You’ve met Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda Rookie of the Year, Aaron Telitz, but now he embarks on a new adventure as a Team USA Scholarship recipient. The Mazda scholarship-supported driver will represent the U.S. competing in the UK at the Formula Ford festival and the Walter Hayes Trophy. As he anticipates the next step in his racing career, he provides some insight into how he arrived at this point.
Greetings! This the first of what is sure to be a super fun series of blogs that will take you along with me on my adventure to the UK for the Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy. But first, a little background information.
I am 22 years old and am from a small town in Northern Wisconsin called Birchwood. Just so you have an idea how small, I grew up going to a public school where my class size was about 25 from kindergarten all the way through senior year.
I got my start in go-karts at 8-years old in Eau Claire, Wis. I went on to road racing karts at age 15 and had quite a lot of success racing karts on tracks like Road America, Daytona International Speedway and Mid-Ohio. In 2012, at the ripe old age of 20, I made my first start in a racecar thanks to winning a $20,000 scholarship from the Skip Barber Karting Shootout. I ended up winning my first car race! I went on to win four more races that summer and another $10,000 scholarship from Skip Barber in the 2012 Championship Shootout. I ended up stretching my scholarship money for all it was worth in the 2012/2013 Skip Barber Winter Series and came away with second overall in the championship.
I had been attending the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire full time but decided to put college on hold to chase after my dream. I realized I wasn’t going to get very far in racing if I didn’t come up with some funding, so I began calling, writing, emailing and visiting everyone I could think of that might be able to help me out. I was fortunate enough to not only find enough funding to race in the 2013 F1600 Championship Series but I also landed a sponsor in Rice Lake Weighing Systems. I went on to claim third in the super-competitive championship. I was then selected as a finalist for the Team USA Scholarship. I wasn’t chosen as a winner last year but I didn’t let that get me down! I went on to win the Skip Barber Championship Shootout, claiming a $200,000 MAZDASPEED Scholarship to race in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. I drove for ArmsUp Motorsports this season on my way to one win, six podium finishes, “Rookie of the Year” honors and fourth overall in the championship.
A little over a month ago I was again named a finalist in the Team USA Scholarship program. I was psyched to have another shot at this awesome award. The shootout was held at Auto Club Speedway and we would be driving 1.6-liter cars prepared by Allen Berg Racing Schools. I had a great time driving a new car to me at a new track. About two weeks later I got the call from Jeremy Shaw to tell me I had been selected. It was probably my favorite phone call of the year! I am seriously excited to get over to England and get my first “European car racing” experience! Now my plane tickets have been purchased and a schedule has been made for testing prior to the events. I am so looking forward to the coming month. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for all of my English adventures!