The Walter Hayes Trophy event at Silverstone has ended and I have just returned home to Indiana after some of the most thrilling weeks of my life.
My most recent race weekend did not go exactly as planned, yet I learned immensely from it. The Team USA Scholarship Ammonite Racing Ray Formula Ford had amazing pace and I was up to fourth in my semi-final before a competitor knocked me back to 16th. Because of this, my starting position for the final was set at 31st. I believe that position provided a new opportunity for me. Being so far back on the grid, I was able to learn how to drive conservatively yet aggressive to make up 17 positions and bring back the car safely.
Throughout the weekend I improved my knowledge on assertive yet safe driving and how to manage traffic while staying clear of other cars. I have uploaded a highlight reel to my YouTube channel that can be found at this link.
The entire experience of racing in the UK has greatly improved my racing skills as well as my personal skills. I had amazing opportunities including interviews and meetings with many professionals in the racing industry which strengthened my conversational skills and increased my self-confidence.
Over the past couple of months, I have been exposed to a whole new lifestyle. Living on my own in a different country took some getting used to. I had an amazing time learning how to be independent and adapting to a different type of racing.
Many aspects of racing carry over from my experience in the States; however, there was still much to adapt to. For starters, the tires took the longest to feel out. At our first race at Silverstone finishing off the BRSCC National Formula Ford season, I found myself struggling to understand the extended slip angle that the Avon tires allowed, and needed, to be quick. Secondly, the standing starts were a completely new concept to me. Those were not as difficult to grasp, though. Although the use of racing simulators, especially with some great practice at RaceCraft1 in Indianapolis, has greatly prepared me for starts, I would still find difficulties finessing the engine rpms and clutch release perfectly to get off the line with the utmost efficiency.
Lastly, were the field strengths at these events. The competition played a pivotal role in my development while I was abroad. Racing against so many talented drivers inspired me to continue pushing for those last couple of tenths every session. Because of these new experiences, I believe that I have developed immensely as a driver and as an ambassador.
Currently, my eyes are set on the 2024 season with a strong desire to jump into the USF Pro Championships in a USF2000 car. Along with that, I have been in contact with a team running a Porsche in the Grand Sport class with the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. I am fully dedicated to making it into the USF Pro Championships next season and am currently looking for supporters that would be interested in a motorsports partnership to help me achieve my dream of becoming a professional racing driver.
On the first day of my journey over to the UK I remember thinking about how long we had ahead of us, “seven weeks will feel like forever away from home.” Now that time has come to an end and all I can think about was how quickly it went. In the time I was abroad I was blessed with amazing experiences. From touring four Formula 1 teams, driving in two of the largest and most historic Formula Ford races in the world, to testing a rocket ship of a GB3 car at Donington Park, representing my country with the Team USA Scholarship has been an opportunity of a lifetime and I want to thank Jeremy Shaw, Sparco for the incredible new gear, Styled Aesthetic for the sweet merchandise, and every other supporter behind the program for supporting me throughout this trip.