Pigot and Serralles Ready for More Formula Ford Action at the Walter Hayes Trophy
Silverstone, England (November 5, 2010) -- Team USA Scholarship drivers Spencer Pigot and Felix Serralles have been kept busy over the past couple of weeks with a variety of tours and visits, but will return to the cockpit again this weekend when they contest the prestigious Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone.
Although testing for the past two days at the "Home of the British Grand Prix" has been punctuated by inclement weather and numerous red flags, both American teenagers feel they are well prepared for the weekend, which begins with qualifying tomorrow morning (Saturday).
"We had some initial problems but once we got them sorted we were on pace right away," said Pigot, 17, from Windermere, Fla., who will be driving the same Andrew Jones-owned, Cliff Dempsey Racing-prepped #22 Team USA Scholarship Ray GRS08 which has been taken to victory in the two most recent editions of the Walter Hayes Trophy by Conor Daly and Connor De Phillippi "I'm feeling really confident for the weekend and looking forward to getting a better result than at Brands Hatch. We've had some good wet track time here at Silverstone. I think we have a good setup for difficult conditions and we know the car works well in the dry, so I think we should be in good shape."
Serralles' identical #21 Ray has been completely rebuilt following its accident at Brands Hatch, and as with Pigot's car, has been close to the ultimate pace during testing.
"It's going to be a pretty amazing weekend," said Serralles, 18, from Haines City, Fla. "There are 120 cars signed up so we know it's going to be really competitive. Compared to Brands Hatch, Silverstone has a very smooth surface and it's a high-speed drafting track. We haven't gotten as much testing as did at Brands Hatch but I feel pretty comfortable. It's just a matter of track conditions. We don't yet know what the weather is going to be like. It's been wet today but they're saying it might be dry for the heat race tomorrow. I'm not too worried. I'm pretty comfortable in both conditions."
Since their test in one of Cliff Dempsey's Duratec-engined Ray Formula Ford car at Brands Hatch a couple of weeks ago, Pigot and Serralles have had little time to relax. Their packed itinerary has included a tour of the Jaguar XK road car production line at the Castle Vale factory near Birmingham and the Lola Cars race car manufucturing center in Huntingdon, plus visits to iSport International (which runs cars in the GP2 Series), Fortec Motorsport (Renault World Series, Formula 3 and Formula Renault), Status Grand Prix (GP3), Cosworth Racing (where they saw a Formula One engine in build for the Williams Grand Prix team) and the McLaren Technical Center, home of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula One team.
"The past couple of weeks have been amazing," said Serralles. "We've been around a lot of different companies. There have been many highlights and I've learned a lot, but my favorite one so far has been touring McLaren and seeing some of my hero Ayrton Senna's cars. That was amazing."
"We've been on a lot of tours during the break and all of them were really interesting," added Pigot. "Getting to see how a production road car is made and how a Formula One team operates were really great experiences. I've learned so much about all areas of the sport."
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, Honda Performance Development, Silicon Salvage, McMurry Inc., Dyson Racing, The Gorsline Company, Integrated Performance Technology, Robertson Racing, PitFit Training, Sparco USA, Buttonwillow Raceway Park, eFormulaCarNews.com, OnCars.com, Speedstar Management, Styled Aesthetic, Manifest Group and numerous past Scholarship winners.
-source: team usa scholarship