Racing his series’ debut, Jason Alder won Race 1 for Formula Regional Americas Powered By Honda at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) on Friday afternoon. The 18-year-old rolled off in the fifth position and paced his way through the field with his Hankook tires. He was scored third as they crossed the line to begin lap 6, but when the top two drivers tussled going through Turn 1, Alder made the pass to take the lead and never looked back. The Cookville, Md., native is fresh off a victory at COTA with the Formula 4 United States Championship (F4 U.S.) during the U.S. Grand Prix two weeks ago.
“I really just can’t believe we’re here,” said Alder, driver of the No. 77 Velocity Racing Development Ligier JS F3. “It’s been an incredible effort from everybody at Velocity Racing Development. It’s been a learning experience for me and we’re just trying to get a head start on next year. To come out with a win is sort of incredible for me, for the boys, and everyone back at the shop.”
After starting his career racing ovals in Legends cars, Alder moved to the F4 U.S. full-time for the 2021 season, before stepping up this weekend to race the No. 77 Velocity Racing Development Ligier JS F3 to get a jumpstart on 2022.
“I have some working out to do,” Alder said after climbing from his car. “Dealing with the weight was the biggest challenge. This is the most physically demanding race I’ve ever participated in. The FR car is a bit more physical than a Formula 4 car.”