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  • Writer's pictureRACERS

Courtney Crone joins F1 Academy field as Miami GP wild card

US American racer Courtney Crone is set to join the F1 Academy grid at the Miami Grand Prix this weekend, as the 23 year old Californian will race in the fourth car line up by Prema Racing reserved for wild card entries - with sponsorship from QVC.

Courtney Crone
Photo credits: Gruppe C Photography

US American racer Courtney Crone is set to join the F1 Academy grid at the Miami Grand Prix this weekend, as the 23 year old Californian will race in the fourth car line up by Prema Racing reserved for wild card entries.

Crone will sport a QVC-branded livery at Miami International Autodrome, after Saudi sports car talent Reema Juffali became the first wild card in F1 Academy at the season opener in Jeddah.

“It’s a huge opportunity that F1 Academy is giving drivers through Wild Card entries, especially in America", Crone commented. "It can be difficult for young girls from outside Europe to know how to get into international series like this, and the support that I’ve been given by F1 Academy, and the PREMA Racing team, has been hugely positive for me", she explained.

Crone has recently contested the collective tests at Zandvoort, although she will now likely find very different conditions at the Miami street circuit compared to the two days of rain in the Netherlands.

"I’d also like to say thank you to QVC for their support of the Wild Card initiative here in Miami", Courtney added. "I think this is an amazing opportunity to grow both this series and the sport.”

The wild card concept was introduced this year, as the F1-supported all female championship extended the grid to 16 cars with the addition of one local wild card entry aimed at promoting regional talent, engaging with local communities and increasing the talent pool in the regions in which F1 Academy races. The entry is supported by championship partners at select rounds.

"Our new Age of Possibility campaign is all about supporting our customers to live their best and most empowered lives", said Annette Dunleavey, VP, Brand Marketing from QVC. "F1 has been innovating and influencing live sports for more than 70 years. The launch of the all-female driver category, F1 Academy, is a testament to their commitment of elevating women in the sport and we are proud to support this vision and Courtney Crone in the race.”

Crone started her motor racing journey aged 3 and has competed in a wide variety of disciplines - both on 2 and 4 wheels - having collected experience in speedway motorcycles, dirt and pavement USAC Midget and Sprint Cars, various junior formula cars as well as prototypes. She entered the W Series selections both in 2018 and late 2019, when she tested the Formula Regional machine in Spain.

Since then, Crone has mainly focused her efforts on LMP3 competitions, primarily in the VP Racing SportsCar Challenge - where she was sixth in the championship in 2022. She was then named as one of the recipients of the IMSA Diverse Driver Development program, which secured her a second year in the series, while she also combined a double program in Europe, in the highly competitive Prototype Cup Germany.

She had a strong season in both championships, and would claim six podiums in the IMSA season, finishing fourth overall. Most recently, she made her switch to GT racing in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America, where she made her debut in Sebring.

Crone now returns to single seaters after last competing in a F4 machine in 2020, when she took a victory in the Formula Pro US F4 Western Championship; previously, she had also entered one round in the F4 US Championship in 2019 - both times in the first-gen Ligier F4 car.

“We’ve had a huge amount of interest in the Wild Card since it was introduced in Jeddah and I’d like to thank QVC for supporting our vision and joining us to present our Wild Card entry, Courtney Crone, for the second round of our season alongside Formula 1 at the Miami Grand Prix”, said F1 Academy managing director Susie Wolff.

The series will return to the track after kicking off the 2024 season this Friday, returning to a 2-practice sessions format after scaling back to one in Jeddah. A sole qualifying session will be held on Saturday, before race 1 at 14:05, while race 2 is scheduled for Sunday at 13:05 local time.



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