Patron Highcroft backs Team USA DANBURY, CT, Thursday, September 30, 2009: Patron Highcroft Racing boss Duncan Dayton has again thrown his support behind the Team USA Scholarship program which enables young stars of the future to do battle with...
Patron Highcroft backs Team USA
DANBURY, CT, Thursday, September 30, 2009: Patron Highcroft Racing boss Duncan Dayton has again thrown his support behind the Team USA Scholarship program which enables young stars of the future to do battle with some of the world's best young drivers.
Established in 1990 with future CART champion Jimmy Vasser as its first recipient, the program has helped launch the careers of a number of American stars including Bryan Herta, A.J. Allmendinger, Buddy Rice, Andy Lally, Paul Edwards and Memo Gidley.
Connor De Phillippi, from San Clemente, Calif., and Brett Smrz, from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, have been named recently as the latest recipients of prestigious scholarships.
De Phillippi has taken a commanding lead in this year's BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda, winning seven of 12 races held thus far.
Smrz has secured one Skip Barber victory in addition to posting some impressive results in the Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup. Smrz also leads the Jim Russell Championship Series.
The pair will get the chance to head to the United Kingdom next month to race in two of the most prestigious Formula Ford races in the world - the Brands Hatch Formula Ford Festival and the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone.
Team USA Scholarship drivers swept both events in 2008, with Josef Newgarden becoming the first American ever to win the Formula Ford Festival and Conor Daly taking the Walter Hayes Trophy.
"I'm delighted to continue to support the scholarship program and will be looking forward to seeing how the guys perform in England," Dayton said.
"Getting the chance to race in Europe against some of the best young drivers in the world will be invaluable for their careers - whether they continue to race overseas or bring back that knowledge and experience they gained to further their career in the US.
"We've had Memo Gidley and Andy Lally drive for us in the past and you never know what opportunities may arise for these guys at Patron Highcroft Racing in years to come. I will be keeping an eye on their progress."