Porsche supports four young race drivers as Porsche juniors in the company’s one-make series in the 2014 motorsport season. In addition to the new junior, Sven Mueller (21, Germany), who tackles his first season in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland in 2014, the current Porsche juniors will continue to receive support. Austria’s Klaus Bachler (22) will contest his second season in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, with Alex Riberas (19) from Spain and American Connor de Phillippi (20) returning to compete in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland next year. Porsche provides its juniors with a large proportion of the season’s budget and coaches the talented youngsters off the race track, as well.
Klaus Bachler has received support as a junior since 2012. Particularly in the second half of the season, he put in a strong performance in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup and clinched his first victory at the race in Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps. He ranked seventh overall in the 2013 Supercup standings, making him the second-best newcomer after his junior colleague Michael Christensen (23, Denmark), who represents Porsche as a works driver in 2014. Bachler receives a budget of 200,000 Euro from Porsche for his second season in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.
“I’ve learned a lot over the course of the 2013 season,” says Klaus Bachler. “Next year I’d like to be a regular visitor to the podium. I feel good in the car, I know the circuits where we are going to race next year. I’d like to thank Porsche for the trust they have placed in me and I look forward to my third year as a Porsche junior.”
Alex Riberas and Connor de Phillippi receive support for another year in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, with each acquiring funding of 150,000 Euro. In 2014, the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup will be run, which was raced exclusively in the 2013 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. De Phillippi concluded his first season in the GT vehicle as the best newcomer and ranked ninth overall. Riberas scored third place in the rookie classification and achieved eleventh overall. At round ten on the Nürburgring, he even planted his 450 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on pole position.
In addition to financial backing, all Porsche juniors receive assistance similar to the internationally successful Porsche works drivers. Fitness tests with regularly adapted training plans as well as media coaching and sponsor obligations are part of the programme.
“My dream is now entering phase two,” says Riberas. “I’ve worked hard over the entire season and even managed to secure a podium result at the season final this year. I can hardly wait for next season and I’m looking forward to everything I’ll experience during the year.”
Connor de Phillippi also has plans for his second season in Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland. “I now know how important it is to achieve a good qualifying result if you want to do well in a Carrera Cup sprint race,” says the young Californian. “Winning the rookie classification was a good start. But next year I’ll be aiming for the podium. I’m up against some tough opposition, but my dream is to climb to the very top step.”
Porsche Head of Motorsport Hartmut Kristen is extremely pleased with the way his juniors are progressing. “Klaus Bachler impressed us with a very strong second half of the season. His learning curve is shooting skywards. We would like to give him the chance to use the experiences he gained on predominantly unfamiliar circuits in 2013 to achieve even better results. The same goes for Connor de Phillippi and Alex Riberas. We saw the potential that we had hoped for during their first year as Porsche juniors. I’m confident that both will make further progress next season and they may at times even take the limelight.”