Carrera Cup GB scholarship is launched

An exciting new young driver scholarship, worth £100,000, has been launched for the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup GB. The 'Carrera Cup GB Scholarship Programme' has the aim of finding the next drivers to follow the path of Richard Westbrook to being a professional sports car racer.Created and run by Porsche Cars GB, the 'Carrera Cup GB Scholarship Programme' will provide £50,000 to each of two drivers to use as a significant element of their budget for the 2009 Carrera Cup GB season.To enter the scholarship, drivers must be aged between 17 and 22 at 1 January 2009, already have a National A race licence and have not previously registered as a competitor in the Carrera Cup GB. They must also be able to demonstrate that they can secure the balance of the required budget for a full season of racing. There is no charge for drivers entering the scholarship.The aim of the scholarship is to assist two talented young drivers to make the step up to Carrera Cup and have the opportunity to follow in the wheeltracks of former Carrera Cup racers like Westbrook, Damien Faulkner and Danny Watts.Westbrook, the 2004 Carrera Cup champion, went on to win the international Porsche Supercup in both 2006 and 2007 and is now a Porsche factory driver competing in a programme of international GT racing. Westbrook will be one of the scholarship judges and will also have a mentoring role for the two scholarship winners."Without learning my trade in the Carrera Cup GB, I'd not be where I am now," said Westbrook. "It's a really good stepping-stone that Porsche has created and my advice to any one wanting to do Supercup or international GT racing, is go and do Carrera Cup GB first. The Scholarship Programme is a massive opportunity for two good young drivers. I'm now paid a salary as a professional racing driver and doing what I did in Carrera Cup GB certainly made that possible."Applications have now opened for the Carrera Cup GB Scholarship Programme and will close on 10 October. Six finalists will then be selected for a two-day assessment at Silverstone, with the first day spent at the Porsche Driving Experience Centre followed by track tests on the second day in the latest 911GT3 Cup car. Westbrook will also drive the car to set a benchmark time.The judging panel will include Westbrook, Carrera Cup championship manager Marion Barnaby and journalist Chris Harris from www.drivers-republic.com. The winners will be the two drivers who show the best mix of natural talent, potential, presentation and people skills and overall drive and commitment."This is a very important opportunity for ambitious young drivers," said Barnaby. "The Carrera Cup GB Scholarship Programme will allow two drivers to step up to the Carrera Cup in 2009 for the cost of competing in a lower profile championship. Clearly, Richard Westbrook’s climb from the Carrera Cup GB to Porsche factory driver is a remarkable story and we hope that the scholarship will allow two more drivers to have the opportunity to build a career as a professional racing driver."Any driver wishing to apply for the Carrera Cup GB Scholarship Programme should send a c.v. to carreracupgb@porsche.co.uk, along with the reasons why they think they should be selected. Applications close on 10 October 2008 and the six finalists will be evaluated at Silverstone on 21/22 October. The 2009 Carrera Cup GB Scholars will be announced at the end of October.