Dean MacDonald in Porsche Carrera Cup GB Shootout
Strawberry Racing star heads to Silverstone as one of five finalists
Multiple karting champion Dean MacDonald has been picked for the final stage of the 2017/18 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Junior selection process at Silverstone on Tuesday 31 October and Wednesday 1 November.
The Scottish teenager is one of the youngest drivers taking part and faces a stern challenge from his fellow finalists during a gruelling 24-hour assessment programme.
Dean – who became Vice-Champion with Strawberry Racing in the IAME X30 International World Finals (14/15 October), in one of his very few 2017 outings in karts – will go head to head with Jamie Caroline (18, Warlingham), George Gamble (21, Nottingham), Daniel Harper (16, Hillsborough) and Esmee Hawkey (19, Chislehurst).
MacDonald, from Kelty in Fife, was selected following an interview at the beginning of October, beating a host of other contenders to make the final quintet.
James MacNaughton, Motorsport Manager, Porsche Cars Great Britain, commented: “The five finalists all have a very different range of motorsport experience, but at the interview stage we were exceptionally impressed by their achievements and enthusiasm for becoming part of the Porsche Motorsport pyramid. We’re very excited to see how they perform at the assessment and to watch them develop throughout the various stages of the day. There’s no doubt that we’re assessing five of the most determined and capable drivers.”
The focus of the assessment will be a programme of timed laps in the second generation of ‘Type 991’ Porsche 911 GT3 Cup around the Silverstone National Circuit. Dean and his fellow finalists will also be rated on their ability to analyse data, give feedback and how they interact with the engineers.
In addition, MacDonald will be put through a series of high-intensity fitness tests with the experts at Porsche Human Performance and participate in a media workshop with the TOCA race weekend team. The results from across every aspect of the two days will determine who will earn a drive in the fastest single-marque GT racing championship in the UK.
Dean is hoping to follow in the footsteps, or wheel tracks, of fellow former Strawberry Racing champions, Josh Webster and Charlie Eastwood. Webster raced as the official Porsche GB Carrera Cup Scholar between 2014/15 with Eastwood taking on the role in 2016/17. Both champions will be on hand to offer expert opinion and guidance throughout the selection process.
Despite being just 16-years old, Dean is no stranger to GT cars, having stepped-up to the British GT4 championship at the beginning of the year. For Strawberry Racing team owner Paul Spencer, MacDonald’s opportunity comes as no surprise: “We worked with Dean over three seasons and enjoyed a great deal of success together. He’s not just gifted in the way he can jump in a kart and win. He also played an important part in helping us to develop our equipment in a number of different categories, from Cadets to OK. Everyone here at Strawberry is rooting for Dean and would dearly love to see him win the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Junior drive.”
Both MacDonald and his friends at Strawberry Racing face an agonising wait until the announcement is made at the Porsche Carrera Cup GB awards on 11 November. In addition to the £85,000 budget contribution per season, the Junior will receive one-to-one support from Porsche Motorsport engineers, experts in data analysis and the 911 GT3 Cup, as well as a fully-funded drive in the Silverstone round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in 2019. Assisting with the physical demands of competing, the Porsche Human Performance team will create a full fitness programme and be on hand throughout.
For details of the complete range of OTK karts and opportunities to race with Strawberry in 2018, call Warwick Ringham on 0114 269 6215. You can also email him via firstname.lastname@example.org