Lexington, OH – F2000’s Jonathan Scarallo competed in the Team USA Scholarship shootout in Arizona yesterday. The young driver is coming off a huge first-career F2000 victory at Road America and was one of the handful of drivers handpicked by Jeremy Shaw to compete in the shootout to ultimately represent the United States in the end-of-year Formula Ford events in England.
“It was a great experience and just to be nominated is such an honor,” said Scarallo. “It was terrific just to be a part of it and I learned a lot which will translate into knowledge for the rest of my career.
“We started the day off in Corvettes and then after a lunch break where we were interviewed one-on-one by the judges, we got into Formula Mazdas for some sessions, and that was certainly a pretty cool car.”
Scarallo, an 18-year old from New York in his first year of college, came out of the Bertil Roos F2000 Series, where he dominated in 2008. After taking that championship, he moved up the ladder to the F2000 Championship Series with Group A Racing, owned by his family, in 2009.
It was a rocky year for the rookie, highlighted by a fourth place qualifying effort at Watkins Glen and a strong run at Lime Rock, but a dark cloud following Scarallo in 2009 left him with odd mechanical issues most of the year.
“There was a bunch to learn being a rookie driver moving from a school series to a pro series, and with the family team, we were also learning how to manage that,” continued Scarallo. “We had a bunch of things happen that were just pure bad luck. However, it taught me how to put those bad situations behind me and have a clear head for the next session. Everything I learned last year I have used to my advantage this year with R-Sport.”
For 2010 he decided to return to the F2000 field, moving over to the R-Sport team. While Scarallo quickly moved up the time sheets with each weekend, more odd luck followed despite a second place finish at Road Atlanta. But the stars finally aligned perfectly in Wisconsin. Scarallo was fast at Road America all weekend, taking the first pole of his career before a thrilling victory involving a four-way drafting battle for the lead in an all green race.
“This season has been up and down. The R-Sport guys are doing a great job prepping the car and we’ve been consistently fast, but we’ve had some bad luck. Finally, though, nothing weird happened at Road America and we took a win.”
Scarallo comes from a family of racing as older brother Joey has a racing resume that includes everything from F2000 to Indy Lights, with a lot of Trans Am, World Challenge and Nationwide mixed in.
The Team USA Scholarship has produced drivers with names like Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta and Buddy Rice. The winners will be announced in October at Petit Le Mans.