Austrian Royal Rebel Aiming to Revolutionize Driver Development

An Austrian Royal rebel who is aiming to revolutionize driver development highlights this issue of the Driver Development Roundup.

You will also find possible opportunities in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Junior program and the MX-5 Cup in the USA, Ferrari Development Academy news, an electric racing school event for rookie drivers and how sim racing can give you opportunities to race in the real world.

All this and more in this week’s edition of the Driver Development Roundup on Motorsport Prospects. Its news that racers, and aspiring racers can use.

Driver Development Roundup

Applications are open for the 2024-25 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Junior program. The key features of the scheme that have made it such a success remain: £85,000 towards the Junior’s budget across each of the two seasons, access to experienced Porsche engineers on race weekends, a bespoke fitness schedule with Porsche Human Performance, and extensive media training.

How to Apply

If you will be aged between 16 and 21 on 1 February 2024, hold a National race licence, and have competed in no more than one Porsche Carrera Cup GB race weekend, you are eligible to enter the 2024-25 Porsche GB Junior programme. To apply, head to and complete the application form. You will also need to submit a 300-word covering letter explaining why you should be considered as the next Junior.

The final deadline for applications is 21 August 2023.

ERA Racing School has announced a new Racing School Rookie event for the 20th of September. “Racing School Rookie is created for drivers with minimal experience in single seater racing. From the (young) kartingpilot to the trackday driver, everyone is welcome to participate. Learn a well-founded base to race at any track. Here are the key elements.”

This 1-day course prepares you to be able to race at any circuit and you will learn the basics of racing. You do this under the instruction of Pro-Driver Xavier Maassen, who will guide you throughout the impact-filled day.

What’s included in this day?
– Theory Training
– Sim Training
– Driving Time 4×20 min
– Exclusive Zolder track (max. 7 cars)
– Video & Data Analyses
– GoPro footage to take home
– Certificate of participation
– RACB club license obtainable

More information can be found here.

Ferrari Driver Academy
The Ferrari Driver Academy Asia Pacific and Oceania Selection Program class of 2022. (Photos: Xoom D’Image)

The participants for the 2023 Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) – Asia Pacific and Oceania Selection Program have been confirmed for next month’s prestigious event.

Following an application process that saw more than 100 aspiring drivers apply, 25 of the best young talents from around the region were selected and will now make their way to Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia to take part in the five-day program.

The program will see each participant undergo rigorous testing both in the car and out, before two drivers are invited to the FDA’s Scouting World Finals in Maranello, where they will go up against drivers from other regions for a potential place in the FDA next year.

Highlighting the international diversity of the selection program, representatives from six different countries feature in the top 25, including China, South Korea and the Philippines, while there will once again be participants representing India, New Zealand and Australia.

Speaking of Ferrari and their Driver Academy, they also have stated that the Ferrari Driver Academy will play a crucial role as the main partner in determining who they will select as their drivers for the F1 Academy.

Two young women are currently under the Academy’s tutelage: Maya Weug from the Netherlands and Aurelia Nobel from Brazil. These two promising drivers emerged from the Women in Motorsport Commission’s “Girls on Track-Rising Stars” initiative.

MLT Motorsports have announced that they have purchased two of the new Ligier JS F422 cars. The team will campaign two entries in the 2024 Formula 4 United States (F4 U.S.) Championship. MLT Motorsports will use its F4 program to evaluate and help young, upcoming drivers move into its LMP3 and Lamborghini Trofeo programs.

JTR Motorsport Engineering

JTR Motorsports Engineering, winner of the 2022 Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup Series presented by BFGoodrich Tires championship with driver and team principal Jared Thomas, has teamed up with Dave Zuber of Zuber Gardner CPAs to make racing and testing opportunities available to aspiring drivers looking to compete in the IMSA-sanctioned MX-5 Cup series or gain experience in a professionally prepared race car.

This is a great opportunity for just about every driver looking to test the waters of professional racing,” adds Thomas. “Not only do they to get to sit behind the wheel of a pro-level racing car, they will be doing it at several of the most-iconic racing circuits in North America, like Laguna Seca, Watkins Glen, and Road America, just to name three.”

For drivers interested in driving the Zuber Gardner CPAs Mazda MX-5 in selected MX-5 Cup Series events or test sessions this season, please contact Jared Thomas at for more information.

Make sure you are reading my weekly Sim Racing Roundup as it contains some excellent resources for sim racing as well as opportunities to transition into real-world racing. This is what you missed last week:

Max Verstappen wants to help sim racers race for real as part of his soon to debut GT3 racing team, that is how strongly he feels about using sim racing as a driver development tool.

I also feature a new program for helping sim racers build their racecraft skills so they can also race in the real world as well as the latest competitive and general sim racing news and technical reviews. To save you the time I have included a roundup of Gran Turismo movie reviews and background information on the film, the driver the film is about and the GT Academy project.

Max Verstappen Wants to Help Sim Racers Race for Real

Motorsport UK has provided a mid-season report on how the Motorsport UK Academy Class of 2023 is performing. “The 2023 Team UK, Team UK Futures & Futures Co-Drivers, and Enhanced DiSE cohort are showing exceptional promise both on and off the track, with success in the UK and overseas. All the while, the Academy’s busy programme of training sessions has continued to provide the talented group with the opportunity to learn, develop, thrive and ultimately unlock their full potential.”

Ferdinand Habsburg

Planet F1 has a great profile on sports car racer Ferdinand Habsburg and his ground-breaking Rebel Team initiative.

The purpose of Rebel Team is to create a new method of sponsorship for young drivers, one that does not require wealthy individuals or internal companies but instead pools money from a number of fans or members. By paying a membership fee, these fans will be able to participate in team decisions and have better access to the drivers and members of the team. This fee is then given to the junior drivers to help them on their expensive journey up the motorsport ladder.

Rebel Team have three stated goals: achieve a fully financed car exclusively funded by fans and without dependence on sponsorship, create a community and a racing team where decisions are made by its members and create more democratic and inclusive structure in motorsport and move beyond the established business model, aiming to satisfy sponsors as the only stakeholders.

Meet the Austrian royal trying to redefine the route into motorsport

For me it is how can I use my position of being a racing driver, which is an extremely privileged position that very few people get to hold, to bring the real reason why we get to go racing closer in house and that’s what Rebel Team is about.”

Driver Development Roundup

Pratt Miller have announced the acquisition of a new Driver-in-the-Loop Simulator System. Scheduled for installation in the fall of 2023 and operational by January 2024, “this state-of-the-art DiL system supplied by AB Dynamics will revolutionize vehicle simulation capabilities for both motorsports and non-motorsports customers.” Once it is operational it will be “for hire” to any team looking to use it.

For further information or to book the Pratt Miller DiL system, please contact: Luke Sagur Pratt Miller Motorsports Business Director Email:

Danica Patrick has reiterated her thoughts on the best way forward for female race drivers.

“I do have a little bit of… not a criticism, but an opinion about female series, is that it’s fine, it can give opportunity for some who might not get a chance otherwise to show what they can do but at the end of the day, you’re going to have to race against guys.

So when you watch golf, you watch that a lot of times, a golfer that’s maybe not ranked as high, will rise to the occasion with whoever he’s golfing with, and I think that tends to happen in all sports.

I just think that, giving proper tests, to be able to see if a female driver is fast enough, is a great way to know if there should be a next step forward.”

Danica Patrick

Jamie Chadwick is walking the Danica Patrick’s talk this year as she is competing in the Indy NXT series. While she finds the racing physically demanding, she is relishing the challenge.

It’s been tough,” she says. “In Europe there are fewer variables. So say you go from F3 to F2, you’re just getting used to the speed of the car and maybe the different tyres. Whereas at least the tracks stay the same. Here, everything felt new. I turned up to the first race, a street track I’ve never driven, the car’s new, everything just felt peculiar. And that was a big thing that took some time to adjust to. But as time’s gone on I’m starting to understand it; learn more about what it takes to be competitive over there. I’ve really enjoyed that challenge so far.”

More Than Equal

More Than Equal, the non-profit whose mission it is is to find the first female F1 World Champion is looking for partners. What kind of partners are they looking for?

  • A commitment to equity in everything you are and everything you do
  • A commitment to change the world for the better through actions big and small
  • A commitment to learning what you don’t already know (- even if you are surprised by what you find)
  • A commitment to Innovation, Creativity and Courage in practice and not just in presentations(!)

They are a Not For Profit and our commitment is to put extraordinarily talented women onto the top of the F1 podium.

To do that they are;

  • researching the hell out of the problem (obviously!)
  • building the first female dedicated elite driver development programme (yes! Amazing. It has never been done before!!)
  • taking the guess work out of talent identification and using data to spot potential early – think Moneyball for motorsport.

To do this they need help. They need your money obviously – sponsorship, philanthropy, co-funding, grants – however you do it. But what they really need is your voice, your network, your smarts, your skills and services and the power of your super talented people.

The lack of women at the top flight of motorsport is not the worlds biggest problem. But it is an important one. Just as the first woman in space or President of a nation or CEO of a Fortune 500 were. No young girl should look to her dream and see no other women there! So we should change that.”

If you think that you can help in a spirit of genuine collaboration and adventure let them know!

Mission 44, the dedicated charitable foundation set up by Lewis Hamilton, has hailed significant progress over the last two years in its goal of increasing diversity and representation in motorsport.

This, according to Mission 44, has come through increased collaboration with relevant stakeholders in key areas. For example, there has been a significant increase in scholarship and apprenticeship opportunities in motorsport as a result of Mission 44’s partnership with Teach First to increase the number of Black STEM teachers. At the elite level, Formula One, its teams, and the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering are now working to the F1 Diversity Equity and Inclusion Charter, in a bid to help monitor the progress of diversity in the sport.

“Every young person has potential, but for too long, those from underserved backgrounds have not seen themselves represented in Formula One, motorsport or the wider STEM industry,” said Jason Arthur, chief executive of Mission 44.

Motorsport UK is celebrating South Asian Heritage Month as it looks at representation and inclusivity in motorsports.

While statistics on how many British South Asian people tune into an F1 race every weekend are scarce, an official broadcast report released by Formula 1 in early 2020 listed India as one of its top-five markets, with an estimated 31.1 million fans; a figure that would have surely risen with the continued success of Netflix’s ‘Drive to Survive’. While motorsports in general has a long way to go in becoming more prevalent in South Asia, a small number of British South Asian talent can be found here on UK soil; outside the scope of racing.

Mark Boudreau
Author: Mark Boudreau

Mark is the publisher of Motorsport Prospects. As a former lawyer, he applies his legal background and research skills to assist race drivers by showcasing the resources they need to make their motorsport careers happen.