To start I’d like to take a moment to wish everyone the best through the multiple crises affecting communities across the globe. With the international pandemic and, more recently, protests across the nation, I hope everyone is doing well and keeping upbeat through all of the more darker things going on around us.
Quarantine has meant a ban on racing (for the time being) so the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires instead took to iRacing for the inaugural Road to Indy eSeries supported by Ricmotech and then a subsequent “Season Two” backed by TireRack.com. Using the 2004 Pro Mazda car stickered with Cooper tires, the two series utilized a variety of road courses and ovals across America. I had little experience in the simracing world prior to this and the Pro Mazda is an especially hard car to drive. It requires an interesting technique in that it constantly wants some throttle input; if you begin to add steering while off throttle the car becomes extremely snappy and hard to control, so there was lots to get used to.
The series was tons of fun; getting to meet back up with all of the other drivers and joke around through the “teamspeak” channel was nice, and finally getting back into competing was a great feeling. Each race posed different challenges as we cycled through different setups and track layouts. Personally, I believe the ovals provided the best racing and were the most exciting to race on – and not just because World Wide Technology Raceway provided my two best finishes!
Besides the RTI eSeries I also ran several endurance races with Indy Lights driver Robert Megennis. The first of these was the 24 Hours of Nurburgring which we led for the first four hours before our third driver crashed out. Moving forward from our solid pace, we began running the VRS GT Sprint series switching between the Audi R8 LMS and Ferrari 488 GT3 cars. In the two four-hour races we ran, we finished P11 out of 60 at Donington – after running out of fuel on the final lap while running P6 – and then P5 at Interlagos.
With the lockdown now easing, I’m happy to report that over the course of the past 10 days I have had the chance to get back into my “real” office for some testing. We began last week with a day at Road America. It was a sunny day with blistering heat and a small paddock to provide space for all of the drivers and crew to stay at a minimum of six feet apart at all times. The day was great. It was an amazing feeling to slide back into my No.2 Cape Motorsports Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship car and get back on track. The day seemed to fly past with four practice sessions, each going by quicker than the last. The cars were dialed as always with the Cape brothers on the wrenches, and I learned a massive amount throughout our three hours on track.
These past two days I have been at Mid-Ohio with my three Cape teammates. This is the first track where I’ve had some previous experience, and I have to say the USF2000 car is crazy fun around that challenging circuit, especially with all the elevation changes. It was a great test overall with lots learned over the two days! It’s an especially important track as we have FIVE races there this season, so it accounts for a large proportion of our championship points.
Lastly, moving away from racing, throughout the past four weeks I’ve been working on my end-of-year school project. I decided to make a movie that focused on generating a feeling, rather than having a clear plot. Essentially, it was more focused on the quality and look of the film over the plot and characters. I took inspiration from films like Donald Glover’s “Clapping for the Wrong Reasons” and Jonah Hill’s “Mid90s” to understand both sound and the type of colors I wanted to incorporate. The film, called “Beauty in Silence,” is recently finished and I’m crossing my fingers the administration will like my creation.
Again, I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe in these trying times. I can’t wait to continue to share my season and career with each and every one of you.