It’s time to go racing for this 12 months’s three Group USA Scholarship winners, Elliott Budzinski (beneath, middle), 20, from Ann Arbor, Mich., William Ferguson (left), 18, from Pacifica, Calif., and Thomas Schrage (proper), 17, from Bethel, Ohio, have accomplished an in depth check program over the previous few weeks in England and are able to contest this weekend’s 51st annual BRSCC Components Ford Pageant on the Manufacturers Hatch circuit.
The trio will be a part of a robust U.S. contingent within the conventional end-of-season occasion on the quick however difficult 1.2079-mile circuit located an hour or so southeast of London. Seven former winners are amongst an entry of over 80 drivers representing no less than a dozen nations. Joey Foster, Ivor McCullough, Niall Murray, Rory Smith and Jamie Sharp have accounted for eight victories between them, and can be joined by returning legends Roberto Moreno, from Brazil, who took the honors again in 1980, and 1991 winner, Belgium’s Marc Goossens.
Along with the Group USA Scholarship trio, related applications from Australia, Brazil, Canada and New Zealand are supporting promising younger abilities on this prestigious occasion which has been received up to now by Johnny Herbert (1985), Mark Webber (1996) and Jenson Button (1998), all of whom went on to win Components 1 races, in addition to two-time NTT IndyCar Sequence champion Josef Newgarden, who carried the distinctive and patriotic Group USA Scholarship colours to victory in 2008.
American hopes additionally can be carried by 2021 Group USA Scholarship winner Max Esterson, from New York, N.Y., who completed an in depth second final 12 months and continued to hone his abilities this 12 months after stepping as much as GB3, plus Jeremy Fairbairn, from Wellington, Fla., Shaun Rashid, from Atlanta, Ga., and most cancers survivor Gabe Tesch, from Mica, Wash.
Esterson and Rashid will run beneath the identical Ammonite Motorsport banner as Budzinski, Ferguson and Schrage, who’ve gained expertise of their Ray GR vehicles at a wide range of venues within the UK, together with Citadel Combe, the place they accomplished a profitable exploratory race occasion three weeks in the past, Pembrey and Snetterton. In addition they benefited from simulator tuition with RaceCraft1 Motorsport Coaching’s Kelly Jones earlier than their UK journey, along with pounding out laps at Manufacturers Hatch for the previous three days, throughout which they’ve sampled a big selection of climate and observe circumstances.
“We’re so thrilled to welcome again Group USA for one more 12 months,” mentioned Andy Low, who labored as a crew chief with Cliff and Michelle Dempsey for a number of years earlier than taking on the group upon the Dempseys’ retirement just a few years in the past after which rebranding the workforce as Ammonite Motorsport for the 2022 season. “Elliott, William and Thomas have settled in very properly with the workforce. They’ve actually bought to grips with the vehicles and have achieved an amazing job on observe to date.
“It’s nice to see the blokes expertise the UK too. It’s been a incredible cultural expertise for them and I’m actually impressed with how they’ve embraced the entire bundle of what the scholarship can supply.”
Evidently, the drivers themselves are equally keen about their prospects.
“I’m very excited to get underway for the Components Ford Pageant,” mentioned Budzinski (above), who has impressed regardless of minimal automotive racing expertise previous to his UK journey. “To do properly at this race every thing has to return collectively. The workforce continues to do a tremendous job and I consider I’ve made large strides within the automotive that may permit us to struggle for the highest spot on the rostrum.
“Manufacturers Hatch is a very particular observe, the elevation and character it has is in contrast to anyplace I’ve ever pushed… however testing is one factor, I can not wait to see how 80+ vehicles race right here!
“I additionally can not go with out thanking Jeremy Shaw and the lengthy record of Group USA Scholarship sponsors that permit us to compete in such a tremendous occasion.”
“I’ve been ready to race on such a historic observe like Manufacturers Hatch Circuit for all of my life,” added Schrage, who final weekend traveled again to the U.S. to clinch the FRP F1600 Championship at Pittsburgh Worldwide Raceway. “This observe is totally insane in moist circumstances and has taught me a brand new driving type. I really feel that I’ve a real probability to chase the gold this weekend, and I can be attempting to do exactly that!”
“I’ve had a tremendous couple weeks of testing with the 2022 Group USA crew because of Ammonite Motorsport,” mentioned Ferguson, who completed second on this 12 months’s Canadian F1600 Championship. “We’ve been to a number of tracks and skilled many several types of circumstances. Due to this, I really feel properly acclimated to this Components Ford automotive and ready for no matter obstacles and circumstances that can be thrown at me this weekend. Having three days of testing at Manufacturers Hatch already within the books, I’ve actually gotten a really feel for this superb circuit.
“I actually wish to thank everybody concerned within the Group USA program for placing collectively such a tremendous alternative for Elliot, Thomas and me. With two different Individuals beneath the tent, and all 5 of us displaying promising pace to date, we’re seeking to put the celebs and stripes on the highest step of the rostrum come Sunday.”
The massive entry can be break up into 4 12-lap Warmth races which can be held on Saturday afternoon after qualifying earlier within the day. The highest 12 drivers from every Warmth will qualify immediately into the pair of 14-lap Semi Ultimate races on Sunday. The 20-lap Ultimate, set for five:06pm native time will comprise 30 vehicles.
Budzinski has been drawn in Warmth One, with qualifying set for 9:00am and the race at 1:35pm Schrage can be in Warmth Two at 2:40pm after qualifying at 9:47am. Ferguson will qualify for the fourth Warmth at 11:16am and race at 4:40pm.
Click on right here for the occasion remaining directions and right here for the weekend schedule, though keep in mind occasions are topic to alter. Dwell timing can be accessible at https://www.tsl-timing.com/occasion/224232.
Everything of the racing motion can be livestreamed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUlQF64fBOk.