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March 16, 2021
Now in its eighth year, the Wendi Allen Scholarship Fund (WASF) encourages women from SCCA’s Solo community to become more successful drivers and contributing members of the Sports Car Club of America. Named and established by the family of Wendi Allen, the scholarship honors the multi-time National Solo champion who loved and supported SCCA’s autocross community. Each of the three award recipients receives $1,500 a piece to assist with travel to Tire Rack National Solo events and the Tire Rack Solo Nationals Championship. Additionally, the SCCA waives entry fees for scholarship winners to all Tire Rack National Solo events attended during the year.
A Selection Committee, consisting of championship caliber women Solo drivers, selected this year’s winners from a host of submissions. Tara Johns, chairwoman of the committee, said, “We received many great applications and nominations for the three scholarship awards this year. We looked for well-rounded candidates who had a need for the scholarship, who are giving back to the Club in a big way, and who have a desire to seek great things on the national Solo scene. Those who were not selected, we strongly encourage them to reapply next year. Just because they weren’t chosen this time around certainly doesn’t mean they aren’t great candidates.”
Without further ado, the 2021 WASF recipients are as follows:
– Tracey Burckhard, Mohawk Hudson Region
– Karen Thomas, Central Pennsylvania Region
– Mazda: Felisha Welninski, Finger Lakes Region
For a fourth year, Mazda Motorsports has provided funding for one scholarship recipient. David Cook, Business Development Manager for Mazda Motorsports, said, “We are proud that Tracey, Karen and Felisha are joining the ranks of many outstanding autocrossers who have earned the Wendi Allen Scholarship. It gives us great pleasure to support this scholarship endeavor for these three women chasing their passion and motorsport dreams.”
The other two scholarships awarded for 2021 are funded by the SCCA Foundation. Jeff Jacobs, Chairman of the SCCA Foundation, was introduced to national Solo competition by Mark and Wendi Allen when the three of them competed in the then-new Neon ACRs. “Wendi had the heart of a competitor,” explains Jacobs, “when she put on that helmet, her focus was instantly on.” In addition to multiple Solo National Championships, Wendi also road raced while helping to run the family car dealership business and raising a family.
“Once again, the WASF Selection Committee has done a fantastic job in picking a fine group of deserving scholarship recipients. The SCCA Foundation is proud of its ongoing support of this wonderful program originated by the generosity of Wendi and Mark Allen,” Jacobs said. “Ongoing donations by individuals and Regions have made it possible to continue these scholarships for the next generation of competitors.”
Previous WASF recipients include Lori Rothmuller, Sarah Tooth, Elisabeth Flannagan, Elizabeth Wildenberg, Jennifer Vance, Cindy Duncan, Haley Oosterhof, Elayne Man, Johanna Foege, Youmna Zalzal, Lexie Murray, Tara Arnette, Jessica Black, Lacie Edens, Samantha Bray, Emily Brown and Amy Wunsch.
The SCCA Foundation is accepting donations earmarked for the Scholarship and for its other initiatives advancing opportunities for women’s involvement in the Club. SCCA members can go to the My SCCA membership portal to make a donation here.
Photo: Wendi Allen competing at the 2012 Tire Rack Solo Nationals
Photo by: Rupert Berrington
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