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Crucial Weekend at Mid-Ohio Beckons for Mazda Road to Indy Racers

Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000 All Set for Action on Iconic Road Course
PALMETTO, Fla. (July 25, 2017) – All three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires – the world’s most effective open-wheel development ladder – will be in action this weekend at the scenic Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course situated near Lexington, Ohio. Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda are all nearing the climax of their seasons, with Mazda Scholarships up for grabs in all series to assist each of the champions in their quest to progress closer to their goal of a career in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
For the Indy Lights and USF2000 drivers, this weekend will mark the third different genre of race track they have encountered within the past month – competing firstly on the high-banked Iowa Speedway oval, then the sinuous, concrete wall-lined temporary road course within easy reach of bustling downtown Toronto, and now on the more forgiving but no less challenging 2.258-mile, 13-turn permanent road circuit in rural Ohio. Both series will host a pair of races, while the Pro Mazda campaigners – in action for the first time since Road America last month – will enjoy a triple-header event, all in support of the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Kaiser Poised for Glory in Indy Lights
A dominant weekend for Kyle Kaiser two weeks ago in Toronto has taken the 21-year-old racer from Santa Clara, Calif., to the brink of his dream – an opportunity to win the Mazda Scholarship valued at $1 million which will guarantee the Indy Lights champion entry into at least three Verizon IndyCar Series events in 2018, including the 102nd Indianapolis 500. Kaiser’s pair of victories for Juncos Racing, added to his earlier triumph at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, have catapulted him to a commanding 51-point lead over rookie rival Matheus Leist with just four races remaining, and he could potentially lock up the championship this weekend.
“Coming into Mid Ohio this weekend with a big point lead is definitely unfamiliar territory in my experience, but I’m still treating it like any other race weekend,” says Kaiser. “We’ve had the lead since halfway through May and I haven’t changed my approach for any other races so I don’t feel the need to change anything now. Juncos Racing has done an incredible job making sure that we continue to focus solely on our own program every race weekend while simultaneously being aggressive on the race track and competing for race wins.”
Kaiser will have no shortage of challengers. Prime among them will be teenage rookies Leist, from Novo Hamburgo, Brazil, and Colton Herta, from Valencia, Calif.
Leist, 18, has made quite an impression by winning three times in his first season of racing in North America, although his capabilities were already well known by the Carlin team with which he won last year’s BRDC British Formula 3 Championship. Herta, meanwhile, who at age 17 became the youngest winner in Indy Lights history when he made the first of his two visits to the top step of the podium at St. Petersburg in March for Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing, has underlined his prowess by accumulating three pole positions and one fastest race lap from his four most recent races. Incidentally, Herta’s father, Bryan, counts Mid-Ohio among his most memorable venues after clinching the 1993 Indy Lights Championship in style with a home victory for the Dublin, Ohio-based Tasman Motorsports Group.
Other drivers among a high-quality field include Leist’s Carlin teammate Zachary Claman DeMelo, from Montreal, Que., Canada, who has one win and two additional podium visits in his four most recent starts; last year’s Pro Mazda champion Aaron Telitz (Belardi Auto Racing), who finished a strong second at Toronto; teammate Santi Urrutia, from Miguelete, Uruguay, who won at Mid-Ohio on his way to claiming the Pro Mazda Championship in 2015 and followed up with a sweep of both Indy Lights races last year from the pole; and Frenchman Nico Jamin (Andretti Autosport), who notched a hat-trick of wins at Mid-Ohio on his way to the USF2000 title in 2015, then won both Pro Mazda races in 2016.
Eyes will also be on Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Norman, who will debut a new paint scheme in partnership with rock band Journey for his home race. Born in Cleveland and currently residing in Aurora, Norman has made several significant stops at Mid-Ohio. Moving from AMA and freestyle motocross to cars in 2014, Norman won the SCCA National Championship Runoffs in the Formula Atlantic class at Mid-Ohio in 2016. He went on to capture the Atlantic Championship Series title, earning 10 wins in 16 races including a victory and a third-place finish at Mid-Ohio.
The Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Powered by Mazda will start with a 45-minute practice session on Friday, July 28, followed by half-hour qualifying periods later that day at 1:30 p.m. EDT and another at 9:10 a.m. the following morning which will set the grids for the pair of races – one at 3:35 p.m. on Saturday and the other at 1:20 p.m. on Sunday, immediately prior to the Verizon IndyCar Series headline event.
Sunday’s race will feature same-day coverage on NBCSN at 11:30 pm EDT.
Franzoni, Martin Continue their Tussle for Pro Mazda Honors
The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, which is in the midst of a transition prior to the introduction of a brand-new, Mazda-powered Tatuus PM-18 engine-chassis combination for 2018, is only at the halfway stage. Six races are yet to be run, including a triple-header this weekend at Mid-Ohio. The chase for a Mazda Scholarship worth nearly $800,000 to assist the champion in the progression to Indy Lights, the top step of the Mazda Road to Indy, in 2018 is finely poised with Brazilian Victor Franzoni (Juncos Racing) and Australian Anthony Martin (Cape Motorsports) separated by just seven points.
Martin, who swept all three races at Mid-Ohio last year en route to winning the USF2000 championship and a Mazda Scholarship to progress into Pro Mazda, began his campaign by winning twice on the streets of St. Petersburg, but then at the Indianapolis Grand Prix had to play second fiddle to Franzoni who won both races handily. Franzoni was poised to do likewise last month at Road America, only to be caught out in qualifying for the second race, which meant he had to start from the back.
The 21-year-old from Sao Paulo, Brazil, charged all the way through to second place but was unable to find a way past Martin, and had to settle for the runner-up placing.
Their respective teams have both enjoyed success at Mid-Ohio in recent years, with Garett Grist claiming pole for both races with Juncos Racing in 2015 and Nico Jamin sweeping last year’s double-header for Cape Motorsports.
“It is going to be extremely difficult to finish ahead of Victor but I think going into Mid-Ohio I have a lot of confidence going off my results from last year in USF2000,” says Martin, 22, from Perth, Australia, as he seeks to emulate Matthew Brabham, who claimed successive USF2000 and Pro Mazda championship crowns in 2012 and 2013. “The Cape Motorsports boys obviously had some success last year in the Soul Red Pro Mazda, so I’m hoping to duplicate that result. My biggest goal is to close the gap or pass Victor for the championship hunt as this is really the ‘make or break’ weekend for us both. It will be tough and I am expecting some exciting racing once again from both of us.”
Californian TJ Fischer lies third in the title-chase and will be looking to rebound from a very promising but ultimately fruitless weekend at Road America where he led for the first time for Team Pelfrey and posted the fastest lap of the race before being ousted by a mechanical problem. Team Pelfrey, which has guided current Indy Lights drivers Santi Urrutia and Aaron Telitz to successive Pro Mazda championships in 2015 and 2016, also will field cars for Brazilian Carlos Cunha and Los Angeles-based Russian Nikita Lastochkin, who, for the first time, secured a pair of podium finishes at Road America.
The battle for the National Class is even closer than for the overall honors, with Kevin Davis, Charles Finelli and Brendan Puderbach separated by just one point. Davis, however, will be unable to make the trip to Mid-Ohio, leaving the FatBoy Racing! teammates to chase the honors, although veteran Bob Kaminsky will be looking to insert himself in the frame. Kaminsky, from Homer Glen, Ill., missed the opening two races of the season in his self-run car but has won two of the four races he has contested since then and lies only 11 points adrift of Finelli and Puderbach.
Competitors in the Cooper Tires Pro Mazda Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Presented by Allied Building Products start their week with a pair of 40-minute test sessions on Thursday, July 27, followed by 30 minutes of official practice later in the afternoon. Qualifying for the first of three races will take place at 9:25 a.m. EDT on Friday, followed by Race One at 3:35 p.m. The grid for the final two races will be set during a separate qualifying session at 8:35 a.m. on Saturday with the green flag for Race Two set for 1:05 p.m. The grid for Race Three, at 10:20 a.m. on Sunday, July 30, will be set according to the second fastest lap posted by each driver in the second period of qualifying.
USF2000 Battle Intensifies Heading into the Final Three Races
A little more than two months ago, rookie Oliver Askew, from Jupiter, Fla., seemed to be cruising toward the USF2000 championship following a sequence of five consecutive victories for the Cape Motorsports team, which has won no fewer than 10 titles since the turn of the century, including six in a row. But his once emphatic 60-point advantage over fellow rookie Rinus VeeKay, from Hoofdorp, The Netherlands, has been trimmed to just 18 with three races remaining, including two this weekend at Mid-Ohio. A total of 99 points – and a coveted Mazda Scholarship to aid in the progression to Pro Mazda for 2018 – are still up for grabs.
The turnaround has occurred partly due to some misfortune for the 20-year-old, including a suspension failure at Road America and then being caught up in someone else’s accident last time out in Toronto, and partly to an impressive streak from VeeKay, who has finished on the podium in the six most recent races, including two wins at his Pabst Racing team’s home track, Road America.
“Yes, the points are close now, but as long as we keep doing what we have been doing all season and can stay clean, I have nothing to worry about,” asserts Askew, who is seeking a second straight Mazda Scholarship after winning the inaugural Mazda Road to Indy $200k USF2000 Shootout last fall. “Cape Motorsports has dominated at Mid-Ohio over the past couple of years so I know I’ll have another quick car underneath me. No matter what happens, I have thoroughly enjoyed the season thus far and I’ll keep fighting until it’s over. I stay extremely grateful for the opportunity Mazda Motorsports has set before me; every day in the position I am in now is a good day.”
“I’m really looking forward to Mid-Ohio,” says VeeKay, who in common with Askew had a strong pedigree in karting before making the move into cars – and specifically USF2000 – for the first time in 2017. “I’m feeling good to have closed the gap to Oliver the last pair of races but I want more. I know it’s going to be hard to beat the Capes and Oliver, but the Pabst Racing team and myself are going to give everything we have in the last events of this USF2000 season.”
The two main title protagonists have a healthy points lead over third-placed Parker Thompson, although it was the USF2000 veteran from Red Deer, Alb., Canada who took advantage of his prior experience and showed both of them the way home in Toronto by claiming the first two wins for new-for-2017 USF2000 team Exclusive Autosport. Thompson currently lies third in the championship.
Other likely front-runners will include VeeKay’s teammates, Calvin Ming, from Guyana, and Brazilian Lucas Kohl, both of whom also have prior experience at Mid-Ohio; the Team Pelfrey pair of Robert Megennis, from New York, N.Y., and Kaylen Frederick, from Potomac, Md.; and relative newcomer David Malukas, from Chicago Ridge, Ill., who has displayed prodigious pace with his BN Racing team’s Tatuus USF-17 during a partial rookie campaign. Malukas, in his first full season of car racing, also has been contesting the ADAC Formula 4 Championship in Europe.
Three more contenders will join the field this weekend in the form of Phillippe Denes, from Carmel, Calif., who will return to Team Pelfrey after making a strong USF2000 debut last year at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca before contesting four Pro Mazda races earlier this season; 17-year-old Mexican Andres Gutierrez (DEForce Racing), who was leading the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda sports car series before switching his focus back to open-wheel cars; and F4 regular Jacob Abel, from Louisville, Ky., who will make his debut in a second Newman Wachs Racing Tatuus, alongside Darren Keane, from Parkland, Fla., who finished fourth in the most recent race at Toronto.
Pabst Racing currently leads the Team Championship by 61 points over Cape Motorsports and could potentially clinch the title with a strong run this weekend.
The Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Presented by Allied Building Products will commence on Thursday, July 27, with a pair of 40-minute test sessions followed by 30 minutes of official practice. The field then will contest a pair of 30-minute races, one at 12:30 p.m. EDT on Friday and the second at 12:10 p.m. on Saturday. The starting grids will be set by a dedicated 20-minute qualifying session earlier each day.
Coverage of the Mazda Road to Indy can be found on a series of platforms including Road to Indy TV, the Road to Indy TV App and dedicated broadcast channels on demand via Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku and, most recently, the Xbox One Official App as well as live streaming and live timing on the series’ respective websites and indycar.com. Indy Lights is also featured on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts on Sirius 214, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app.

Entire Mazda Road to Indy Ladder in Action at Road America

Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000 Set for Double-Header Rounds in Wisconsin
PALMETTO, Fla. (June 20, 2017) – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, which collectively comprise the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires open-wheel development ladder, will all feature a pair of races this weekend at one of the country’s most scenic and challenging race tracks, Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wis., as part of the Kohler Grand Prix.
Each of the three championships are reaching their halfway stage, with Mazda Scholarship prizes and other awards totaling more than $3.6 million ultimately at stake to assist the respective champions move on to the next step on the ladder with the ultimate goal of competing in the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500.
Consistency has been the Key for Kaiser in Indy Lights
Five different drivers have earned victories from the seven Indy Lights races held so far this season. Kyle Kaiser, 21, from Santa Clara, currently leads the points chase by a 14-point margin over Frenchman Nico Jamin. Kaiser, who is in his third year of Indy Lights and will be making his 75th Mazda Road to Indy start on Sunday, has been a consistent front-runner for Juncos Racing, although his streak of top-five grid positions and top-six finishes, including four straight podium results, was broken with a run to ninth in the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Both Jamin (Andretti Autosport) and Colton Herta (Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing), who lie second and third in the standings with two race wins apiece, also will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing race at Indianapolis. Jamin, who won the 2015 USF2000 championship, finished second in one of the Pro Mazda races last year on his debut at Road America, while Herta, the youngest driver in the field at just 17, will be competing on the historic, 4.048-mile road course for the first time.
Many eyes will be focused upon Wisconsin native Aaron Telitz, who swept both Pro Mazda races last year at Road America en route to the championship title and the right to carry the distinctive Soul Red colors on his Belardi Auto Racing Dallara-Mazda IL-15.
Uruguayan teammate Santi Urrutia, the 2015 Pro Mazda champion, also will have high expectations after winning one of the two races at Road America last year.
Other contenders include Matheus Leist, a rookie from Brazil who won last year’s BRDC British Formula 3 Champion and claimed a breakthrough victory in the most recent race at Indianapolis, and his Carlin teammates Neil Alberico, who has been a regular front-runner this year, and Canadian Zachary Claman DeMelo, who enjoyed a strong weekend at Road America in 2016 with a pair of top-five finishes and a fastest race lap.
Ones to watch also include three drivers who landed top-five finishes at Road America last year – Shelby Blackstock (Andretti Autosport), Garth Rickards (Carlin) in USF2000 and Nicolas Dapero (Juncos Racing) in Pro Mazda as well as Team Pelfrey’s Juan Piedrahita, who will celebrate his 50th Indy Lights start in Saturday’s race.
Of note, Jamin, Leist, DeMelo and Dalton Kellett (Andretti Autosport) each tested an Indy car at Road America last Wednesday.
The Mazda Indy Lights Grand Prix of Road America Presented by Allied Building Products will begin on Friday, June 23 with a 45-minute practice session at 9:00 a.m. CDT, followed by a 30-minute qualifying period at 2:30 p.m. Race One will start at 12:00 pm on Saturday. A second qualifying session earlier in the day, at 7:50 a.m., will set the grid for Race Two at 8:45 a.m. on Sunday, June 25, with same-day television coverage on NBCSN at 11:30 am EDT.
Franzoni, Martin to Continue Pro Mazda Battle 
The largest contingent of Pro Mazda cars since 2015 will assemble for Rounds Five and Six of the 12-race season. Brazilian Victor Franzoni (Juncos Racing) and Australian Anthony Martin (Cape Motorsports) are separated by just six points in their quest for the champion’s Mazda Scholarship worth over $790,000 to ensure graduation to Indy Lights, the next step on the Mazda Road to Indy, in 2018.
Martin, who swept last year’s pair of USF2000 races at Road America en route to the championship title, hit the ground running by winning both of the opening Pro Mazda rounds at St. Petersburg, Fla., only for fellow ex-USF2000 front-runner Franzoni to respond by dominating both of the next two races on the Indianapolis Grand Prix course.
Californian TJ Fischer has finished on the podium in each of the first four events for Team Pelfrey, including a career-high second in the most recent race, where he was joined on the podium by Brazilian rookie teammate Carlos Cunha. Los Angeles-based Russian Nikita Lastochkin will drive a third Team Pelfrey car in search of his first podium result following a string of top-fives.
Opposition will stem from a trio of World Speed Motorsports entries for teenagers Phillippe Denes, from Carmel, Calif., and Sting Ray Robb, from Payette, Idaho, plus veteran Bobby Eberle, from Houston, Texas, as well as Milwaukee native Max Hanratty, who will return to the series with local Sheboygan Falls team ArmsUp Motorsports.
Kris Wright, from Pittsburgh, Pa., will step up from USF2000 for the first time with Minnesota-based JDC MotorSports, while a strong National Class contingent, led by regular local racers Kevin Davis, from Alvin, Ill., and Bob Kaminsky, from Homer Glen, Ill., will be joined for the first time by the Unfair Advantage Motorsports pair of Dave Zavelson and Kevin Bury, both from Austin, Texas.
After a lone practice session at 1:55 p.m. CDT on Thursday, June 22, the grids for the two races which will make up the Pro Mazda Grand Prix of Road America Presented by Allied Building Products will be set during a pair of 20-minute qualifying sessions at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday and 8:25 a.m. on Friday. Race One is set for later that same day at 1:35 p.m., and the green flag for Race Two will fly at 2:05 p.m. on Saturday.
Of note, Franzoni and Eberle will both celebrate their 50th Mazda Road to Indy starts on Friday.
Who Can Challenge Askew in USF2000?
USF2000 has been revitalized this season with the introduction of the exciting new carbon fiber monocoque Tatuus USF-17 chassis. Drivers representing 10 different teams and at least eight nations are expected this weekend, and all of them determined to end the dominance of Cape Motorsports’ Oliver Askew, from Jupiter, Fla., who, despite this being his first full season of car racing following a stellar career in karting, has won the past five races in succession to open up a commanding championship lead.
The list of potential challengers is long. Cape teammate Ricky Donison, from Bangalore, India, and Calvin Ming, from Guyana, South America, who drives for Pabst Racing, based nearby in Oconomowoc, Wis., became the first drivers from their respective nations ever to stand on the podium for a Mazda Road to Indy race during the most recent race weekend in Indianapolis last month. Young Dutchman Rinus VeeKay, also aboard a Pabst Racing Tatuus, has finished on the podium four times, while Team Pelfrey teenagers Robert Megennis, from New York., N.Y., who won the opening race of the season in St. Petersburg, Fla., and Kaylen Frederick, from Potomac, Md., also have been regular contenders.
Series veteran Parker Thompson, from Red Deer, Alb., Canada, who finished second in the 2016 title-chase and has twice finished on the podium this season, will lead the charge for the new Canadian-based team, Exclusive Autosport, while Kory Enders, from Warwick, N.Y., and Mexican Moises de la Vara have displayed promising form for another new team, DEForce Racing.
More local flavor will be provided by ArmsUp Motorsports, from nearby Sheboygan Falls, which will field a pair of cars for upstate New Yorker Devin Wojcik and young Brazilian Bruna Tomaselli, plus Illinois teenagers Colin Kaminsky (John Cummiskey Racing) and David Malukas (BN Racing). In addition, Florida’s Darren Keane will join Mundelein, Ill.-based Newman Wachs Racing for the first time.
The Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix of Road America Presented by Mazda weekend will commence with 30 minutes of practice on Thursday, June 22. After qualifying at 8:00 a.m. CDT on Friday, Race One will take the green flag later that same morning at 11:45 a.m. Qualifying for Race Two will follow at 4:35 p.m., with the green flag set for 1:10 p.m. on Saturday, June 24.
Coverage of the Mazda Road to Indy can be found on a series of platforms including Road to Indy TV, the Road to Indy TV App and dedicated broadcast channels on demand via Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku and, most recently, the Xbox One Official App as well as live streaming and live timing on the series’ respective websites and indycar.com. In addition to NBCSN, additional Indy Lights coverage is also featured on ESPN International and the Advance Auto Parts IndyCar Radio Network. The new Mazda Road to Indy game for mobile devices is available at the Apple App Store and Google Play.

New Mazda Road to Indy Season Kicks Off with Florida Spring Training

Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000 Teams Set for Four Days of Running at Homestead

PALMETTO, Fla. (February 24, 2017) – Teams and drivers from all three levels of the acclaimed Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires will converge next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway in South Florida for an official Spring Training test. The four-day outing will comprise over six hours of testing for Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires competitors on the 1.5-mile oval on Monday, February 27, followed by two days of running on the 2.21-mile road course for the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, then one final day on the road course for Indy Lights on Thursday, March 2.

The Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires offers scholarships at every level for talented drivers to make their way from the grassroots of the sport to the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500. A total of 23 of the 33 drivers who qualified for last year’s historic 100th Indianapolis 500 were graduates of one or more of the three open-wheel development series. More than $3.5 million in scholarships and awards are up for grabs during the 2017 season which will commence – in conjunction with the Verizon IndyCar Series – on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., on March 10-12.

2016 Title Contenders Urrutia, Kaiser Head Indy Lights Contingent

An intriguing mix of veterans and rookies are among a high-quality Indy Lights field, headed by Santi Urrutia, from Uruguay, and Kyle Kaiser, from Santa Clara, Calif., who finished second and third in the 2016 title-chase.

Urrutia, 20, sprung to prominence in 2015 when he claimed the Pro Mazda championship as a rookie, then, carrying the distinctive Soul Red Mazda colors last year, put himself in contention to emulate Pigot’s feat of claiming back-to-back Mazda Scholarships. Urrutia fell agonizingly short, by just two points, but now returns with a vengeance after joining Belardi Auto Racing which won more races (six) in 2016 than any other team.

Fellow veteran Shelby Blackstock, from Nashville, Tenn., will join Urrutia at the Indianapolis-based squad.

Kaiser, who will celebrate his 21st birthday on March 5, also has his sights set firmly on the championship – and a prize valued at $1 million which will guarantee a minimum of three Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2018, including the Indy 500. Kaiser won twice last year for Juncos Racing. Rookie teammate Nicolas Dapero, from Argentina, doesn’t have much experience but did claim a maiden Pro Mazda win at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last fall to round out an impressive debut campaign.

The Carlin team, which last year added to its remarkable sequence of open-wheel feeder series championships in Europe by claiming a maiden Indy Lights crown with Ed Jones, will field a quartet of 450 hp Dallara-Mazda IL-15s for Californian Neil Alberico; relatively inexperienced Canadian Zachary Claman De Melo, who posted two fastest race laps during a promising debut Indy Lights campaign; Brazilian rookie Matheus Leist, from Brazil, who won the 2016 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship; and Pennsylvanian Garth Rickards, who steps up after two years in USF2000.

Andretti Autosport also will oversee four young chargers. Canadian Dalton Kellett, who finished on the podium last year in the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, is the only one with prior Indy Lights experience but his three rookie teammates are all proven winners. Frenchman Nico Jamin was a dominant USF2000 champion in 2015, while Ryan Norman, from Cleveland, Ohio, romped to last year’s Atlantic Championship and Colton Herta, 16, whose father Bryan claimed the Indy Lights crown in 1993, won races last year in the EuroFormula Open series. Herta’s car will be run under the banner of Andretti Steinbrenner Racing following a new link between Michael Andretti and George Michael Steinbrenner IV, grandson of long-time New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

Wisconsin rookie Aaron Telitz, who steps up to Indy Lights after following Urrutia’s lead by winning the Pro Mazda title in 2016, will fly the Soul Red Mazda colors with a team announcement expected shortly. Likable Colombian Juan Piedrahita will round out the field with Florida-based Team Pelfrey.

No. Driver Hometown Residence Team Entry
2 Juan Piedrahita Bogota, Colombia Indianapolis, IN Team Pelfrey Petrosur
5 Santi Urrutia Montevideo, Uruguay Miguelete, Uruguay Belardi Auto Racing Belardi Auto Racing
9 Aaron Telitz (R) Rice Lake, WI Birchwood, WI TBA Mazda/Rice Lake Weighing Systems
11 Garth Rickards (R) Mechanicsburg, PA Mechanicsburg, PA Carlin Luther Automotive
13 Zachary Claman De Melo Montreal, Canada Montreal, Canada Carlin ZCD Montreal/Zoo Logical Wildlife Foundation
18 Kyle Kaiser Santa Clara, CA Santa Clara, CA Juncos Racing TBA
22 Neil Alberico Los Gatos, CA San Clemente, CA Carlin Rising Star Racing
26 Matheus Leist (R) Novo Hamburgo, Brazil TBC Carlin TMA
27 Nico Jamin (R) Rouen, France Indianapolis, IN Andretti Autosport Andretti Autosport Mazda
28 Dalton Kellett Toronto, Canada Indianapolis, IN Andretti Autosport K-Line Insulators USA, Inc.
31 Nicolas Dapero (R) Buenos Aires, Argentina Hollywood, FL Juncos Racing American Brokers
48 Ryan Norman (R) Cleveland, OH Aurora, OH Andretti Autosport Flip Side Mazda/Aggressive Sound
51 Shelby Blackstock Nashville, TN Cornelius, NC Belardi Auto Racing Starstruck
98 Colton Herta (R) Valencia, CA Valencia, CA Andretti Steinbrenner Racing Mockett & Company/The Stellrecht Company

Aussie Martin Seeks Back-to-Back MRTI Crowns

Pro Mazda is in the midst of a transition with a brand-new car, the Tatuus PM-18, to be introduced next year to the middle step on the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires development ladder. Fields are expected to remain fairly slim, although a great deal is at stake with the champion’s Mazda Scholarship increased in size to $790,300 to assist in the graduation to Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires in 2018, and additional entries are expected for the season-opener.

One of the hot favorites for honors will be reigning USF2000 champion Anthony Martin, 22, from Perth, Australia, who is stepping up and will carry the traditional Mazda Scholarship Soul Red color scheme.

“Winning the USF2000 championship meant everything, not only for me but my family, sponsors and friends that have been with me from the start,” said Martin. “Knowing that I would be racing in Pro Mazda this year was such a relief and I am really looking forward to this transition in my career.”

Martin now seeks to follow in the footsteps of Matthew Brabham, who claimed back-to-back Mazda Scholarships in USF2000 and Pro Mazda in 2012 and 2013.

“The Mazda Road to Indy is like no other development program,” Martin continued. “It was the sole reason I moved halfway around the world from Australia and it continues to be. To me, the Mazda Road to Indy is one big family – something that motorsport misses everywhere else. What the Mazda Road to Indy family has done with all of the sponsors is incredible and it gives motivation for drivers to come from all around the world and compete against the best.”

Among Martin’s rivals will be Californian TJ Fischer, who contested a partial campaign with Team Pelfrey in 2016 and will return for a concerted attack on the championship with the organization that has won the past two Pro Mazda crowns with Santi Urrutia and Aaron Telitz. Los Angeles-based Russian and USF2000 veteran Nikita Lastochkin also will step up with Team Pelfrey alongside teenaged Brazilian F3 racer Carlos Cunha.

World Speed Motorsports also will be back with a two-car team for veteran Bobby Eberle and up-and-comer Sting Ray Robb. Eberle, 48, from Houston, Texas, is a four-time National Class champion who fully intends to challenge for overall honors this year – and is aimed at becoming the oldest rookie to compete in the Indianapolis 500 – while Robb, from Boise, Idaho, has packed a great deal of racing (and winning) experience into his 15 years after competing in karts, Corvettes, paved and dirt Modified cars, NASCAR stock cars and a partial campaign in the West Coast-based Formula Car Challenge in 2016.

No. Driver Hometown Residence Team Sponsors
8 Anthony Martin (R) Kalgoorlie, Australia Perth, Australia TBA Burgess BLA
13 Bobby Eberle Chicago, IL Houston, TX World Speed Motorsports TITLE Boxing Club/GOPUSA.com
14 Sting Ray Robb (R) Boise, ID Payette, ID World Speed Motorsports Red Apple Marketplace
80 Nikita Lastochkin (R) Moscow, Russia Los Angeles, CA Team Pelfrey TBA
81 Carlos Cunha (R) Sao Paulo, Brazil Sao Paulo, Brazil Team Pelfrey TBA
82 TJ Fischer Wilsonville, OR Vacaville, CA Team Pelfrey Project O2

Quality USF2000 Field to Debut Exciting New Tatuus USF-17

The new season marks a fresh start for USF2000 with the exciting Tatuus USF-17 chassis replacing the venerable Van Diemen which has provided the backbone of the series since 1999. The USF-17 features a full carbon composite and aluminum honeycomb monocoque which meets the current FIA F4 safety standards and has attracted new teams such as Benik, DEForce Racing, Exclusive Autosport and Newman Wachs Racing to take on the established might of Cape Motorsports, Pabst Racing, ArmsUp Motorsports and Team Pelfrey.

The St. Petersburg-based Cape brothers, Dominic and Nicholas, remain as the benchmark having guided their charges to no fewer than 10 championships since the turn of the century, including the last six in a row. Ricky Donison is the newest young charger seeking to follow in their footsteps. Donison, from Bangalore, India, has raced karts extensively and made a solid car racing debut last fall when he finished on the podium in each of his first three Formula 4 races at the F1 Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

Four USF2000 veterans are among the entries, headed by Canadian Parker Thompson who has joined Exclusive Autosport (front-runners in F1600 competition in Canada for the past several years) after finishing a close second in 2016. He will be joined by U.S.-based Australian Luke Gabin, who notched a quartet of podium appearances en route to fifth in the standings, while last year’s top two USF2000 rookies, Robert Megennis, from New York, N.Y., and Dakota Dickerson, from San Diego, Calif., will represent Team Pelfrey and Newman Wachs respectively.

New York-based Andre Castro, a standout last year in the Skip Barber Racing Championship, and Dutch karting standout Rinus VeeKay will join Dickerson at Newman Wachs, which is making a welcome return to the sport seven years after winning the Atlantic Championship with Floridian Jonathan Summerton.

Kyle Kirkwood, from Jupiter, Fla., who finished third in last year’s F4 championship and shone in England as a Team USA Scholarship winner, seems set to shake down the new Benik team’s USF-17.

Pabst Racing will field at least two cars – for Brazilian Lucas Kohl, who claimed a best finish of sixth during his debut campaign, and Guyanan rookie Calvin Ming, who excelled last year both in F1600 and F4 – while ArmsUp Motorsports, which guided Brazilian Victor Franzoni to third place in the 2016 standings, will run Skip Barber graduate Devin Wojcik, from Syracuse, N.Y., who dipped his toes in the water with a one-off outing with the team last year at Road America. Another returning team, RJB Motorsports, has snapped up teenager Horton Chandler, from Ann Arbor, Mich., to drive its new Tatuus. John Cummiskey Racing also will be present with two cars and drivers yet to be named.

DEForce Racing, a new entity headed by former IndyCar racer David Martinez, has entered two cars for Kory Enders, from Warwick, N.Y., who has been sharpening his skills already this year in the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand, and F4 veteran Moises de la Vara, from Guadalajara, Mexico.

Acknowledged karting star Oliver Askew, 20, from Jupiter, Fla., burst upon the scene last year in England when he won a Team USA Scholarship, then secured the inaugural Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, earning himself a ride in USF2000 this year and the right to carry the prestigious Soul Red colors on a brand-new Tatuus.

No. Driver Hometown Residence Team Sponsors
2 Ricky Donison (R) Northampton, England Northampton, England Cape Motorsports TBA
3 Oliver Askew (R) Melbourne, FL Jupiter, FL TBA Mazda Motorsports/MC Racing
7 Devin Wojcik (R) Syracuse, NY Fayetteville, NY ArmsUp Motorsports TBA
8 Bruna Tomaselli (R)* Caibi, Brazil Caibi, Brazil ArmsUp Motorsports Bruna&Bia
9 TBA ArmsUp Motorsports
11 Kory Enders (R) Warwick, NY Sugarland, TX DEForce Racing MBSugarland/Caliber Collision/McLaren Houston
12 Moises de la Vara (R) Guadalajara, Mexico San Antonio, TX DEForce Racing UAG/Isla Navidad
20 Chandler Horton (R) Ann Arbor, MI Zionsville, IN RJB Motorsports Menards/Metalloid Firearms and Sports
22 Calvin Ming (R) Guyana, South America Miramar, FL Pabst Racing Mings Products and Services(MPS)/APAN
23 Lucas Kohl Santa Cruz do Sul, Brazil Miami, FL Pabst Racing Belko Trading
33 TBA John Cummiskey Racing
34 TBA John Cummiskey Racing
36 Dakota Dickerson San Diego, CA San Diego, CA Newman Wachs Racing Team USA Scholarship/Mazda Motorsports
37 Andre Castro (R) New York, NY New York, NY Newman Wachs Racing TBA
38 Rinus VeeKay (R) Hoofddorp, Netherlands Hoofddorp, Netherlands Newman Wachs Racing Jumbo Supermarkets The Netherlands/Total
80 Robert Megennis New York, NY New York, NY Team Pelfrey Palo Alto Networks
81 Kaylen Frederick (R) Potomac, MD Potomac, MD Team Pelfrey TBA
82 Ayla Agren Baerum, Norway Indianapolis, IN Team Pelfrey Energima
90 Parker Thompson Red Deer, Canada Red Deer, Canada Exclusive Autosport Exclusive Autosport Open Hwy.
91 Luke Gabin Perth, Australia Indianapolis IN Exclusive Autosport Exclusive Autosport AER
92 TBA Exclusive Autosport TBA
TBA Kyle Kirkwood (R) Jupiter, FL Jupiter, FL Benik TBA

Live timing of all sessions will be available on the respective series websites, indylights.com, promazda.com and usf2000.com, as well as on indycar.com and the Road To Indy TV App.

Newcomers Shine at Mazda Road to Indy Chris Griffis Memorial Test

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (October 9, 2016) – The two-day Chris Griffis Memorial Test, held in honor of the former Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian team manager, concluded this afternoon at the Indianapolis Grand Prix circuit with several new names featuring at the top of the timing charts for each of the three open-wheel series which comprise…

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Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires Solidifies 2017 Schedule

Highlights Include Addition of Gateway, Return to Watkins Glen

PALMETTO, Fla. (September 14, 2016) – The unique and highly acclaimed three-step Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires open-wheel driver development program, which offers annual scholarships and awards worth over $3.6M to assist drivers to progress from the grassroots to the pinnacle of the sport in North America, will run alongside the Verizon IndyCar Series on all race weekends in 2017.

A few highlights include the return of Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires competition to Gateway Motorsports Park, in Madison, Ill., just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Mo. (Indy Lights returns to the 1.25-mile oval for the first time since 2003 while the Pro Mazda series will be making its debut); the addition of Iowa Speedway to the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, which most recently hosted the first rung on the ladder in 2010; and a highly anticipated season finale for all three levels at the Watkins Glen International road course in upstate New York.

Indy Lights will be featured on 10 weekends alongside the Verizon IndyCar Series headline event, marking a total of 16 races with doubleheader rounds on the streets of St. Petersburg, at Barber Motorsports Park, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (road course), Road America, on the streets of Toronto and at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Indy Lights will contest single rounds at Iowa Speedway, Gateway and Watkins Glen. The crown jewel in the series’ schedule remains the Freedom 100 on Carb Day of the Indianapolis 500.

Pro Mazda will feature a condensed, six-weekend schedule of 12 races in order to allow teams to dovetail their racing commitments with a concerted summer test and development program with the new Mazda-powered Tatuus PM-18 chassis which will be introduced in 2018. Doubleheader rounds will be contested at St. Petersburg, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Road America and Watkins Glen with a tripleheader at Mid-Ohio and a single event at the Gateway oval.

Pro Mazda incentives for the transitional year until the introduction of the new chassis include an increase in the champion’s Mazda scholarship to advance to Indy Lights from $601,700 to $790,300, bringing the total event and year end prizes to over $1.1M, plus a one-day Indy Lights test for each of the top-three finishers in the championship and a new Pro Mazda Rookie of the Year Mazda Car Award which features a new Mazda street car of choice to the winning driver. Entry fee discounts are also available.

A new National Class prize package, for competitors running in Pro Mazda specification and meeting the older Star Mazda technical requirements by SCCA FA Class competition rules, will be introduced and announced in the coming weeks.

USF2000 will mark the debut of the brand-new Tatuus USF-17 chassis, which sold out its initial inventory of 30 cars, and will comprise a total of eight weekends and 14 races. Doubleheader weekends include St. Petersburg, Barber, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Road America, Toronto and Mid-Ohio. Single rounds will be contested at Iowa and Watkins Glen.

While Pro Mazda and USF2000 will not be competing in the lead up to the 101st Indianapolis 500 and Freedom 100, both series will have a presence around the famed race weekend with the Mazda Road to Indy Summit program featuring a variety of off-track training programs to complement the racecraft education on offer in the series including the now traditional Oval Clinic in advance of the oval events on the calendar.

Testing schedules for each series will be announced in the near future.

“I am very pleased with our 2017 schedules,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “Not only will they assist both teams and drivers with budgets, they allow us to showcase the Mazda Road to Indy ladder alongside IndyCar at premier venues while once again providing our drivers with experience on ovals, road and street courses.

“The Dallara IL-15 revitalized Indy Lights competition and I foresee our field counts growing significantly in 2017. We expect the same with USF2000 and the new car, where I do expect 30+ fields. With the in-between year for Pro Mazda before the PM-18, we’ve added what we feel is an excellent incentive package to attract more teams and drivers to the grid, including a summer testing program with the new chassis. Mazda and Cooper Tires’ commitment to the ladder is as strong as ever, and once again I have to thank them for being such tremendous partners.”

This year, the Mazda Road to Indy became the first American racing series with a dedicated broadcast channel on demand via Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. Road to Indy TV (Pro Racing Group) will be expanding this coverage in 2017 as well as continuing to feature behind-the-scenes content, race recap episodes, special features, live streaming and live shows of on and off-track activities on the Road To Indy TV App.

NBCSN will continue to host one-hour broadcasts of all Indy Lights events with live coverage on the IMS Radio Network to Sirius XM Satellite Radio, indycar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR App from Verizon. ESPN International holds the international broadcast rights with races airing in Canada, Colombia, Mexico and Australia amongst others.

All Indy Lights, Pro Mazda, and USF2000 races will be live streamed with full-length, post-race shows produced by Road to Indy TV available on the series’ respective websites and at indycar.com.

Three Soul Red cars representing the Mazda scholarship winners will be on the grids next year with reigning Pro Mazda champion Aaron Telitz graduating to Indy Lights and USF2000 champion Anthony Martin to Pro Mazda. In addition, the Mazda Road to Indy $200K Shootout in December will determine the Soul Red USF2000 entry as over 20 champions from around the world vie for the prize.

The full schedules:

2017 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires

March 11/12 – Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida*
April 22/23 – Barber Motorsports Park*
May 12/13 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway*
May 26 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
June 24/25 – Road America*
July 8/9 – Iowa Speedway
July 15/16 – Streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada*
July 29/30 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course*
August 26/27 – Gateway Motorsports Park
Sept. 2/3 – Watkins Glen International

*Doubleheader Rounds

2017 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires

March 11/12 – Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida*
May 12/13 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway*
June 24/25 – Road America*
July 29/30 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course**
August 26/27 – Gateway Motorsports Park
Sept. 2/3 – Watkins Glen International*

*Doubleheader Rounds
**Tripleheader Round

2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda

March 11/12 – Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida*
April 22/23 – Barber Motorsports Park*
May 12/13 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway*
June 24/25 – Road America*
July 8/9 – Iowa Speedway
July 15/16 – Streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada*
July 29/30 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course*
Sept. 2/3 – Watkins Glen International

*Doubleheader Rounds

Over $2.3M in Prizes Distributed at Mazda Road to Indy Championship Celebration

Jones, Telitz and Martin the Big Winners During Monday Night’s Monterey Banquet
MONTEREY, Calif. – Champions from all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires open-wheel driver development program were honored last night in the Championship Celebration banquet at the Monterey Plaza Hotel. A total of more than $2.3M in Mazda Scholarships and other awards was distributed.
The major winners included Dubai, United Arab Emirates-based Englishman Ed Jones, 21, who on Sunday clinched the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires crown, along with a scholarship valued at $1M to ensure entry into at least three Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2017, including the 101st Indianapolis 500; Aaron Telitz, 24, from Birchwood, Wis., who secured the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and a scholarship worth over $600,000 to graduate to Indy Lights; and Anthony Martin, 21, from Kalgoorlie, Australia, who won the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, accompanied by a $363,000 bonus to move on to Pro Mazda in 2017.
The banquet attracted almost 300 attendees and was held barely 24 hours after a drama-filled “Championship Sunday” in the Soul Red Finale at nearby Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, where the outcome of all three titles was settled. The closest margin of victory came in Indy Lights, with Jones taking the crown by a scant two points over last year’s Pro Mazda Champion Santiago “Santi” Urrutia, from Miguelete, Uruguay, who came agonizingly close to emulating the accomplishments of California native Spencer Pigot by snaring successive titles in Pro Mazda and Indy Lights.
The evening also included the induction of several new members to the Mazda Road to Indy Hall of Fame, recognizing two of the founding fathers of Indy Lights, U.E. “Pat” Patrick and Roger Bailey, 30 years after they launched what was originally known as the American Racing Series in 1986; former Pro (Star) Mazda champion-turned-team owner and driving coach Chuck West and multiple race winner Peter Dempsey, who in 2013 won the Freedom 100 Indy Lights race by just 0.0026 of a second in what was then the closest-ever finish at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and now serves as Juncos Racing’s team manager/race engineer; and USF2000 stalwart Tonis Kasemets, now the driver coach for Pabst Racing, and Spencer Pigot, twice runner-up in the USF2000 championship, four times a Mazda scholarship winner and now a driver for Ed Carpenter Racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires Award Winners:
Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires
Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Champion ($1 million scholarship) – Ed Jones, Carlin
Second place ($75,000) – Santi Urrutia, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports w/Curb-Agajanian
Third place ($50,000) – Kyle Kaiser, Juncos Racing
Fourth place ($25,000) – Zach Veach, Belardi Auto Racing
Fifth place ($10,000) – Dean Stoneman, Andretti Autosport
Indy Lights Rookie of the Year Award ($15,000) – Santi Urrutia, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports w/Curb-Agajanian
Tilton Hard Charger Award ($1,000) – Zachary Claman De Melo, Juncos Racing
Indy Lights Team Championship ($15,000, plus $5,000 from SSTube) – Carlin
Indy Lights INDYCAR Mechanic of the Year ($1,000) – Tom Edwards, Carlin
Hi-Tide Boat Lifts Kids On Track Spirit Award ($5,000) – Zach Veach, Belardi Auto Racing
Royal Purple “Slickest Pass” Award ($5,000) – Felix Serralles, Carlin
Dallara Bent Pushrod Award ($2,000) – Carlin
Jostens Indy Lights Champion’s Ring – Ed Jones, Carlin
Freedom 100 Champion’s Ring – Dean Stoneman, Andretti Autosport
Mazda Road to Indy Rings (drivers contesting all three levels) – Neil Alberico, Garett Grist, Dalton Kellett
American Racing Winning Driver Team Owner Trophy (set of street wheels) – Trevor Carlin
Cosworth Champion’s Cash Award ($25,000) – Ed Jones, Carlin
Dallara Champion’s Parts Credit ($25,000) – Ed Jones, Carlin
Original artwork by Jim Swintal – Ed Jones, Carlin
Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires 
Pro Mazda Champion ($601,700 scholarship) – Aaron Telitz, Team Pelfrey
Second place ($25,000) – Pato O’Ward, Team Pelfrey
Third place ($12,500) – Nico Jamin, Cape Motorsports w/ Wayne Taylor Racing
Fourth place ($7,500) – Will Owen, Juncos Racing
Fifth place ($5,000) – Nicolas Dapero, Juncos Racing
BBS Rookie of the Year ($7,500) – Aaron Telitz, Team Pelfrey
Pro Mazda National Class Champion – Bobby Eberle, JDC MotorSports
Pro Mazda Team Championship ($7,500) – Team Pelfrey
Pro Mazda INDYCAR Mechanic of the Year ($1,000) – Joe Haynes, Team Pelfrey
Hi-Tide Boat Lifts Kids On Track Spirit Award ($5,000) – Nico Jamin, Cape Motorsports w/ Wayne Taylor Racing
Royal Purple “Slickest Pass” Award ($5,000) – Will Owen, Juncos Racing
Carl Haas Auto Golden Wishbone Award – Team Pelfrey
Quarter Master Hard Charger Award ($1,000) – Will Owen, Juncos Racing
Jostens Pro Mazda Champion’s Ring – Aaron Telitz, Team Pelfrey
PFC Pro Mazda Team Award ($1,000 product certificate) – Team Pelfrey
Original artwork by Jim Swintal – Aaron Telitz, Team Pelfrey
Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda
USF2000 Champion ($363,850 scholarship) – Anthony Martin, Cape Motorsports w/ Wayne Taylor Racing
Second place ($10,000) – Parker Thompson, Cape Motorsports w/ Wayne Taylor Racing
Third place ($5,000) – Victor Franzoni, ArmsUp Motorsports
Fourth place ($3,000) – Jordan Lloyd, Pabst Racing
Fifth place ($2,000) – Luke Gabin, JAY Motorsports
Rookie of the Year ($1,500) – Robert Megennis, Team Pelfrey
USF2000 National Class Champion – Eric Filgueiras, Spencer Racing
USF2000 Team Championship ($4,000) – Cape Motorsports w/ Wayne Taylor Racing
USF2000  INDYCAR Mechanic of the Year ($1,000) – Jake Strack, ArmsUp Motorsports
Hi-Tide Boat Lifts Kids On Track Spirit Award ($5,000) – Victor Franzoni, ArmsUp Motorsports
Royal Purple “Slickest Pass” Award ($5,000) – Parker Thompson, Cape Motorsports w/ Wayne Taylor Racing
Carl Haas Auto Golden Wishbone Award – Cape Motorsports w/ Wayne Taylor Racing
Tilton Hard Charger Award ($1,000 product certificate) – Robert Megennis, Team Pelfrey
Jostens USF2000 Champion’s Ring – Anthony Martin, Cape Motorsports w/ Wayne Taylor Racing
PFC USF2000 Team Award ($1,000 product certificate) – Cape Motorsports w/ Wayne Taylor Racing
Original artwork by Jim Swintal – Anthony Martin, Cape Motorsports w/ Wayne Taylor Racing
Quoteboard:
Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions: “Every year, the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires produces exciting racing and this year we outdid ourselves with all three championships coming down to the final race. The racing was more intense, especially in Indy Lights, than ever before. It was a great season and I can’t thank our partners, Mazda and Cooper Tires, enough for everything they do to help these drivers move forward. We have crowned three deserving champions and I can’t wait to see what the future brings for every one of them.”
John Doonan, Director of Motorsports, Mazda North American Operations: “Mazda is honored to continue with the Mazda Road to Indy. Each year, we see a new crop of talent come through and at the end of the day there can only be one winner in each series, and we saw three terrific drivers crowned this evening. Our intention is to give drivers a clear path, and nothing like this exists anywhere else in the world. We are very proud of that and we hope to continue to see drivers go to the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500 with the Mazda Road to Indy as their path. Just yesterday, someone asked me if Mazda would go to the Indianapolis 500 and I said – we already do.”
Chris Pantani, Director of Marketing, Director of Event Marketing and Motorsports for Cooper Tires: “This season was amazing. We have champions that will have new Soul Red cars to look forward to. We have a new Tatuus USF-17 coming out this year that will be an incredible car in USF2000, and we have high hopes for Pro Mazda going into 2017 as well. Our season is ending today but we start testing the USF-17 in three weeks. There’s a great deal to look forward to on the Mazda Road to Indy.”
Ed Jones, Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Champion: “It’s still sinking in. Yesterday was an amazing achievement by the whole Carlin team. The realization is really just coming through that I’ll be in the Indianapolis 500 next year. I’ll enjoy this during this week but then we’ll start working on getting the deal sorted, trying to get a full ride as well. I can’t thank Mazda and Cooper enough for what they’ve done for drivers like myself, to have the opportunity to be in IndyCar – there’s no other ladder system like this in the world. I can’t wait to get back into an Indy car, to get up to speed properly. We’ve been speaking with teams so hopefully we can sort something out soon. But for now, I’ll enjoy what we’ve accomplished in 2016.”
Aaron Telitz, Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires Champion: “It’s slowly sinking in that I’m going to get to drive an Indy Lights car in 2017. I’m trying to take it slow, celebrating now with friends and family, but then I’ll go home and get to work on next season. It’s incredible, to be down as I was in the championship and to come back and win. It will take me some time to process how I did that or to put it in to words. Mazda and Cooper Tires do so much for the series. If you win, you have a chance to move on. That’s how I started my racing career and that’s how it is going to continue. I’m really excited for the future.”
Anthony Martin, Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda Champion:  “It’s such a big accomplishment and it’s going to take some time to sink in. I just won the USF2000 championship in America, against some very talented drivers, so for me, my family, my friends and all my supporters, I couldn’t be happier.  Facebook and Twitter has just gone through the roof! I just can’t believe it. We’ll take a few days’ rest and then get straight back into it. We’ll do some testing and push hard toward next year in the Pro Mazda car. I’m looking forward to working with Mazda and Cooper Tires and I know it will be a great year.”

Mid-Ohio Set to Host Mazda Road to Indy Open-Wheel Extravaganza

Seven Races on Tap as Title Chases Tighten for Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000 PALMETTO, Fla. – Just five races remain in the quest for a trio of Mazda scholarships and season-ending awards worth more than $2.3 million as competitors in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper…

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Cooper Tires Expands Mazda Road to Indy Role

Series’ Partner Adds Presenting Sponsor Status PALMETTO, Fla. (July 26, 2016) – As the Official Tire of all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda – Cooper Tires plays a…

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Dates Set for Sixth Annual Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test

New Mazda-Powered Tatuus USF-17 to Begin Team Testing PALMETTO, Fla. (July 20, 2016) – All three levels of the acclaimed Mazda Road to Indy – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda – will converge on Indianapolis Motor Speedway…

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Mazda Road to Indy Open-Wheel Rising Stars Head to Toronto Streets

Mazda Road to Indy Open-Wheel Rising Stars Head to Toronto Streets Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000 Series All Set for Double-Header Action PALMETTO, Fla. (July 13, 2016) –The Mazda Road to Indy is set to provide some thrilling action this weekend as all three steps on the open-wheel development ladder – Indy Lights Presented…

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