Now in its 33rd consecutive year, the Team USA Scholarship will provide an opportunity for talented young American drivers to gain international recognition early in their careers. Next week at the sophisticated Polecat Training Center in Lynchburg, Tennessee, the six finalists will take part in two days of evaluations that will include driving around a technical 2.1-mile course in Polecat Racing Academy’s well-established 2.0-liter Formula 1 cars. as a fitness assessment with industry expert Jim Leo, president of PitFit Training in Indianapolis, IN.
Ultimately, the winning pair will be invited to compete in the 51st Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch, England, on October 22-23, and the equally prestigious Walter Hayes Trophy event at Silverstone, which is held in honor of Formula Ford’s founding father , on the first weekend of November.
The finalists were selected from a pool of 12 candidates, each asked to submit a variety of assignments that were judged by more than 35 motor racing insiders representing virtually every facet of the sport.
The six finalists are:
• Eliot Budzinsky19 years old, from Ann Arbor, Michigan, partial season in the FRP F1600 Championship Series
• Alessandro De Tuglio16 years old, from Miami, Florida, currently ranked second at USF Juniors, presented by Cooper Tires
• William Ferguson18 years old, from Pacifico, CA – currently leading the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship (Canada)
• Ayrton Hawke19, of McCordsville, IN – currently sits second in the FRP F1600 Championship Series
• Colin QuinnAged 17, from Palm City, Florida, is currently runner-up in the BRSCC Formula Ford 1600 National Championship (UK)
• Thomas Schrage17 years old, from Bethel, Ohio – currently leads the FRP F1600 Championship Series
Thomas Annunciato, 16, of Colts Neck, New Jersey; Matt Christensen, 17, of Orlando, Florida; Nicholas Rivers, 18, of Whitley Heights, N.Y.; Timothy Steele, 18, of Westfield, Indiana; Jack Sullivan, 16, of Hamilton, Ohio; and Westin Workman, 17, of Charlotte, North Carolina, also participated in the initial selection process.
The final decision will be made by a panel of judges that will include former Team USA scholarship winners Jerry Nadeau (1993/96), Andy Lally (’99), Aaron Jeanson (2017) and Bryce Aaron (’20), as well as Kelly Jones, the winner RaceCraft1 Motorsports Training, Honda/Acura Public Relations Representative Dan Layton, RACER Marketing and Media Writer and Editor Steve Nickless, and Team USA Scholarship Founder Jeremy Shaw.
“Racing at the Brands Hatch Formula Ford Festival in 1993 and then the Cup of Nations a few years later with Tony Reno were two of the greatest experiences of my career,” said Nadeau, a former NASCAR Cup Series race winner who did not compete with while maintaining his career. suffered a serious head injury in a crash at Richmond International Raceway in 2003. “I learned a lot during the Team USA scholarship and am very grateful for the opportunities I was given. I am very pleased that Jeremy has supported the program all these years and I am very excited to be involved again.”