Aaron Jeansonne (at left, above, with teammate Jonathan Kotyk) is thoroughly enjoying his time in the UK with Cliff Dempsey Racing and is now well into preparations for this weekend’s Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch with the Team USA Scholarship:
After having successfully testing at Donington Park and Oulton Park, we have finally arrived at Brands Hatch to begin testing for the iconic Formula Ford Festival. Honestly, all has gone well beyond my expectations thus far and I became comfortable with the car quickly. England welcomed me with a fully wet track at Oulton Park for the test day, which was my first time in completely wet and rain conditions. I won’t lie, I was nervous before I hit the track but quickly found there was more grip than I expected, and by the end of the day I found the conditions quite peaceful. I knew that if I was going to have a future in this sport I would need to love the rain as many of the great drivers have, so I had an optimistic approach.
Instead of only one teammate, I now have four. Wheeling Cliff Dempsey racing’s five cars are their two regular series drivers Neil Maclennan and Jamie Thorburn, Team Canada’s Ben Hurst, my Team USA Scholarship teammate Jonathan Kotyk and myself. Jonathan and I knew it would be very helpful to have highly experienced teammates to bounce ideas from. For our first test day here, the track was completely soaked! This was only my second experience in these conditions but I had a much calmer mindset going into it. I was shocked by how much track time we were given. A whole three and a half hours around the small Brands Hatch Indy Circuit meant we had lots of laps. Another new experience for me was to continue turning laps as the track slowly dried throughout the day. I feel I learned a lot about finding the limits of grip through different conditions.
Aside from the driving, Jonathan and I have been having a great time in the U.K. We’ve gotten to travel and meet lots of new people. The fact that we get along very well makes everything even more enjoyable than it already is. We are definitely fortunate to be on a team like Cliff Dempsey Racing. These guys are proven winners and it’s an honor to wheel one of their racecars. They may joke around a lot but they know when it’s time to be serious! We test more on Brands Hatch today (Thursday) and tomorrow, and afterwards we go through heat races Saturday before the grand finale on Sunday. With all of the time we are provided, I am looking forward to being fully prepared for the Festival and giving it everything I have.
I can’t thank Team USA Scholarship, all their supporters and everyone who has helped me get here enough. Thank you Styled Aesthetic, Bell Helmets and Sparco for all of the great Team USA Scholarship and race gear; to The Lucas Oil School of Racing and their drivers/parents; Jonatan Jorge of JJRD; the fact that Cooper Tires, Doug Mockett, Mazda, SAFEisFAST, Racecraft1 and Chip Ganassi Racing all support this scholarship is absolutely huge for the sport and the future of racing.
Although the tests have went very well and all of this is very exciting, the work is far from over. I am looking forward to giving my all to the team for the next month and we will see where it goes from there.
Thanks again for reading,