Porsche’s Young Driver Academy has undergone a change of venue this year, with its four selected drivers having participated in a two-day training program at the Porsche Experience Center in Los Angeles this week.
Max Root, David Kolkmann, Roman De Angelis and Mitchell De Jong took part in the academy, designed to highlight selected North American drivers between 18 and 26 years of age.
PYDA aims to put the invitees through a “new set of challenges while retaining core aspects” established in the early days of the academy, which has seen 29 drivers go through the program since its launch in 2012.
It’s highlighted by opportunities to learn in the fields of driving, nutrition, sports psychology, media and automotive technology, with lessons from Porsche factory driver Patrick Long, PMNA race director Owen Hayes and PCNA spokesperson for motorsport and brand heritage Dave Engelman.
Television personality Jamie Howe and renowned auto documentary maker J.F. Musial of Tangent Vector were part of the curriculum this year, along with internationally recognized performance specialist Dr. Jacques Dallaire and professional driver Jan Heylen.
On-track car-control sessions were held at the PEC LA test track while Base 51 supplied concentrated race simulations to further race and test driving feedback as well as teamwork skills.
“By moving the venue from the Porsche Driving Experience (formally the Porsche Sport Driving School) to our home at the PEC in Carson, we lost the two-car 911 GT3 Cup experience, but gained a different perspective with the iRacing simulators of Base 51,” said Hayes.
“This year’s group of young drivers once again came from a diverse background, and impressed on all levels.”
Engelman added: “With the change of venue and in-car approach, we were able to see a different side of the attendees.
“After a solid day of classroom and on-camera media training with Jamie Howe, simulating a four-driver team at the Rolex 24 At Daytona on the simulators saw camaraderie outpace the already high-level of competitiveness.”