Home Formula FordFFord Festival Team Canada names its two scholars for FFord Festival and WHT

Team Canada names its two scholars for FFord Festival and WHT

by Ida Wood

Photo: Team Canada Scholarship

The two Team Canada scholars for 2023 have been named, and will be representing their country in the Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy.

Alex Berg and Logan Pacza, both 16, are the two winners and will be contesting the end-of-year FF1600 events with Graham Brunton Racing. It is the second time that the scholarship has partnered with the Scottish single-seater team.

GBR is currently competing in the Formula 4-spec GB4 championship, and has a long history in FF1600 prior to that. Unfortunately its domestic FFord series came to an end last year.

Also failing to run this year was Team Canada’s in-person scholarship shootout, due to “an unexpected turn of events”, so instead the finalists were invited to submit “a gripping package—think persuasive essays, action-packed videos, and adrenaline-fueled race day vlogs” to be assessed by the judging panel of former IndyCar stars James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens, Team Canada founder Brian Graham, IMSA part-timer Kyle Marcelli and racing engineer Ian Willis.

Berg has several years of car racing experience to his name, which began when he won a Mazda Motorsports scholarship to compete in the Spec MX-5 Challenge series. He came second in the West Region points table then seventh overall in the combined national standings after a winner-takes-all event combining the regions..

Last year he was South Region champion and came third in the national standings, as well as making his single-seater debut in United States Formula 4.

The son of Canadian former Formula 1 driver and Mexican Formula 2 champion Allen Berg finished fifth in the standings with four podiums in his rookie season, and currently lies fourth in the 2023 standings having recently taken his first win.

Pacza has spent this year dominating in Ontario’s Toyo Tires F1600 series (with Formula 1600 being the North American equivalent of FF1600 and usually using Honda engines), becoming champion despite missing the last round.

He topped qualifying at all five rounds he contested, and won 12 out of 15 races. He finished second in two others, with only one start in the series not leading to a podium.

The four losing finalists were karters Mario Gil and Laurent Legault, as well as Callum Baxter and Antonio Costantino who finished second and fourth respectively in Toyo Tires F1600. Baxter claimed two wins while competing against Pacza, and in the final round claimed pole and all three wins. Last year Baxter came fifth in the championship.