DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Jaden Conwright, the inaugural recipient of the IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship, said the award did exactly what it was designed to do for young, aspiring drivers: to get seat time in IMSA competition, gain recognition, make connections and open doors that otherwise would have been closed.
The scholarship helped Conwright obtain a ride in the No. 42 NTE/SSR Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo, which competed this season in the four IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup races, plus three additional IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship sprint events in the GT Daytona (GTD) class.
“The scholarship really helped with things like entry fees and other financial benefits, but also connection-wise, it was super beneficial,” said the 23-year-old driver from Newark, California. “It wasn’t like I was filling in for somebody. I got established (in IMSA). The team and I were all fairly new trying to get our feet wet in the sport. The scholarship was able to give me that leg up to solidify that spot I was able to have this year with the team.”
Conwright was among 10 finalists selected from scholarship applicants, with criteria based on drivers having a strong desire to compete in IMSA, outstanding previous race results and/or proven on-track potential in junior racing categories, and the ability to build a compelling business plan for securing funding. Support for the scholarship comes from IMSA and partners including Michelin, VP Racing Fuels, OMP, RECARO and LAT Photo USA.
Along with co-driver Marco Holzer, their best finishes were fifth at Road America and sixth at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Conwright also displayed his prowess by qualifying second at WeatherTech Raceway and third for the season finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.