The drivers in contention for the 23rd annual Team USA Scholarships have been unveiled, with fourteen drivers set to fight it out to follow in the footsteps of former winners including Conor Daly, J.R. Hildebrand and Joey Hand.
The candidates are competing for three fully funded drivers in the UK later this year, with two drivers to be entered under the Team USA Scholarship/Cliff Dempsey Racing banner in the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch on October 27-28 and the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone on November 3-4, and one more experienced driver to contest the final rounds of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship at Silverstone on October 6-7.
This year's contenders are:
Neil Alberico, 19. – Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda
Luigi Biangardi, 16 – Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda
Matthew Brabham, 18. – Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda race winner
Tristan DeGrand, 16 – Skip Barber Racing Summer Series race winner
Jake Eidson, 17 – Skip Barber Winter Series champion and Summer Series points leader
Conner Ford, 16 – Pacific Formula F Super Series race winner
Sean Johnston, 21 – IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge points leader
Bobby Kelley, 20 – Pacific F2000 points leade
Jack Mitchell Jr., 16 – Skip Barber Summer Series and Canadian F1600 race winner
Brandon Newey, 19 – F1600 Championship Series points leader
Tristan Nunez, 16 – Cooper Tires Prototype Lites points leader
Adrian Starrantino, 17 – Skip Barber Summer Series race winner
Colin Thompson, 18 – Cooper Tires USF2000/F1600 Championship Series race winner
Falco Wauer, 16 – UK Formula 4 race winner
The judging panel will include Indycar CEO Randy Bernard, American Le Mans Series President Scott Atherton, Director of Motorsports at Mazda North American Operations John Doonan, Cooper Tires Director of Motorsports Chris Pantani, USF2000 series promoter Dan Andersen, ALMS team Level 5 Motorsports Race Engineer Jeff Braun and, representing the Road Racing Drivers Club's widely acclaimed SAFEisFAST.com initiative, Performance Prime founder Dr. Jacques Dallaire and PitFit Training President Jim Leo. Former Team USA Scholarship winners Bryan Herta, Charlie Kimball, J.R. Hildebrand, Josef Newgarden, Joey Hand and Bryan Sellers will also be on hand to assist and offer advice.
Bernard said: “The Team USA Scholarship continues to be an important part of shaping our home-grown stars of INDYCAR. Drivers such as J.R. Hildebrand, Charlie Kimball and Josef Newgarden have come through this program and I look forward to working with the panel to identifying future talent for our sport.”