ASKEW: RACING IN UK KEY TO SHOOTOUT WIN
Oliver Askew believes competing in the UK was key to him winning the Mazda Road to Indy Shootout and $200,000 [£158,000] towards a USF2000 campaign in 2017.
Askew, who won a place on the Team USA Scholarship to compete at the Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy, was on for a podium in only his fourth race in a car at the Festival before a puncture curtailed his efforts. In his first drive in the wet, he was second to Niall Murray in the Walter Hayes final.
The final element of last week’s shootout was a 20-minute race at the Laguna Seca circuit near San Francisco. Askew went wheel-towheel with regular Brit competitor Ollie White, who won a place in the shootout via the Uk-based Superseries.
“Competing in the UK definitely helped me in that last race today,” said Askew. “I had flashbacks to racing in England because it was the same: Ollie has a lot of experience. The UK was really an incredible time for me, I learned so much. Racing in the wet was another thing to learn and to get used to, adapting to new situations and getting the best out of it.”
Also in the final was BRSCC FF1600 champion Niall Murray, Team USA Scholarship driver Kyle Kirkwood, Canadian single-seater champion Trenton Estep and Australian FF1600 winner Will Brown.
The judges were Indycar driver Spencer Pigot, retired Indycar race winner Scott Goodyear, Mazda Prototype drivers Joel Miller and Jonathan Bomarito and Mazda works driver Andrew Carbonell.
Drivers were eligible for an entry into the shootout if they won any championships endorsed by the Road to Indy scheme.
The Road to Indy prize is part of Mazda’s ladder to Indycar. The marque offers prize money for winning each rung of the ladder, from USF2000 to Pro Mazda and Indy Lights. Each championship win gives the driver money towards next season’s drive.