Bradshaw and Hopkins win ..
Carrera Cup GB scholarships Tom Bradshaw and Lewis Hopkins have been announced as the winners of the Carrera Cup GB Scholarship Programme for 2009 and will each receive £50,000 towards racing in the Carrera Cup GB next season. Nineteen year-olds Bradshaw (Blackburn) and Hopkins (Winchester) were selected from six finalists after two days of intensive evaluation at Silverstone in the programme designed to find two drivers to follow the path of Richard Westbrook to being a professional sports car racer. In 2008 Bradshaw has raced in Formula Palmer Audi, while Hopkins has raced in Caterham Roadsports."I still can't believe it," said Bradshaw after the announcement. "It's an amazing opportunity with a huge manufacturer behind me and I can’t wait to get started. I want a career in sports car racing and this is a massive boost. It's a great car and a great championship. It will be a steep learning curve, but I'm confident I can be up at the front.""It feels amazing; I've never felt like this before," said Hopkins. "I wanted it but I wasn't expecting it. It means everything for my career and I can do what I really want to do in 2009. This has been a great experience and I'm really grateful for the opportunity. The commitment of Porsche is amazing."While only two drivers could be selected for the scholarship, the other four finalists will all get a chance to race in the Carrera Cup GB after learning that they would each spend a weekend racing the VIP car during the 2009 season. This additional award will allow Aaron Steele (Chatham), Andrew Herron (Co Down), Tom Sharp (Camberley) and Richard Singleton (Conwy) to show their ability in the 911GT3 Cup car."Initially, the Scholarship programme was a toe-in-the-water exercise, but it has quickly become a fundamental part of Carrera Cup GB and it feels like such a right thing to do," said Geoff Turral, Marketing Director, Porsche Cars GB Limited. "The breadth of the evaluation they have gone through has really got under the skin of what these guys are all about and that feels so naturally Porsche. I'm really pleased with how the programme has worked and it's given us a lot to talk about on Carrera Cup. There's a real buzz about Carrera Cup for 2009."Westbrook was on hand throughout the evaluation to work with the drivers and will act as a mentor to Bradshaw and Hopkins over the coming year. 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. "Without learning my trade in the Carrera Cup GB, I'd not be where I am now," said Westbrook. "The Scholarship Programme is a massive opportunity for Tom and Lewis."Created and run by Porsche Cars GB, the 'Carrera Cup GB Scholarship Programme' will provide £50,000 to each of the drivers to use as a significant element of their budget for the 2009 Carrera Cup GB season. From over 50 applications, six finalists were selected for the evaluation programme at the Porsche Driving Experience Centre at Silverstone.