Team USA Scholarship winners Joey Bickers and Jake Eidson already have begun preparations for their foray to England to contest the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch on October 26-27 and the following weekend’s Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone. The pair spent a day at CXC Simulations in Los Angeles, Calif., where they undertook a comprehensive development program devised by former F16 fighter pilot Kelly Jones of RaceCraft1.Bickers, 21, from Moorpark, Calif., and Eidson, 18, from Littleton, Colo., spent the morning “at” Brands Hatch. First was learning the nuances of the short but challenging 1.2-mile Indy circuit on state-of-the-art full-motion CXC simulators. Then there were qualifying sessions followed by simulated races using iRacing software. All of the sessions were held in “full traffic” mode – in both wet and dry conditions – employing computer-generated opposition as well as several veteran simulator exponents including Los Angeles-based New Zealand racer Matt Halliday.
The focus was switched to Silverstone’s National circuit for the afternoon sessions, following the same format.
“We were really excited to be a part of the Team USA program again this year,” said CXC principal Chris Considine. “I think we were able to provide a very unique learning experience for the graduates – one that is usually reserved for only the top levels of racing. Joey and Jake did very well in the simulators and really excelled throughout the day. They approached each lesson very methodically and ended up learning quite a bit. I have high hopes for them this year and I think they will surprise quite a few people.”
Bickers and Eidson (pronounced “EDD-son”) were both grateful for the experience and impressed by the technology.
“With the CXC simulator and the iRacing program I was able to discover the flow of both Brands Hatch and Silverstone,” said Bickers. “I was able to get a good feel for the racing line, and lap after lap I felt more and more comfortable on track. The race-distance simulations against the other drivers allowed me to learn the passing zones of both tracks.”
“I feel much more confident in knowing what to expect from Brands Hatch and Silverstone,” added Eidson. “Practicing several different scenarios of weather, traffic and race starts on the full-motion simulators, I feel much more prepared for the Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy. I’d like to thank Chris Considine, Kelly Jones and Team USA’s Jeremy Shaw for arranging this great learning opportunity.”