Shift Up Now – an organization led by Indy500 veteran Pippa Mann, aimed at supporting female racing drivers – announced the launch of a foundation that will be able to further the mission by accepting tax-deducible gifts, donations and grants.
Founded in 2016 by Lynn Kehoe, Shift Up Now has been led by 7-time Indianapolis 500 competitor Pippa Mann since 2020. The organization has been supporting a growing number of elite female racing drivers based in the United States, helping them to fund their seasons by taking care of traditional sponsorships, partnerships and media agreements.
Alongside its for-profit activity, Shift Up Now has now launched a 501c3 foundation – which will be able to accept tax-deductible gifts, donations and grants, in a further advancement in the organization’s innovative approach.
The raised funds will be used to award opportunities to female drivers with talent and aptitude to move up the ladder of motorsport and continue breaking barriers in the sport.
In such a heavily-budget dependent sport, in fact, having access to quality equipment as well seat time for testing and practice is the key to success – and Shift Up Now is committed to maximising every opportunity for its represented drivers.
“Women in sports received roughly one percent of the global sports marketing sponsorship spend,” explained Pippa Mann. “This has created inequality and lack of opportunity for women in many sports.”
“In motorsport, where men and women can compete equally when afforded equal opportunities, we see this funding disparity manifest with fewer female athletes able to find the support to rise to the top levels of our sport”, she continued.
“There is already proof of concept of the idea that when we fund female athletes in this sport they can win races. The Iron Dames all-female GT team won the Spa 24 hour race earlier this year. They stood on the podium in multiple World Endurance Championship races and finished second in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Championship Gold Cup.”
The German-based Girls Only by WS Racing also made headlines in the last couple of years for its all-female crew at the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring – a race that Pippa Mann herself has won in class in 2021, as part of that line up.
“These projects continue to inspire us as we work to help women rise to the top echelons of motorsport in every discipline” – Mann added.
Shift Up Now has activated partnerships with racing team such as Round 3 Racing in the US-endurance championship World Racing League, where affiliate athletes Sarah Montgomery, Loni Unser, Sabré Cook, Ayla Agren, Erin Vogel and Hannah Grisham have claimed podium finished and race victories in class – once again proving how proper track time and equipment lead to top results and championship titles.
“Our immediate goal now is to continue to work tirelessly, so that we can find the funding to continue to support and elevate talent across the board.” – concluded the President of the Shift Up Now Foundation, who will now have one more tool to accomplish the goal.