The winners of the diversity scholarship launched by Formula Regional Americas and United States Formula 4 owner Parella Motorsports Holdings have been revealed, and will race for Future Star Racing.
The team was created last year by Mark and Alora McAlister, owners of an Indianapolis-based liquor company, and recently raced in the YACademy Winter Series for Formula 4 cars.
It ran Chloe Chambers there, and the 16-year-old will continue with the team in US F4 as the winner of the diversity scholarship that covers the entry fees for all official tests and race weekends and brought in rival team owner Sarah Fisher as a coach.
“I am super excited to race in the F4 championship with Future Star Racing,” said Chambers.
“I am incredibly grateful to Mark and Alora McAlister for this opportunity, along with Tony Parella of Motorsports Holdings for awarding me the PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship.”
Chambers broke the Guiness World Record for the fastest vehicle slalom last year, while also starring on the US karting scene.
She came 10th in the YACademy Winter Series, with two sixth place finishes as her best results, in what was her first single-seater racing experience.
Former IndyCar driver Fisher has brought her own team back into single-seaters this year in US F4, and will run Elliot Cox. He also debuted in YACademy, and came 12th in the standings in his Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Development-run car.
The diversity scholarship winner in FRegional Americas is 23-year-old Ernie Francis Jr, who has won the top-class title in American sportscar series Trans-Am four times and taken an additional three class titles in the championship.
“Being accepted as the PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship winner is humbling,” Francis Jr said.
“It’s been a while since I’ve really been a rookie in something, so it feels nice going into the season with a challenge.
“I am looking forward to the new style of racing and entering a series where I’m the new guy.”
On joining Future Star Racing, he added: “I am extremely excited to make my debut in the FRegional Americas series with Future Star Racing.
“Coming from a GT car background, open-wheel racing had always been out of reach. Having this opportunity is incredible and I look forward to racing this season.”
Francis has also made it to American stock car racing’s second tier, after making a NASCAR Xfinity series appearance in 2017.
In addition to Fisher, Chambers and Francis will be coached by Willy T. Ribbs, the first African American driver to compete in the Indianapolis 500, and two-time IndyCar champion Al Unser Jr.
Francis was denied an early single-seater debut last month after FRegional Americas’ Winter Cup at Sebring was called off.