IMSA Diverse Driver Scholarship winner Jaden Conwright: "We've shown well"

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IMSA Diverse Driver Scholarship winner Jaden Conwright: "We've shown well"

IMSA

IMSA Diverse Driver Scholarship winner Jaden Conwright: "We've shown well"

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IMSA has announced the finalists for its second Diverse Driver Development Scholarship.

The first recipient of that scholarship, Jaden Conwright, is approaching the end of his season as the scholarship winner, and in his assessment, despite some difficulties, is that it’s been a good one for the driver of the No.42 NTE/SSR Lamborghini Huyracán GT3 in the GTD category.

“I think the season, barring the issues of not making every round as a team, I think in the rounds that we have been present that we’ve shown well,” said the 23-year-old. “Just a bit of luck hasn’t been on our side, especially in the last round that we did for the Six Hour – we just got caught on the wrong side of nature, honestly.

“It’s unfortunate that we haven’t been able to do every round, but we are a new team. And I think from our side, being able to show well in the rounds that we are present is much more important than making every single round, because we would we want to show that we belong here, and it’s not that we just kind of want to be here, just drive around in the back.

“I’m happy that we’ve been able to show well in the rounds we’ve been in so far this year.”

The NTE/SSR team has had some struggles, such as a transporter tire blowout on the way to Long Beach, and some funding issues with going to Mid-Ohio. But the team has had some positives as well, including a growing Lamborghini Super Trofeo program that is helping, especially in contesting races where that series is racing on the weekend as well.

Certainly, the perks of the Diverse Driver Development Scholarship, including substantial support from IMSA and partners Michelin, VP Racing Fuels, OMP, RECARO and LAT Photo USA, assisted Conwright and the team in going from two races last year to more this season. Not the least of the help has been the media exposure.

“There’s a little bit more support for our team, and then when we had the issues for Long Beach and things like that. So we’re able to express that we’re trying our hardest to be there, that we are actually genuinely trying and to be able to update them on the process,” he explained.

“Maybe if the results don’t show from the outside, that we’re able to talk with people on the inside and kind of just show that we’re working our hardest and then maybe even bounce off ideas for the future of the program and the direction that we’re going with it. So keeping everyone in the loop, it makes it easier to show the progress that we have made.”

Conwright, who spent time ascending the open wheel ranks before going to Italy for F4, Asia for F3 and then back to Italy Porsche Carrera Cup, has been near the top of the time sheets in practice sessions so far this weekend at Road America, and it harkens back to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, which he notes is one of the highlights of the season so far.

“I got close to pole because they told me I need half a tenth. And I found half a tenth – it’s just then the the [Winward] Mercedes jumped all of us in GT.

“So it was a bit unfortunate. But that was one of the tracks I grew up on. I hadn’t raced there since 2015 in SCCA, so to come back and race a home race at a professional weekend was definitely a highlight because I had friends and family there that hadn’t seen me race since I was in karts. It was fun to go be at my home race again.”

Conwright hasn’t cemented plans for next year, but hopes to be back to contest a full season – this time without some of the difficulties the team has faced in 2022.

MX-5 CUP | ROUND 9 – ROAD AMERICA

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