Pigot, Serralles Selected as 2010 Team USA Scholarship Winners
American Teenagers Will Continue the Legacy Begun in 1990 by Jimmy Vasser
Braselton, Ga. (September 30, 2010) -- Teenaged Florida-based racers Spencer Pigot and Felix Serralles today were confirmed as winners of the 21st annual Team USA Scholarship.
Both American youngsters will travel to England next weekend to begin preparations for their entries in the Formula Ford Festival, which will be held at Brands Hatch on October 16/17, and the Walter Hayes Trophy event at Silverstone on November 6/7. In addition to an intensive program of testing aboard their pair of patriotically liveried, red-white-and-blue Ray GRS08 cars, which will be prepared for the third successive year by Cliff Dempsey Racing, Pigot and Serralles will undertake a variety of industry visits including the highlight of an insider tour of the majestic McLaren Technical Center, home of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula One team.
The pair earned their selection following a hotly contested shootout held earlier this month at the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Chandler, Ariz.
The other finalists were: Neil Alberico, 17, from Los Gatos, Calif.; Ashley Freiberg, 18, from Homer Glen, Ill.; Patrick Gallagher, 17, from Thornville, Ohio; Miles Maroney, 16, from Topanga Canyon, Calif.; Arie Ouimet, 19, from Plymouth, Mass.; and Jonathan Scarallo, 18, from Hauppauge, N.Y.
"This was an outstanding group," said Team USA Scholarship founder Jeremy Shaw. "The judges ultimately reached a unanimous decision but everyone was very impressive. The future of American racing is in good hands."
In addition to coping with over 100-degree temperatures as they competed in a fleet of Chevrolet Corvettes and Formula Mazda open-wheel cars, the eight finalists submitted a pair of essays and filled out a questionnaire aimed at testing their knowledge of the sport. They were also interviewed by an illustrious panel of judges that included school founder and CEO Bob Bondurant; former Team USA Scholarship winner and 2004 Indianapolis 500 champion Buddy Rice; 2009 Daytona 24 Hours winner Darren Law; American Le Mans Series driver Chris McMurry; veteran race car design/engineer John Ward; Sparco USA's Chris Neuer; and Bondurant Race Series Director Alan Rudolph.
"Being chosen for the Team USA Scholarship is the highlight of my career so far," said Pigot, from Windermere, Fla., who yesterday celebrated his 17th birthday and this week at Road Atlanta is seeking to clinch the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda, in which he currently holds a 20-point advantage.
"To be on the same list as the previous winners and to represent my country -- and all these incredible supporters -- is a great honor. Not only is this a unique experience for me to drive new tracks, a new car and a different style of racing, I know I will learn a huge amount which will help me when I return to America to continue my career."
"To finally have the chance to race in Europe is a dream come true," added fellow Skip Barber National race winner Serralles, 18, who was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the United States, and now lives in Haines City, Fla.
"Winning the Team USA Scholarship will open new doors and present more opportunities in the future. I also hope that it gives me the chance to stay and race in Europe, which has been my dream ever since I first started karting."
The Team USA Scholarship has been helping young American drivers since 1990. Past winners include Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, Tony Ave, Buddy Rice, Paul Edwards, Andy Lally, Joey Hand, Phil Giebler, A.J. Allmendinger, Bryan Sellers, J.R. Hildebrand, Dane Cameron, Josef Newgarden and Conor Daly. The program is supported by Doug Mockett & Company, Road Racing Drivers Club, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Walldinger Racing, Robo-Pong, Highcroft Racing, "The Road to Indy," Mazda, Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, Silicon Salvage, McMurry Inc., Dyson Racing, The Gorsline Company, Integrated Performance Technology, Robertson Racing, PitFit Training, Sparco USA, Buttonwillow Raceway Park, OnCars.com, eFormulaCarNews.com, Speedstar Management, Styled Aesthetic, Manifest Group and numerous past Scholarship winners.
For more information, please visit www.TeamUSAScholarship.org.
-source: jeremy shaw