Each year, the IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship awards a qualifying up-and-coming driver a prize worth upwards of a quarter million dollars in value toward a full season of competition in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, or IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge for use in the coming season.
To be eligible for the scholarship, drivers must possess a fervent desire to compete in IMSA, have outstanding previous race results and/or proven on-track potential in junior racing categories, and the ability to build a compelling business plan for securing the remaining funding needed to compete in a full season of IMSA racing.
In 2023, the IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship recipient will receive substantial support from IMSA and partners including Michelin, VP Racing Fuels, OMP, RECARO, and LAT Photo USA.
Like always, many of this year’s finalists have SCCA racing prominently in their backgrounds.
Sabré Cook is a three-time Runoffs starter and multi-time Hoosier Super Tour race winner from Colorado Region. Unable to race this year as she recovers from hip surgery following a racing incident late in 2021, her stats from a year ago are impressive. Cook was the only American to qualify for the W Series and finished third in her Porsche Sprint Challenge North America debut at Circuit of The Americas, becoming the first woman in series history to finish on the podium.
Cal Club Region’s Courtney Crone has also stood atop Hoosier Super Tour podiums on multiple occasions. Currently, she is competing in her second season in the IMSA Prototype Challenge, where she has scored three top-10 finishes, including a season-high fifth at Daytona International Speedway. She was the 2021 recipient of the Gorsline Scholarship for Young Racers and has raced in a variety of disciplines, including a run in the Chili Bowl Nationals.
San Francisco Region’s Cameron Parsons got his start racing karts before moving on to the Formula Car Challenge Series, where he won the season points championship in the Formula Mazda class twice. He’s been all over the SCCA banner with his driving, including Pro Racing. In 2020, he was the Trans Am West Coast Rookie of the Year and has raced in the previous iteration of World Challenge.
A Spec Miata racer, Florida Region's Brad Perez has made his way up and down the east coast, competing at tracks from Sebring International Raceway to Daytona International Speedway, Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, Charlotte Motor Speedway, VIRginia International Raceway, and even Road America, where he ran from 55th to 30th in Spec Miata during the 2020 SCCA National Championship Runoffs. Perez has also competed in various NASCAR series, including the Xfinity Series and the Camping World Truck Series.
Cook, Crone, Parsons, and Perez join Sebastian Carazo, Bryson Lew, and Kyle Loh as finalists for this year’s IMSA scholarship.
“The Diverse Driver Development Scholarship is an important initiative for IMSA, and we’re proud to build on its initial success looking ahead to 2023,” IMSA President John Doonan said. “Once again, we were blessed with a wealth of talented applicants. Whoever the recipient of the 2023 scholarship is will be a fine representative of IMSA.”
Photo by Jay Bonvouloir (Sabré Cook competing at the 2020 SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America)