Motor Sport News - - Racing News - Photos: Gary Hawkins, Jakob Ebrey

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.

Amer­i­can beat schol­ar­ship ri­vals Askew pointed out im­por­tance of FF races

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