Seventeen-year-old Nico Menzel is the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia nomination to the Porsche Motorsport Junior Programme 2016. The nomination means that Menzel, who has made a spectacular sportscar racing debut this season with PICC Team StarChase and is currently third on the overall championship leaderboard, will join the best young drivers from the Porsche Cups around the world in a shootout to be held in Germany on October 5 and 6.
Commented Alexandre Gibot, Motorsport Manager, Porsche China: “Our congratulations to Nico on a well-earned nomination to the Porsche Motorsport Junior Programme. The evaluation experience will certainly benefit Nico’s career, and the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia is delighted to provide his opportunity to a young driver who has already demonstrated so much potential.”
At the shootout, a team of Porsche Motorsport professionals will thoroughly evaluate each candidate, looking for potential and natural talent over immediate speed. Every element of the drivers’ performance will come under scrutiny during what will be two days of intense pressure for the hopefuls.
Said Menzel, who also made his debut in two rounds of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup this season: “This is a really great opportunity for me, and I plan to learn as much as I can from the experience. The nomination shows that PICC Team StarChase has done a fantastic job right from the start of the season. My goal this year was to do as well as I could, so the nomination is really good news for both me and the team.”
While the team is proud to have helped their young rookie climb the championship leaderboard in Asia’s most competitive GT series, both they and Menzel are realistic in their expectations ahead of the shootout against some of the best young talents in the world.
Commented StarChase Chief Operations Officer Mr. Robby Niermann: “PICC Team StarChase is delighted to have played a role in helping Nico achieve the nomination and we wish him every success in the shootout. As the youngest Porsche Carrera Cup Asia driver in its 13-year history, Nico knows it is an important opportunity to learn a great deal from the formidable expertise and experience of Porsche Motorsport.”
The Porsche young driver concept, which began in 1997 with the first UPS Porsche Junior Team, has proven a successful model. Every one of the 19 junior drivers who have raced with Porsche support as Porsche Juniors in one-make series has made the grade as professional racing drivers. Timo Bernhard (GER), Marc Lieb (GER), Patrick Long (USA), Michael Christensen (DEN) and two-time Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion and 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours winner Earl Bamber (NZL) are Porsche works drivers today.
Every year, the most successful drivers from the international Porsche one-make series are nominated by the respective Porsche Carrera Cup organisations and invited by Porsche Motorsport to a common assessment event.
Over the course of two days, drivers try to set the fastest possible lap time but also demonstrate their technical understanding and their analytical skills while setting up the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars. The winner is sponsored with 200,000 Euro as a Porsche Junior in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.