A memorable Team USA Scholarship experience is drawing toward a close for Scott Huffaker and Josh Green — but they still have plenty of excitement ahead. The pair of young Americans have spent another busy week in England, firstly with visits to both the McLaren Technology Center (left) and WSR, which recently clinched another British Touring Car Championship crown, and for the last two days at Silverstone in preparation for this weekend’s 19th Annual Walter Hayes Trophy.
“The last week has been awesome,” said Green, 16, from Mount Kisco, N.Y. “Visiting McLaren was sort of jaw-dropping. It is this giant metal island in the middle of nowhere. Everyone was very welcoming and it was just a really cool experience to see so many cars I’ve have watched my whole life. I mean, (Ayrton) Senna being mine and most racing car driver’s idol, it was insane to be in the presence of all these incredible cars.”
“West Surrey Racing was a bit smaller but equally as interesting,” added Huffaker, 19, from Menlo Park, Calif. “It was especially cool as they had just won the British Touring Car Championship, which we watched on television the previous weekend. Dick Bennetts is such an interesting character with his huge wealth of knowledge about the sport. We learned a ton.”
Green and Huffaker returned to action on Wednesday with the same pair of Cliff Dempsey Racing Formula Ford Ray cars with which they finished in the top 10 at last weekend’s Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch. Testing has gone well, with both drivers displaying strong pace in a variety of different conditions. The first two days were run in primarily dry conditions, while today’s pair of sessions were both held on a wet track.
“The pace is definitely there and the pace today in the wet has been really, really good,” said Green. “We’re ready to get at it in qualifying tomorrow. For the weekend ahead, the goal is to obviously finish as high as we can. You always want a trophy. I am just excited to race this track no matter what the conditions; it looks like it is going to be a lot of fun.”
“This was my first experience at Silverstone, a legendary track,” said Huffaker. “I was a little emotional the first few laps because you see it on television, you race it on the games and then to do it in person is really cool with all the history.
“Going into the race, I am actually really excited. I might be more excited for this one than the Festival mainly because I have heard the racing is insane. The first two days of practice were dry. We had very good pace, I would say up there with the fastest guys within a tenth or two. I am very confident about that and the same here in the wet. It looks like it is going to be wet (tomorrow) but I don’t think it matters wet or dry. We’ve been fast in both.”
The entry of more than 100 Formula Ford cars have been split into four Heat races for which qualifying will be held tomorrow (Saturday) morning. Huffaker’s No. 22 car has been drawn in Heat Two, with qualifying at 9:20 a.m. and the eight-lap race set to start at 12:40 p.m. Green, driving No. 21 in Heat Four, will qualify at 10:00 a.m. and race at 1:40 p.m. The field will be whittled down further via a pair of Semi-Final races on Sunday before the top 38 drivers will make it through to the 15-lap Grand Final at 3:10 p.m. local time on Sunday.
Live timing – as well as commentary from Ian Titchmarsh, Paul Truswell and Alistair Douglas – will be available at https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/194456.