The 2016 Team Canada Scholarship finalists have been announced with three young drivers vying for this year’s honours.
Two of the drivers selected are regular competitors in Canadian Formula 1600 competition, and the third is Canada’s sole representative racing full-time in USF2000.
The winner of the scholarship will travel to England this fall to take part in the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch, an opportunity that has provided a launching pad for the careers of many young racers.
Here are the three finalists in alphabetical order:
Ben Hurst, 19, from Oakville, Ontario: Hurst has been enjoying improved success in the 2016 season contesting both the Ontario-based Toyo Tires F1600 Championship and the Quebec Formula Tour 1600 series. He has reached the podium several times in Ontario and currently sits 7th in the points in Quebec and 4th in his home series in Ontario.
Jean-Philippe Jodoin, 21, from Dorval, Quebec: The reigning Formula Tour 1600 champion currently sits second in the championship with two wins, including a recent victory at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières event in front of a large Quebec crowd, and multiple podiums. Despite his age, Jodoin is considered a Formula 1600 veteran and is well-respected among his peers.
Parker Thompson, 18, from Red Deer, Alberta: Thompson is enjoying a breakout season south of the border in the highly competitive USF2000 Champoinship. With four wins under his belt, Thompson is a strong contender for the title going into the final rounds next month.
“As we watch our alumni continue to shine and move up the ranks, we are very excited about our three finalists for 2016,” comments Team Canada Scholarship founder Brian Graham. “Each one of our finalists brings certain qualities to the table. However, the one thing that each one shows in abundance is a strong dedication to their programs. Having watched them race personally the last few seasons and the progress they have made is a pleasure. While only one driver can be selected, we hope each one of them knows that we are proud to have them on our radar as a Team Canada Scholarship candidate.”
Team Canada will continue to partner with Cliff Dempsey Racing at the Formula Ford Festival and is looking to continue the success the program has shown since its inception in 2011.
The alumni from Team Canada continue to shine. This past weekend at Trois-Rivières, three alumni drivers took wins in three different classes. 2011 TCS driver Xavier Coupal won in Nissan Micra Cup, 2013 winner Scott Hargrove won in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, and the most recent winner Michael Adams snagged the win in Formula Tour 1600. 2013 TCS driver Zacharie Robichongrabbed a podium in Porsche GT3 Cup, and 2014 TCS driver Garett Grist recently graduated to Indy Lights after two successful seasons in Pro Mazda.
To learn more about the program or get involved, visit Team Canada’s new website, www.teamcanadascholarship.com, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.