Christchurch’s Jacob Douglas is excited with what lies ahead for the next two and a half months with testing and racing single seaters in the United States.
The multi-title winning kartsport champion moved into single seaters last summer and is intending to compete in the 2022 Castrol Toyota Racing Series, that gets underway this January.
“It’s probably the most excited that I have ever been, heading overseas,” Douglas said.
“I’m really looking forward to it as it is such a great opportunity and will be a really cool experience.”
“We’re first heading to California to test both in Formula 3 and Formula 4 at Laguna Seca and will move on to Buttonwillow Raceway Park as well. Then down to Dallas in Texas and back to California for more testing and then I will race in the US Formula 4 Championship round at Laguna Seca at the end of August.”
The 16-year-old school student departs on 8 July flying into Indianapolis where he will meet up with Kiwi Motorsport’s Garry Orton and Teena Larsen.
Orton and Larsen have been running teams in the US Formula 3 and 4 championships for a number of years, as well as each season running a team in the Toyota Racing Series, back home in NZ.
“Jacob will have a great time,” Garry Orton said.
“There is so much here that he can learn and gain valuable experience from. I think the big thing is that the tracks are so different in the States. They can be rough with different surfaces, blind crests, etc, and this is where a lot of drivers coming to America can struggle. The first season in the States is hard as there are new tracks for the drivers and in which some of these are far too costly to test on”
“It should be really good with Garry and Teena,” said Douglas.
“They are really nice people and I should learn heaps from them. It’s going to be a whole new learning curve. I will be on my own, which is pretty cool and driving some new cars, which will be awesome.”
It’s not at all a holiday from school work which will require online correspondence work each day.
“We’ve set up online correspondence schooling for while I’m away. I’ll have to really manage my time with this with everything that will be going on each day.”
“The US Formula 4 car is between the Formula Ford that Jacob has been competing in over the Kiwi summer and the FT60 Toyota Racing Series car that he has been testing over the winter,” added Garry Orton.
“His time testing in the F3 car will also compliment his TRS program and the good thing is that, in the US, we are on the same tyre as TRS.”
Jacob Douglas will return in September and face two-week’s quarantine before resuming high school and continuing to prepare for the Castrol Toyota Racing Series that gets underway in January 2022.
Images: Chris Dillon