Photos: Jack Mitchell/JAM Motorsport Photography

Kotyk, Jeansonne return home following Team USA Scholarship run

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This year’s two Team USA Scholarship recipients Jonathan Kotyk and Aaron Jeansonne are back home in the U.S. following their excursions and adventures in Europe for the Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy.

Both impressed throughout the pair of race weekends, with Kotyk earning the best finish between the two of them, coming sixth overall in the Grand Final of the Hayes race in Silverstone. Kotyk also won a heat race at the Hayes.

Along the way, they experienced a lot of new things, met some very cool people and continued their growth and development as winners of this year’s scholarship.

Kotyk’s final blog from the experience is linked here, and Jeansonne’s final blog is linked here.

Back in a race car immediately after the European trip, Jeansonne returned home to NOLA Motorsports Park to complete a weekend sweep in his series, the Lucas Oil School of Racing race series. This was a popular pair of wins for him because Jeansonne is from Sulphur, La., and NOLA is his home track and the place that has launched his formula car career.

Next up for the pair are tickets to the Mazda Road to Indy $200,000 USF2000 scholarship shootout in Arizona, to be held in December. Either of the two will look to follow the path laid out by Oliver Askew last year, who won the Team USA Scholarship, won the shootout on the West Coast (it was held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last year), then advanced into Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda with the scholarship funding and promptly won the championship… where he won another scholarship.

A few more photos are below (all photos: Jack Mitchell/JAM Motorsport Photography).

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.