FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation Announces New Project Podium Grant Program
PHOENIX (March 23, 2010) – The Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation, founded by Lyn St. James, announced Justine Jackson as the recipient of the newly-established Project Podium Scholarship in conjunction with Volkswagen of America Inc. The scholarship was established in partnership with a number of the series sponsors to provide support for female drivers in the SCCA Pro Racing 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Series.
The eligible candidates had to compete in the Final Driver’s Selection event, which was held Feb. 7-9 at the South Point Hotel Casino and Spa Resort in Las Vegas. Jackson, who was a 2007 Foundation Driver Development Academy driver, earned the scholarship that will enable her to compete in the entire 2010 season.
Jackson was born in 1990 in Kingston, Jamaica, and started competing in go-karts at the age of 12 in the Junior Sportsman Rookie Class, racing for the Jetcon Racing Team. In 2004 she raced in the Junior Sportsman Yamaha class and in 2005 and 2006 in the Junior Rotax Class, finishing third in the championship both years. In 2007 she raced in the ICC 125cc Shifter class, attended the Skip Barber Racing School and the Women in the Winner’s Circle Driver Development Academy. In 2008 she finished second in the Rotax Sr. Championship and fifth in the 125cc Shifter Class. In 2009 she moved to the United States to study Motorsports Management at Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina.
One of five women who participated in the Jetta TDI Cup tryouts and one of only two selected to compete in this year’s championship, Jackson had this to say: "The Jetta TDI Cup Driver Selection event was an intense experience that tested me on all levels. For me it was the first time driving a TDI and I absolutely loved it, and I am thrilled to be a part of the 2010 driver lineup. A big thank you to Project Podium and its partners for this amazing opportunity."
“I’m so pleased the partners of the Jetta TDI Cup Series made the decision to support female drivers within our Project Podium Grant Program," said St. James. "And Justine has worked extremely hard on getting experience to prepare her for this opportunity. We’ll be working with her throughout the season and will do whatever we can to help her be successful."
About Project Podium:
Project Podium is a scholarship fund within the Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1994 by Lyn St. James. To date, just over $95,000 in value has been distributed to young female drivers who compete in all forms of motorsports including karting, quarter midgets, drag racing, sports car and oval track racing.
The overarching goal of Project Podium is to provide financial assistance in the form of matching grants to female drivers to help further their professional careers. Secondarily, the Project Podium process introduces or further provides experience for drivers in the very important business aspect of the racing industry by the matching fund requirement.
The SCCA Pro Racing Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Series Project Podium Scholarship has received support from the following: iRacing.com, Arciero Miller Racing, and Pirelli Tires. Other Project Podium partners include: Grand-Am, NHRA, Rolex, Newman’s Own, Toyota, Mazda, and Mike Helton.