The Audi Sport TT Cup made its debut in the 2015 season and proved inspirational from the green light. More than 160 drivers from 30 nations applied, before the 18 drivers finally selected offered spectators a thrilling maiden season. Also the second year was a complete success. The Audi driving experience assessed the budding young talents as well as the guest starters and trained them for the task in hand. Josef ‘Sepp’ Haider as Team Boss of the Audi race experience and the two instructors Markus Winkelhock and Marco Werner accompanied the young drivers from the preparation stage to the races.
The Audi driving experience expands its portfolio for the 2016 season: in the future, the Audi Sport racing academy will accompany the careers of young racing drivers.
Every possibility offered by the Audi driving experience is used for this purpose. Be it winter training in Austria, driving on ice in Finland or trips to European race tracks – the talented young drivers receive a profound education. “Professional motorsport is much more than just being able to drive fast,” says coordinator Sepp Haider. “You have to give a good account of yourself at public appearances and be able to talk in detail with technicians about the racecar set-up. We create an ideal platform for young drivers to develop further.”
The programme is – subject to the experience of the young drivers – compiled of several steps: A phase of comprehensive preparation is followed by outings in the Audi Sport TT Cup and later in a GT series with the Audi race experience. For every year, each candidate receives clearly defined individual goals, which are checked to ensure they are achieved. The budding young drivers are supported in the process by a mentor who is assigned specifically to them and is on hand as personal contact to answer questions and advise if problems occur.
After conclusion of the support provided by the Audi Sport racing academy, it should be possible for the young drivers to make the jump into professional motorsport. Haider describes the ambitious target as follows: “The drivers supported should be capable of participating in driver assessments for future outings in LMP, DTM or GT3 with Audi Sport and Audi Sport customer racing and ideally become potential factory drivers.”
Haider continues: “The Audi Sport racing academy creates an ideal programme with which to accompany and support the motorsport stars of tomorrow as they make their first steps. The young talents receive full support and supervision every step of the way. All this is made in close cooperation with Audi Sport.”