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Archive for the ‘ Team USA Scholarship ’ Category

Michai Stephens, 22, and Aaron Telitz,22, were announced as recipients of the 2014 Team USA Scholarship and will travel to Europe to represent the U.S. in the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch on Oct. 25-26 and the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone on Nov. 1-2.

Both were selected from a group of six finalists who took part in a shootout aboard Allen Berg Racing Schools FR1600 cars at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., on September 8. The other candidates were Ben Auriemma, from Manhasset, N.Y., Tristan DeGrand, from St. Louis, Mo., Garth Rickards, from Mechanicsburg, Pa., and Kenton Koch, from Glendora, Calif.

For additional news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.

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The start of Semi Final 2 with Eidson and Bickers leading the field to Paddock Hill Bend (photo by Jack Mitchell/JAM Photography)

The start of Semi Final 2 with Eidson and Bickers leading the field to Paddock Hill Bend (photo by Jack Mitchell/JAM Photography)

The Team USA and Team Canada Scholarship drivers again had a successful trip to Europe. Scott Hargrove (Canada) finished fourth in the Formula Ford Festival Grand Final with Team USA’s Jake Eidson finishing a close fifth, after staring 11th at Brands Hatch. Niall Murray won the race.

Team Canada’s Zacharie Robichon qualified third but suffered a broken push rod end on the exit of Graham Hill Bend, sending him into the barriers in the semi-final, ending his weekend.

Team USA drivers also raced in the Walter Hayes Trophy competing against over 110 entrants at Silverstone with Eidson finishing seventh after fighting for a podium finish with two laps remaining. Joey Bickers was classified 26th after impressive drivers to make the final including a run from 22nd to 4th in the 10-lap Progression Race.

Make sure to watch Team USA and Team Canada in the Formula Ford Festival Grand Final here.

All four drivers proved competitive among the world’s best and developed critical skills during the trip overseas, despite a steep learning curve which involved new cars, new tires, standing starts, difficult weather conditions, new tracks, and a culture change.

For up-to-date news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.

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Jake Eidson and Joey Bickers were named recipients of the 2013 Team USA Scholarship. Both drivers will have the opportunity to travel to England and compete in the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch (Oct. 26-27) and the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone (Nov. 2-3), driving Ray GR08 Formula Ford machines prepped by Cliff Dempsey Racing.

Here’s a bit of info on both drivers from the Team USA release:

About Joey Bickers:
Aged 21; lives Moorpark, Calif., where he’s a Business Major at Moorpark College. After competing in motocross events from age 12, Bickers discovered a new passion after obtaining his driver’s permit in 2010 and began building his own off-road truck to drive near his home in Southern California. He attended the Jim Hall Karting Racing School in Oxnard, Calif., in late 2011 and began racing in the Los Angeles Karting Championship in 2012. After claiming Rookie of the Year honors, Bickers graduated this year to cars in the Pacific F1600 Series with PR1 Motorsports and was immediately a front-runner. He is also a leading contender in the Teen Mazda Challenge West driving an SCCA Spec Miata. More at http://joeybickersracing.com/

About Jake Eidson:
Aged 18; from Littleton, Colo. Eidson (pronounced EDD-sun) began karting at age 11. He achieved some success at the regional level, then attended the Skip Barber Racing School in 2010. Eidson finished fourth and claimed Rookie of the Year honors in the 2010/2011 Skip Barber Racing Winter Western Series, won the following year’s Winter Series, then added the 2012 Summer Series and 2012/2013 Winter Series to his burgeoning resume. He contested the first four Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda races in 2013 before concentrating on the East Coast-based F1600 Championship Series with Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing. Eidson clinched the title with seven wins and five poles. More at http://www.jakeeidsonracing.com/

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Brabham showcases speed at Rockingham

Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:03 pm Team USA Scholarship Comments

Team USA Scholarship driver Matthew Brabham unofficially set the fastest lap during testing for the Formula Renault BARC season-finale at Rockingham. (photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography)

Team USA Scholarship driver Matthew Brabham survived wet conditions (on slicks) and a brazen battle in the Formula Renault BARC final while driving for Cliff Dempsey Racing at Rockingham.

The highlight of the weekend occurred in Race 2 when Brabham gambled on slicks in damp conditions and carved his way to the front after starting ninth. At the sharp end of the grid, Brabham found himself embroiled in an intense battle with Fortec Motorsport’s Jack Aitken.

The 18-year-old scholarship winner was forced into a spin but recovered to finish third — and was later promoted to second when race officials realized they had allowed the battle to continue for 15 laps rather than the predetermined 14.

“It was definitely different racing to what I’m used to,” Brabham explained in a release. “It was really challenging to try and get past [Aitken]. I think it was a little bit of an extraordinary circumstance because it was the last race of the year and he hasn’t won a race yet so he really, really wanted to win and I really, really wanted to win so there was zero room given. Any opportunity to go side by side there was just no room, so you know, that happens in racing. It was definitely an eye-opener and I’ve never really seen that kind of stuff before so I learned a hell of a lot in that race. I’ll definitely take some of it back to America with me!”

Related ReadingBrabham fast at Brands

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Sean Johnston

Spencer Pigot

Spencer Pigot and Sean Johnston will test a Formula 3 car with Double R Racing at Pembrey Circuit as an extension of the 2012 Team USA Scholarship.

Pigot, 19, who won the Team USA Scholarship in 2010 and 2011, won eight of 14 USF2000 National Championship races in 2012. Johnston, 21, found victory in seven of 14 starts in the Porsche GT3 Cup.

For up-to-date news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.

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Team USA Scholarship driver Tristan Nunez celebrates his wet-weather win during the 2012 Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone. (photo: Jeff Bloxham)

After three laps were completed in Sunday’s Walter Hayes Trophy Grand Final at Silverstone, Team USA’s Tristan Nunez had gained four positions and was closing in on the top-two drivers — both three-time winners of the ultra-competitive Formula Ford race — Peter Dempsey and Joey Foster. The track was wet. Very wet.

For the first time, perhaps, Nunez could envision himself taking the checkered flag ahead of all 120-drivers aspiring to do so. With two laps remaining, Dempsey and Foster tangled at Beckett’s corner handing the lead to Nunez.

Now the dream was becoming a reality. Still, the 17-year-old had to hold off Formula Ford Festival winner Ivor McCullough and Superleague Formula champ John Martin. McCullough briefly led before Nunez reclaimed the point with Martin slipping into second place.

From there, it was all Nunez as the Team USA driver efficiently drove to a 0.278-second advantage on the 1.639-mile Silverstone National Circuit. Piloting a Cliff Dempsey Racing Ray GR08, Nunez became the third Team USA driver to win the WHT — Conor Daly won in 2008 and Connor De Phillippi won in 2009. It was the sixth victory for Cliff Dempsey Racing.

Fellow Team USA Scholarship driver Jack Mitchell Jr. drove a solid race advancing from 15th to 10th in the 12-lap final. Team Canada’s Garett Grist also logged an impressive drive finishing eighth.

Nunez set the fastest lap of the race on Lap 7, touring the drenched track in 1:09.877. Robert Hall was fourth with Falco Wauer completing the top five. Click here for FULL RESULTS (pdf).

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Tristan Nunez wheels the No. 22 Cliff Dempsey Racing Team USA Scholarship car around the Indy Circuit at Brands Hatch during the 40th running of the Formula Ford Festival. (photo: Jack Mitchell Photography)

Team USA Scholarship drivers Tristan Nunez and Jack Mitchell Jr. may have done a “rain dance” on Saturday night, with hopes of wet and slippery conditions for Sunday’s final at the 2012 Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch.

The only problem?  The rain just didn’t come.

Both Nunez and Mitchell proved exceptionally quick over the weekend in Kent Class competition, especially in wet conditions where each won their respective quarterfinal on Saturday in cold, rainy weather.

On Sunday, however, the weather was cool but dry, a condition neither driver had much experience with during their week of testing at the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit.

Nunez was up first for his 15-lap semifinal, starting from pole position. As the Florida-native adapted to the tires’ adhesion on a cool, dry surface he was relegated to third. Biding his time, Nunez went on the attack with two laps remaining. On Lap 14, he passed Luke Cooper for second and made an impressive, downhill, two-wheels in the grass pass on Ivor McCullough heading into Graham Hill Bend. The move secured the win and pole position for the final event.

Jack Mitchell Jr. (No. 21) takes away the inside-line during the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch. (photo: Jack Mitchell Photography)

Mitchell Jr., like Nunez, would start his semifinal from pole. During the opening lap, Mitchell was bumped off track in Druid’s Hairpin dropping back to seventh, and later eighth, before recovering to finish sixth. The result placed the Illinois native 12th in the 28-car final (44 cars attempted to qualify for the headline event).

In the final, Nunez was dropped a few spots but remained embroiled in a tight battle with the top-five drivers. Contact with Graham Carroll at the apex of Paddock Hill Bend (reports indicate that Carroll turned in on Nunez) dropped Nunez back to 25th. He would charge back through the pack to 16th before his engine expired with seven laps remaining.

Mitchell, meanwhile, was meticulously working his way forward through the pack from 12th. A multi-car incident would draw the race to an early conclusion halting Mitchell’s aggressive charge. In the end, he improved seven spots to finish fifth overall. McCullough would win the race for the second-consecutive year.

The American duo will now travel to Silverstone for next weekend’s Walter Hayes Trophy, a race regarded by many as the world’s premier Formula Ford event.

For up-to-date news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.

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Brabham fast at Brands

Posted October 22, 2012 at 2:58 pm Team USA Scholarship Comments

Matthew Brabham drove from 19th to 5th in his Team USA Cliff Dempsey Racing Formula Renault car at the BARC Winter Series at Brands Hatch. (photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography)

Team USA scholarship driver Matthew Brabham impressed onlookers over the weekend with two top-five performances in the Formula Renault BARC Winter Championship at Brands Hatch.

After dropping a few positions early in Race 1, Brabham methodically worked his way back to fifth. It was his performance in Race 2 that truly stood out.

In wet conditions, Brabham tangled with another competitor and the subsequent spin caused his car to stall. Despite losing time working to refire the engine, Brabham advanced from 19th to 5th in the 12-lap wet race.

Brabham, 18, will return to the cockpit on Nov. 10 in Rockingham for the final two events of the Winter Series.

For up-to-date news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.

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Just arriving home from vacation, … old news by now but Matthew Brabham, Jack Mitchell, and Tristan Nunez were recently named recipients of the 2012 Team USA Scholarships.

Brabham, 18, will contest the final two rounds of the Formula Renault BARC UK Championship on the Silverstone National circuit on October 6-7. He will also challenge for the Formula Renault BARC Winter Series which will comprise two races on the famed Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit on October 20-21 and two more races on the Rockingham International Sportscar Circuit on Saturday, November 10.

Mitchell and Nunez, both 16 years-old, will compete in the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch Oct. 27-28 and the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone during the first weekend in November. All three will drive for Cliff Dempsey Racing.

For up-to-date news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.

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Following interviews during the INDYCAR/American Le Mans Series race at Mid-Ohio, the number of nominees for the 2012 Team USA Scholarship was whittled to eight.

The remaining nominees are being further evaluated today, Aug. 27, on a race simulator in Santa Monica, Calif. On Tuesday, the drivers will take to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., aboard FR 1600 race cars. Three fully-funded scholarships will be awarded.

Two drivers will be entered under the Team USA Scholarship/Cliff Dempsey Racing banner in the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch on October 27-28 and the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone on November 3-4, while one slightly more experienced driver will be invited to contest the final two rounds of the Formula Renault BARC Championship at Silverstone on October 6-7.

The eight finalists are:

  • Neil Alberico, 19, from Redlands, Calif. – Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda
  • Matthew Brabham, 18, from Manalapan, Fla. – Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda (three wins, four poles)
  • Jake Eidson, 17, from Littleton, Colo. – Skip Barber Winter Series champion and Summer Series contender (six wins)
  • Conner Ford, 16, from Carson City, Nev. – Pacific Formula F Super Series (six wins)/World Challenge B-Spec
  • Sean Johnston, 21, from Mt. Shasta, Calif. – IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge points leader (four wins, four poles)
  • Jack Mitchell Jr., 16, from Clarendon Hills, Ill. – Barber Summer Series leader (three wins)/Canadian F1600 (one win)
  • Brandon Newey, 20, from Carmel, Ind. – F1600 Championship Series points leader (two wins)
  • Tristan Nunez, 16, from Boca Raton, Fla. – Cooper Tires Prototype Lites points leader (eight wins, nine poles)

View the original list of Team USA nominees, here.

For up-to-date news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.

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