Professional race driver Sascha Maassen (42) takes on this role. The German was a Porsche works driver from 2000 to 2009, and this season contests the American Le Mans Series in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Maassen has a great deal of experience as a talent scout, coach and driving instructor. At the wheel of sports prototypes and GT race vehicles from Weissach, Maassen won the American Le Mans Series three times and celebrated class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Sebring 12 hour race.
“The six finalists have had very little opportunity to get experience at the wheel of a GT race car. They have far exceeded our expectations,” praises Maassen. “All of the pilots very quickly grasped how you have to drive the 450 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in order to be fast.”
Aside from financial support, the drivers receive assistance similar to the internationally successful Porsche factory pilots. Fitness tests with constantly adapted training plans as well as media coaching and sponsor obligations are also part of the programme. Initially, the programme runs for four years.
Porsche has intensively supported talented youngsters in motorsport since 1997. Today’s Porsche factory pilots Timo Bernhard, Marc Lieb and Patrick Long were trained as Porsche juniors. Recently in 2011, Marco Holzer made the leap from Porsche junior to works driver. Other big-league names in motorsport to emerge from this scholarship programme are Dirk Müller, Lucas Luhr and Mike Rockenfeller.