For the past two years, IMSA – an SCCA partner – has accepted applications to help further the motorsports career of diverse drivers looking to advance their path in the racing world. In February, IMSA once again opened the application process for its IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship, a scholarship that not only holds a value of more than $250,000, but is something that so far has only been won by SCCA members. The application deadline for this year’s scholarship is fast approaching, with racers needing to submit their information by Friday, March, 24, 2023.
The first year’s winner of the IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship was San Francisco Region SCCA member Jaden Conwright. Meanwhile, Cal Club Region SCCA member Courtney Crone was the second-year recipient of the scholarship. Both are actively racing in IMSA, with Crone earning a podium finish on Jan. 22, 2023, in the IMSA season-opening weekend at Daytona International Speedway.
Past benefits of the scholarship have included a full-season prepaid entry fee for the first year to drive in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, or IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge, and half of the prepaid entry fee for the second season in one of those series. Support for the scholarship also comes from IMSA partners Michelin, VP Racing Fuels, OMP, Bell, Recaro, and LAT Images.
IMSA states that additions for the 2023 IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship include a series of learning modules:
“New perks this year include a series of learning modules made available to candidates selected from the application pool to bolster their off-track skills and make them stronger candidates in the final step of the process to determine the scholarship winner and two alternates. Subjects of the learning modules include IMSA marketing and sponsorship resources, business development, social media best practices, networking, and enhancing interview skills.”
Per IMSA, applicants for this scholarship must meet certain criteria:
"To be eligible for the IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship, candidates must be female or a member of an ethnic minority classification with a strong desire to compete in IMSA, have outstanding previous race results and/or proven on-track potential in junior racing categories, and the ability to create a compelling strategy to compete in a full season of one of the three IMSA-sanctioned series mentioned above. The scholarship includes tools to bring deserving drivers into IMSA and position them for holistic success both on and off the racetrack."
Candidates will be announced in early April, allowing them time in the spring and summer to complete the learning modules, attend team integration opportunities hosted by IMSA at race events, and complete their final scholarship applications by Sept. 1 with the scholarship recipient announced this fall.
For more information and to apply for the IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship prior to the March 24, 2023, deadline, click here.