Brett Smrz – Shootout Time

Written by Team USA. Posted in Brett Smrz, Driver Blogs

Published on October 21, 2009 with No Comments

Oxford, England (October 21, 2009) – Yesterday, we competed in the Grand Prix Shootout. It was a pretty good experience to go and compete against other drivers from different countries in the same shootout. Every other shootout I have ever done is with just Americans.

The Grand Prix Shootout is a program [photo right of Brett, Rob Wilson, Connor and David Fleming courtesy of www.sutton-images.com] which is aimed at finding one driver to take all the way to F1. Whoever wins the shootout will win a fully paid Formula BMW season for 2010. If you do well enough, they will put you into Formula 3 car in 2011. If you do well enough in Formula 3, they will eventually get you moved into Formula 1.

Both Connor and I reckoned we stood out very well. We were driving an Abarth 500, which is pretty similar to what I am used to driving in the Mazda MX-5 Cup. The only thing Connor and I had to get used to was the right-hand drive car. That didn’t take us very long though, and we got up to speed within the first two sessions.

The instructor said he was very impressed with my driving, and liked my improving throughout the morning. After spending some time in the car with Denny (the instructor), Rob Wilson hopped in for a few laps. Rob was a very nice gentleman, and a very experienced racer. I did about four laps with Rob, and he seemed happy with what he saw.

Once we were done with the driving, we had to do an interview with a cameraman. The Europeans have been saying such great things when it comes to Americans and their abilities to present themselves well. We watched one of the drivers get interviewed in front of us, and he wasn’t very good. That made us feel pretty good, because we knew we would get up there and do great. When it was my turn, I was in a very enthusiastic mood. I had tons of energy when I was doing the interview, which is actually very good!

All in all, I think Connor and I did very well. We should make it to the last round to test in the Formula BMW. By the way, the track was very fun. It was a bit open, but they put cones out to make it much tighter. If they were doing the actual track, it seems like it would just be flat out everywhere.

After the shootout, we went out to dinner with Josef Newgarden and Phillip Major. We went to Nandos, which is a chicken restaurant. We had tons of fun eating out and walking around the city. We all get along very well, which makes this trip so much fun!

On that note, I would like to thank Jeremy Shaw, the Team USA Scholarship, and all of its sponsors and supporters. I wouldn’t have this opportunity to be in England if it weren’t for all of them. Thanks everyone!

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