Juan Piedrahita was the first driver to venture out onto the damp and foggy 2.3 mile 17-turn road-course.  The day featured on and off showers (including a red flag inducing downpour around noon) and a wet track for the majority of the day.

Ten different drivers representing five different teams used the day long session to work on their wet set-ups.   The hardy group turned 400 laps, which is a lot for a wet session, but not surprising since nobody has a wet baseline set-up for the brand new Mazda powered Dallara IL-15.

Juan Piedrahita, the lone Belardi driver for the day, ran a total of 216.2 miles (the distance of two plus Indy Lights races at Barber Motorsports Park)

Full test results:

Rank Car No Driver Quickest Lap Total Laps
1 11 Ed Jones 1:26.253 47
2 14 Max Chilton 1:27.863 47
3 77 Scott Anderson 1:28.100 26
4 7 RC Enerson 1:28.392 51
5 51 Shelby Blackstock 1:28.635 55
6 5 Juan Piedrahita 1:28.825 94
7 42 Jack Harvey 1:29.114 15
8 12 Spencer Pigot 1:30.060 31
9 71 Ethan Ringel 1:30.575 34
10 18 Kyle Kaiser 1:30.613 45

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Carlin tweeted a picture of Ed Jones No. 11 Mazda/Dallara that featured a new sponsor on the brilliant blue car.  United Rivers, a luxury lifestyle denim brand, features prominently on the side pods.

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Max Chilton, the former F1 pilot for Marussia, and current test and development driver for Carlin’s maiden foray into the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire championship, has a new gig.

Nissan announced yesterday (March 2, 2015) that Chilton would be joining their new GT-R LM NISMO program which will be competing in the LM P1 class of the World Endurance Championship.

Chilton took a break from testing the revolutionary front engine prototype at Sebring International Raceway to attend the Indy Lights test at Barber Motorsports Park.

One would think that would preclude the 24 year-old from participating in the Indy Lights championship, but this tweet from media member Katie Hargitt would lead me to believe otherwise.

We did reach out to Carlin to get some clarification on the situation, but haven’t heard back as of yet.

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Afterburner Autosport driver, and Cooper Tires Winterfest runner-up Victor Franzoni made a lot of passes during the five race event.  He made this action packed video highlighting his eventful Winterfest.

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RaceTo24 is a competition for a coveted 24 Hours of Le Mans race seat with LPM2 competitor Team SARD-MORAND.  While it doesn’t directly involve current Mazda Road To Indy (MRTI) drivers, it does involve a number of MRTI grads:

  • Brandon Newey (USA) – a Cooper Tires USF2000 powered by Mazda and Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire graduate
  • Jonathan Summerton – the 2009 Atlantic Championship runner-up, who also saw action in Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire
  • Esteban Guerrieri (Argentina) – the 2011 and 2012 Indy Lights championship runner-up
  • Stefan Rzadzinski (Canada) – a graduate of USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights
  • Vicky Piria (Italy)- competed in three Pro Mazda races in 2014
  • Conor Daly was also on the original entry list, but tweeted that he would not be participating
  • to concentrate on securing a Verizon IndyCar Series seat.
  • Other notable names are Christopher Haase (2nd in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GTD
  • class in 2014), and Sam Brabham (son of Le Mans winner David Brabham).
  • The 12-week competition begins on March 26th and will be streamed online.  You can see the preview
  • video here: