This year’s Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally®, presented by Citizens & Northern Bank, more commonly known as STPR®, turns the ‘girl power’ up a notch as champion Nathalie Richard will co-drive with Verena Mei for the tokidoki / TrueCar Rally team in the Fiesta dubbed “Trixie.” The rally is based out of Wellsboro, Pa. and runs Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1.
TrueCar, an automotive pricing information and analysis company that creates a better buying experience for dealers and consumers, today announced the 2013 TrueCar Racing Women Empowered Initiative all-female racing team.
This season, the program will focus on supporting up-and-coming drivers at a grass-roots level as they continue to advance through the motorsports ladder. Ashley Freiberg, IMSA GT3Cup Challenge; Shea Holbrook, Pirelli World Challenge; Verena Mei, Rally America and Emilee Tominovich, Mazda MX-5 Cup will all be returning to the program for a second consecutive season.
SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 13, 2012 – TrueCar Racing has announced today that Virgin Group, a leading global brand synonymous with innovation, entertainment, lifestyle and adventure and one of the world’s most recognized brands, is joining as an affiliate sponsor of TrueCar Racing, the world’s first all-female racing team and “Women Empowered” initiative, for the rest of the IndyCar season and 2012 Women Empowered racing calendar. IndyCar is one of the premier motor sports leagues watched worldwide. Financial terms of the deal are undisclosed.
Shea Holbrook, Verena Mei, and Emilee Tominovich are part of TrueCar’s “Women Empowered” team, and they’re at the Indy 500 this weekend to support teammate Katherine Legge, the ninth woman to compete in that famous race. They’ll also be competing in their own races this year, including the Pirelli World Challenge, Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup SCCA Pro Series, and Rally America.
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.