The new PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship initiative took its first steps in creating change at the grassroots level today as Emily Linscott from Essex, England, was announced as the program runner-up. Linscott, who was identified by seven-time Indianapolis 500 starter Pippa Mann as a budding single-seater talent, will receive scholarship assistance for her entry in this year’s Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda, joining the only female-owned F4 team in the paddock, Kiwi Motorsport.
Linscott’s scholarship includes fees to all 2021 promoter test days and 18 F4 U.S. championship races.
“I’m so grateful to Tony Parella of Parella Motorsport Holdings for awarding me the PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship this year,” said Linscott. “We have been speaking to Teena Larsen (Kiwi Motorsport co-owner) about racing in the F4 U.S. Championship for a couple of years now, but I’ve never managed to raise enough budget. The scholarship really helped me secure the drive, so I aim to make the best use of it when I’m on and off the track to repay his and Kiwi Motorsport’s faith in me as being a positive role model and diversity in motorsport representative.”
Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport has amassed three consecutive team titles and propelled Australian Joshua Car to the driver championship in 2019. The team recruits drivers from around the world, with racers from the United Kingdom (Linscott), New Zealand (Ryan Yardley), Sweden (Viktor Andersson) and the United States (Ryan Shehan) already confirmed for the 2021 season. More driver announcements from the reigning team champions are expected before the start of the season.
“It is very special to me to have Emily onboard as Kiwi Motorsport’s first Lady driver,” said Larsen, former F2000 driver and daughter of respected Indy Lights mechanic Mo Larsen. “I am excited to live vicariously through Emily as she aims for the top. I was her age when I was racing open wheel in Canada and the USA, and I know what it’s like.
“With the support surrounding her I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it,” Larsen continued. “A team to go to, sponsors on board, an organization promoting her, IndyCar driver Pippa Mann as a coach – she is a dream come true. As a woman in motorsports it makes me so proud to see Emily have the passion and dedication to be doing what she loves. I can’t wait to see her excel this year and beyond.”
Linscott started her racing career in karts, claiming her first title in the BMKC Junior Championship in 2016. She moved on to the Ginetta Junior Championship and made her F4 debut in Malaysia in 2018, but, due to lack of budget, was forced to sit out the 2019 season.
For 2020, the Lucas Oil School of Racing awarded Linscott its Pippa Mann Scholarship to train with the IndyCar Series driver at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Impressed, Mann continued coaching the 18-year-old in the Lucas Oil Formula Car Race Series. Missing the first three rounds due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Linscott quickly rose to the top of the standings, becoming the first female to finish on the podium in the series.
Mann will continue coaching Linscott through her transition into F4 U.S.
“Taking a step back from being Emily’s coach, and as one of the management team of Shift Up Now, I’m proud to see our athletes being recognized,” Mann said. “I first met Emily at Lucas Oil School of Racing. They ran a scholarship in my name to help talented female racers make the transition from karting, or in Emily’s case from Ginetta Junior, to open-wheel cars. Emily was a stand-out candidate on paper, and so, despite the fact she lived in the UK, the school awarded her two free days of race car seat time, with coaching. Once myself and the other coaches saw Emily drive for the first time, I knew we had to help her come back.”
“Two years later I’m proud to see her graduate to the F4 United States Championship Powered by Honda,” Mann continued. “We only have the budget for half a season at present, but, with the PMH scholarship helping our cause, we’re hoping to find the financial support to help Emily extend her season.”
Linscott is the first of three PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship winners to be revealed. Earlier this week, PMH announced enhancements to its original PMH Powering Diversity program, adding a third award that covered season entry fees for the runner-up F4 U.S. PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship finalist.
The finalists (one in F4 U.S. and one in FR Americas) for the full PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship, which includes all championship event entry fees from PMH, a season-long fuel stipend from Sunoco Racing Fuel, and a parts voucher from Ligier Automotive North America, have also been selected for 2021 and will be announced in the upcoming days.
Linscott and the rest of the F4 U.S. field start their official season now at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta with the Atlanta SpeedTour March 26-28.