Connor de Phillippi
Porsche Junior Program
Stuttgart. Porsche will support four young race drivers as Porsche juniors in the company's one-make series during the 2014 motorsport season. Connor de Phillippi of San Clemente, Calif. returns for a second season as a Porsche junior competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland.
In addition to de Phillippi (20), the other current Porsche juniors will also 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 joining de Phillippi in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland. The newest junior, Sven Mueller (21, Germany), will tackle his first season 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.
For his second season in Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, de Philippi has plans earned from experience as a rookie. "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."
De Phillippi and Riberas will each receive funding of 150,000 Euro - approximately $205,000 - to support another year in Germany's one-make series. De Phillippi concluded his first season in the GT vehicle as the best newcomer and ranked ninth overall. In 2014, the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup will be run in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, which was raced exclusively in the 2013 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.
Riberas scored third place in the rookie classification and achieved eleventh overall. At round ten on the Nürburgring circuit, he even earned a pole position in the 450 hp Porsche.
"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 finale this year. I can hardly wait for next season and I'm looking forward to everything I'll experience during the year."
Klaus Bachler has received support as a junior since 2012. He put in a strong performance in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, particularly in the second half of the season, and clinched his first victory at 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 - approximately $275,000 - 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 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."
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 program.
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."