoing professional coaching throughout the season. Previous Porsche China Junior coaches include two-time Le Mans winner Earl Bamber and global Porsche Junior Coach Sascha Maassen.
THE PORSCHE CHINA JUNIORS
After an exhaustive search for the most promising young racing talent in Asia, Chinese driver Daniel Lu was selected as the 2018 Porsche China Junior at the age of 16.
The Asia-wide talent search saw nearly 300 applicants narrowed down to just seven star finalists. Following a series of trials that tested the fledging talents’ driving ability, physical condition, media savvy and personality, Lu emerged on top to earn the life-changing opportunity for the 2018 season.
As part of Porsche’s extensive global investment in nurturing young motorsport talent, this is the second Porsche China Junior Programme talent search to be held in the region, with Andrew Tang having been named the first-ever Porsche China Junior in 2015.
In 2018, Lu will also have the unique opportunity to compete for a chance to participate in the global Porsche Junior Shootout, with previous shootout winners including the likes of Timo Bernhard, Marc Lieb, Patrick Long and Michael Christensen.