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Jak Crawford Mid Year Review

HOUSTON (9 August 2021) – Jak Crawford is a 16-year-old American racing fulltime in Europe for the Red Bull Junior Team. For the 2021 racing season, he took on the daunting task of racing in both FIA Formula 3 and Euroformula Open (EFO) for the first time.

Crawford recently took advantage of a three-week break in his hectic schedule to return to his home in Houston for a brief vacation.

“I am home in Texas for a few weeks,” he said.  “It has been a while since I was home, so it is a nice summer break and a chance to recharge and take a few weeks off from racing.  It’s really nice to sleep in my own bed and not be living out of a suitcase.

“It has certainly been a mixed year for me so far.  It would be wrong to call it a learning year because I need to be performing well, but I am learning a lot about the cars, the format, and about myself.  It is making me a stronger person and a better driver.”

Crawford’s season began with the third race of the EFO season – on the morning of his 16th birthday. With both series utilizing three-race weekend formats, he was forced to sit out both Saturday races in Portugal due to age restrictions.

Since then, he’s experienced both the highs and lows of international competition.

“The high point of the year for me was at Imola with EFO just weeks ago,” he said. “I have been on every pole position for races I was able to participate in for EFO, but at Imola I was at a different level than everyone else.  It might be my favorite track in the world and very much suits my driving style, as does the EFO car with its higher downforce.  There will be more opportunities for wins in EFO, but my focus is mostly on doing things to turn my FIA F3 season around.”

Crawford scored two victories, a pole and all fastest laps in EFO weekends for Team Motopark at both Imola in Italy and Paul Ricard in France. One week after Imola, through, he had a tough F3 weekend at the Hungaroring in Budapest, driving for Hitech Grand Prix.

“The low point of the year was just last week in Hungary racing FIA F3,” he said. “It all started in free practice with too much understeer.  Me and the car were just not in sync for the track.  My first push lap in qualifying was off my teammates by .2-.4 tenths.  Due to bad luck, I didn’t get a second push lap that would have probably put me higher in the order.  That small difference in time is the difference between being up front and winning and being near the back of the field.”

The challenging qualifying outing was one of a few instances so far this year where Crawford’s speed didn’t yield the results that he was aiming for.

“I have had a couple of ‘what could have been’ opportunities in both FIA F3 and EFO,” he said  “I started second at the Paul Ricard FIA F3 event, but had a start issue.  That was a mistake I made with my clutch map adjustment.  Then, at the Red Bull Ring for FIA F3, I could have easily had pole because I had the fast theoretical lap and then a win in race two but had bad luck incidents including a blown motor.  There have been some other missed opportunities, some my fault and some just bad luck. I have made some frustration errors as well. Other than at Hungaroring in FIA F3, my natural speed has been shown each weekend.”

While relaxing at home, he’s looking forward to the second half of both racing series.

“There are only three FIA F3 weekends remaining, including a race weekend in the States (Austin’s Circuit of The Americas in October).  There is a push to do better, but not to push myself to the point of too much pressure.  There are really only subtle changes needed by me, my team, and some luck to change.  I am focusing on making my own good luck and putting myself in better situations so good things will happen.
“For now, I am just happy to have a few weeks off at home.”

Crawford’s next race is Round 5 of FIA F3, set for August 26-28 at Spa Francorchamps in Stavelot, Belgium. The season ends Oct. 22-24 at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas, after Round 6 at Zandvoort in the Netherlands on Sept. 2-4.

His next outing in the Euroformula Open will be at Austria’s Red Bull Ring on Sept. 10-12, followed by Monza, Italy on Sept. 24-26.

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