Under the Eyes of the Team USA Scholarship
Sharon, CT – For the 2010 season the aspiring drivers of the F2000 Championship Series will continue to be under consideration for prestigious Team USA Scholarships. The program provides end-of-season opportunities at the Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy events in England for talented American drivers rising through the ranks of the open wheel ladder system. Drivers also enjoy a number of opportunities to visit manufactures and teams, including Lola Cars and the McLaren Technical Centre. F2000 Series champion Chris Miller and rookie of the year Benjamin Searcy were among the 2009 nominees.
“Outright speed is obviously important for anyone looking to move up auto racing ladder, but in this sport it takes much more than that to be successful,” commented Team USA Scholarship President and founder Jeremy Shaw.
“For most young drivers, obtaining outside funding is essential, and to do so requires a wide variety of skills. Quite frankly, in that regard, racing isn't really much different than any other career. The more you put into it, the more likely you are to reap rewards."
The scholarship winner list reads like a who’s who of road racing and includes: A.J. Allmendinger, Conor Daly, Paul Edwards, Memo Gidley, Joey Hand, Bryan Herta, J.R. Hildebrand, Andy Lally, Josef Newgarden, Tony Renna, Buddy Rice, Bryan Sellers and Jimmy Vasser.
"If you look back through the list of past Team USA Scholarship winners, I think what stands out is that they are as accomplished off the track as they are on it,” Shaw said. “For example, I am proud to say that all of those who have gone on to build successful careers -- which is the vast majority -- not only have expressed their gratitude for the opportunity that was presented to them through the scholarship, but have actually dug into their own pockets to ensure the program is able to continue."
F2000 drivers will be monitored by Shaw’s network of correspondents looking for promising young drivers.
"I have been a firm believer in Formula Ford 2000 for many years," said Shaw. “The cars are relatively affordable to run, and provide an excellent platform for teaching drivers how to maximize the potential of both themselves and their cars."
As for funding the scholarship, a wide variety of motorsports-related companies, teams and drivers contribute to the program which sends young American hopefuls to do battle on race tracks overseas.
"The scholarship has been a labor of love for many years now, and I hope we will be able to continue it for a long time to come,” Shaw added.
“It is made possible by help from a wide variety of sources -- companies and individuals -- who all share the same goal: to help foster young talent. I am especially grateful to the likes of vintage F1 racer Doug Mockett and the Road Racing Drivers Club, and its president, Bobby Rahal, for keeping the dream alive."
The scholarship was founded in 1990 and has awarded some 32 young American drivers deserving opportunities overseas.
The F2000 Championship Series season starts on April 9th at Virginia International Raceway.