Since Josef Newgarden first began racing, his ultimate goal has always been to reach Formula 1. In 2009, the talented young American is taking a big step toward that goal, competing in the MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain. While driving for Joe Tandy Racing, Newgarden is also elevating his training program as well as furthering his career by moving to England.
Unlike most 18-year-old racecar drivers, Newgarden no longer lives at home, with his parents overseeing and assisting in his day-to-day racing affairs. The former Nashville, Tenn., resident now lives on his own in Oxford, England, focused on making himself a better race driver. While Newgarden not surprisingly misses certain aspects about life back in the U.S.A., near family and friends, he has already seen the benefits of becoming fully immersed in his racing program.
“Even though it’s only been a few months since I moved to England, I’ve really noticed the advantages of being with the team on a day-to-day basis,” commented Newgarden. “We are already bonding, which definitely helps at the track, as we are able to better understand what’s going on and how to make it even better. Additionally, I’m learning a great deal about how racing is in Europe, as well as the inner workings of a successful team. Joe [Tandy] may be pretty young for a team owner, but he knows so much. Therefore I’m making sure I get the most from this opportunity.”
While the junior formula car standout was in good physical condition when he arrived in Europe, he is now working with a professional who’s focused on making him even better behind the wheel. Under the guidance of Alex Gorne, son of motorsports veteran and driver manager Rick Gorne, Newgarden is in the gym every day that he’s not traveling or racing. In what is a Formula 3-type training plan, the American alternates between upper body, core and cardio exercises, increasing both his strength and endurance. Despite only having a month of the program under his belt, Newgarden has already noticed the benefits.
“The biggest change I’ve noticed since I’ve begun training with Alex is how much more alert I am in the cockpit,” stated Newgarden. “I’m able to push hard lap after lap, yet still be focused and even somewhat refreshed when I get out. This has allowed me to raise my game while driving, as well as getting the most from the debriefing and planning after each session. I have no doubt my new physical training regiment will not only help me throughout the upcoming season, but also as I progress up the racing ladder and drive more powerful and physically demanding cars like F3.”
When Newgarden announced that he was going to race in the MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain, many expected he would join one of the larger more established teams, particularly given he already made his mark by winning the historic and prestigious Formula Ford Festival as member of Team USA. While the American indeed tested with such outfits, he soon came to the conclusion that Joe Tandy Racing was the right choice for his inaugural European race campaign. Owned and operated by 26-year-old former Formula Palmer Audi 2005 champion, Joe Tandy, the team has quickly established itself as race winner and title contender. JTR has visited victory lane nine times in MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain competition, finishing as the series runner-up in its inaugural 2006 season. In addition to operating two Formula Fords, Joe Tandy competes in the British Formula 3 International Series, developing the Mygale M-08F3 chassis, scoring three podium finishes in last season.
Newgarden, with backing from Robo-Pong ping pong robots and Racer of Tomorrow LTD, a United Kingdom corporation formed by three new investors, commences his 25-race MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain campaign on April 11-13, with Rounds 1, 2 and 3 taking place at the Oulton Park Circuit.