With the race season just weeks away, Parella Motorsports Holdings (PMH) has named more than a dozen drivers to its 2024 class for the PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship, providing assistance to drivers competing in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli, Ligier JS F4 Series, Formula Regional Americas Championship (FR Americas) and Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA).

Entering the program’s fourth year, the PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship looks to create a more diverse field while empowering drivers from a variety of backgrounds to participate in PMH-owned race series. In addition to providing recipients with benefits such as free entry fees or test days, the program aligns recipients with a team of executives and mentors to assist them in their career development with educational opportunities and training, as well as increasing their exposure through media and fan engagement events. Through its first three years, the PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship program has assisted 11 drivers along their motorsport career paths.

“We’re thrilled to expand our PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship to assist 14 racers this season, our largest class ever,” said Tony Parella, CEO of PMH. “We have watched several of our past graduates go on to accomplish bigger and better things, among them Chloe Chambers, who was just nominated to the F1 Academy by the Haas F1 Team. I can’t wait to see what this year’s class of drivers goes on to accomplish in their careers.”

Included in this year’s class, six drivers will benefit from the PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship while racing in the Trans Am Series, which is the longest-running professional road racing series in North America. Kaylee Bryson got a quick introduction to Trans Am competition last season before turning her focus to USAC Silver Crown, where she became the first woman to earn Rookie of the Year honors and was also named the series’ Most Popular Driver. This year, she will compete full time in both series, driving in Trans Am’s SGT class with LSI Racing.

Going head-to-head with Bryson will be Jenn Krpata. Krpata joins the SGT class with her family-owned team after gaining experience competing in SCCA, NASA and SVRA over the last several seasons. Two-time TA champion Amy Ruman will prove to be a mentor for several of the younger drivers, as she once again returns to the Trans Am Series’ TA class with her family-owned Ruman Racing team.

In Trans Am’s CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series, Michele Abbatewill once again represent the PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship class as she returns to Nitro Motorsports alongside teammate Tyler Gonzalez, a first-time scholarship recipient. Gonzalez made his Trans Am debut with Nitro Motorsports in the 2023 season finale at Circuit of The Americas and will compete as a rookie in the CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series in 2024 after gaining experience in both MX-5 Cup and Toyota GR Cup. Joining Abbate and Gonzalez at Nitro Mo torsports for the 2024 season, another two-time champion,Rafa Matos, will serve as an additional mentor for the younger members of the PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship class.

Four scholarship recipients will compete in the newly re-branded Ligier JS F4 Series, which is the first step on PMH’s single-seater development ladder. Young karters from across the country use the series to get started in formula cars before moving to the FIA-certified Formula 4 United States Championship (F4 U.S.), to ultimately climb the ladder on the Road to F1. With a new chassis homologated for F4 U.S. competition this season, the original “Gen 1” Ligier JS F416 will be utilized by drivers racing in the Ligier JS F4 Series.

Maite Caceres raced the first-generation chassis in F4 U.S. in 2022. After competing in the F1 Academy with Campos Racing last season, she will return to the familiar car, joining the Ligier JS F4 grid with the benefit of the PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship. Among her competition will be Christopher Parrish, who got experience in the Ligier JS F416 car last season with IGY6 Motorsports. After racing a Spec MX-5 last year, Harbir Dass will make the move to single-seaters, competing with Doran Motorsports Group for the 2024 Ligier JS F4 Series season. At just 13-years-old, Ava Hanssen needs to celebrate one more birthday before she can join the Ligier JS F4 grid; she will join the field when the lights go out at New Jersey Motorsports Park this July.

A little further up on the Road to F1 ladder, three drivers will receive scholarship benefits as they compete in FR Americas this season. Justin Garat gained familiarity with the Ligier JS F3 chassis last season while competing in SVRA; this year, he will officially join the FR Americas grid with his Speed Factory team to take on drivers from around the globe. Canadian Nicole Havrda returns to the FR Americas grid after joining the series midway through 2023. With four top-five finishes in six starts, she will once again join Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport to make a run at the championship title. Landan Matriano Lim will join Havrda as a teammate at Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport to race for the 2024 FR Americas title, after competing in F4 U.S. in 2023.

Rounding out the list of scholarship recipients is Taylor Ferns. A third-year law student, Ferns has a diverse racing background, which includes being only the second female to ever win a USAC Championship. In 2024, she will join Arrive Drive Motorsport to race a formula-type car in SVRA competition.

The 2024 SpeedTour season kicks off February 22-25 at Sebring International Raceway where the Trans Am Series and SVRA will see their first green flags of the 2024 season. FR Americas and the Ligier JS F4 Series both kick off their race seasons at NOLA Motorsports Park, April 11-14. Tickets for all SpeedTour events can be purchased at SpeedTour.net

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