CHARLOTTE (February 20, 2023) — Parella Motorsports Holdings (PMH) is excited to announce five female racers as recipients of this year’s PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship. Launched in 2021 as a way to create a more diverse field of drivers at the grassroots level, the program provides recipients with race entries for SpeedTour events. Previously focused on assisting drivers in Formula Regional Americas Championship Powered by Honda (FR Americas) and Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda (F4 U.S.), the program expands in 2023 to also assist drivers competing in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli and the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA). This year’s PMH Powering Diversity class includes two women racing in F4 U.S. with Hannah Greenemeier and Ava Dobson, two in Trans Am with Michele Abbate and Amy Ruman, as well as Kaylee Bryson, who will race in SVRA while she works her way toward Trans Am competition.
“We’re excited to welcome another class of the PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship—and to not only just continue the program, but to grow it and expand into other race series,” said Tony Parella, CEO of PMH. “We’ve seen drivers from previous classes like Ernie Francis Jr., Chloe Chambers and Raoul Hyman successfully use this opportunity as a springboard to help grow their careers and move to the next level. We hope that we’ll see the same level of success from this year’s class.”
Michele Abbate started her racing career with regional SCCA Autocross when she was just 16 years old. The Las Vegas native quickly expanded her experience, earning her wheel-to-wheel license, and becoming a factory-backed road racing driver for Toyota/Scion. Earning five club racing championships in her career, Abbate transitioned into stock cars in 2018 and finished third in her debut in the GT-1 category at the SCCA National Runoffs. She is the only woman to have competed full-time in the Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series, and set the record for the highest-finishing female in TA2 history at Circuit of The Americas in 2021. Abbate will compete for Showtime Motorsports in the Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series in 2023.
Amy Ruman, a two-time Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli champion, will serve as a scholarship ambassador with this year’s class of female drivers. Ruman made history in 2015 when she became the first female to win a Trans Am title since the series’ inception in 1966. The following season, she set the bar even higher, becoming the first female to earn back-to-back Trans Am championships. Competing in the TA class since 2009, Ruman has tallied 16 victories in the series. In 2014, she became the first female solo driver to win a professional automobile race at Daytona International Speedway with her TA victory. In 2023, Ruman will once again pilot the No. 23 McNichols Co. Corvette for family-owned Ruman Racing, where she also serves as co-manager of the team.
Hannah Greenemeier made history when she became the first female driver in SKUSA history to win the X-30 ProTour Championship class in 2021, as well as the first female in SKUSA history to win an X30 ProTour race. At age 20, she already has more than 15 years of experience racing karts, competing in Rotax in Mini, Junior and Senior classes. She got her first taste of single-seater cars at the Lucas Oil Racing School, before being invited to the W Series test in 2022. When the lights go out at NOLA in March, Greenemeier will complete her transition from karts to cars as she kicks off a full-time season with Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport.
Fourteen-year-old Ava Dobson will need to wait a few more months until she can take to the track in F4 U.S., as she doesn’t turn the FIA-required 15 years old until June. After spending half her life behind the wheel of a go kart, Dobson will team with Jay Howard Driver Development to transition from karts to cars. With her F4 U.S. series debut scheduled for Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the Brookfield, Wis., native will continue her development program, gaining valuable track time in the Ligier JS F4 car until joining the championship this summer.
Another driver diligently working toward the next step in her career is Kaylee Bryson. The Muskogee, Oka., native is scheduled to drive a TA2 car for Sam Pierce Racing in SVRA’s Group 10 as she works toward her Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series debut. Starting her racing career at age nine, the now 21-year-old has well over 500 races under her belt, taking the victory the 2015 Tulsa Shootout and winning the 2022 Chili Bowl Nationals’ B-Main to become the first woman to transfer to the prestigious A-Main. Spending most of her time competing in USAC and POWRi, she started the move from dirt to asphalt with some late model races, and will continue that transition in a TA2 car this season.
Previous PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship recipients include Indy NXT driver Ernie Francis Jr., W Series driver and Formula Regional Oceania feature winner Chloe Chambers, Super Formula driver Raoul Hyman, as well as FR Americas and F4 U.S. alumni David Burketh, Maddie Aust and Emily Linscott.
Trans Am and SVRA will kick off their 2023 season this weekend, February 24-26, at Sebring International Raceway. Just two weeks later, the F4 U.S. season will open at NOLA Motorsports Park, March 10-12. Both events will be live streamed on SpeedTour TV's YouTube channel.
About Parella Motorsports Holdings: Parella Motorsports Holdings (PMH) owns five major road racing series and hosts racing festivals across the United States under the SpeedTour brand name. With Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA), The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli, Formula Regional Americas Powered by Honda (FR Americas), Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda (F4 U.S.) and Prototype Sprint Series Association, PMH will exceed 5,500 entries during the 2023 season. Additionally, PMH also holds the long-term commercial rights to SCCA Pro Racing, which sanctions Trans Am, FR Americas, F4 U.S., Radical Cup, Formula Race Promotions and Formula 2000. Together, with all of its racing properties, PMH hosts motorsports festivals under the name SpeedTour. Including elements like racing, car shows and concerts, SpeedTour events often attract more than 25,000 spectators, and many of their events are live streamed on SpeedTour TV’s YouTube page. For more information about PMH’s SpeedTour events, visit SpeedTour.net.