From Karts to Cars: Rookie Spec Miata Driver Continues Winning Ways in Cars

Kart racers at Kart Circuit Autobahn have seen Connor Willis winning at the track for years. After completing the Lucas Oil Racing School last winter and competing for the Lucas Oil Scholarship Shootout, it was only a matter of time before Connor would find himself in a race car for the first time as part of the Autobahn Member Racing Championships. 

This off-season, with guidance from Autobahn staff and race shops, Connor and his family were able to find a worthy Spec Miata race car to compete with for 2022. Connor has been committed to humbly “learning the craft” in order to ensure his transition from karts to cars would be as smooth as possible. With very impressive maturity, Connor met with Britt Casey Jr. for career and racing advice while asking intuitive questions to further his own understanding of driving race cars. Further, he modified his at-home iRacing simulator to better replicate his new race car’s pedals.  

This Sunday was Connor’s first race in a car. Using the first two weeks of the Autobahn season to perfect the fundamentals such as heel-toe downshifting, apex points, brake markers, and corner gear selection, it was clear that Connor has been trying to shorten his learning curve as much as possible before Race 1 of the season.  

The result of his off-season preparation? Connor Willis qualified on pole in SM2 by a strong margin with a lap time of 1:39.624. Connor went on to lead every lap of the race and take his maiden win on debut! 

Congratulations to Connor Willis and the entire Willis Family on a Job Well Done!