Earning Racing Scholarships

After only three years of motorsport competition, Team USA Scholarship racer and Mazda Road to 24 Shootout finalist Aaron Jeansonne has already proven he can find the final tenth on the track. Competing against the best, and having confidence in yourself, are prerequisites.

And due to Aaron’s rapid climb to success, and path, we turned to him to share a little about his background, and how he plans to continue to succeed in our beloved sport.

By Aaron Jeansonne:

I’m fortunate to be able to say I’ve accomplished more in the past three years than anyone expected, except perhaps myself. And these accomplishments have allowed me to go far more places than most people where I’m from.

Being raised in a working-class home with a single father, things never came easy. I learned I had to work hard for what I wanted in life.

Confidence is a requirement to succeed in this sport. Of any attribute, the most important that I possess is the pure belief I have had in myself since childhood. Though, it was not until age 18 that I was able to test and develop my confidence in myself behind the wheel and on a real race track. Growing up, I did not have the capital to race in karts, so I spent my time going to school, racing on simulators, and working to save money to one day get on a real race track.

After just turning 19 and one year of real racing, I was awarded the 2017 Team USA Scholarship and selected as a finalist (one of five) for the Mazda Road to Indy Scholarship. Both Team USA and additional efforts enabled me to compete in open wheel racing in the United States and in the United Kingdom against some of the best junior open wheelers in the world!

In 2019, I started to recognize that there were more opportunities to climb the sports car ladder. I found Possien-Hall Motorsports Development, and competed in two endurance races. Thanks to running with a professional team (runs Mazda MX-5 Cup race cars among other cars) and with drivers such as John D. Allen, I was able to quickly adapt to the sports car. This kept me on the radar with Mazda, and helped get me a nomination to the Mazda Road to 24 Scholarship.

After my submission as a nominee required by Mazda, I was then selected as a finalist among five other drivers to compete at the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout at Michelin Laurens Proving Grounds. This was a very deep field, competing against SCCA national champion Tray Ayres, Matthew Dirks, Brandon Collins, Stuart McAleer, and Jared Thomas, who edged me out for the scholarship valued at $100,000.

While I did not earn the MRT24 Scholarship, my goal is to be back at the shootout. One additional way I plan to give myself the best chance to make this possible, is to coach other drivers. Racing takes capital, and this is an important way for me to earn it. And equally important to having the funds is continuing to develop the skill sets. Coaching others is an impactful way to learn and grow.

Working with others who truly care to learn and improve in this sport that I love is something I enjoy very much. I look forward to sharing what I know, helping others learn tracks and cars quickly. Depending on the need, we may focus on consistency, adaptation to changing conditions, braking techniques, patience/mindset (your mind is your most powerful weapon if you are able to train it properly and have the right people surrounding you), and other areas.

For coaching opportunities, please contact me any time by email at aaronjeansonne24@yahoo.com or phone at 337-476-9399. Let’s have a successful year.