This year I will be competing in the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge, a separate class that runs with the Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup as a feeder series. The journey thus far has been filled with ups and downs, and without the Skip Barber Racing School and Mazda, I would honestly not be where I am today. Racing is something I live for. It’s not just a hobby. It is my life. I have it buried deep inside me that I want to make it to the top more than ANYONE else. The road is not easy, and it takes more than just raw talent. It takes much more than that.
I first got started in Go-Karts when I was 8 years old and raced at the Club and Regional level winning 5 Championships. It was not until 3 years ago when I first stepped foot in one of Skip Barber’s Formula cars, and that’s when I learned I might actually have a chance at succeeding in this sport. In 2010 I competed in the Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shootout and was able to earn money from Skip Barber to run in their regional series. That money was to be spent for the 2011 Summer Series at tracks all around the country. Unfortunately, I didn’t win the Championship, but I learned so much that it did not matter.
I competed in the Skip Barber Shootout once again at the end of 2011, this time it being called the Champions Shootout, which only drivers from the Skip Barber Regional Series could compete. This made the competition a little more difficult, with there being more elite drivers. With what I learned from the previous season I finished 2nd and earned myself a ride in the Regional Series once again. Long story short, at the beginning of 2012 I made the switch from the Formula car series to Skip Barber MX-5 series. I won the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge Championship, winning 17 of the 20 races I competed in without stepping off the podium.
Winning the championship in the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge has earned me a fully funded ride in the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge. This is probably one of the best ways to show what one is made of without having to spend the money. We are a family that cannot afford racing at this level. I wouldn’t be racing if it wasn’t for the scholarship opportunities Skip Barber Racing School has provided.
Sometimes people ask me, “What do you have to do to get to the top?” Simply put, you have to win and make friends along the way and have a boatload of money. You work as hard off the track as you do on the track. It is not easy but if you have the raw talent to compete at the top level and are personable, Skip Barber is one your best bets. I am by no means saying I am a “PRO,” but I was lucky enough to be given the opportunities provided.
Racing is not easy. But if you want it more than anyone else, you are bound to succeed.