Oxford, UK (July 23, 2009) â€“ The 2009 season has just passed the halfway mark and the MSA British Formula Ford series has now completed 15 of its 25 scheduled races. I canâ€™t say enough about my Joe Tandy Racing team or give enough credit to my primary crew guys (my best UK â€œmatesâ€) for their efforts, hard work and support. Since last December during pre-season testing when I first met Guy Mcculloch and Ricky Impey, weâ€™ve spent a lot of time together both on and off the track. We have experienced some great victories together and we all endured great sorrow together when our team owner Joe Tandy was lost. But through it all, weâ€™ve won as a team and weâ€™ve lost as a team.
I believe one of the biggest keys to a successful racing team is the driver and crew having confidence and respect for one another. This is one of those precious commodities in racing that you canâ€™t just buy off the shelf; you have to earn it, and once youâ€™ve got it you have to maintain it. I realized a long time ago that racing is not a one-man sport and no matter how big or small your team is, one weak link will impact the teamâ€™s performance. Knowing this, I never want to be perceived as the weak link! I do think being the team member that gets to drive might be just a little more fun and certainly offers more of the limelight, but it also increases the pressure to perform well whenever youâ€™re behind the wheel. To me thatâ€™s where the toughest work of being on a race team is really done. Iâ€™ve always found it easy to try and be the kind of team member in the paddock or at the shop that others would want to have around. But when Iâ€™m on the track and I make a mistake, I know I didnâ€™t just let my self down, I also let my team down!
At the end of the day, itâ€™s still the business of racing cars and the most critical measurement of any team or driver is based on bottom-line performance. In this business, moving forward requires results on track. To this point in my European rookie season of open-wheel racing, Iâ€™ve competed in 18 races in two different divisions. So far â€œMe and my Matesâ€ have produced seven victories, 12 podiums, and finished inside the top five 16 times.
Iâ€™m currently in second position of the 2009 MSA British Formula Ford Championship with just 10 races to go. Iâ€™ve got a few weeks off now to take a quick trip home to the USA for a little R&R. Early next month Iâ€™ll return to the UK for some valuable test days and then the season continues at the famed Silverstone Circuit for rounds 16,17 and 18. The competition here has been very tough and I know itâ€™s going to be a great battle to the end. The most important thing Iâ€™ll be mindful of for the rest of this season â€“ and my career â€“ will be working as a team member and standing behind my crew and their efforts at all times. In turn I know I will be able to count on them in the same way.
When you want to be a professional race driver, youâ€™re going to travel some long, tough roads. Youâ€™ll encounter some big obstacles and youâ€™ll challenge your resolve for the sport you have chosen. In my mind one thing is for sure, knowing I have the respect and confidence of my team is one of the most important keys to my success!