Porsche New Zealand is pleased to announce that the Porsche Sprint Challenge Australia scholarship driver for the 2024 season is Brock Gilchrist. The scholarship allows Gilchrist to race in a 911 GT3 Cup Car, with the support of Team Porsche New Zealand (TPNZ) and Earl Bamber Motorsport.
46 promising young drivers aged 16-21 applied for the 2024 TPNZ Scholarship. A shortlist of applicants were interviewed by Earl Bamber and Porsche New Zealand, and Gilchrist was selected as the most promising young driver, and best fit for the team.
Gilchrist met Porsche Motorsport officials, Oliver Köeppen - Manager of One Make Series and GT Sport (Worldwide), Claudio Mack - Project Co-Ordinator One Make Series (Asia Pacific), and Nathan Pilcher - Porsche New Zealand Motorsport Co-ordinator to officially accept the scholarship.
The 19-year-old from Auckland has been in motorsport since the age of 6, transitioning from go-karts to cars at the age of 13. After competing for 4 seasons in the Toyota 86 series, Gilchrist won the championship in 2023, taking him to Nürburgring to experience racing in a GT4 Toyota Supra earlier this year. In addition, Gilchrist recently received the inaugural Giltrap Motorsport Junior Scholarship which sees him competing in the GT NZ Championship, with the season concluding before his shift to racing Porsche in Australia.
In addition to motorsport, Gilchrist has an apprenticeship as a plumber which he will pursue alongside his racing career next year.
Success since the launch of Team Porsche New Zealand in Australia
In 2023, TPNZ achieved the ultimate success - taking out the double championship victory in Australia's single-make Porsche series. The achievements show the scholarship programme is meeting its purpose of winning & creating a pathway for young New Zealand talent to advance in motorsport.
In his third year with TPNZ, Callum Hedge took out the top title for Porsche racing in Australia, securing the Porsche Carrera Cup championship victory during the dramatic final race of the season. Callum will pursue his single-seater career next year as he progresses to Indy NXT.
In addition, Marco Giltrap claimed the championship victory for the 2023 Porsche Sprint Challenge Australia season at the final round held at Bathurst International last month. Marco has been announced to be continuing with Team Porsche New Zealand in 2024, moving up to competing in Porsche Carrera Cup Australia alongside TPNZ scholarship recipient Zac Stichbury.
In the Porsche Sprint Challenge 2022, Ryan Wood concluded his debut Australian season in second place. In 2023, Wood was picked up by Walkinshaw Andretti United to progress through Super2 and has been announced to be racing in Supercars in 2024.
Matthew Payne was the 2021 TPNZ Carrera Cup Scholarship driver and has since progressed his career in Supercars to become a full-time driver for Penrite racing in 2023 & 2024. Payne recently achieved his Maiden win this year in Supercars at the Adelaide 500.