Despite the Coronavirus pandemic putting a halt to both the 2020 Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia Championship and Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Series, Porsche Cars Australia conducted the online workshop via Zoom as many of the country’s leading Junior drivers were stranded in each state due to the current travel restrictions.
The nine Michelin Junior drivers in attendance for the 2020 Training Workshop included Cooper Murray, Harri Jones, Christian Pancione, Aaron Love, Max Vidau, Courtney Prince and Ryan Suhle.
While the 2019 program saw the Juniors receive professional coaching on sports psychology, social media, media training, branding, sponsorship as well as nutrition and dietary advice, this year the program centred around mindset, mental preparation, managing their brand, producing social media content, sponsorship, heart intelligence, resilience and coherence.
After a welcome from Porsche Cars Australia’s Head of Motorsport, Troy Bundy, Michelin Australia’s Product Marketing Manager, Peter Heatley, gave the Juniors insight into the French tyre giant’s involvement in motorsport both locally and abroad as well as the technology employed on the competition tyres fitted to the current 991 generation Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.
Australian international cricketer, Brad Hodge then shared his insights on how the Juniors can achieve an optimal mindset in sport; key elements to elite sporting success and the importance of internal and external preparation, including visualisation.
Dewalt Supercars driver, Scott Pye, then shared insights on racing abroad and his return to the top-level of the sport in Australia, offering insight and advice on the importance of establishing and managing their brand, with examples on how they could produce content on social media to further enrich their relationships with potential sponsors and their existing partners.
The Michelin Juniors were then given practical techniques on the breathing and meditation by the President of Meditation Australia, Asher Packman, together with insights on heart intelligence, resilience and coherence. Packman works with many top AFL players and is globally recognised mindset coach and meditation teacher.
As the most proven and successful driver development programme in Australia, the training workshop is an integral part of the Porsche Motorsport Development programme locally.
Porsche’s motorsport pyramid in Australia has helped many young drivers reach the highest level of the sport, both locally and internationally, including the likes of Nick Foster, Dylan O’Keefe, Jordan Love, Jaxon Evans and Matt Campbell to name but a few in recent years.
Porsche factory driver, Campbell and Porsche Junior, Evans, together with 2019 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup Champion, Joshua Rogers, then joined the workshop from Germany answering questions from the Juniors, sharing their experiences and offering them advice to further their careers.
Swaroop Tulsidas, Marketing Manager for Michelin Australia: “The Porsche Junior training session allowed us to refresh the junior’s learnings about our motorsport heritage, Michelin tyres and most importantly our commitment to the Porsche Junior program in the future. We understand it has been a tough year for drivers and teams alike and look forward to being trackside with the Porsche Juniors in 2021.”
“With the training session fresh off the Le Mans event it was a real boost for the juniors to have Matt Campbell online to share the story and success of his second podium finish at the Le Mans 24hr event. This was inspiring for the group and to have other international stars including Jaxon Evans take part, is a real bonus of connecting virtually. The Porsche team have done an incredible job to keep these fantastic initiatives happening during these unprecedented times.”
Troy Bundy, Head of Motorsport, Porsche Cars Australia: “We would like to thank our partners, Michelin Australia, for their renewed commitment to help us develop the best young drivers in Australia to their full potential. Even though the on track program for the juniors has been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, both Michelin and Porsche felt it was even more important to still conduct the Junior Workshop this year and continue to develop the drivers.”
“The content presented was really compelling and delivered great insights and advice that will help these young talented athletes achieve the most from their potential.”
For further information on the Michelin Junior Programme visit: https://www.carreracup.com.au/junior-programme/