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Ava Dobson to contest 2024 USF Juniors campaign with Jay Howard Driver Development

“Having confirmation of my 2024 program so early allows me to be 100% focused on the task at hand" - After making her race car debut in 2023, Ava Dobson becomes the first confirmed driver for Jay Howard Driver Development for a 2024 USF Juniors program.


Sabré Cook, Sarah Montgomery, Michele Abbate, Ashley Freiberg, Amber Balcaen, Kelsey Rowlings and Heather Hadley , recipients of the Sponsorship Grants from Shift Up Now Foundation
Photo credits: USF Juniors

Ava Dobson has just made her debut in race cars last June, but in such a short time the 15-year-old has already collected experience in three different racing series, contesting 12 single-seater races as she prepares for her first full-time season in the sport.


Dobson in fact announced her debut last March with top-team Jay Howard Driver Development, but would have to wait until June to make her first Formula 4 US appearance, having not turned 15 yet. Stepping up from karts, Ava completed a testing program with the team that allowed her to make big steps forward in her two rounds in the series, respectively at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course and at New Jersey Motorsports Park.


Significantly improving her lap times session after session, Dobson gained crucial experience and claimed a stand-out 14th place finish and another top 20 that highlighted her improvement in her second race weekend. In August, Dobson completed a successful debut weekend in the USF Juniors championship as Jay Howard Driver Development expanded its operation to the Road to Indy program.


With a new car - the halo-equipped Tatuus JR-23 - Ava was soon up to speed and narrowly missed out on a top 10 at debut at the fast and challenging Road America circuit: with two P12 finishes and a P11 in the final contest of the weekend, she clearly showed potential.

She would return behind the wheel for the USF 2000 season finale at Portland International Raceway, supporting IndyCar's Portland GP. With a personal best of P13, she had a solid weekend, as she prepared for her 2024 programme.


Dobson has now confirmed her plans, which include a return to USF Juniors Presented by Cooper Tires for a full season campaign with Jay Howard Driver Development (JHDD).

“Having confirmation of my 2024 program so early allows me to be 100% focused on the task at hand,” explained Dobson. “I am thankful for the opportunity to continue my motorsports career, but also for the prospect of the future. I know together that JHDD and myself will set realistic goals, and we will work tirelessly to achieve them.”


Ava is the first confirmed driver for the team and will start her 2024 preparation with the USF Pro Championships Fall Combine over the October 21-22 weekend, at the Indianapolis Motors Speedway road course.


“We are excited to have Ava back with our program in 2024,” Jay Howard commented. “Ava has shown leaps and bounds of improvement and really dove into the deep end last month competing in USF2000 in Portland. We accomplished what we needed to in 2023 with gaining knowledge and experience and will try to build on that for 2024.”


“Moving to the 2024 season, Ava will have complete focus on the USF Juniors campaign and will continue to take advantage of our development efforts as she looks to continue her progression and march up the motorsports ladder", the Team Owner continued.

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