One of three Wendi Allen Scholarship Fund recipients in 2020, Emily Brown has displayed commitment to the sport of autocross and its community. A member of the Colorado Region, she started autocrossing almost six years ago when a friend introduced her to the sport.
“I wasn’t totally convinced I’d enjoy the activity at first, but I rode shotgun on a course run and simply knew I wanted to give autocross a try,” said the 29-year-old software graphic designer. “I never thought I could do it, and early on I was worried about embarrassing myself. It took a lot of courage to get in the driver's seat, but I did it! So glad I overcame my fears or else I may not have discovered my passion for this sport and its people.”
A shy and introverted person by her own admission, becoming involved in the Sports Car Club of America® has allowed Emily to emerge from her “shell” and connect with a ton of new friends who are absolutely amazing. She believes the Wendi Allen Scholarship Fund award will not only help her grow as a competitor, but further her personal development.
“This opportunity will push me to become more outgoing and meet even more people in the community,” Emily acknowledges. “Receiving this scholarship means others in the Solo community believe in me. It’s a reminder to myself that my accomplishments and hard work over the years have been recognized by others and that I should believe in myself and continue to push myself as a competitor.”
While the Wendi Allen Scholarship presents a wonderful opportunity for Emily’s personal growth, it also offers the chance to enhance autocross skills and involvement in the Solo® community.
“I have no racing experience outside of autocross, but I have worked very hard to improve myself as a driver over the last several years,” said Emily, who drives a Scion FR-S in the Solo Spec Coupe Ladies class. “Last season, my driving improved a lot. I expect to continue growing as a driver and pushing myself outside comfort zones thanks to the opportunity provided by the Wendi Allen Scholarship. The goal is to participate in more high-level competition, receive mentorship and develop more confidence so I may improve and grow as a Solo competitor.”
Beyond improving driving talent, Emily sees increased involvement in SCCA® National Solo events as a way to better educate herself and evolve as a supportive member of the Solo community.
“My favorite thing about autocross is and always will be the people. I have never met a group of people who are so welcoming, encouraging and giving,” says Emily. “Locally, I've been excited to coach a couple novice schools. I have enjoyed being a female advocate for our region, especially at schools where many women may feel isolated and intimidated. I would like to continue coaching and advocating for women who are new to the sport, and experience gained thanks to the Wendi Allen Scholarship will help me grow as a mentor for others.”
Now in existence for seven years, the Wendi Allen Scholarship Fund provides each recipient $1,500 to support travel to Tire Rack National Solo events and the Tire Rack Solo National Championship. Additionally, SCCA waives entry fees for scholarship recipients to all Tire Rack National Solo events attended during the year, as well as work with the Solo community and commercial partners to seek out other forms of support for the recipients, such as driver training, mentoring, products and logistical assistance. Also, 2020 WASF awardees may attend a Tire Rack SCCA Starting Line school of their choice, which provides a full day's worth of performance driving instruction with professional driving coaches.
Photo Credit: Rupert Berrington