As we kick off 2024, the first Driver Development Roundup of the year is packed full of helpful information for the junior or aspiring race driver.
This week I bring you details of why Racing Prodigy is developing what they call their “e2Real” sports league, details of the 14 available SCCA Women on Track scholarships, the reality of turning pro and a new program from the SCCA for aspiring racers.
2024 will also see some brand-new services at Motorsport Prospects including a new newsletter launching shortly that will allow you to keep up to date on all things race driver-related and much more.
Enjoy this week’s Driver Development Roundup and here’s to a fantastic 2024 season!
While at Prodigy Week, Racing Prodigy CEO David Cook explains why they created the world’s first e2Real sports league. Spoiler alert: skill should be the only differentiator, not the pocketbook.
To stay on top of programs like this every week make sure you are reading my Sim Racing Roundup column. It is for those who want to use sim racing as a platform to the real thing.
SCCA Women on Track’s mission – to expand participation of women in all facets of SCCA programs and activities as participants, volunteers, leaders, or supporters – is reaching new heights in 2024, and as part of that, the group will present scholarships to 14 recipients – valued at upwards of $11,500 – spanning SCCA Road Racing, volunteering, RallyCross, Time Trials, RoadRally, and Solo. In previous years, applications for SCCA Women on Track scholarships opened at different times, but in 2024, all applications will open simultaneously – in fact, you can already apply.
While scholarship applications are currently being accepted, not all will share the same deadline.
With an application deadline of Jan. 12, 2024, the first three scholarships presented will be the SCCA Road Racing Drivers’ School Scholarship, the National Time Trials Scholarship, and the Wendi Allen Solo Scholarship.
More information can be found here.
Episode 144 of Inside the SCCA is a special one as they catch up with Jason Pribyl. Jason was the first guest on episode one. He had just come off his first trip to the Runoffs after several years in karts. Since then he’s pursued the dream of being a professional race car driver. You’ve probably noticed Jason doesn’t have a famous last name. His family never won the mega-ball. So he’s going after it the old fashioned way. His story is eye-opening and he shared some nuggets of wisdom that will help any parent who is thinking about trying to help their kid climb the pro racing ladder.
You can watch the interview in the video above.
Wheel-to-wheel racing has a lot of barriers to entry, be it proper safety equipment, the right race car or securing the correct competition license. As a way to lower those barriers to road racing, the SCCA has introduced the SCCA Race Experience, a new program “focused on providing enthusiasts an opportunity to engage in SCCA wheel-to-wheel road racing at lower peak levels of performance and pressure than SCCA Road Racing events, all the while focusing on education and the best overall experience.”
You can read more about it at Grassroots Motorsports here.
Planet F1 ranks the various Formula 1 team junior academies to see which one is most efficient at finding F1 talent.
Although the idea of nurturing young drivers has been going on for decades, Formula 1 took a step up in professionalism in the 21st century. Almost all constructors now have their own academies, designed to find the next Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton. Of course, that is easier said than done, so here are all nine current teams (excluding AlphaTauri) ranked by the percentage of their academy alumni to make it into F1.
It should be noted that a driver is counted for a team regardless of how long they were a part of the academy and a driver, such as Zhou Guanyu, can also be included in multiple team’s tallies.Ranked: Which team has the most efficient academy for finding F1 talent?
A new female-only racing series, the Formula Pro WRS Championship, has been announced for the West Coast of the United States. Running in conjunction with the Formula Pro USA Western Championships, the new WRS Championship will utilize the Ligier JSF4 race car and will feature 12 races over six race weekends at some of the most iconic tracks in the region, including WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Sonoma Raceway, Thunderhill Raceway, and Buttonwillow Raceway.
You can find more details here.