Grisham Makes History as Test Driver with Pirelli North America
Hannah Grisham earned the prestigious test driver role for Pirelli North America on Monday, December 14th, making her the first-ever female in North America to hold this title.
The 20-year-old Shift Up Now driver will support the research and development team, evaluating tires – from replacement to original equipment – for Pirelli’s North American market.
Grisham will start by learning Pirelli’s testing methodologies at the company headquarters in Milan, then apply what she’s learned at Pirelli’s test track in Vizzola, Italy.
Once back in America at the Pirelli tire testing base in Rome, Georgia, Grisham’s task is to complete a variety of tests, such as mileage, ride, steering, noise, handling (dry, wet, snow), braking and comfort.
The Glendora, California-native started racing at the age of six. She had been behind the wheel at age three and riding motorcycles at age four. By 15, she had two national karting championships and more than 800 competitive starts across more than 300 races in cars and karts, from the club level to the national level.
In addition, Grisham is the second female to win the prestigious IKF Lake Speed Achievement of Excellence in Karting award, and the So-Cal Sprinters Driver of the Year and High Point Eagle awards.
More information about Grisham can be found at www.HannahGrisham.com.
Abbate Overcomes Challenges in Successful Breakout Season
Shift Up Now Athlete Michele Abbate completed an extraordinary breakout season in 2020 with GRR Racing and earned numerous accolades in the Trans Am TA2 West Coast Series.
Abbate co-founded GRR Racing with husband Anthony Philleo and, despite the challenges of a season competing in a worldwide pandemic, the Las Vegas native turned heads everywhere she went.
Abbate became the first-ever female to finish on the podium in the TA2 at Sonoma Raceway in October. At the following event – Circuit of the Americas – the 32-year-old driver took home a second place finish. She then earned a top-five finish at every single race in the West Coast Championship, and a second-place finish overall.
To round out her 2020 season, Abbate joined BC Racing for a double-header weekend in the final round of the Trans Am National Tour. She made her debut in the National Class of Trans Am TA2 and, despite never having competed at Road Atlanta before, Abbate collected two top-15 finishes.
“This was such an amazing experience to top off a great year,” said Abbate. “It felt great to hit the top-fifteen goal I set for myself, and I came out of my national-debut weekend with newfound confidence, knowledge and abilities behind the wheel. I feel like this positioned me for my best possible season in 2021.”
Abbate is looking for a title sponsor to move to the Trans Am National Tour full-time for 2021. The GRR Racing team is working on plans for the upcoming season and hopes to have news to share soon.
Shift Up Now Announces New Management, Launches Membership
Shift Up Now is excited to announce a new leadership team and membership launch as it acquires the time, talent and expertise of renowned drivers Pippa Mann, Shea Holbrook, Mandy McGee, Sarah Montgomery and Loni Unser, plus support from Shift Up Now Founder Lynn Kehoe.
"I'm proud to be turning the wheel over to the new team,” said Kehoe. “The whole idea of Shift Up Now was always to promote the next generation. I'm confident that Shift Up Now is in good hands and will use this new chapter to do even more."
The Shift Up Now athletes are a collective of female racers working together to drive change in motorsports. Over the past two years, motorsports enthusiasts have inquired about getting involved and supporting the cause. Shift Up Now has responded and is launching a membership option, for the first time ever, to anyone – male or female – who wants to be part of the movement.
Shift Up Now memberships will include a welcome pack with branded lapel pin, keychain, wristband and can koozie, plus discounts from partners such as Sabelt, Bell, PitFit Training Online and Sampson Radios. In addition, members will have access to online fan forums, educational online webinars, meet-and-greets with drivers, garage tours at designated racing events and premiere access to “new for 2021” limited-edition merchandise. Members will also get exclusive opportunities to purchase one-on-one services such as social media lessons, autograph templates (and turning them into autograph cards), marketing help and media training. The first 250 members will receive the exclusive “250 Club” stamp for lapel pins, keychains and koozies to show founding member status.
Membership funds will go directly toward increasing resources for young racers – such as online webinars and educational events – and assets that will allow Shift Up Now to better pitch or represent athletes to potential partners and sponsors.
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