Aaron Jeansonne: Starting on the Right Step

Written by Team USA. Posted in Aaron Jeansonne, Driver Blogs, Feature

Published on October 13, 2017 with No Comments

CASTLE DONINGTON, England – We’ve been in England for four days now and I already feel that it is shaping up to be the experience of a lifetime that I was expecting. Upon arrival we were brought home with Cliff and Michelle Dempsey. Jonathan and I were not scheduled to do our first test until today (Thursday) at Donington Park so we stayed at the Dempseys’ home for a few days. They treated us as one of their own, cooked meals for us and helped make sure everything was organized with regard to our licenses and all of the packages set to arrive for us.

This was my first trip out of the United States so I was very curious about the cultural differences here. The first thing that caught me off guard was when Jonathan got in Cliff’s car at the airport and entered on the left side in the front. I thought “wait, is he driving or something?” I hadn’t remembered that the driver’s side is on the right. On the way to the house the weather was very sunny for nearly 10 minutes until a huge cloud cover surrounded us and not much has changed since then. Although it’s a bit dark here, I still find it very nice and fitting to the surroundings. The buildings here are for the most part so old fashioned and provide great scenery, but I have a lot more in common with the people here than I anticipated. Everyone I’ve met so far has been down to earth and we actually share lots of the same humor – and I love their accents!

After a couple days in the shop with the team prepping the cars and making our seats, my first time actually driving the car was Wednesday at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground/Airport just to learn the technique of shifting with an H-pattern gearbox, but Donington Park today was the first actual test.

Last night I chowed down on a delicious meal from a nice restaurant next to our motel called “The Grill.” I’ve heard the hype of British fish and chips for quite some time and I can finally say I’ve tried it. Against my better judgment, I was insisted to try something called a mini syrup sponge with custard….

After a very relaxing night, we were set to tackle Donington in the morning. I had no real expectations for today, so all I had in mind was having the chance to drive on one of my favorite all-time tracks.

As I expected it was beyond cold in the morning and the track was a bit damp so I looked forward to taking on that challenge. I feel that I adapted quite quickly to the shifting and the car’s handling as a whole and felt that it suited my driving style. It didn’t hurt to have an excellent prepared car! Throughout the day as the track became more dry my confidence in the car only grew. I believe we showed solid pace initially and as a team the morale is very high. It may be my first time racing for a team but I believe team chemistry goes a long way. We’ve all gotten along great so far and I am looking forward to a fun month and making lots of life-long memories.

Our next task is a race day at Oulton Park on Saturday October 14 with testing beginning the previous day. This will be great practice for us to prepare for the Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy. I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated moving forward! Again, thanks for reading. And please check out my vlog from today.

Aaron

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