Porsche Motorsports Weekly Event Notes: Tuesday, October 24, 2017

July 20th, 2018 by

October 24, 2017


Dear Journalist:
Early each week, Porsche Cars North America will provide a weekend summary or pre-race event notes package, covering the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Pirelli World Challenge (PWC), the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) or other areas of interest from the world of Porsche Motorsport. Please utilize this resource as needed, and do not hesitate to contact us for additional information.

– Porsche Cars North America Motorsports Public Relations Team

Porsche Motorsports Weekly Event Notes: Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Porsche Profile.
Event Story Lines

Sixth Annual Porsche Young Driver Academy Offers Four Candidates an Exclusive Opportunity.

In its six years, the Porsche Young Driver Academy (PYDA) has provided 25 of North America’s brightest young road racers a unique opportunity to hone their skills in the classroom and behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. Founded in 2012 by Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) and Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA), the PYDA brought four drivers from IMSA and the Pirelli World Challenge to the Porsche Sport Driving School at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama for two intensive days of education and evaluation. Rodrigo Baptista (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Michael de Quesada (Tampa, Florida), Trenton Estep (San Antonio, Texas) and Zach Robichon (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) were selected to the 2017 class, held October 22 – 23.

While not a test or shootout, the Academy puts the four drivers through concentrated classes with the objective to broaden and sharpen talent not only in the racecar but also out of the cockpit as well. This is reiterated through the order of events and the time dedicated to both classroom and track work. While still young – the oldest of the quartet is 25-years-old – each driver has experienced race wins behind the wheel of a Porsche. Three of the four campaigned in the Porsche one-make classes of IMSA in 2017. de Quesada and Robichon in the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama, Estep in the GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama. Both series utilize the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. Baptista raced, and won, in the Pirelli World Challenge GTS class piloting a Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR.

The first full day of PYDA was held in the Porsche Sport Driving School classroom with personality profiles, technical briefings, media training and more. The diverse curriculum provides each participant with the tools and understanding needed to maximize themselves in the variety of situations a professional driver will face throughout his or her career.

While fine-tuned each year, the Young Driver Academy syllabus is founded on the principles and practices of Porsche’s European Junior selection process. Originally drafted for the North American market by the continent’s only Porsche factory driver Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) and then PMNA president and CEO Jens Walther, the core of the program beckons back to when Long himself took part in the selection process. New PMNA president and CEO Dr. Daniel Armbruster has continued to show great enthusiasm for the program.

The comprehensive Academy experience included classroom exercises, on-camera interviews with sports broadcasting talent Jamie Howe of FOX Sports, renowned motorsport documentary maker JF Musial of Tangent Vector, media training with Dave Engelman, Spokesperson, PCNA Motorsports and Brand Heritage and personality evaluations by Life-Long Leadership’s president and CEO, Christina Kisley.

Owen Hayes, Director of Operations for PMNA, provided technical training and constructive critique throughout the process. Hayes’ decades of experience includes tenure with the Porsche RS Spyder program prior to overseeing the day-to-day operations of PMNA’s multitude of customer programs in IMSA, the Pirelli World Challenge and various one-make cups.

Racing legend and lead Porsche Sport Driving School instructor Hurley Haywood (St. Augustine, Florida), Long and GT racing champion Andrew Davis (Athens, Georgia) each offered firsthand knowledge on car setup and data acquisition trackside and in the classroom. These three not only share invaluable experience behind the wheel of Porsche racecars, they each have an intimate understanding of how to be successful in and out of the car. Michelin once again partnered in the PYDA with complete sets of racing slicks for each of the competitors.

Porsche has a long history of driver development. One of the first manufacturers to create a “factory driver” group also features “Junior” and “Young Professional” programs to assist young racing talent outside of the “works” efforts. The Porsche Young Driver Academy was founded by two arms of Porsche on this continent to recognize and help develop the talent of drivers competing in a Porsche one-make series, Porsche drivers who are currently racing in a non-one-make series or an IMSA-sanctioned development series that does not employ Porsche racecars.

The results of the 25 drivers through the program since its inception are a perfect example of the Academy’s founding precept. Participants include drivers with major domestic and international championship and race wins. 2015 class members Jesse Lazare and Daniel Morad, along with 2017 graduate Michael de Quesada, teamed with Porsche factory driver Michael Christensen (Denmark) to win the GTD class of the Rolex 24 At Daytona to open this past race season. In 2016, Alec Udell, 2015 class, captured the one-make GT Cup class of the Pirelli World Challenge in his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car racing against 2014 grad Sloan Urry, Part of the 2014 class were Scott Hargrove, who won the 2014 and 2017 GT3 Cup Challenge Canada championships. 2016 graduate Trent Hindman has won four Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge races behind the wheel of a Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport in the last two IMSA seasons.

Owen Hayes, Director of Operations, Porsche Motorsport North America.

“When PMNA and PCNA created the Porsche Young Driver program six years ago, we wanted to make the most of young driver talent in North America. The thought was to put our best collective foot forward and give up and coming drivers guidance, while also recognizing them for achieving significant accomplishments early in their motorsport careers. By working closely with IMSA, Michelin and the Porsche Sport Driving School, we have created a solid platform that continues to provide valuable tools and experience to the attendees. There are many talented and worthy drivers here in the United States and Canada and we invest heavily to make the program happen. If past performance is an indicator, we are making a positive difference on all fronts.”

Dave Engelman, Spokesperson, Motorsports and Brand Heritage, Porsche Cars North America.

“With the Porsche Junior and Young Professional programs in Germany, and the Porsche Young Driver Academy here in North America, it is easy to see how Porsche is supporting motorsport at the level it is needed most. It is most gratifying when the results speak for themselves, both in and out of the racecar. A recent example would be when Daniel Morad, Jesse Lazare and former Porsche Junior, and current factory ‘works’ driver Michael Christensen teamed with the father-son duo of Carlos and Michael de Quesada – one of this year’s PYDA attendees – at Alegra Motorsports to win the GTD class this past year at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.”

Social Media.
Porsche Cars North America. @Porsche
Porsche North America. @PorscheNARacing
Porsche Motorsport – GT Cars. @PorscheRaces
Porsche Racing – 919 Hybrid. @Porsche_Team
Model Hashtags.
Porsche 911 RSR. #911RSR
Porsche 911 GT3 R. #911GT3R
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. #911Cup
Porsche 919 Hybrid. #919hybrid
Event Hashtag
Series Hashtags and Handles.
GT3 Cup Challenge USA. #GT3USA
GT3 Cup Challenge Canada. #GT3CAN
PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 @CaymanGT4CSEast
Clubsport Trophy East #GT4CSE
Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA @PirelliCupUSA
Intercontinental GT Challenge @IntercontGTC

Future Porsche Events.

FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC)
Event: Six Hours of Shanghai, Shanghai International Circuit
Dateline: Shanghai, China
Date: Sunday, November 5, 2017
Track Length: 3.39-miles, 16-turn
Race Duration: 6-Hours
Class: LMP1-Hybrid (Porsche 919 Hybrid)
LMGTE-Pro (Porsche 911 RSR)
LMGTE-Am (Porsche 911 RSR, MY 2015)
Round: 8 of 9
Next Round: Six Hours of Bahrain, Bahrain, November 16 – 18, 2017
FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC)
Event: Six Hours of Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuit
Dateline: Sakhir, Bahrain
Date: November 16 – 18, 2017
Track Length: 3.63-miles, 15-turn
Race Duration: 6-Hours
Class: LMP1-Hybrid (Porsche 919 Hybrid)
LMGTE-Pro (Porsche 911 RSR)
LMGTE-Am (Porsche 911 RSR, MY 2015)
Round: 9 of 9
Next Round: Season Finale

Porsche Motorsport Video News Releases.


Porsche Cars North America Media Site.

Porsche Cars North America Motorsports Site.

Porsche North America Race Team Portal.

Porsche Motorsports Media Information.
Current news, images and notes relating to Porsche can be found on our press kit. Please contact Dave Engelman or Tom Moore for the latest Porsche Motorsports media kit.


Dave Engelman 
Porsche Cars North America
Media Relations Manager, Motorsports and Brand Heritage
Office. 770-290-3617
Mobile. 404-386-4665

Tom Moore
Motorsports Public Relations
Office. 615-778-1614
Mobile.  615-509-5000


About Porsche Cars North America Inc. | One Porsche Drive, Atlanta, GA 30354 USA
Established in 1984, Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA) is the exclusive U.S. importer of Porsche 918 Spyder, 911, Boxster and Cayman sports cars, the Macan and Cayenne SUVs, and Panamera sports sedans. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia since 1998, PCNA is also home to the first Porsche Experience Center in North America featuring a module-based 1.6 mile driver development track, business center, human performance center, and fine dining restaurant. PCNA employs approximately 300 people who provide parts, service, marketing, and training for 188 dealers. They, in turn, work to provide Porsche customers with a best-in-class experience that is in keeping with the brand’s 65-plus year history and leadership in the advancement of vehicle performance, safety and efficiency. PCNA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Porsche AG, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.

At the core of this success is Porsche’s proud racing heritage that boasts some 30,000-plus motorsport wins to date.

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