Emotional UK FF Win For Newgarden; Hand, Lally Shine at Lime Rock Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. (May 30, 2009) -- Team USA Scholarship drivers have continued to display their skills this week, with Josef Newgarden earning an emotional victory...
Emotional UK FF Win For Newgarden; Hand, Lally Shine at Lime Rock
Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. (May 30, 2009) -- Team USA Scholarship drivers have continued to display their skills this week, with Josef Newgarden earning an emotional victory this afternoon at Rockingham in England and Joey Hand emerging narrowly ahead of fellow former Team USA Scholarship winner Andy Lally after a thrilling Koni Challenge Grand Sports race last Monday at Lime Rock Park in rural Connecticut.
The month of May has been a roller-coaster ride for 18-year-old Newgarden. The 2008 Team USA Scholarship winner returned to his home in Tennessee for a brief break earlier in the month, then learned the shattering news that his UK Formula Ford team owner Joe Tandy had died in a road accident. Tandy was just 26 years old. The pair had forged a close bond since joining forces this year.
Newgarden traveled back to his UK base in Oxford this week with a heavy heart, and was intent on doing his level best to honor Tandy's memory when the MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain reconvened this weekend at the Rockingham road course which is situated close to Joe Tandy Racing's base in Bedford.
He did just that. After qualifying second fastest, Newgarden moved his No. 21 JTR/Robo-Pong Mygale SJ09 into the lead at the start. The gifted young American lost his advantage moments before a full-course caution but promptly regained the lead at the restart and then pulled away to score his second Formula Ford victory of the season.
"This win was for Joe," declared Newgarden. "It was a very emotional time for the whole team. First of all, it was nice to get back and be with everyone because it's a big family team. We've still got a long way to go this weekend, with two more races tomorrow, but this was definitely a very positive day."
Earlier in the week at Lime Rock Park, Hand and Lally, who were awarded Team USA Scholarships in 2000 and 1999 respectively, put on quite a show during Round Five of the Grand-Am Koni Challenge Grand Sports division.
"Andy Lally is a professional and you have to pull every trick in the book to get by him," noted Hand, who took the lead at Big Bend with 22 minutes remaining before taking the checkered flag to win aboard the No. 97 Turner Motorsports BMW M3 he shared with veteran Chris Gleason.
"Joey was giving me a couple nudges to remind me he was back there," said Lally after finishing second in the No. 41 TRG/Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 which was started by co-driver John Potter. "I would have done the same thing, only harder! I've had a bunch of great races with Joey in the past, and this is another that will go down in the history books."
The Team USA Scholarship was founded in 1990 and is supported by Doug Mockett & Company, Terminal Velocity Processing, 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.
-credit: jeremy shaw