The Team USA Scholarship enters its third decade of providing opportunities for talented young American race car drivers with today's nominations for the “Class of 2010” who will vie for a pair of scholarships to contest the traditional end-of-season Formula Ford events in England in October and November.
In 2008, Team USA driver Josef Newgarden became the first American to win the prestigious Formula Ford Festival (Kent division) at Brands Hatch, while Conor Daly became the youngest winner of the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone. Last year Brett Smrz finished a sensational third at Brands Hatch, despite starting 27th, and Connor De Phillippi mirrored Daly's success from the previous year, besting over 100 other drivers to win the Walter Hayes Trophy.
All of the 2010 candidates enjoyed success in the karting ranks before moving into cars within the past two years. The 2010 nominees are:
Neil Alberico, 17, from Los Gatos, Calif. – winner of the 2009-2010 Bondurant Championship Race Series
Ashley Freiberg, 18, from Homer Glen, Ill. – earlier this year became the first female ever to win a Skip Barber Racing Series title, clinching the Southern Regional crown, and the first to win a round of the Skip Barber National
Patrick Gallagher, 17, from Thornville, Ohio – standout in SCCA Formula 5 and Formula E competition
Miles Maroney, 16, from Topanga Canyon, Calif. – currently second and top rookie in the Pacific F2000 Series
Arie Ouimet, 19, from Plymouth, Mass. – currently second in the VW Jetta TDI Cup with two podium finishes
Spencer Pigot, 16, from Windermere, Fla. – MAZDASPEED Development Driver, current leader of the BFGoodrich Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda Series with two wins, nine podium finishes and four poles from 10 races
Jonathan Scarallo, 18, from Hauppauge, N.Y. – recently claimed his first win in the F2000 Championship Series
Felix Serralles, 17, from Haines City, Fla. – MAZDASPEED Development Driver, currently third in the Skip Barber National Series point standings
For the first time, the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, based at Firebird Raceway in Chandler, Ariz., will host a shootout to determine which two young Americans will follow in the footsteps of an accomplished list of former Team USA Scholarship including Jimmy Vasser (the first winner in 1990), Bryan Herta, Buddy Rice, Memo Gidley, Paul Edwards, Andy Lally, Joey Hand, Bryan Sellers, A.J. Allmendinger and J.R. Hildebrand.
Bondurant, who shared the GT class-winning Shelby Cobra with Dan Gurney at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1964 and contested nine Formula One World Championship races, including a best result of fourth in the 1966 Monaco Grand Prix, founded the school in California in 1968. It has been based in Arizona since 1989, and this year hosted a 12-race open-wheel championship for the first time, offering an array of prizes and opportunities for the inaugural champion.
“As the new kid on the block, it's important to expose our race series to as many talented young drivers as possible,” said accomplished kart racer Alan Rudolph, Director of the Bondurant Championship Race Series. “We're excited to support and host the Team USA Scholarship, both to showcase our championship and to give back to the sport that Bob and I love so much.”