The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) has unveiled its new IMSA Diverse Driver Development annual scholarship program, which will allocate more than a quarter-million dollars each year to promote and empower drivers from a variety of backgrounds to participate in IMSA-sanctioned series, the sanctioning body announced.
The IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship includes tools to bring drivers into IMSA and position them for success both on and off the racetrack through substantial assistance from the sanctioning body and several IMSA corporate partners, as well as other industry resources, the series said. A new scholarship will be awarded each year, with additional benefits extending to a second year for each selected recipient.
“While there are examples of male and female drivers from diverse backgrounds that have won IMSA races and competed for championships over the years, we must strive for much more diversity and inclusion in our sport,” said IMSA President John Doonan. “The IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship will facilitate the introduction and growth of new drivers who may currently believe that IMSA is out of their reach.
“This multi-dimensional scholarship will assist financially and also work with drivers to provide a strong foundation for success both on and off the racetrack. Our goal is to create more opportunities to compete and achieve sustainable success in IMSA.”
To be eligible for the scholarship, candidates from diverse lifestyles or backgrounds must have a strong desire to compete in IMSA, 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 the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge or IMSA Prototype Challenge series, the sanctioning body said.
The IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship provides the recipient with upwards of $290,000 in financial and product support in the first year, depending on the driver’s chosen series. First-year support for the recipient includes the following:
- One full-season premium entry into the WeatherTech Championship, Michelin Pilot Challenge or IMSA Prototype Challenge, worth anywhere from $110,000 to $235,000.
- One set of Michelin race tires per event in chosen race series.
- Two drums of VP Racing Fuel per event in chosen race series.
- One OMP custom racing suit.
- One RECARO racing seat.
- One set of promotional headshots provided by LAT Photo USA.
In the second year of the IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship, IMSA will offer the recipient 50 percent off a full-season premium entry fee toward participation in the WeatherTech Championship, Michelin Pilot Challenge or IMSA Prototype Challenge. In addition, Michelin will provide the recipient with one set of Michelin race tires per event in their chosen race series for the second year.