Three Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda drivers have been selected as candidates for the 2017 Team USA Scholarship. In the first stage of the selection process, Konrad Czaczyk of Jupiter, Florida, Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, and Jacob Loomis of Corinth, Texas, along with seven additional candidates, will undergo a series of interviews conducted before a panel of judges this weekend during the Honda Indy 200 Verizon IndyCar Series event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
Ultimately, two winners will follow in the footsteps of a long line of accomplished professional drivers – headed by Jimmy Vasser and Bryan Herta who claimed the first two scholarships in 1990 and 1991, respectively – by gaining an opportunity to take part in some international auto racing events later this year.
The 2017 nomination will give Czaczyk and Kirkwood a second chance at the prestigious award. Czaczyk, who was nominated for the Team USA Scholarship in 2016, progressed through to the final round of candidates, but was edged-out by fellow F4 U.S. competitor Kirkwood. Kirkwood received one of two Team USA Scholarships, granting him entry into his first international race at the Formula Ford Festival in Brands Hatch, England, and the opportunity to compete for the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone. The F4 U.S. points leader finished in the top-10 in both events.
The first-round selection panel will include Pigot, Miller and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires race winner (and 2014 Team USA alum) Aaron Telitz; Indy Lights team owner Brian Belardi; factory Porsche driver and current Pirelli World Challenge series leader Patrick Long; Cooper Tires Technical Consultant and five-time Indy 500 starter Johnny Unser; Chip Ganassi Racing Managing Director Mike Hull; Mazda Motorsports’ Operations Manager Kyle Kimball; Mazda Road to Indy promoter Dan Andersen; American Honda Motorsports Manager T.E. McHale; Assistant Manager, Marketing, Honda Performance Development George Harmon; PitFit Training president Jim Leo; Bell Racing USA Director of Motorsports Chris Wheeler; and Juncos Racing Indy Lights Race Engineer Peter Dempsey.
The Team USA Scholarship is one of the most successful and longest established driver development programs in the world. Nearly a quarter of the drivers in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series (five out of 21 full-season campaigners: Charlie Kimball, JR Hildebrand, Josef Newgarden, Conor Daly and Spencer Pigot), plus IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship stand-outs Dane Cameron, Joel Miller, Joey Hand, Andy Lally and Bryan Sellers, along with IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Championship leader Trent Hindman, are all Team USA alumni.
Round-two finalists will be announced later this season.