The Parella Motorsports Holdings Powering Diversity Scholarship has been awarded to five female drivers: Hannah Greenemeier and Ava Dobson in F4 US, Kaylee Bryson in SVRA, as well as Michele Abbate and Amy Ruman in Trans Am Series.
Parella Motorsports Holdings has announced the recipients of this year's PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship, in initiative launched in 2021 to increase diversity on the field of the PMH-promoted championships.
The programme was previously dedicated to the Formula 4 US Championship and Formula Regional Americas Championship, but is set to be expanded also to the Trans Am Series and the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA).
Five women will receive support from this year's scholarship: Hannah Greenemeier - who recently announced she will step up from karting to F4 machinery - and Ava Dobson for the Formula 4 championship, Michele Abbate and Amy Ruman in the Trans Am Series as well as Kaylee Bryson in SVRA.
Previous female winners of the scholarship include W Series driver and Formula Regional Oceania race winner Chloe Chambers, who contested the F4 US season in 2021 - as well as F4 drivers Maddie Aust and Emily Linscott (2022 and 2020 respectively). The PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship was also awarded to current Indy NXT driver Ernie Francis Jr. and Super Formula driver Raoul Hyman, who both graduated from Formula Regional Americas in 2021 and 2022.
“We’re excited to welcome another class of the PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship - and to not only just continue the program, but to grow it and expand into other race series,” said Tony Parella, CEO of PMH. “We’ve seen drivers from previous classes like Ernie Francis Jr., Chloe Chambers and Raoul Hyman successfully use this opportunity as a springboard to help grow their careers and move to the next level. We hope that we’ll see the same level of success from this year’s class."
Hannah Greenemeier, 20, started her karting journey when she was 4 and competed in Rotax in Mini, Junior and Senior classes. In 2019, she made it to the finals in the SKUSA SuperNationals and became SKUSA Protour Champion in 2021, one of the greatest achievements in American karting. She was the first female driver in SKUSA history to win a X-30 ProTour race, and championship.
She first got behind the wheel of a single-seater car at the Lucas Oil Racing School, before she was invited at the 2022 selections for the all-female W Series championship, where she first drove the US-spec F4 car.
Greenemeier will make her debut in the Formula 4 US Championship at this year's season opener at NOLA, with Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport.
Greenemeier will not be the only female driver in the series, as she will be joined by 14-year-old Ava Dobson. As per FIA requirements, though, Dobson will make her racing debut in June, after turning 15. She is expected to enter her first race event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, at the third round of the season.
Dobson, who has extensive karting experience, will team up with Jay Howard Driver Development and, ahead of her debut, will complete a testing program in the Ligier JS F4.
Kaylee Bryson, 21, made headlines in the USAC and POWRi scene, with groundbreaking victories such as the 2015 Tulsa Shootout and the historic 2022 Chili Bowl Nationals’ B-Main win that granted Bryson access to the prestigious A-Main - becoming the first woman to do so. Bryson is now transitioning from dirt to asphalt and has contested Late Model races.
Kaylee is scheduled to drive a TA2 car for Sam Pierce Racing in SVRA’s Group 10, targeting a Trans Am Series debut.
Shift Up Now athlete Michele Abbate started racing in regional SCCA Autocross, before moving to stock cars. With five club racing championship titles under her belt, Abbate is the only woman to have competed full-time in the Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series - where she will return in 2023 with Showtime Motorsports. Abbate has also qualified for a NASCAR Truck Series one-off race at COTA in 2021.
"I am beyond proud to be the recipient of the Diversity Driver Scholarship from PMH and it is so helpful to my program to gain this monetary support", commented Michelle Abbate.
"I am thankful for Tony Parella and his efforts to contribute to keeping me on track and behind the wheel. This is the first time I have earned a Diversity Scholarship and it is truly rewarding to accept it. Thank you to all of PMH and Trans Am for supporting female drivers!"
Two-time Trans Am Series champion Amy Ruman will be the scholarship ambassador for female drivers. Ruman is to date the only woman to have claimed top class TA title in the series over-50 years' history: she made history in 2015 and repeated the extraordinary achievement in 2016. Since her debut in 2009, Ruman has 16 victories to her name - and will try to add more in 2023, as she returns at the wheel of the #23 McNichols Co. Corvette for Ruman Racing.