A little over one month ago, SCCA Women on Track announced 14 scholarships to assist female participants during the 2024 competition season. Those scholarships would span SCCA Road Racing, volunteering, RallyCross, Time Trials, RoadRally, and Solo – everything that makes the Sports Car Club of America® what it is today. It was also announced that the application deadlines for the SCCA Road Racing Drivers’ School Scholarship, the National Time Trials Scholarship, and the Wendi Allen Solo Scholarship was Jan. 12, with those scholarship recipients being announced on Jan. 26 during the 2024 SCCA National Convention.
That first round of scholarships totaled $7,500, which headed to three recipients of the Wendi Allen Solo Scholarship, two Time Trials National Tour Scholarship recipients, and two Road Racing Drivers’ School recipients.
SCCA Women on Track scholarships accepting applications through May 31, 2024, are the Runoffs Volunteer Scholarship, RallyCross Nationals Scholarship, and RoadRally Scholarship. In addition, one more Time Trials Scholarship is still accepting applications, with this scholarship assisting in the funding of female drivers aiming to compete specifically at the Tire Rack SCCA Time Trials Nationals Powered by Hagerty in October.
Wendi Allen Solo Scholarships
The Wendi Allen Solo Scholarship presents three women with $1,500 scholarships each in support of their travel to Tire Rack National Solo events and the Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships. The SCCA will waive entry fees for scholarship recipients to all Tire Rack National Solo events attended during the year and work with the Solo community and commercial partners to seek out other forms of support for the recipients, such as driver training, mentoring, products, and logistical assistance.
Funding for two of these scholarships comes from SCCA Foundation. A third scholarship is offered thanks to Mazda Motorsports.
This year’s Wendi Allen Solo Scholarship recipients are Sarah Miles and Shelby Redding, with Ashley Weaver selected for the Mazda-funded portion of the scholarship.
An SCCA member since 2019, Atlanta Region’s Ashley Weaver is following in her grandfather’s footsteps. “My grandfather has been participating in SCCA Solo for as long as I can remember,” Weaver, who has been competing in a 2019 Mazda MX-5 in C Street Ladies and L3 in ProSolo competition, said. “In 2018, when I moved to Atlanta, he convinced me to try out one of Atlanta SCCA's novice schools; he signed me up for it, let me drive his Focus ST, and even taught me how to drive stick. I had such a blast at the novice school that I got home that afternoon and immediately registered for the regular autocross event the following day. Since that day, I have attended as many SCCA Solo events as I could.”
Sarah Miles joined the Club as a Steel Cities Region member in 2021, with her first taste of the Club coming at a ProSolo. “I went to a ProSolo with [my now-husband] and rode along for the practice starts – to say I was hooked was an understatement,” she explained. “I then participated in a few local autocrosses that same fall, and then dove headfirst into National competition in 2022. I haven't looked back since, and now Solo is how I spend the majority of my weekends during the summers. Solo is a great ‘brain activity,’ as we call it – something for my overactive brain to do that focuses on learning and continuous improvement. In fact, having a sport to focus on so intensely has helped me in my career as well.”
Shelby Redding first came to the Club in 2014 and is now part of Snake River Region, although her involvement with autocross dates back to 2011. “I've always supported [my husband] from the sidelines while taking care of our two kids and not being too sure of if it would be something that I would be good at,” she said. “Since moving to the Snake River Region in 2017, I had the fortunate luck of meeting Amber Jorgensen, who ultimately finally pressured me into having a go in her car in October of 2022. While my husband was deployed, she only pushed me further and further to continue coming out, and by my second event, [I was] hooked on the whole experience.”
Time Trials National Tour Scholarships
The Time Trials National Tour Scholarship selects two recipients to each receive $500 scholarships toward attending a 2024 Tire Rack SCCA Time Trials National Tour Powered by Hagerty weekend. Later this year, one additional recipient will receive $1,000 to put toward attending the 2024 Time Trials Nationals (TTN) on Oct. 24-27 at NCM Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, KY. (Applications are currently being accepted for the $1,000 TTN scholarship.)
Joining in 2002, Central Kentucky Region’s Cindy Duncan is not new to the Club – she’s also not new to motorsports competition, winning F Street Ladies at the Solo National Championships in 2016, with the Wendi Allen Solo Scholarship aiding that journey. Her performance in 2016 also resulted in her earning the Solo Driver of the Year Award. And now, her journey also includes National Time Trials competition, where she’s found the same camaraderie that’s attracted her to autocross. “I go more for the people and enjoying like-minded people doing fun car things than I do for competition,” she said. “Competition can be fun, but at the end of the day, nobody will ever remember someone won a race, but everyone you interact with will remember how you made them feel.”
South Carolina Region member Shellie McKee is also a recipient of the Time Trials National Tour Scholarship. Joining the Club in 2013, McKee began her journey with autocross, adding Time Trials a few years later. “I began Time Trials in 2018 when my Region joined the SCCA National Office and neighboring Regions to host the first [Time Trials National Tour] event at Carolina Motorsports Park,” she explained. “At the time, I had done a two day PDX and could not wait to get back on track. Time Trials was a great format to get new drivers on track with little to no experience, and I jumped right in.”
Road Racing Drivers’ School Scholarships
The SCCA Women on Track Road Racing Drivers’ School Scholarship presents two recipients with $1,000 scholarships each to attend an SCCA competition Drivers’ School. This year’s recipients are Reagan Thomas and Olivia Hammac.
At just 16-years old, St Louis Region member Olivia Hammac has seemingly done it all. “I got my first kart for Christmas when I was 7 1/2-years old,” she said. “I started autocrossing with the SCCA Hawaii Region. My parents sent me to every driving school offered by Hawaii Region. I was even voted by the membership as [Hawaii Region] Driver of the Year in 2016. We then moved to Florida in 2017 and I became a member of the [Central Florida Region]. My dad started me in wheel-to-wheel racing in Florida as well.”
Reagan Thomas from the Central Carolinas Region also got her start with the Club through autocross, and like Hammac, has been eyeing wheel-to-wheel competition. “I became interested in SCCA Road Racing by attending [Hoosier] Super Tours, SARRC, and other events at my local tracks – Carolina Motorsports Park and VIR,” Thomas said. “The community, from the guy at the scales, to the corner marshals, to random people I would interact with in the paddock, was unlike any other organization I have been a part of. Everyone was so welcoming and had such an apparent love for the organization, it made me feel welcome and at home, and I've been hooked ever since.”
How You Can Help SCCA Women on Track
Funding for SCCA Women on Track initiatives comes from the SCCA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support the Sports Car Club of America by providing inclusive opportunities for motorsports competition, safety, education, and historical preservation through such programs as Tire Rack Street Survival, VETMotorsports, SCCA Women on Track, SCCA Archives, and more.
Recently, three donors – Karen Boehm, Robert Rothstein, and Tere Pulliam – made significant donations to SCCA Foundation, earmarking their donations to go specifically toward SCCA Women on Track programs.
You, too, can earmark your SCCA Foundation donations for SCCA Women on Track, or for any of the Foundation’s other initiatives. Head to the SCCA Foundation’s website to discover more about the not-for-profit charitable organization, along with how you can earmark donations for the program of your choice.
Photo caption: Olivia Hammac, seen here at the 2023 Solo National Championships after winning SSL, is a recipient of the 2024 SCCA Women on Track Road Racing Drivers’ School Scholarship.
Photo by Andy Howe