5 November 2023
Valters Zviedris, Latvia’s leading road racing driver, will go to Portugal on 12 November 2023 to participate in the prestigious “Porsche Motorsport Junior Shoot-out” selection event. The Latvian racing driver will be one of the 12 invited young talents who will compete on the famous Portimao circuit for the main prize – a place in the “Porsche Motorsport” Junior program and more than 200 000 euros of support for the next season.
Valters Zviedris became the “Porsche Sprint Challenge NEZ” champion in a fierce battle this year, which paved the way for him to the “Porsche Motorsport Junior Shoot-out”. Only drivers who have finished in the top five in one of the official “Porsche” cups and are not older than 24 years are invited to this event. It should be noted that there are more than 30 championships around the world in which Porsche 911 GT3 CUP cars are entered, so entering the top 12 world juniors is already considered a great achievement. Among the participants will be the pilots who have won titles in high-level national championships, as well as drivers who have won victories in the “Porsche Supercup”, which is held parallel to the F1 stages this season.
The Porsche Motorsport Junior Selection will take place from 13 to 15 November 2023 at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve near Portimão, which regularly hosts top-level road racing events and has hosted exciting F1 rounds in 2020 and 2021. On the first day, the young athletes will undergo health checks and mental toughness tests, as well as take part in impromptu press activities and interview sessions. In the continuation of the selection, the action will turn to the track, where for two days the pilots will have to prove not only their speed on the track, but also demonstrate their knowledge of the car’s structure and adjustments in communication with Porsche engineers.
“I am very happy and honoured that I will have the opportunity to participate in this event and represent both the “Porsche Sprint Challenge NEZ” championship and Latvia. Looking at the list of competitors, it is clear that all drivers are of a high level, even world class, having won victories in the Porsche Supercup. This will be a great opportunity for me not only to show myself, but also to compare myself with the world’s best Porsche 911 GT3 CUP drivers to understand what my speed is at this level. It will also be a great pleasure to work with “Porsche Motorsport” engineers and coaches, which will be a very valuable experience for me and will definitely be useful in my further motorsport career”, says Valters Zviedris about participating in the “Porsche Motorsport Junior Shoot-out”.
In order to be in the best possible shape, the Latvian racing driver is currently conducting an active preparation process. “I am preparing both physically and mentally for this event, and I also spend a lot of time in the simulator, learning the track and looking for the fastest trajectories. Although I have never been to Portimão before, I had driven it before in the simulator. The track is very interesting, a lot of terrain, high speeds, with the Porsche 911 GT3 CUP it is possible to reach up to 260 km/h. It should be noted that the media and mental section of the event is no less important than driving. In order to become a “Porsche” Junior, one must not only be fast, but also psychologically resilient and able to speak well,” Valters comments on the preparation, the track and the selection criteria.
Since its establishment in 1997, the “Porsche” Junior program has helped more than 25 young athletes to take the next steps in their careers. The most outstanding graduates of the program include Timo Bernhard, Marc Lieb and Earl Bamber, all three of whom became Porsche factory pilots through the Junior program and celebrated victories at the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours at the wheel of the Porsche 919 Hybrid. An excellent example of recent years is also Thomas Preining, who was a “Porsche” Junior in 2017-2018, but this year he became the DTM champion in the world’s strongest GT3 class championship.
Winning the “Porsche Sprint Challenge NEZ” championship title and participating in the “Porsche Motorsport Junior Shoot-out” event would not have been possible without a huge support, so Valters and the team would like to say many thanks to all the supporters of this season: “Baltijas Sporta Auto – Porsche Latvija”, “Optibet Latvija”, “AOX Trade”, Jūrmala, “Visit Jūrmala”, “Blue Shock Race”, “NPK Expert”, “Joker club”, “Energolukss”, “I-Con” and SIA “Dārta”.
In Latvian –