PT Autosport announces finalists for the second annual Aspiring Driver Shootout

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PT Autosport announces finalists for the second annual Aspiring Driver Shootout

12 candidates will vie for a racing partnership with the team’s junior racing program

MILLVILLE, NJ (12 July 2023) – PT Autosport today announced the final 12 Aspiring Driver Shootout candidates who will compete at New Jersey Motorsport Park in early August for the opportunity to earn a $100,000 racing partnership and to join the team’s junior racing program.

The team received 137 applications from aspiring drivers located all over the world, spanning three continents, six countries, and 31 different American states. Applications came from a diverse base of gender, ethnicities, education levels and social backgrounds – including students and graduates from 74 different universities. Those applications were whittled down to 88, who received an intensive second round of scrutiny in order to set the final list of candidates.

Of the 12 selected candidates, four are returning from the inaugural 2022 Shootout.

“The applicants this year were a very strong group, hailing from around the globe and from a wide array of backgrounds,” said team principal Jason Myers. “It’s really great to see so many diverse groups represented across our applicants. Picking the final 12 – four from the 2022 shoot out and eight new applicants – was incredibly tough and resulted in a number of tiebreakers. Ultimately, I think we’re solid with the eight new candidates chosen and will present solid competition to the four veterans.

“We’re looking forward to running the shootout in a similar, yet slightly different format,” said Myers. “We debriefed extensively over the past year and saw some areas where we could add some testing/learning opportunities. We want these kids to have fun but also ignite their fierce competition coupled with solid decision making and judgment – as this is what will win them races and ensure a long, rewarding career in sports car racing.”

The Shootout will take place August 1 through 3 at New Jersey Motorsports Park. The candidates will be undergo an extensive series of examinations to decide the winner, including media, driving (including sim work) and fitness testing on the first day, then a full day of driving – with the evaluation process taking place throughout the day.

“We’ll assess the candidates on many different levels,” said PT Autosport driver and director of operations/driver development Alex Sedgwick. “They’ll know the areas of assessment, but without much information about what we’re looking for in terms of scoring. It’s open to interpretation, which allows them to be themselves instead of presenting what they think we want to hear.”

The selection committee/coaching staff includes drivers Ryan Eversley, Ric Collins (Porsche/Silverstone driving coach), Will Martin (currently third in Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup NA points), Anton Spires (multi-time junior series champion), and Jessie Gröse (longtime driver coach and founder of Von Gröse Motorsport). Anthony Crouchelli (master instructor in the health, wellness, and fitness industry) will conduct fitness testing, with Joseph Maggio (health counselor, medical massage practitioner, and licensed acupuncturist) managing health and wellness training.

PT Autosport is dedicated to increasing the presence of junior drivers in the motorsports industry that come from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds. Paramount to this mission is creating career development opportunities and forming an educational, competitive, and supportive environment for all team members, allowing them to grow and learn.

The team’s multi-tiered development program begins with the Aspiring Driver Shootout. The winner will receive extensive coaching and racing experience designed to help him or her progress to an advanced racing series within the team’s structure, or with one of the team’s operational partners. The 2022 winner, Henry Drury, has begun his racing program, contesting the Finger Lakes Area Porsche Club of America’s Porsche Clash weekend at Watkins Glen International last month.

The Finalists are:

Brian Blauman
Age: 22
From: Seaford, N.Y.
Experience: sim racing, indoor karting, touring kart, autocross
Hobbies: ski racing, working out, iRacing
Note: degree in automotive engineering from Virginia Tech

Vince Fortea
Age: 23
From: Charlotte, N.C.
Born: Philippines
Experience: autocross
Note: degree in electronic media and broadcasting from Appalachian State

Louis Garland IV
Age: 22
From: Chicago, Ill.
Experience: karting, iRacing
Hobbies: creating content, learning new schools, music
Note: former paratrooper in the Army’s 82nd Airborne

Set Paing Htin
Age: 19
From: San Jose, Calif.
Experience: karting
Hobbies: downhill biking, photography, reading, traveling

Max Moinfar
Age: 22
From: Potomac, Md.
Hobbies: creating videos, sim racing, long boarding
Note: attends the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business

Eric Norman
Age: 21
From: Savannah, Ga.
Experience: sim racing, track days
Hobbies: cars, science, sim racing, food
Note: studying mechanical engineering at the University of Georgia

Anthony Ospino
Age: 23
From: Miami, Fla.
Born: Colombia
Experience: karting, touring cars
Hobbies: working out, sim racing, CAD modeling
Note: earned a degree in mechanical engineering

Bryce Rodriguez
Age: 20
From: Beacon, N.Y.
Experience: sim racing, karting
Hobbies: working out, graphic design, travel

Henrique Ruozzi
Age: 23
From: Allentown, Pa.
Born: Brazil
Experience: karting, sim racing
Hobbies: sailing, traveling, iRacing, motorcycle riding

Brenna Schubert
Age: 23
From: Quakertown, Pa.
Experience: karting, Lucas Oil School of Racing, Formula SAE (at Penn State University)
Hobbies: Dancing, golf, swimming

Alejandro Vielma
Age: 18
From: California
Experience: shifter karts, some sports car, sim racing
Hobbies: running, collecting model cars, music

Erika Wagner
Age: 19
From: Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Experience: karting
Hobbies: teaches robotics, FIU Formula SAE team
Note: studying crime science and disaster management at FIU