Ryan Dalziel, EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R
Houston, Texas, January 28, 2015. Pirelli World Challenge GT-A champions EFFORT Racing and Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) have announced the next step in Porsche's overall strategy to search and support young sports car racing driving talent - the new Porsche Motorsport North America Young Driver Program for 2015.
The two drivers who will pilot the EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R racecars are veteran Ryan Dalziel (Winter Park, Florida) and Michael Lewis (Laguna Beach, California). Dalziel, who won two races and earned five podiums in six races for EFFORT Racing last year, will be driving the professional entry in the GT Class, while Lewis will pilot the Porsche in the GT Amateur class.
EFFORT and PMNA will use the Pirelli World Challenge's GT class platforms to showcase young drivers in the Porsche 911 GT3 R race car, with a Professional driver running in the top class and a PMNA Young Driver running in the GT Amateur (GT-A) class. According to PMNA President and CEO Jens Walther, this program is the next logical step after the Porsche Young Drivers Academy and the Porsche/IMSA Driver Scholarship.
"Thanks to the commitment from EFFORT Racing owner Chuck Toups in keeping with his ongoing interest in driver development, we are able to offer support and resources to give a young talent from North America a unique experience with a championship team in the Pirelli World Challenge," said Walther.
"At EFFORT Racing, we believe in doing things for a purpose" said Toups. "When we started in 2012, we integrated driver development as one of our core program goals. It's true in any domain that the investment and training of young talent is crucial to the long term success for any industry. The extension of the successful Porsche Young Driver program into North America is an exciting announcement for the motorsports community."
Michael Lewis, the 23 year-old driver who nearly won the 2014 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge and both participated in the Porsche Young Driver Academy and was granted the IMSA Driver Scholarship in 2014. Lewis was nominated for the EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R seat after a competitive test held by the team. Dalziel, an established winner in World Endurance Championship and the IMSA TUDOR United Sports Car Championship, was the highest-finishing driver in the second half the Pirelli World Challenge series in 2014.
Porsche factory driver Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) will be on hand to coach the drivers on and off the track as his schedule allows.
This new program is focused on the North American market, and is integrated into the overall Porsche philosophy to search and support young sports car driving talent.
The Pirelli World Challenge season opens March 6-8, 2015, at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
About Porsche Motorsport North America
Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA), located in Santa Ana, California, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Porsche AG and the sole sales and service provider for the German sports car maker's North American customer sports programs. Porsche is the largest manufacturer of race cars with a wide range of products from the 911 GT3 Cup car to the ultimate 911 RSR. PMNA sells these models to customer teams in North America and provides them with parts, service and expertise in between races and at the track. The PMNA service truck is a fixture at most race tracks in the U.S. and Canada, staffed by factory engineers to service all of Porsche's customer teams.
About Porsche Cars North America
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga. is the exclusive U.S. importer of Porsche sports cars, including the Macan and Cayenne SUVs and the Panamera sports sedan. Established in 1984, it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Porsche AG, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, and employs approximately 270 people who provide parts, service, marketing and training for 189 dealers. They, in turn, work to provide Porsche customers with a best-in-class experience that is in keeping with the brand's 66-year history and leadership in the advancement of vehicle performance, safety, and efficiency.
At the core of this success is Porsche's proud racing heritage that boasts some 30,000 motorsport wins to date.
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