For the second straight year, Jake Eidson, 18, from Littleton, Colo., leads going into the final day for the winner-take-all $200,000 driver development scholarship presented by Mazda for use toward a seat in the 2014 Cooper Tires USF2000 Series powered by Mazda.
?You can’t beat experience,” said Eidson, the only three-time consecutive Skip Barber Race Series winner, who led last year until a spin in what turned out to be the final race of the rain-shortened 2012 shootout. “It helps a lot. There were a few times where I was in a different position last year, and it didn’t work out too well. So I’m trying just to learn from my mistakes last year and apply everything I’ve learned from previous years.? Eidson has a lot of experience to draw on having recently returned from representing the Team USA Scholarship competition in the Walter Hayes Trophy and Formula Ford Festival events at Silverstone and Brands Hatch.
Eidson’s lead is a slim 3.5 points over Aaron Telitz, 21, Birchwood, Wis. The talented pair are accustomed to racing against each other.
?In the last race when I was racing against Jake and Adrian [Starrantino] a lot, because I raced against Jake and Adrian a lot last year, even though sometimes we’d get into it, we trust each other enough that you can go in pretty deep, and he’s going to give you a little bit of room at least.? said Telitz. Eidson, Starrantino and Telitz finished first, second and third in the 2013 Formula F1600 Championship, respectively, after successful careers in the Skip Barber Race Series.
Skylar Robinson, 18, of Augusta, Ga., is only 1 point behind Telitz in third.
?It feels pretty good,? said Robinson who posted the highest score in the business plan portion of the competition. ?I didn’t have a great [race 3]. But hopefully that will be my drop, we’ll just keep moving forward. The cars are really close and competition is really tough, so it is a lot about not making any mistakes and being consistent with your results.? One month ago, Robinson was representing the United States in the Americas portion of the FIA’s Young Driver Excellence Academy.
2012 Karting Scholarship Shootout winner Yago Cesario and Jack Mitchell Jr. are tied for 4th.
The field of 11 racers in the Championship Shootout completed 3 12-lap races today. (insert interesting competitive fact). First place in each race earns 35 points with a descending points scale for the rest of the field. The Shootout curriculum also involves media training and three motorsports education seminars.
Bob Varsha, motorsports journalist and broadcaster for Fox Sports, judged each competitor for their individual media skills during a one-on-one interview, then gave a brief seminar on media relations Monday morning. Varsha discussed press releases, professionalism and social media basics.
Motorsports journalist and TV personality Dave Despain started Tuesday morning with a seminar on the realities of the racing industry. He focused on topics like maintaining relationships with sponsors and media personnel. Despain also emphasized the pains of social media misuse and why a driver needs to know his own story.
Tomorrow morning Kelly Jones, former USAF F-16 instructor pilot and chief instructor of RaceCraft1, will start off the day with a seminar on advanced driver training methods.
As the pinnacle of the Skip Barber Racing Series ladder, the Race Series Championship Shootout rewards young racers who are dedicated to their craft and successfully work their way through the proven Skip Barber Racing School system. No other developmental race series offers as much opportunity to succeed. The Skip Barber Race Series, using its famous ?Arrive & Drive? model provides expert coaching, both on and off the track, limited liability, replacement cars, media exposure, scholarship opportunities and vital seat time. Skip Barber Racing School is the Gateway to Motorsports.
Overall Championship Shootout Points after Day 2 (combines points for Races 1, 2 & 3 dropping the lowest, media interview and business plan evaluation)