Aaron Jeansonne: When Life Doesn’t Give You Lemons
SULPHUR, La. – “Absolutely” is the perfect word when I say that I am absolutely ready to drive a race car again. This off-season, although very busy, felt like an eternity. I’ve always been a firm believer in the saying that happiness is not a destination, but a journey. This allows me to really enjoy the journey I am on and helps me to cope with the hardships that come my way, and trust me, I’ve had my fun with hardships these recent few months!
After the Mazda Road to Indy Scholarship Shootout Presented by Cooper Tires in December I was able to spend some time with Primus Racing in Savannah, Ga., as described in my most recent blog. Little did I know at the time I would only test a car one more time until the 2018 season, happening to be the very next week at the same track with Team Pelfrey in an F1600 Mygale. After setting the team’s all-time fastest lap at the circuit and gaining lots of confidence, I found myself in a bit of a dry spell with four months out of a car. That, however, by no means meant the work stopped. I’ve had time to really explore ways to fund my career while keeping in touch with the connections I’ve made.
During my spare time, I was really enjoying improving my fitness routines until a few injuries held me back. A torn rotator cuff slowed me down and had me doing lots of stretches for the short recovery process, since it was only a slight tear. As that was healing, I was caught up in an accident here in my road car. Unfortunately, the impact left my car totaled and me with a concussion. A few weeks later, as everything was healed and my routine was getting back to normal, preseason testing was becoming closer and closer, and my excitement was growing with each new day! And then I started to have abdominal pains which worsened enough for me to go to the hospital. I had to have surgery to have my appendix removed in very short notice. I was very upset because I knew it would get in the way of preseason activities.
However, with as many things that were going wrong, lots of things were going right for me. You know the saying, our character is defined by our actions in times of hardship and adversity. I looked to the bright side and counted my blessings. Most importantly, the new season was not starting very early in the year, which gave me plenty time to recover. Also, I’m fortunate to be able to say there will be a “year two” of my racing career, and it will be with Primus Racing piloting a Formula 2000 Van Diemen-Mazda in the FRP F2000 Championship Series. I think this a great opportunity for me and I will be able to learn a ton while moving up the ladder at the same time. Having already spent time with the team, I know we have good chemistry so I’m ready to get to work and chase this championship! With all I’ve learned from my experience in the Lucas Oil Formula Race Series and my Formula Ford 1600 races in the UK, thanks to the Team USA Scholarship, I feel well prepared to begin the season on the right track.
I’ve been able to test the F2000 recently at Roebling Road Raceway and this week at Virginia International Raceway. I absolutely love the car as it’s quicker than what I’m accustomed to, yet it still shares similar traits to the Formula Ford 1600. The movement in the chassis combined with the grip and downforce I feel really suits my driving style!
With the first two races taking place this weekend, April 21/22 at Road Atlanta, I’m very excited and ready to take on the challenge. I’ve raced at Road Atlanta previously, taking a win and a podium there last year with the Lucas Oil Formula Series. The changes we made to the car in Virginia improved the car a lot so it’s only helped me feel more prepared, thanks to our excellent race engineer, Derich Cutshaw.
Thank you to everyone who supports what we’re doing; it’s going to be a speedy season!