Star Mazda driver Connor De Phillippi is among six finalists selected to compete for 2013 Porsche Junior position. De Phillippi is currently in Italy battling five other young hopefuls to determine who will receive intensive support in the 2013 season as a Porsche Junior in the Carrera Cup Deutschland.
The 19 year-old Californian, who finished fourth in this year's Star Mazda series, is competing with two Swiss drivers – Levin Amweg (18) and Jeffrey Schmidt (18) – Dutchmen Dennis van de Laar (18) and Pieter Schothorst (20), and Spaniard Alex Riberas Bou (18). The sextet are going through a comprehensive test program in Vallelunga, Italy, piloting a 450 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
The six finalists came out on top of an extensive selection process against other young talents from around the world. Factors taken into account were fitness, mental strength, demeanor, and technical understanding. Now working alongside engineers at the track, the junior drivers, all of whom have been successful in various national and international formula race series, are being tested for consistent times over a race distance, as well as in simulated qualifying laps. The six candidates are also being evaluated with regards to handling the media via television interviews and photo shoots.
In the weeks following the selection process, two pilots will be chosen after careful analysis of all data. The winners will be given support in their 2013 Carrera Cup Deutschland campaign as Porsche Juniors. Porsche provides a large part of the season's budget, while the junior pilots choose their own race team based on a defined set of criteria from Porsche Motorsport.
Aside from financial funding, the two Porsche Juniors get support from an experienced coach who accompanies the drivers to the racetrack, giving them assistance similar to internationally successful Porsche factory racers. Fitness tests with constantly adapted training plans will also be provided, as well as media coaching, technical seminars, while sponsor obligations are also part of the program.