Henley-on-Thames, England – Finally the Team USA Scholarship has been announced and the congratulations messages are starting to come in. I'm so honored to be picked; it's so cool to see the names on the web sites and boards of the previous Team USA Scholarship winners and know that my name will be included with theirs in the near future.
I have only been in the UK for a few days now and have had so much fun hanging out with Cliff and Michelle Dempsey! They are such a nice family, and so welcoming. I can't help but think about all the memories the previous Team USA Scholarship winners have and the memories I will come away with from the experience. I am so thankful for this, and cannot thank everyone enough! I wish I was better at showing people how thankful I actually am.
It has been seriously full-on for me over the past few weeks. The USF2000 championship came down to the wire between Spencer (Pigot) and me. On top of that I had the Team USA Shootout in California. I zoned out of everything else other than those two things. It was a little stressful but now that I look back, I realize how much fun I had over that time period, and the results I achieved made it all worthwhile. It feels weird as I haven't had the time for it all to sink in. Even though I received the news of being selected for the Team USA Scholarship in Baltimore I never really thought about it too much as I was so focused on winning the USF2000 championship. Yet here I am already in England after the fantastic last couple of weeks I've had and it's finally starting to sink in...though I know it won't last long as the storm is starting to kick back up and I cannot wait for it to come and get back out there racing!
I have had a sniff of what's to come with Cliff Dempsey Racing and I cannot wait. We had a half test day at Mallory Park in the Formula Renault which was wet. I feel that all that wet weather running I get the better, as these Brits are used to it raining all the time! The car was really fun to drive and I really enjoyed the circuit even though it was quite small – not at all like the American tracks. The place really does have some character though, and it was really cool just to look around the track. Even though England really does have some horrible weather, it is very pretty and full of character.
But hey, what a fantastic year! I have really enjoyed it immensely. I have learned so much and I've been through a lot; it has been a great experience. This was my first full year of racing in the States and it really has been incredible. I'm really looking forward to continuing my racing career in the States and moving up to Star Mazda for next year. I'm sure it is going to be another fun year despite whatever happens.
The people I've met throughout the year have been extremely nice and welcoming. Everyone that has supported me in the States has been so very helpful, I am very grateful for all their help.
To finish the year off representing the USA over here in England is a dream come true. I have heard so many stories from my family about the racing and the tracks here and I've always wanted to come and race in Europe. It's the perfect finish to the year, and start for next year. I'm sure I will learn a lot about race craft and driving techniques. Talking to previous winners of the Team USA Scholarship, they really learned a lot and took a lot out of their experience which they say has stayed with them for the rest of their career. I'm looking forward to it and I can't wait to get out there and beat the Brits.