By SCCA |
February 18, 2021 12:26 PM
Ernie Francis Jr. was introduced because the inaugural PMH Powering Variety Scholarship winner at this time. The seven-time Trans Am champion will transition into single-seater racing with a full-season marketing campaign in Components Regional Americas Championship Powered by Honda for the 2021 season.
The scholarship program, initiated by Parella Motorsports Holdings with the objective to create a extra numerous discipline of formulation drivers on the grassroots degree, contains entry charges to all sequence take a look at days and 18 championship races from PMH, a season-long gas stipend from Sunoco Race Fuels and a components voucher from Ligier Automotive North America.
Florida native Francis Jr. will determine his workforce and unveil his new No. 98 Ligier JS F3 within the upcoming weeks.
“Being accepted because the PMH Powering Variety Scholarship winner is humbling,” stated Francis Jr. “It’s been some time since I’ve actually been a rookie in one thing, so it feels good going into the season with a problem. I’m trying ahead to the brand new fashion of racing and coming into a sequence the place I’m the brand new man.”
At simply 23 years previous, Francis Jr.’s racing resume exceeds that of most veteran drivers, profitable seven consecutive championships within the ultra-competitive Trans Am Collection introduced by Pirelli. In his seven-year Trans Am profession, Francis Jr. amassed 46 victories and 47 poles, probably the most of any driver in Trans Am historical past in each classes.
Willy T. Ribbs — the primary African American driver to compete within the Indianapolis 500 and take a look at a Components 1 automotive — recognized Francis Jr. as a “expertise that would not be ignored’” after watching Francis Jr. rise via the ranks of Trans Am, the sequence that additionally kickstarted Ribbs racing profession earlier than coming into open wheel.
As a part of the scholarship program, Ribbs will mentor Francis Jr. via his transition from sports activities automobiles to single seaters. The pair may even compete towards one another this season within the new SRX sequence began by Ray Evernham and Tony Stewart.
As well as, the Florida native has one begin within the NASCAR Xfinity Collection and as a member of the Drive for Variety program, Francis Jr. additionally made two Ok&N Collection appearances in 2018, beginning on pole and ending second at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
“We’re proud to have Ernie Francis Jr. be the primary PMH Powering Variety Scholarship consultant for FR Americas,” stated PMH President Tony Parella. “Ernie has already confirmed himself in Trans Am and he’ll carry that very same nice work ethic and professionalism that helped him win a number of championships to FR Americas.”
Final week, PMH recognized Emily Linscott because the scholarship runner-up for the F4 U.S. Championship Powered by Honda. The F4 U.S. finalist has been chosen and will probably be introduced within the upcoming weeks.
The FR Americas Championship official season kicks off at Michelin Raceway Street Atlanta with the Atlanta SpeedTour March 26-28.