TrueCar announces women's racing initiativeThu, 01 Dec 2011 00:00:00 -0800
TrueCar, publishers of new-car-transaction data, revealed plans for a multiyear push into motorsports sponsorship but with a twist. TrueCar will throw its money behind female racers in premier series and up-and-coming ones in numerous development series.
"TrueCar is built upon the foundation of empowering individuals with the tools and resources they need to become expert car buyers," TrueCar founder and CEO Scott Painter said. "The Women Empowered initiative is an exciting extension of that philosophy--empowering women in racing by giving talented female drivers everything they need to dominate their sport."
Five drivers have been confirmed for the 2012 TrueCar Racing Team. Shea Holbrook (Pirelli World Challenge), Ashley Freiberg (Star Mazda), Shannon McIntosh (USF2000), Verena Mei (Rally America) and Emilee Tominovich (MX-5 Cup) make up the inaugural class so far. TrueCar is in sponsorship discussions with an IndyCar driver and also will support an all-female Baja 1000 team in 2012.
TrueCar support also will be present at a grassroots level with a young-driver development program aimed at exposing young women to racing at a karting level. Top prospects will receive support from TrueCar throughout their careers in what might eventually turn into backing for top series such as American Le Mans, Grand-Am, IndyCar, Global RallyCross and X Games Rally.
"Despite their considerable talents, women have yet to achieve the sponsorship opportunities, recognition and championship successes that we believe is their due in the only sport where men and women compete head-to-head," said Charles Kim, director of motorsports for TrueCar. "Our mission is simple: to empower these talented drivers and help them become future racing champions."
Michael Zimicki, who has coached the likes of Danica Patrick, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Graham Rahal, serves as a consultant on the TrueCar initiative. "The program that TrueCar has announced today is the most comprehensive support of American racing ever done, be it open-wheel, sports car, rally or off-road. And the real kicker is that it is in support of women. This is a revolution," Zimicki noted.
In addition, rally whiz Tim O'Neil will serve as an adviser throughout the season.