Courtney Crone is the winner of IMSA’s Diverse Driver Development Scholarship for the 2023 season, the series announced on Tuesday. Crone, a 21-year-old from Corona, California will be racing in the IMSA VP Racing Sportscar Challenge with Forty7 Motorsports in a Duqueine D08 LMP3.
“This really is an honor, and it shows that a lot of my hard work has paid off,” Crone said. “For IMSA to recognize me and my hard work to move forward in IMSA is really a pleasure.
Crone has spent the last two seasons racing in IMSA Prototype Challenge, which is being replaced by the IMSA VP Racing Sportscar Challenge.
“This will be my third season driving an LMP3 car, they have proven to be a very good race car and a decent endurance car. I’m really excited to feel it out in the sprint-race format. I really can’t wait to do a whole race on my own.”
Support for the scholarship comes from IMSA and partners including Michelin, VP Racing Fuels, OMP, RECARO, and LAT Photo USA.
“The IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship takes another step forward with naming Courtney Crone as the 2023-24 recipient,” IMSA President John Doonan said. “Courtney has shown true potential both on and off the track. She typifies what this award is about: creating opportunities for developing a more diverse pool of deserving talent in the IMSA community. We look forward to seeing what Courtney is able to accomplish in 2023.”
Crone’s No. 99 Duqueine will carry the famous “Red Dragon” livery made iconic by GAINSCO Racing and Crone’s mentor, Bob Stallings.
“I want to thank Bob Stallings. He’s been out of motorsports for a while, but he has been helping me the last few years run the prototypes. And, I’ve had many other supporters who helped get me to where I am today,” Crone said.
This is the second year that IMSA has awarded the scholarship. Jaden Conwright was last year’s winner, and he used the award to secure a ride with NTE Sport. Conwright will return with NTE Sport for this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.