Team USA Scholarship Hopefuls Try out in England

Written by Team USA. Posted in Team USA News

Published on August 18, 1992 with No Comments

Aug 18, 1992
Costa Mesa, Calif. – Seven young American drivers have just returned from England where they drove a works-prepared Van Diemen RF92 Formula Ford car as part of the 1992 Team USA Scholarship program. Their goal is to represent their country in the Formula Ford Festival & World Cup at the renowned Brands Hatch circuit on October 23-25.

This will be the third year of the Team USA Scholarship. In 1990, Jimmy Vasser, who since has graduated into the PPG IndyCar World Series, upheld the colors of Valvoline and Ford SVO in an event whose past winners include current Formula 1 stars Roberto Moreno and Johnny Herbert, now with the Lotus Grand Prix team.

Last season Californian hot-shoe Bryan Herta finished an impressive 11th overall out of almost 200 aspiring World Champions, earning kudos on both sides of the Atlantic. Herta was invited to test-drive with a top British Formula 3 team, showing great promise, and more recently won his first Firestone Indy Lights Championship race in Toronto.

If sufficient sponsorship can be raised, the Team USA Scholarship project may be expanded to a pair of drivers in the 1992 Formula Ford Festival. In any case at least one young lion will be on the roster.

Those in contention include: Tony Ave, 23, who currently leads this year’s Oldsmobile Pro (Sports 2000) Series; Mike Borkowski, 19, who lies third in the same title-chase; Ashton Lewis Jr., 22, third in the Zerex Saab Pro Series; Greg Tracy, 24, leader of the USAC West Coast Formula 2000 Championship; and Chris Simmons, 19, who leads the USAC East Coast F2000 division. Geoff Boss, 27, who leads the Skip Barber Eastern Formula Ford series, and Ernest Sikes, 22, a front-line Formula 2000 contender in the South-East, also made the trip to England.

After three 10-lap sessions and a final three-lap qualifying simulation, all seven drivers lapped the Snetterton circuit within a few tenths of a second of each other — and in times that would have proven extremely competitive in the same week’s Rapid Fit British Formula Ford Championship race.

“They were very impressive indeed,” said Van Diemen’s U.S. importer, Jon Baytos, of Primus Racing, who was on hand to supervise the test. “Not only that, they proved excellent ambassadors for their country. They all got along very well, were very professional — and above all, they were quick!”

A decision on who will represent the team will be made soon.

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