The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) is to launch the IMSA Diverse Driver Development annual scholarship, a program that will give away more than US$250,000 annually to promote and help a range of different drivers looking to participate in IMSA-sanctioned series.
IMSA says the scholarship has been designed to provide participants with the right tools for a successful career on and off the racetrack, and will include guidance from several sanctioning bodies, IMSA corporate partners, and other industry resources.
Each year, a new recipient will be selected, and a scholarship will be awarded, and in the second year, additional benefits will be added. These include a 50% reduction in the cost of a full-season premium entry fee when participating in the WeatherTech Championship, Michelin Pilot Challenge or IMSA Prototype Challenge. Alongside this, the recipient will also receive one set of Michelin race tires per event in their selected race series.
“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,” commented John Doonan, IMSA president. “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.”
IMSA states that to be eligible for the scholarship, candidates must come from a diverse background or lifestyle and be backed up by strong previous race results alongside the desire to compete in IMSA. The individual must also come up with a business plan to secure the remaining funding needed to compete in a full IMSA season.
The chosen recipient will receive around US$290,000 in financial and product support for the first year, depending on the race series. Other first-year support will include:
- One full-season premium entry into the WeatherTech Championship, Michelin Pilot Challenge or IMSA Prototype Challenge, worth anywhere from US$110,000 to US$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.