G-Forces in The Big Easy ain’t so easy! 😜
Have you ever wanted to take a lap in a USF2000 car?
CLICK HERE and I’ll give you a ride.
Sometimes the hardest part of racing is waiting for your next opportunity to strap in. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait long after returning to the U.S. to get back in a car! And, after a hugely beneficial experience with Team USA, I’ve been able to take another big step towards my goals.
I was at NOLA Motorsports Park near New Orleans this past weekend for my first chance to drive a USF2000 car in a two-day test. What a car! It was my first time in a car with wings and tires without any tread at all. The downforce and drag produced by the wings means the top speed is just slightly faster than the F1600 or Formula Fords I’ve been driving (I think we topped out at just under 145 mph). But, the amount of speed you can carry through the corners is so much more than what I had experienced! The amount of grip added by the wings and slick Cooper Tires is a huge adjustment.
Jay Howard Driver Development helped me learn the ins and outs of driving a USF2000 car and got me up to speed very quickly. Once I got comfortable with pushing the car to its limits, my experience in low grip cars helped greatly. I had been used to sliding around, so this car felt like it was glued to the ground and I was very comfortable at the limits of the tire.
If you are interested in watching highlights from Saturday, CLICK HERE.
Towards the end of Sunday, I got my first chance to run on sticker (new) Cooper Tires. Being my first time on new tires, our approach to the session was to practice finding when the small window of when the tire is at its peak performance and laying down the best possible lap. At the peak of performance, I ran a quick lap, but still underestimated the amount of grip gained from new tires. This showed as I continued to get faster as the tires began to lose grip and I should have been losing time. Being able to nail this will come as I get more sessions on new tires.
One of the reasons for the test was obviously to get acclimated to the car I hope to drive next year but also to confirm I was ready to make the step up and show what I can do. I felt comfortable enough and was quick enough to give me confidence I’m ready and can be competitive at the start of next season.
We are hoping to test at least one more time over the next month, but two or three more days would be ideal. This is all determined by when we find the budget required for the upcoming season and then we can look to secure a seat in USF2000 for 2021. We have made big strides, but still have a little way to go.
Thanks to Mike Land with Tnemec Companies, Don and Jennifer Caldwell with Caldwell Realty and Caldwell Subways, Art Wilmes with Rising Star Racing and everyone else who has supported me for making this opportunity possible!
Stay fast, my friends.