Team USA Drivers Shine in Formula Ford Festival Qualifying
Newgarden on Pole, Daly Second on the Grid for Respective Heat Races
Brands Hatch, England (October 17, 2008) -- Both 2008 Team USA Scholarship excelled today during qualifying for tomorrow's pair of qualifying heat races which will begin the competitive action for this weekend's Formula Ford Kent Festival at Brands Hatch.
Newgarden was first on track this morning with his #21 Team USA Scholarship/Cliff Dempsey Racing Ray GRS07/8. After the brief but hectic 15-minute qualifying session, Newgarden had posted the fastest time of the week thus far to snare the pole position with a lap at 50.520 seconds. The lap record currently stands at 50.3 seconds.
A couple of hours later, Conor Daly ventured out for his heat's qualifying session in the #22 Team USA Scholarship/Cliff Dempsey Racing Ray and posted the second fastest time at 50.720 seconds, just 0.073 seconds adrift of pole-sitter Patrick McKenna in a similar car.
"Qualifying today went extremely well for Conor and myself," summarized 17-year-old Newgarden, from Hendersonville, Tenn. "We both managed to qualify on the front row for our heats and officially stamp our presence for this year's Formula Ford Festival. I was a bit nervous before the session because I wanted to do so well, considering how good the week has gone so far.
"Qualifying on the front row really boosts your confidence for the preliminary races, but I know I can't get too comfortable this early in the weekend. My plan for tomorrow is to keep my nose clean while finishing reasonably up front to better my chances at making the final."
The final part of Daly's qualifying session was compromised by a yellow no-passing flag through the final sector of the track due to an earlier incident, but the 16-year-old from Noblesville, Ind., still did a fine job to ensure a front row starting position for tomorrow.
"It was a very interesting day for sure," said Daly. "When Josef went out and got the pole it put a little pressure on me to try and do just as well.
"I knew we had a good setup for qualifying and I was very anxious to go out. After the first few laps I was getting faster and faster and running pretty consistently. But traffic was a major issue. There was also a constant yellow flag in the last sector of the track for a crash. Through all this I was able to put together a lap that was good enough for P2 on the grid. This was a little disappointing for me because I had overtaken another car on my fastest lap which slowed me down just that little bit to not be able to get the pole"
"Looking ahead to tomorrow though I think we have two very good cars that are consistently quick and will give us the ability to have a good result."
Saturday will comprise a pair of 15-lap heat races. The winner of the faster heat race will take pole position for Semi Final 1, with the other heat race winner securing pole for Semi Final 2. The remaining positions will be filled according to the finishing positions in the respective heat races. The top 12 finishers from each 20-lap Semi Final race will qualify for the 25-lap Final, along with the top four finishers from a Last Chance race which will comprise drivers who did not qualify for the Semi Finals.
The Team USA Scholarship was founded in 1990 and is supported by Terminal Velocity Processing, Doug Mockett & Company, Aspin Foundations, Road Racing Drivers Club, Firestone Indy Lights Championship, Highcroft Racing, American Honda, Silicon Salvage, McMurry Inc., Dyson Racing, Metalore, The Gorsline Company, Integrated Performance Technology, Andersen Racing Team, PitFit Training, Sparco USA, eFormulaCarNews.com, Speedstar Management, Manifest Group and an array of past Scholarship winners including Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, A.J. Allmendinger, Buddy Rice, Andy Lally, Paul Edwards and Memo Gidley.
For more information, please visit www.TeamUSAScholarship.org.