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VMB Driver Development Academy with World Speed Motorsports Announced


For years the World Speed Motorsports Rising Star Award has provided a test to young racers looking to move up the open-wheel racing ladder. For the 2014 season, the Rising Star Award added a new component, a full season ride in a FormulaSPEED2.0 (FS2.0) provided by VMB Driver Development. In 2015 this will be taken to a whole new level!


Announcing the VMB Driver Development Academy with World Speed Motorsports:

  • Year-One: Driver competes in the FormulaSPEED2.0 in the West Coast Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear.

  • Year-Two: Driver competes in the Pro Formula Mazda in the West Coast Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear.

  • Year-Three: Driver competes in the Pro Mazda Championship in the IndyCar sanctioned Mazda Road to Indy.

"My intention in starting VMB (Driver Development) was to help young drivers advance in motorsports, and over this past year I have learned a lot," stated VMB founder Steve Brisentine, "and I know that in 2015 the VMB Academy structure will let us do a lot more toward this goal. This year we are proud to be able to support three drivers at three levels of open-wheel racing. Each of the three selected drivers will need to bring some funding, but the scholarship at each level will be significant enough to open doors for all of them."


The ultimate goal of the VMB Academy with World Speed Motorsports is to bring new drivers, from karting, school racing, etc. in at the FS2.0 level and assist them up through the Pro Mazda Championship of the Mazda Road to Indy. The FS2.0 level will have the greatest percentage of budget scholarship, at approximately 75% representing roughly $60,000. The goal will be to "graduate" the drivers coming in at the FS2.0 level to PFM and then to the Pro Mazda Championship with enough assistance to keep their progress going. "Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear has proven to be the predominant series on the West Coast to prepare drivers to move up to the Mazda Road to Indy, as well as other professional series," commented World Speed Inc. Marketing Director Mark Milazzo, "and VMB recognizes this in choosing the Formula Car Challenge for the first two steps of the VMB Academy."


"This expansion from a single car scholarship into the VMB Academy with World Speed Motorsports is something that we are all very excited by" stated World Speed Inc. President Telo Stewart, "what VMB is allowing us to do is special, and we are very much looking forward to moving Jaden (Conwright) up and finding another two drivers."


West Coast FS2.0 Scholarship:

The entry point to the program will again be a test of, between three and six drivers in FS2.0 race cars. World Speed Motorsports will accept online applications for this test starting on October 1st and closing on November 24th (see eligibility guidelines and entry information below). From those applications, Rising Star Award winners will be selected to participate in the test. Each of the drivers at the test will be scored on driving ability, technical feedback, and communication with the WSM/VMB team members. Staff from World Speed Motorsports will discuss the merits of each driver, and provide a complete report on all drivers to VMB Driver Development. VMB will then select the scholarship winner to pilot the VMB Academy's FS2.0 in 2015.


West Coast Pro FM Scholarship:

The second step in the VMB Academy is driving the PFM in the Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear (FCC). The prior year FS2.0 driver is given the first opportunity to move on to the PFM in FCC. "As last year's winner of the FS2.0 Scholarship, and the first graduate of the FS2.0 level, we are excited for Jaden Conwright to make the move into Pro Formula Mazda in the Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear for 2015," said Steve Brisentine.


Pro Mazda Championship Scholarship:

Ultimately this top level of the VMB Academy provides previous Academy drivers the opportunity to move up to a highly competitive professional series. "Currently the seat in the Pro Mazda Championship is something we are discussing with drivers on an individual basis," stated Telo Stewart. Drivers who want to find out more about this tier of the program should contact World Speed Motorsports Pro Mazda Team Manager, Kevin Harrison kevin@worldspeed.com.


Eligibility Guidelines for the Rising Star Award:

  • Ages 14 - 24

  • Raced in fewer than 3 races in FCC

  • Raced in fewer than 3 races in Pro Mazda Championship, or similar level of open wheel competition

  • Currently licensed in SCCA, NASA, FIA, SKUSA, or similar or racing in racing school series

Getting Considered for the Test:

Eligible drivers must complete this form by November 24th.
(There are no fees in order to be considered for this program)


Some of the past WSM Rising Star Award winners have included:

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VMB Driver Development's goal is to provide a young, career-minded driver the opportunity to learn from an experienced team like World Speed and gain valuable experience in all aspects of racing. Making a car available for the full season, and providing support will help move that driver into higher levels of competition.


"I have always loved watching racing as a young kid. The Indy 500, Formula One, especially the open-wheel cars. It is amazing to me how fast, yet precise these cars perform," stated VMB Principal Steve Brisentine.

"A few years ago as I attended the GoPro Indy race at Sonoma Raceway, I stopped by the World Speed trailer and noticed the sign about buying a car and entering the series. While I am a little to old to begin a career of driving, I wanted to be involved on race weekends. I wanted to be more than just a fan. If I can give back by providing a seat for a driver that otherwise cannot afford it, this will all be worthwhile."