VRD brings 14-year-old Nikita Johnson to USF2000 full-time by 2023

Photo: YA Academy WS

Velocity Racing Development will feature USF Juniors race winner Nikita Johnson on their USF2000 squad next year.

A long-time VRD junior, Johnson has amassed considerable single-seater experience despite being just 14 years old, below the minimum age set by most countries for single-seater racing, and has already competed at USF2000. with the team.

He started testing in Formula 4 for the first time in October 2019, when he was only 11 years old, and tested several times in December of that year. In January 2020, he signed to do F4 with VRD and, at just 11 years old, raced in the YACademy Winter Series in F4 spec.

Johnson finished sixth in qualifying with a best finish of fifth in six races, then continued with F4 testing while also racing and winning in Legends cars. The testing program increased in late 2020 when Johnson also began driving a USF2000 car and was able to return to open-wheel racing in February 2021 for the second race of the YACademy series.

This time, Johnson came fourth in the points, claiming his first win and three other podium finishes. In the process, he became the youngest F4 race winner in history, aged 12, although it is not recognized because it was a non-FIA certified competition.

The youngster spent the rest of 2021 continuing to successfully race Legends cars and also doing USF2000 testing with VRD, as his age prohibited him from racing further in F4 until the start of 2022 and the return of YACademy WS. Now 13 years old, Johnson won the title with victory in three of the six races.

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He didn’t have to wait until he was 14 to enter another F4 series, and made the first two rounds of Road to Indy’s new bottom rung USF Juniors while still 13 (with the season-opener entry fee waived). as a prize for being YACademy Champion). After his birthday in May, he debuted at USF2000 and in three rounds he achieved a second place and a fastest lap. During the remainder of his USF Juniors campaign, he won three races and placed third in the points.

Johnson also traveled to Europe this August for GB3 testing with Arden in Wales and testing a second-generation F4 car with PHM Racing at the Lausitzring.

“I’m excited to continue my single-seater career with Dan Mitchell and all the guys at VRD Racing,” said Johnson. “They have become like family to me and really helped me get up to speed with their driver development program. I can’t wait to compete a full season in USF2000 with them and see if I can help them add to their impressive resume of results.”

VRD boss Mitchell added: “For us, 2023 started many years ago, so I’m anticipating big things from it as the calendar changes.”

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