Joey Bickers: A Learning Curve

Written by Team USA. Posted in Driver Blogs, Feature, Joey Bickers

Published on August 19, 2014 with No Comments

Ventura, Calif. — My season in the Mazda MX-5 Cup has been a steep learning curve. The SCCA Pro Racing series primarily follows the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship, along with one weekend with the Verizon IndyCar Series at Houston. Being at venues such as these has been a real treat, and quite different to the Southern California club-racing scene where I competed for my first season of racing last year. Working with the CJ Wilson Racing team has been great, too; they run a very professional operation and are racing enthusiasts. The Mazda MX-5 Cup car is not a huge change to what I had been driving last year, so adapting to the car was not so tough. However, the competition in MX-5 Cup is extremely high, and I have struggled to meet my expectations.

The results haven’t been great — my best finishes so far have been a pair of fourths — but I have learned a lot about my driving and how to get the most out of myself. I feel like I have become a better driver through pushing myself to new limits. I know that I will have gotten everything out of myself and the car, and that there will be better results to come in the future, more chances to prove myself. The important thing is to pay attention to the problems and try to focus on a way to not face the same difficulties in the future. The lessons I have learned through the year will stick with me for the remainder of my driving career.

I am very grateful for the opportunity I have had this year as a MAZDASPEED Development driver and the chance to race at the professional level. Although I have not had the results I wanted, I have learned many other valuable lessons. For this opportunity I want to thank MAZDASPEED, Jeremy Shaw and the Team USA Scholarship, BFGoodrich tires, SCCA Pro Racing, Sunoco Fuels, CJ Wilson Racing and my loving family and friends.

Also on a positive note, I am excited to confirm I will be making my debut in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires at this weekend’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. I will be joining World Speed Motorsports, which has been kind enough to provide me with a seat for the race. I have never driven a Pro Mazda before, let alone anything with downforce. In fact, the only open-wheel car I have raced so far is an F1600, which has no downforce to speak of, so making the switch to the Pro Mazda car will be a big one. I will not have had any testing time, and the Thursday practice day will be my first run in the rotary-powered car, but I am very excited to get going. I will try my hardest to become acclimated to the car as fast as I can and I am looking forward to a competitive showing.

This is only my second year racing cars, and when I got my SCCA rookie permit signed off in March of last year, I never thought I would have had the great fortune I have had thus far. It has truly been the best two years of my life and I can’t wait to see what Sonoma brings.

Thanks for reading – Joey B

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