Jordan Lloyd 2015 USF2000 Campaign
Above: Jordan Lloyd (Right) has made a huge impact already in USF2000. Image: Photos @ Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
Today we caught up with a young Toowoomba based driver who is taking it to the world’s best in American Open Wheel, in the prestigious Mazda Road to Indy series.
At 14, Jordan Lloyd started his circuit racing career after 5 years of karting, primarily in Queensland, Australia. Proud parents Craig and Leanne kick-started Jordan's open wheel career by purchasing an ‘04 Van Diemen on the second hand market - running it out of their garage at home with little to no team support and operating on a shoestring budget.
Fast forward 4 years and Jordan had competed in a range of Formula Ford races across Australia, updated to a later model car and learnt the ropes in the highly competitive class. 2014 was a big year for Jordan, winning races and essentially challenging for a win at every track the Australian Formula Ford Series visited. Lloyd was driving for BF Racing, a Queensland based team run by Brett Francis.
Lloyd talks about the cost efficiency of his 2014 National season:
"The Australian Formula Ford Series is very cost effective. The competition was tight at the front so you had to drive at a consistently high level. Running with the Shannons Nationals last year we had a lot of track time for reasonable fees. We ran as a one car team and Brett was good to us, it was awesome to achieve the results we did."
In 2015, Lloyd steps into a category known as USF2000. He is driving a single make open wheel racecar featuring a sequential gearbox, Mazda 2 litre engine, slick tyres and wings. The USF2000 category boasts large, highly competitive fields and is commonly supporting IndyCar events across North America.
Lloyd is the first Australian since fellow Formula Ford graduate, Mathew Brabham, to stand on a podium in USF2000:
"The USF2000 Champion each year receives a scholarship for the following year and for me it is a big incentive, it's a great championship and I really wanted to stay in open wheelers this year. We snagged a podium on debut in USF2000 and I am looking forward to improving more during the year. The transition from Australian Formula Ford to USF2000 has been straightforward and I believe If you can drive Formula Fords well and on the limit I believe you can adapt to driving anything. They teach such great car control and how to set up suspension for mechanical grip."
Above: Lloyd driving for John Cummiskey in USF2000 category in 2015. Image: Photos @ Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
Lloyd buckles up in 2015 for John Cummiskey Racing and is enjoying the transition to a new team on the other side of the world:
"The link with John was made possible by the Australian Motorsport Academy and Mark Larkham. The biggest difference so far I guess is just getting in sync with my new engineer. After being with BF for so long we had a natural engineer/driver relationship, so it's taken some time to adjust but I am enjoying every minute and we are already achieving the results."
Lloyd says he is keen to finish the season but like many drivers with ability, is chasing additional funds to complete the season:
"We don’t have the complete budget to do the entire year as yet. I am working hard and my parents are financing what they can but we don’t have any sponsors at the moment. If we can get the rest of the funds in place the goal is to win the championship and use the USF2000 scholarship money to graduate to the next step up the Road To Indy ladder - the Pro Mazda series."
Like any young driver there are many people behind the scenes who have assisted in making his dream a reality:
"I really just want to say thanks to my parents, Brett Francis, Mark Larkham and Bob and Will Power for their advice."