- 05 September 2017
The process of determining which two young drivers will carry the patriotic red, white and blue colors of the Team USA Scholarship at the Formula Ford Festival and the Walter Hayes Trophy events later this year in England – and earn an invitation to the end-of-season Mazda Road to Indy $200k USF2000 Scholarship Shootout – will continue with a shootout to be held at the M1 Concourse facility in Pontiac, Mich., on the weekend of September 8/9. The two days of evaluations, both on the track and off, will be held in conjunction with the Lucas Oil School of Racing.
In England, Team USA Scholarship winners will face off against a large field of top talent, including F1600 points leader Matthew Cowley, who also drives for Team Pelfrey.
The Team USA Scholarship is one of the most successful and longest established driver development programs in the world. Almost a quarter of the drivers in this year’s Verizon IndyCar Series (five out of 21 full-season campaigners: Charlie Kimball, JR Hildebrand, Josef Newgarden, Conor Daly and Spencer Pigot), plus current sports car stand-outs Dane Cameron, Joel Miller, Joey Hand, Andy Lally, Bryan Sellers and Trent Hindman, are all Team USA alumni.
Six drivers have been invited to participate in the shootout, drawn from a variety of categories and following individual interviews conducted during the recent Verizon IndyCar Series weekend at Mid-Ohio in front of an illustrious panel of judges representing virtually every aspect of the sport.
The finalists are (with age, hometown and current racing affiliation):
Sabré Cook, 23, Grand Junction, Colo., SCCA GPfour Championship Road Racing
Elliot Finlayson, 21, Yorkville, Ill., SCCA GPfour Championship/F4 US Championship powered by Honda
Aaron Jeansonne, 19, Sulphur, La., Lucas Oil School of Racing
Jonathan Kotyk, 23, Atlantic Beach, Fla., F1600 Championship Series
Jacob Loomis, 17, Corinth, Texas, F4 US Championship/Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda
David Osborne, 21, Cincinnati, Ohio, F1600 Championship Series
Each candidate will be assigned one of the new-for-2016 Ray GR-RSC Lucas Oil School cars and one brand-new set of Cooper tires for the duration of the shootout, which will be held for the first time on M1's 1.5-mile Champion Motor Speedway road circuit. An elite judging panel will be confirmed in the coming days.
“I’m proud and honored to host the Team USA Scholarship shootout for the second straight year, and I intend to be involved for many more years too,” said Lucas Oil School of Racing Founder and CEO Neil Enerson. “The program has an incredible track record of helping talented young drivers. I’m looking forward to seeing this new crop of youngsters in action.”