Hello everyone, it's been awhile!
Looking back on these past few months has given me time to reflect on all that has happened in the last year. From finishing my first full year of car racing, to winning the 2016 VMB scholarship, it's been very exciting. I've been training, reflecting, and focusing on these exciting adventures that are in store.
The 2016 Formula Car Challenge is fast approaching, but first let's look at what I've been up to during the offseason.
January wasn't a great month for me to say the least. I was very sick with the flu, and had to pause all the work that I was doing. I took a break from crossfit, canceled a few interviews, and postponed getting my competition license. Needless to say, it wasn't a good way to start off 2016.
However, I eventually got better and was able to get things back in order. Next week I'll start to workout again, schedule a few interviews and media projects, and will finish getting all the necessary forms & documents in order.
February is already starting to look promising - I just returned from Buttonwillow Raceway where I had my first official preseason test with Worldspeed Motorsports and VMB Driver Development. It was full of new faces, new lessons, new experiences, and most importantly...new cars!
Testing week started off with a quick trip to Autoclub Speedway in Fontana, CA. There, I took time to sit and reflect. As I viewed the track, I remembered a powerful moment I had there. In 2004, City of Hope got me tickets to see my first ever NASCAR race. There, my hero Jeff Gordon won his 65th career win. What are the chances you hero wins at your very first NASCAR race? I couldn't help but feel proud to see how far I've gone with this.
From fan, to spectator, to driver. It has been a long and exciting journey to say the least. I can't wait to keep living the dream.
When I arrived at Buttonwillow for Day 1 of the test, I met the crew. Telo Stewart is the President of Worldspeed, Jan Trojan is the race engineer, and Chris would be my mechanic for the test. My teammates Carter Williams and Howard Sklar were in attendance as well. Day 1 was mostly car/seat fitting and a seminar on vehicle dynamics. The day ended with the VMB Scholarship Drivers (myself and Carter) receiving new gear, hats, shirts, & even a new GoPro HERO4! Lots of learning already!
Day 2 was all about track time. In total, I estimate we ran about 8hrs on the track! I got well adjusted to the car, and I ran some pretty quick laps as well. The main things I learned were braking pressure, intensity, sliding the car, and fitness. Yep, fitness. I pulled in during the last session as my hands were filled with blisters and my back was ready to give out. Driving these cars are more physically demanding than the cars I used to drive. It's safe to say I'll be at the gym quite often before round 1!
The final day was the day I learned the most about how to drive this type of car. We started the day with some car control drills, then moved on to braking drills, and finally three sessions to put down smooth, consistent, and quick laps. I started the test running 1min 5sec lap times and ended the test running 1min 3sec lap times. I left the test with a sense of confidence and excitement after the great improvements.
Currently, I'm back home in Alhambra, CA ready to tackle the next phase of my development...media & sponsorship. More to come on that soon. But as a few final thoughts, I'd just like to say thanks to everyone who made this incredible ride possible! I now have a team, development program, sponsors, and friends around me. I believe 2016 has a lot in store.
Here's to those who dream!