The North American premier sports car association's program aimed to increase diversity was launched last year and confirmed two women among the nominees for its scholarship in 2023: Sabré Cook and Courtney Crone are in fact again among the finalists.
North American premier sports car championship announced the launch of a program dedicated to facilitate the development and promote diversity across its promoted series in 2021: 10 nominees were initially selected - including four women - who contended for a scholarship to help fund their campaign in either IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge or IMSA Prototype Challenge.
Sabré Cook, Courtney Crone, Christina Lam and Sarah Montgomery were the four women shortlisted.
For the program's second year, seven drivers were announced as finalists - including two women - among dozens of candidates. They will again contend for the $ 250,000 scholarship to run a full season on the IMSA platform next year.
“The Diverse Driver Development Scholarship is an important initiative for IMSA, and we’re proud to build on its initial success looking ahead to 2023,” IMSA President John Doonan said. 2021 winner Jaden Conwright, 23, has recently stepped up to IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the GTD class.
Four out of the seven finalists are returning for a second chance after last year - and among them are Sabré Cook and Courtney Crone.
Sabré Cook, 28, from Colorado, has been unable to race in 2022 as she recovers from hip surgery after a 2021 injury. Cook raced in W Series - the all female F3 Regional championship - in both 2019 and 2021, where she was the only American on the grid.
A driver with a remarkable resumé in karting, Cook also raced in the F4 US championship as well as in selected rounds of IndyPro 2000 in 2020. Last year, she contested her first races in GT racing and immediately impressed in the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America, where she became the first woman in the series' history to stand on the podium.
In her first outing in the Nürburgring-based NLS, she took a class win at the mighty Nordschleife.
As she recovers from her injury, Sabré Cook targets a return behind the wheel in 2023 - while she also holds the position of performance engineer at Paretta Autosport in Indycar.
Courtney Crone, 21 from California, has raced in a wide variety of motorsports since a very young age: from midget series to formula cars and then LMP3 prototypes.
She was also part of the W Series selections in both 2019 and 2020, when she had the opportunity to test the F3 car at Almeria for the all female series before focusing her efforts on sportscars.
Crone is now competing in her second season of IMSA Prototype Challenge, where she has scored three Top-10 finishes to date - including a top five at Daytona International Speedway.
To be eligible for the scholarship, drivers will now have to prove a real interest in competing in IMSA, as well as outstanding race results in junior racing categories and the ability to secure the remaining part of funding with a convincing business plan.
The selected candidate will receive support from IMSA's partners Michelin, VP Racing Fuels, OMP, RECARO and LAT Photo.
Alongside Sabré Cook and Courtney Crone, the 2023 IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship Finalists are Sebastian Carazo, Bryson Lew, Kyle Loh, Cameron Parsons and Brad Perez.