Current Scholarship Recipients Prepare for Brands Hatch

As 2015 Team USA Scholarship winners Dakota Dickerson and Michai Stephens continue preparations for this weekend's Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch in England, former two-time recipient Spencer Pigot confirmed today that he will achieve one of his career goals in 2016 when he joins Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing to contest at least three Verizon IndyCar Series events, including the historic 100th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.

Pigot, 22, from Orlando, Fla., has progressed all the way along the Mazda Road to Indy, winning four scholarships in the process. After beginning his career in karting at age 9, Pigot graduated through the Skip Barber Racing School, the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires before securing this year's Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires title and cementing a $1 million prize to assisting him in making the final step to IndyCar.

"The Team USA Scholarship was a fantastic opportunity," recalls Pigot, who carried Team USA colors in England both in 2010 (right) and 2011. "It taught me how to adapt quickly to a new environment. Going to a different country with a new team, car, tracks, competition, etc., forces you to mature quickly as a driver in many ways. I was fortunate to be picked twice, and each time presented new challenges I hadn't faced before. The things I learned have helped me as I moved forward in my career here in America on the Mazda Road to Indy."

Meanwhile, Dickerson, 18, from San Diego, and Stephens, 23, from Evanston, Ill., are already in England to follow in the footsteps of a succession of other Team USA alumnus who have moved on to IndyCar since the program's inception in 1990, including Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, Memo Gidley, Buddy Rice, Jeff Simmons, Phil Giebler, A.J. Allmendinger, Charlie Kimball J.R. Hildebrand, Josef Newgarden and Conor Daly.

The pair have already completed test sessions at Donington Park and Silverstone International. Tomorrow they will switch their attention to the famed Brands Hatch Indy circuit for three days of testing leading up to the weekend when they will attempt to match Newgarden, who in 2008 became the only American to win the Festival in its 43-year history.

In addition to the usual array of supporters who make the scholarship possible, including Doug Mockett & Company, the Road Racing Drivers Club and its ground-breaking initiative, and Cooper Tires, the two patriotically liveried Ray chassis will carry an allegiance in the memory of Joe Cory, who assisted several talented young drivers in the formative stages of their careers before passing away earlier this year.

"Joe not only supported and helped me in the early stages of my racing career but became a mentor and dear friend," says 1994 Team USA Scholarship recipient Mike Borkowski. "Joe embodied everything that Team USA stands for. He had enormous passion for motorsports, maintained a total commitment to excellence and always won with class and integrity."

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