Courtney Crone: An unforgettable racing season

As I sit down to reflect on the whirlwind of a year I have had in the world of motorsports, one word comes to mind: gratitude. 2023 has been nothing short of spectacular, filled with childhood dreams realized, podium triumphs, and the thrill of racing on both sides of the Atlantic.

This year, my journey took off in a way I could have only imagined. Winning the IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship was a game-changer. It was not just a financial boost, but a pivotal moment in my racing career. Knowing that I would be driving the iconic Red Dragon was like stepping into a cherished childhood dream. It is the kind of opportunity every aspiring racer dreams of, and I am grateful beyond words.

The Red Dragon has not disappointed this year. Throughout the season, the amount of support the Red Dragon has received from fans across the U.S. is remarkable. There is just something about bringing back a car with that much nostalgia to IMSA that you can’t ignore. Or maybe it’s the bright red paint. With the support of 47 Motorsports, I have been able to achieve my best season in the LMP3 yet, with four podium finishes at some of the most legendary tracks in North America. From the high banks of Daytona to the technical challenges of Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, the historic Lime Rock Park, and the scenic VIRginia International Raceway, each podium was a testament to teamwork, perseverance, and an amazing support system. With the new VP SportsCar Challenge single-driver format, I have had the chance to showcase my individual results and with the added challenge of GT4 cars in the mix, it has kept all the races exciting and unpredictable to the end. And certainly has pushed me to new limits.

Image by Gruppe C Photography


But perhaps the most eye-opening experience of all was my European racing adventure. It is a world of racing I never thought I would have the privilege to experience. After Daytona, I received a call from Gebhardt Motorsports to race their LMP3 car in the German Prototype Cup series (above). What began as a progressive season with the Ginetta chassis at tracks like Hockenheimring and Zandvoort, just to name just two of the legendary circuits we visited, turned into a stealthy switch to the Duqueine chassis for my final race of the year with them. The highlight? Consistently showcasing top five pace throughout the last race weekend at the TT Circuit Assen. Racing for Mr. Gebhardt and team this year was a privilege, knowing the rich history they have carved in IMSA and Group C racing.

To sum up, 2023 has marked a year of personal growth and self-discovery. From the picturesque circuits to the passionate fans, every moment has felt like a dream come true. This year has expanded my horizons and given me a newfound appreciation for the global motorsport community.

Last but certainly not least, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to my sponsors. Bob and Linda Stallings, Myobrace, IMSA, The Morgan Group, Frontier Fire Protection, and Provider Science – your unwavering support has made this season possible. You believed in me when it mattered most, and I am honored to represent you on and off the track.

As this incredible season is coming to a close, I look ahead with anticipation and excitement for my last race of the season at Road Atlanta and beyond. The journey continues, and there are more dreams to chase, podiums to conquer, and fans to inspire. Thank you to everyone who has been part of this remarkable journey. Here’s to the future and the adventures it holds!

Story originally appeared on Racer