After winning a Team USA Scholarship in 2017 and then contesting only a partial season of F2000 last year, Sulphur, La., native Aaron Jeansonne is returning to the sport for the BRSCC Avon Tires British Formula Ford 1600 Championship after being invited to join last year’s Formula Ford Festival-winning team, Oldfield Motorsport.
I’m so pleased to have an opportunity to race again, especially with a front-running team. Oldfield Motorsport have welcomed me nicely, and team owner James Oldfield has allowed me to stay with him while I am here. His mother, Gill, even bought some Louisiana Chicken Wings for me!
We wasted no time in getting on track in the 2018 Formula Ford Festival-winning Van Diemen, testing at Snetterton Circuit on April 5. After a warm coffee, a crumpet, and bacon, I had recovered from a headache brought on by jet lag and was ready to tackle the day.
I had four 30-minute sessions to shake the rust off from 10 months of inactivity. At the end of the day after plenty of laps I felt that I was back in the swing of things and ready to get things going, and the car felt great. We have been busy nonstop since my arrival getting things ready for myself and my teammates. Since I am spending about three weeks here, I’ve had plenty of time in the shop. I do my best to help out and make the process go faster, and I’m even being taught some things about working on the race cars, which excites me to get a better understanding of how everything works.
On Sunday we took a trip to Brands Hatch to check out the British Touring Car and British Formula 4 races. I was blown away by how big the event was and just how many spectators were in attendance — there must have been nearly 50,000 even with sub-par weather! I must say the circuit was almost unrecognizable from when I competed there in the Formula Ford Festival. While there, James introduced me to very successful multi-series team Arden Motorsport, which was competing in British F4. They were very welcoming and professional so I give a big thanks to them for allowing me to witness how things operate in F4 here.
This past weekend we went to Donington Park for the Champion of Brands rounds. Although I wasn’t competing in this event, I was there all weekend assisting the team and my teammates, Abbie Munro and Henry Chart, who will both also be doing a partial campaign of the national championship this season. Along with assisting car prep and maintenance, I was going over video and data with the drivers, who both made great progress throughout the weekend! It was an eye-opening experience for me to see what it’s like from a team’s perspective during a race weekend.
I am now back in Measham after an interesting test day at Oulton Park. My only previous experience here was a brief test during my 2017 trip with the Team USA Scholarship. It’s a fast track that requires a lot of commitment to do well, so I was excited to come back here to test myself before the start of the season. In the first session the track was dry and I actually surprised myself with how quickly I was able to gain confidence with the car and the track. It then proceeded to rain for most of the day, and the test turned into a great learning experience!
We are excited to get the season kicked off this weekend in the Avon Tyres National Formula Ford Championship at Snetterton Circuit and I am very pleased to be back! With two test days in the car I’m feeling confident, but also aware of the very tough competition that awaits us. Thanks again to those of you that have gotten me here. I’ll do my best to make you all and the team proud!