CHICAGO, IL---Paul Jenkins is an ex-Navy F-18 fighter pilot; he flew many missions during the Gulf War. Jenkins, who is accustomed to the action and excitement of being behind the controls of a fighter jet, turned to racing a few years back to...
CHICAGO, IL---Paul Jenkins is an ex-Navy F-18 fighter pilot; he flew many missions during the Gulf War. Jenkins, who is accustomed to the action and excitement of being behind the controls of a fighter jet, turned to racing a few years back to fill that void. Jenkins who has built himself quite a strong racing resume winning the Carrera Pan America race in Mexico last fall, and also partaking in a handful of United States Formula Three Championship powered by Volkswagen races last year. Jenkins is considering driving full time next season.
Jenkins, extremely anxious to get back behind the wheel of a USF3 car, he feels that these cars are superior to their competition, "from an engineering perspective Formula three cars, I think are technically most advanced. Having driven Formula Mazda and Formula 2000 at the time those felt like really high end rides, very nimble, very performance orientated open wheel racers. However, those do not even come close to the level of performance that you get from a Formula Three car, the responsiveness, the throttle response, the turn in response, the braking in a Formula Three car is light years ahead of a Formula Mazda and a Formula 2000 and it makes you aware of the fact that there are a lot of professional series out that have amateur cars. The Formula Three series is a professional series with absolutely high-end equipment, the best equipment really this side of a Formula 1 car. I have driven the Ferrari challenge cars, the newest Three60 Modena, and I think the craftsmanship in the Formula Three car is on a par with the latest offerings from what people consider the worlds leader in racing."
Jenkins believes that a Formula Three car has a unique presence, one that he compares to that of a fighter jet. He stated: "When you walk up to a to a Formula Three car it has a presence, I think that presence compares favorably to a fighter plane and I think that the throttle response, and the turn in compare favorably to a fighter plane. With the Volkswagen power that we've got in this country and the way that Bertil Skollenskog of Bertils Racing Engines has tuned the motors, I think that we have the finest most economical platform at any cost. When you walk up to a Formula Three car it is like going from a nice propeller plane to a fighter plane, as soon as you walk up and see it you know you are in a different league, when you sit in it and you feel the carbon fiber and you know how well put together the car is and how well engineered it is you know that you are now up to a whole different level. When you drive the car it requires a quicker response, quicker reflexes, but, at the same time it is a car you can learn your way into very quickly and be competitive in."
Jenkins said that Formula Three has what it takes to become a premier racing series in the United States, Jenkins continued, "I think that the exciting thing about Formula Three is that this is a great opportunity for racers to be on the ground floor of what will in a short number of years be one of the premier open wheel series in the world, just as it is every where else in the world. I think now it is a series where you can watch it grow and be a part of it as it grows. I sensed that through the season when we started out in Oklahoma the cars were still as powerful and awesome as they ever were, but you just saw the series get more and more professional and that was just rewarding to be a part of that as the season went along. For me that is exciting at a number of levels, it is exciting because the cars are the best in the world and the people are phenomenal and the fact is that I am a member of it at its origin and I don't hasten to put myself in the same category as a guy like Colin Chapman or Ken Tyrell or any of the early drivers in that series, but if you are a starting member of a series it really does carry some weight and it is something you can always say that is a highlight in your driving resume." -USF3