New Trier’s Race Car Driver

Junior Bryce Aron excels at the professional level of indy car racing

Most Americans are familiar with NASCAR and Indy auto racing, but mention Formula One and you’ll hear crickets. Only a handful of American drivers have ever competed in Formula One in its long history, which is dominated by European, Asian and South American drivers and car makers. But junior Bryce Aron is hoping to join that rare breed of American race car drivers.

Aron has already been recognized as one of the top 3 drivers in the U.S for the Formula One600s, the second step after kart racing, in a driver’s rise to professional status, by receiving the team USA scholarship.

“This year I became the first driver ever in the history of the scholarship to finish in the top 5 in the Walter Hayes Trophy and Formula Ford Festival,” Said Aron.

The team USA scholarship previously chose racing legends such as Josef Newgarden, Connor Daly, and Spencer Pigot. After a thorough selection process, team USA flew Aron out to the UK to compete in the top 10 biggest races of the year. And Aron did not disappoint.

“The Walter Hayes Trophy went great for me. I could say with great confidence, anyone in the top 20 could have won that race…I finished 3rd on the podium. Out of 105 of the top drivers in the category in the world.

The Walter Hayes Trophy is a Formula Ford race. It is located in the UK. The race has grown into the most prestigious Formula Ford race worldwide.

A junior at New Trier and close friend of Aron, Dodge Adams, admires Bryce’s dedication and confidence.

“He has sacrificed a lot for racing and that is evident. He is clearly passionate about it, and you can tell that he is. Throwing all his eggs in one basket; if this fails, he had no backup plan, this is to say, he will not fail, he believes it, and I wholeheartedly do too.”

With his overwhelming passion and persistence Aron is aiming for the top.

“I hope to be at the top car, Formula One in the next three to six years,” he said. 

But even the best in the world have to start somewhere. Aron started racing karts at the age of 11. His first major obstacle was his parents.

“I started racing at the age of 11. I had to pretty much beg my parents to let me start. My parents weren’t very keen on it. Motorsports isn’t the safest.”  

Aron’s mother was concerned about safety but acknowledged the progress.

“There is a little fear as a parent from a safety aspect, but the sport has done so much, in terms of cars, to make it much safer,” she said.

They bought him a real outdoor racing kart, a smaller kart that is built for racing, when Aron was 11. After struggling to build it and testing it out, Aron would just practice “lap after lap,” he said. And after approval from his father he started racing. He would race those carts for the next four years.

After dominating the competition at age 15, Aron progressed to open wheel cars, race cars with the wheels outside the car’s main body and usually having only one seat. The first car he raced was the Formula One600. Aron was thrilled for his first race in Atlanta, Georgia. Where he qualified for third position on the starting grid and felt good about his chances in the race. However, it did not go how he expected. 

“It started absolutely downpouring”, Aron said, “Pitch black. I remember still to this day how nerve wracking it was. We could barely see anything and then kinda out of nowhere the guy in front of me hit a pole.”

After his hectic debut, Aron went on to race the Formula One600s around the U.S for a full successful year. Aron proved himself as one of the top 3 Drivers in the U.S in the 1600s. That earned him the prestigious scholarship to represent the USA in the Formula One600 circuit in the UK. 

While setting records on the track, Aron juggled both remote learning and keeping up with fans. With the time difference in the U.K, Aron often had to stay up late  to be in school.

“I would start school midday and sometimes wouldn’t finish til 10-11 at night,” Aron said.

“I would be lying if i said it wasn’t very tough and sometimes discouraging.”

After struggling through his school work, Aron had to keep up with fans.

“Part of the scholarship is you have to do many interviews and keep Jackson [Aron’s racing partner] and I’s followers updated”

But for now Aron must wait for the spring season. He trains by building his shoulder and arm muscles so he can have greater control over his turns. Along with keeping fit, Aron practices on his driving simulator at home to stay sharp.

Now, Aron has come back from his British racing season with a difficult decision to make.

“Now I’m moving up to a Formula 3 car. I have to choose between a series in the US or the UK. In a couple weeks I’m doing some test racing in Florida for the American season [Usf2000] and in the UK [Formula 3] for it. Much faster cars now. Heavier with wings. Bigger engines.

As Aron continues to ascend to the pinnacle of race car driving, he is able to take a step back to appreciate it despite the obstacles.

“I love becoming one with this machine. I’m pushing the absolute maximum out of it. It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. You need so much attention to detail, it’s an art in itself. There’s so many things you can do with it. I mean you’re looking at hundredths of seconds. I love it. And to be going up against the best is great. I mean a tenth of a second determines three or four positions. I love that,”