Turns 3, 4 and 5 at Circuit of the Americas

Turns 3, 4 and 5 at Circuit of the Americas

San Diego, CA

Off-season? Nope!  It has been a long, quiet, and busy few months for us here at Dickerson Racing. The end of 2015 was the start of something great for us. Winning the Skip Barber Championship left us with a big choice on our hands. Straight after flying home from the Championship shootout, I was back on a plane to Circuit of the Americas where nearly all of the Mazda Road to Indy teams were testing. I had the opportunity to talk to many teams, drivers, and officials, gathering as much information as possible. It was awesome seeing the level of professionalism and competitiveness everyone was displaying. About a month goes by as I continued to try and gather information, references, and ultimately make one of the biggest decisions of my career. After doing all of this and participating in a couple of test days at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, I finally made my decision.

 Great testing with Afterburner Autosport

Great testing with Afterburner Autosport

As I’m sure many of you have heard, we recently signed with Afterburner Autosport for the 2016 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda. We will be running the Soul Red colors identifying myself as Mazda’s scholarship driver. We have run a total of 4 test days at Buttonwillow Raceway Park. The first day was a “learning experience” to say the least. Downforce, better tires, more tires, and effective brakes - all of these were things I had to get used to in a short amount of time. The team did a great job of getting me acclimated to the car though. As I was getting more and more comfortable with the car, our speed continued to get better. It was extremely fun getting to work with my own engineer, giving feedback on the car, feeling the changes made, and seeing the results. By the end of day 2 I had made significant progress with my driving but there was definitely room for improvement. I was physically drained after the 2 days and knew I needed to improve my stamina for the upcoming season. That led me to running, biking, and swimming for about 40 miles a week, helping me lose 15 pounds in 2 months. Perfect timing for our second round of testing at Buttonwillow! We continued to improve and were getting very close to competitive race pace.

We are now only 2 days away from getting on track for the first official series test days at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. I can’t wait to finally hop in the car and see how we stack up against a very competitive field of over 20 cars!

I can’t thank all of those enough who have made this opportunity possible. A super big thank you to Mazda Motorsports, Team USA Scholarship, SafeisFast, Sparco, Molecule Sports, and Crow Enterprizes, and all of our friends and family who continue to ride this awesome train with us. This is going to be one great year.

All the best,

Dakota