Just 19 years old, Marco, from Bobingen in Germany, will be teaming up with Austrian driver Martin Ragginger (also 19), who has been racing as a UPS Porsche Junior since 2007. The two young drivers will be entering all races for the Carrera Cup Germany at the wheel of a 420-bhp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, as well as six races for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup held on the occasion of various Formula 1 events, where they will be guest starters.
Marco Holzer is succeeding Lance David Arnold who has left the Junior Team as planned after three years. As in the previous years, the Manthey Racing Team will be in charge of team management and all activities on the track.
Marco Holzer has successfully made his way to the team following an elaborate scrutiny of numerous international young talents, first undergoing a medical test at the University of Potsdam as well as a theoretical examination, then successfully completing several driving tests on the track. Apart from fast and consistent lap times, the decision taken by the jury in favor of Marco was based on his technical knowledge and his ability to set up the suspension of the car with perfect results. Further essential criteria were health, fitness, resistance to stress, and the personal style of the young drivers who will be required at a later date to represent UPS and Porsche on various occasions and at a number of events.
“I’m really looking forward to my first year in a car with a roof over my head. So far I’ve only driven Formula cars. But after just a few test laps, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup was really a wonderful experience," states Marco Holzer.
American Charles Scardina, from Delray Beach, Florida, was one of the seven finalists, invited to the competition after his success last season in the IMSA Challenge by Michelin. Current Porsche factory driver Patrick Long is the only American to win the Junior Team competition.
Marco scored his first important success at the young age of just ten back in 1998, clinching the German Championship in the Bambini Kart Class. In 2003 he finished third in the German Junior Kart Championship, in 2005 he won the World Finals of Formula BMW, and in 2006 he completed a Formula 1 test for the BMW Sauber Team in Valencia. In the 2007 season, finally, Marco was back on the track in the Formula 3 Euro Series.
“Like in previous years, we examined the results of our scrutiny tests very thoroughly and in great detail. In the process we really got to know Marco very well and we are convinced that he is the right man for the UPS Porsche Junior Team and Porsche in general", states Porsche’s Sports Director Hartmut Kristen on behalf of the jury, which, among others, included Carrera Cup Manager Helmut Greiner, Team Director Olaf Manthey, and a representative of UPS.
Ever since it was established in 1997, the UPS Porsche Junior Team has been acknowledged as a cradle of talents for touring and sports car racing. During a training period of up to three years as UPS Porsche Juniors, the young talents not only learn to drive fast, but also take lessons in technology, undergo media training, and receive consistent medical support and back-up. Cooperating with experienced top-notch engineers and closely linked to Porsche motorsport, the drivers are consistently prepared for their job as professional racing drivers.
The list of former, highly successful Porsche Juniors is long and convincing: Dirk MÃ¼ller was the first Junior to bring home the Championship in the Carrera Cup in 1998. Subsequently he won many long-distance titles and finished as the runner-up in the World Touring Car Championship on two occasions. Lucas Luhr, in turn, brought home the Carrera Cup title in 1999 in his very first year of training with Porsche, and has become one of the most successful sports car drivers in recent years.
Timo Bernhard completed his training as a racing driver in 2001 by winning the Carrera Cup, scoring further outstanding victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona, Le Mans and NÃ¼rburgring, and driving the Porsche RS Spyder 2007 to the Championship in the American Le Mans Series. Marc Lieb was the best driver in the Carrera Cup in 2002 and since then has been celebrating one win after the other in the FIA GT Series and the Le Mans Series. He also brought home overall victory in the 24 Hours of Spa in 2003 and won the GT2 Class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2005. In 2007, in turn, he clinched the title in the 24 Hours of NÃ¼rburgring.
Mike Rockenfeller was the superior winner of the Carrera Cup in 2004 and brought home numerous class and overall victories for the Porsche FIA GT Series, the ALMS, the Grand Am Series, and the 24 Hours of Spa, Le Mans, and NÃ¼rburgring, before moving over to the DTM German Touring Masters. His Junior teammate that year, Patrick Long, has gone on to class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 12 Hours of Sebring, Petit Le Mans, and an American Le Mans Series GT2 championship.
In 2008 the UPS Porsche Junior Team is entering its twelfth season, with UPS, the world-famous logistics company, having become far more than “just" the main sponsor and co-name of the team ever since 1997.
“The ongoing support we have received from UPS has given us the security we need for planning and has contributed significantly to the success of our training activities", emphasizes Helmut Greiner, who, apart from his position as the Director of the Carrera Cup, is also responsible for the Porsche Juniors.