A New Beginning

BRIGSTOCK, England – And so we begin our journey to England! Scott (Huffaker) and I  met up with Michelle Dempsey Wednesday when she was kind enough to meet us at the airport and then made our way to the Cliff Dempsey Racing shop. It was a wonderful feeling weaving our way through the green English countryside on our way to meet Cliff. We began fitting the cars with our brand new gear from Sparco and Bell Helmets. It was quick and easy with the form fitting apparel we were given, and Cliff was very quick to get us going.

Setting up at Oulton Park.

Saturday morning brought our first timed sessions and our first opportunity to see where we stacked up against the new European competition. The weekend was seen as more of a test as it was a small regional championship, the BRSCC Avon Tyre Formula Ford 1600 Northern Championship, but there were several drivers there who will be racing against in the coming weeks so it was a great opportunity to acclimate ourselves. The primary focus was track time but we were happy to learn we had both done well when I qualified on pole with a half-second gap on the rest of the field with Scott a close third to round our a great first session.

My first taste of the Ray GR19 (photo courtesy of Alan Auto).

Race one was similar. Cliff requested us to start from pit lane – to gain a better understanding of how to work through slower cars – and Scott and I found our way to eighth and ninth respectively, setting the first and second fastest laps, with one thousandth between us and nearly a second clear of the field. The same followed in race two, finding our way to fourth and fifth, first and third quickest.

We then headed back to the Dempsey abode with our heads held high to prepare for our trip to Italy to meet a number of new faces. Once again, from both Scott and I, a huge thank-you to all those at the Team USA Scholarship and everyone who is behind it. This has and will continue to be a memorable experience and we are honored to have been given the chance to show our hand.

Until next time,