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The interview/Dakota Dickerson

“You just have to be perfect”

We asked the young American driver to tell us more about his experience

behind the wheel of the new USF‐17 at the recent Cooper Tyres test

‐ Can you tell us your first driving

impressions about the new Tatuus car?

«My first impressions of the car were extremely

encouraging. It truly is a proper race car that is

up to date with modern technology. Updated

electronics, carbon monocoque, bigger brakes,

the list goes on and on. The platform itself

seems to be stiffer than the old car which in turn

allows us to carry more rolling speed through

the corners. A different body and aero package

also resulted in better top speed which is always


‐ What are the the main strengths of the

USF‐17 racer?

«There were a lot of plus sides to the new car.

Within the cockpit, there is a lot more room

which is great for a tall driver like myself.

The new paddle shifters coupled with a 6‐speed

gearbox makes life much easier and is

extremely smooth. Mechanically, this car is

extremely efficient under braking.

The brakes zones are much more compressed

now due to how quick the brakes stop the car

up. Along with this, the car has a lot more

mechanical grip compared to the old car.»

‐ Do you consider the 'Road to Indy' program

a successful way to raise young pilots in the


«Absolutely. The Mazda Road to Indy Presented

by Cooper Tires is the only open‐wheel ladder

series in the U.S. that provides a clear path to

the Verizon IndyCar Series. They provide not

only over 2 million dollars worth of scholarships,

but also the career guidance on and off the track

to assist in your success within the racing

industry. Mazda, Andersen Promotions and

Cooper Tires have put together a world class

program to assist young drivers in achieving

their dreams.»

‐ Would you like to experience European

competition in the future? What is your

favourite series?

«I was fortunate enough to get a taste of what it

is like to race overseas through the Team USA

Scholarship, and it definitely had me wanting

more. The FF1600 races that I competed in were

an absolute blast and I would like to participate

in similar races again.»