This week I bring you news from several racing scholarship programs, race series and more opportunities that are available for you to make your racing dreams a reality.
From sim racing to the world-renowned Skip Barber Racing School racing series, you will find information on any number of ways you can compete on track. Find out more in this week’s Driver Development Roundup on Motorsport Prospects. Its news aspiring racers can use.
Entries for the 2024 Skip Barber Formula Race Series are now open. In 2024, the overall champion of the Skip Barber Formula Race Series will be offered a scholarship valued at $100,000 to advance to USF Juniors in the following season. The champion in the series’ Master’s class will be offered a full-season scholarship to compete in the 2025 Skip Barber Formula Race Series.
Expert race coaching from Skip Barber Instructors, new Skip Barber Formula Race Cars, true arrive-and-drive format, and the amenities of a professional race weekend. Get the full details here.
The Andersen Promotions-owned USF Pro 2000, USF2000 and USF Juniors series have unveiled their 2024 calendars and scholarships. Winning next year’s USF Juniors title will award a driver $263,7000, up from $248,815 this year, to spend on a USF2000 seat for 2025. Becoming USF2000 champion earns a driver $458,400 (up from $440,125) to spend on stepping up to USFP2000, then the USFP2000 champion will recieve $681,500 (up from $664,425) to fund a move up to Indy Nxt.
Next year will be significant for the junior series since they switch rubber supplier to Continental Tire after a long-running partnership and supply deal with Cooper Tires.
The brand new all-electric Formula G series (rebranded from the ACE Championship) aims to thrive with their format, technology and calendar.
If you do a chart of the motorsport world right now, there’s a big hole in the middle, and that’s a hole we want to fill in right now. We’re not really re-inventing anything,” series co-founder and CEO Dilbagh Gill tells RACER. “Support racing with combustion engines that has existed for 30-40 years, doesn’t exist in electric, [so] let’s go and do it. We’re not trying to get into the crowded landscape, we’re just seeing this huge hole that hadn’t been taken care of.
We’re trying to create the born-electric generation, but at the same time, I also don’t want to keep talking just about electric — we want to talk about motorsport also,” Gill says. “Electric motorsport can be fun motorsport, it can be cost-effective motorsport, and at the same time we believe it can give tools in certain markets for developing drivers to become good drivers, irrespective of where they want to go on their journey.Charging up: All-electric Formula G aims to thrive alongside emerging motorsport talent
Names of the 12 finalists set to compete in the 16th running of the Mazda MX-5 Cup Shootout have been revealed.
After being selected as a nominee, drivers were asked to submit a racing resume with career highlights, a bio explaining why they are a great fit for Mazda and a video detailing their interest in MX-5 Cup, what makes them successful and what they do away from the track to support their racing career. A panel of racing professionals and Mazda Motorsports staff reviewed the videos before selecting 12 individuals to invite to the Shootout.
The full list of drives selected can be found here.
Auckland teenager Liam Sceats has won $70,000 from the Tony Quinn Foundation towards next year’s Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship, New Zealand’s international single-seater racing series in identical Toyota-powered cars.
“Over the moon is an understatement. It’s just good to get over the line. Last year we fell short, and I was confident coming into today that I could get myself over the line, and I managed to do that,” said Sceats after being announced the winner.
Last season’s Toyota 86 Championship winner Brock Gilchrist has been announced as the recipient of the 2023 Giltrap Motorsport Junior Scholarship, which will see him compete in a fully-funded season of the Summerset GT New Zealand Championship. Gilchrist will compete in a 570S GT4, with McLaren CEO Zak Brown announcing the winner via video at the Garage 66 Gala Opening. Dylan Grant was named as reserve driver and receives a $5000 motorsport grant.
The Scholarship was open to applications from young drivers aged 16-25 who have shown excellence in local Motorsport and believe they have what it takes to have a career in this sport. It is a new project for Giltrap Group, which has traditionally focused on helping Kiwis take on the world. They realise how hard it is to get the opportunity to show you have the potential to take on the world, so, for the first time, they have focused 100% of their local sponsorship on allowing one young New Zealander a chance to race and win at home.
Any driver that takes their ARDS Test with The Motorsports School in the CityCar Cup car and then decides to join the championship, will be eligible for free CityCar Cup Championship registration courtesy of Nankang Tyre UK.
“CityCar Cup delivers a brilliant platform for new drivers to learn their racing and to develop their skills without spending fortunes. To allow new drivers to get first-hand experience of the CityCar Cup cars and what they are like to drive, the BRSCC in partnership with Nankang Tyres is delighted to announce that the Club has donated a fully race ready example to The Motorsports School which will be used by them to carry out ARDS training and driver evaluations. Anyone signing up to take an ARDS test with The Motorsports School in future will be given the opportunity to do so in this fully fledged little CityCar Cup race car.”
If you have not checked this out already, Winding Road Magazine published an excellent and comprehensive Guide to Road Racing. “Winding Road Magazine’s ultimate guide to getting your start in racing, with over 70 articles organized into an easy-to-follow table of contents.”
The already high and ever-increasing cost of competing in motorsport at a young age is limiting diversity according to an article by the BBC. “A recent report from the BBC highlighted the journey of Dhian Singh Pahal, whose father is trying to compete against “multi-millionaires” to help his son onto the motorsport ladder. Motorsport UK told BBC Asian Network the number of ethnically diverse people that work in the industry equates to less than 3%.”
Nicolas Hamilton was handed the prestigious Sports Icon award at the recent Variety Club Disability Awards, held in celebration of people with disabilities in sports. With honours across many levels, roles, locations and sports, the Awards aim to make the sporting world a more diverse and inclusive place.
Nathalie McGloin, the only female tetraplegic racing driver in the world, was meanwhile nominated for a Champion for Change Award on account of her ongoing work to get more disabled community members in the driving seat.
Loughborough Car Club was nominated in the Community and Clubs Award category for its Disabled Driver Scholarship, which offers two candidates a year of club motorsport completely free of charge.
Last week was the inaugural Prodigy Week, a competition I mentioned last week that will award the winning sim racer the opportunity for a fully-funded real-world race seat. You can follow how the competition evolved day by day in the videos below starting with an overview of Prodigy Week.