Aaron Jeansonne: On the Right Track

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

Published on June 01, 2019 with No Comments

Oulton Park was a challenge (RichardTowler.com photo)

LONGFIELD, England – Hello, all. It’s painful to have to say this again for the second race weekend of the year, but Oulton Park was another struggle for us. After having previously driven the track and liking the car, I had confidence going into the race weekend. On the test day Friday we were facing mixed conditions, as we had before. We struggled with a few things mechanically but had everything sorted by the end of the day and I was happy with the setup going into qualifying Saturday morning. The entire race day was dry but when we went out for qualifying on new tires, something just didn’t feel right. I informed the team on what I felt and we made some minor setup changes for the first race. It was a bit of a struggle but wasn’t going terribly as I was battling for seventh position for much of the race until I found myself on the outside of a side-by-side battle in the fastest corner of the track and the grip decreased tremendously. I should have been patient and tried to setup another pass on him afterwards, instead, that mistake caused me to go off track and drop to 11th position where I eventually finished.

On the grid at Oulton Park.

In race 2, we made a big setup change. I was very confused by how much the car changed after only changing the tires, but we knew we had to try something since we were starting so far back. I was motivated and prepared to drive very hard to make my way through the pack. Unfortunately on the first lap, after having a good start and making a few passes, I was spun by another driver very shortly after passing him. This caused me to fall to the rear of the field with a huge gap to everyone. What made it even worse was that the car had gotten much more difficult to drive with the setup changes we made and we were even slower than in race one. I was able to make some passes and finish in 10th, but that is nowhere near where we expect to be running. Oulton has definitely left us scratching our heads a bit, and it was a good lesson to me on how important it is as a driver to give the correct feedback to the team.

Josh Smith, who drove this car to victory at the Formula Ford Festival last year has been a big help (RichardTowler.com).

My sponsors, the Oldfield Motorsport team and me all realized that we needed to do something to turn things around. Fortunately, thanks to them, we’ve had an extra test day this weekend at Brands Hatch as well as two test days next weekend at Anglesey instead of only one. We have a good plan for testing and we will use the extra track time wisely. The goal is to go into qualifying for Anglesey ready to show our true pace and race for positions we are capable of, which I believe should be toward the front!

So cool to be back in the UK!

It has been a long few weeks at home working nearly every day, but I’m not complaining. Any time I haven’t spent working I’ve been with family and my cats. I’ve been very excited for Anglesey. Although I have never been, I’ve seen onboard footage from there and it looks much more similar to the layouts of many American courses I’ve been on, for the reason that it rewards being very smooth. The track is on the coast of Wales and it’s absolutely gorgeous there. The weather is supposedly very inconsistent which could lead to an interesting race weekend!

The test day this week at Brands Hatch has helped me get in rhythm going into next weekend so I can be more in tune and prepared. This was the car’s first time being on track at Brands Hatch since Josh Smith drove it to victory in the Formula Ford Festival last year and after driving it there myself it wasn’t hard to understand why!

I’m looking forward to continuing to learn and improve, and I’m excited to get things turned around. I’ll let you all know how it goes.

As always, thanks for keeping up,

Aaron

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