Posted by NB on 10/02/10
Niall Breen (23, Ireland), Jono Lester (20, New Zealand), Tim Sandtler (22, Germany), Harald Schlegelmilch (22, Latvia) and Ferdinand Stuck (18, Germany) share up to €180,000 as a cash injection into their racing budgets for the international Porsche Mobil1 Supercup or the Carrera Cup Deutschland.
One of the five selected drivers, Niall Breen totally dominated the 2006 Formula BMW UK Championship, taking the title with nine out of 20 race wins before moving into British Formula 3 and finishing fifth overall the following year with Carlin Motorsport. In 2008 he contested most of the Formula 3 Euro Series with Manor Motorsport before running into budgetary problems. Now he follows in the footsteps of fellow Irishman, Damien Faulkner, who was twice runner-up in the Porsche Supercup series.
Breen, from Dundalk was enthusiastic about his new challenge in the Porsche Mobile 1 Supercup series, which supports nine of the Formula 1 fixtures, saying: “I'm delighted to be back racing and I'm looking forward to this new challenge in 2010 and beyond.
“I enjoyed my career in single-seaters but the current economic situation resulted in funding becoming more difficult to source. I'm currently working on raising the extra budget to compete and would like to thank all my sponsors who have supported me in my racing career to date. I look forward to working with them again in the near future.
“During the test, it felt like I'd never stopped racing! We each had a 5-lap installation run on new tyres followed by a 7-lap test on Thursday morning. In the afternoon, we had a further 10 laps on the same tyres. Then on Friday morning, I had a 3-lap run on Thursday's tyres before pitting for new tyres for my final six laps.
“Porsche Motorsport is very professional in all respects and the preparation of the car was excellent. I would like to thank Jens Walther, Head of Porsche's brand trophy series, for the invitation and selecting me to become part of the programme”, said Breen.
With this, Porsche writes yet another chapter in its long-standing and hugely successful junior development programme in motorsport. “We're very pleased with this talent search,” summarised Jens Walther. “All participants were extremely disciplined. We had neither an accident nor a technical defect with the three brand-new vehicles. We carefully weighed up each candidate against each other. The five drivers we selected can rightfully call themselves a “Porsche Motorsport Talent”. All in all, we were very impressed by the standard of participants and hope to see as many of them as possible contesting the Porsche one-make series.”
Twelve drivers from six countries spent two days, last Thursday and Friday, February 4/5th testing three 450 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars at the Vallelunga Circuit in Italy. Each driver had the same number of new tyres at their disposal and assisted by Porsche engineers, they each worked on setting up the vehicles.
Porsche racing aces Jeroen Bleekemolen and Jan Seyffarth were on hand to give participants valuable tips and advice, assisted by computer-aided data analyses. In 2008 and 2009, Bleekemolen won the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, with former Porsche Junior Jan Seyffarth securing third in last year's Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland. The budding young racers were also judged on criteria such as personality as well as team and communication skills.
Porsche Mobil1 Supercup 2010
12/14 March, Bahrain *; 7/9 May, Barcelona; 14/16 May, Monaco; 25/27 June, Valencia; 9/11 July, Silverstone; 23/25 July, Hockenheim; 30 July/1 August, Budapest; 27/29 August, Spa-Francorchamps; 10/12 September, Monza.
* 2 races.