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Team USA Scholarship Drivers Out of Luck in Walter Hayes Trophy Finals

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SILVERSTONE, England (November 1, 2015) – Lady Luck was not on the side of Team USA Scholarship drivers Dakota Dickerson and Michai Stephens during today’s final stages of the 15th annual Walter Hayes Trophy Formula Ford extravaganza at Silverstone.

Stephens, 23, from Evanston, Ill., lined up fourth for this morning’s first Semi Final, although for the first time during the past two weeks his getaway was less than stellar on the damp inside of the circuit and he lost a couple of positions on the opening lap. He made up one place by the halfway point in the 12-lap race, only to be hit from behind at Copse Corner on Lap 10. The incident forced him off the track and resulted in a painful injury to his left wrist which required a visit to the Medical Center after crossing the line in eighth position. Following an examination by the circuit doctor, Stephens was deemed unable to take up his position on the grid for the Final.

Despiste having a less than optimal day to the Walter Hayes Trophy event at Silverstone, Michai Stephens is still smiling (photo courtesy of Jack Mitchell/JAM Motorsport Photography.)

Despiste having a less than optimal day to the Walter Hayes Trophy event at Silverstone, Michai Stephens is still smiling (photo courtesy of Jack Mitchell/JAM Motorsport Photography.)

“From great highs to unfortunate lows,” Stephens concluded. “Having had a fantastic first day, I looked to make significant headway in the Semi and Grand Final. Unfortunately, car-to-car contact led to a battered left hand and exclusion from the Final. This entire weekend brought another handful of great experiences and memories, and today taught me a valuable lesson on controlled aggression and patience. Ultimately, my second year with Cliff Dempsey Racing and the Team USA Scholarship proved to be another priceless and revitalizing experience. Big thanks to all who helped make this happen.”

The second Semi Final saw Dickerson, 18, from San Diego, Calif., line up 10th in his sister Team USA Scholarship Ray GR15. He climbed as high as sixth during another incident-packed race before taking the checkered in seventh, despite damage to his car’s lefthand sidepod and exhaust system which required extensive “surgery” by his Cliff Dempsey Racing team prior to the 15-lap Grand Final.

Unfortunately, following Stephens’ withdrawal, Dickerson was Team USA’s only representative, lining up 13th on the 36-strong grid, and it was immediately apparent his car was not in the best of health: “It was pulling to one side on the straights and understeering in all the right-hand corners,” he reported.

Dakota Dickerson battles for position in the 15th annual Walter Hayes Trophy event at Silverstone.  (photo courtesy of Team USA Scholarship)

Dakota Dickerson battles for position in the 15th annual Walter Hayes Trophy event at Silverstone. (photo courtesy of Team USA Scholarship)

Dickerson nevertheless remained on the tail of an 18-car train of cars until a series of incidents at Brooklands and Luffield resulted in the red flags being displayed after seven laps. By that stage he had risen to 13th, only to be relegated to 15th for the restart due to the grid being set according to the order at the completion of the previous lap.

Dickerson persevered after the restart, enjoying a spirited scrap with Cliff Dempsey Racing teammate Timothé Buret, a regular in this year’s Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, before being classified 13th.

“What a crazy day,” exclaimed Dickerson. “I started P10 for my Semi Final after finishing fourth in my heat race. I knew I needed to make up a few positions in order to be within reach of the leaders for the Main. I got a good start and made up a position after Lap One. There was lots of battling going on and I found myself in seventh position with a few laps remaining. Going into Beckett’s, a car had spun out but drove back onto the track right at the apex just as I was going past and bent my exhaust and the entire left-rear corner. I managed to still finish but had massive amounts of damage and I knew it was going to be a tight ‘race’ just to make it out to the Main.

“The Cliff Dempsey Racing boys fixed everything they could in the time they had and I was back out to race in the Final. I held my place at the start and fell in line along with another 13 cars. There was a huge train of Formula Fords until a couple of them collided and caused a red flag. I found myself in 15th for the restart with seven laps to go. I made my way up to 14th on the start and found myself in 13th after a car had flipped over at the end of the race.

“The racing was great and the entire experience was something I’ll never forget. Very big thank you to Team USA Scholarship and all of its supporters for getting me here!”

Final video blog from Dakota and Michai:

RC Enerson to Compete with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in 2016

RC Enerson to Compete with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in 2016

Indianapolis, IN – October 30, 2015 – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) announced today that RC Enerson has re-signed with the team to compete in the 2016 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires Series.

The 18-year-old American driver made a very successful debut with SPM as a rookie in 2015, finishing fourth in the championship and earning a win at Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course. Consistency was the key with Enerson, who also earned five top-five finishes and four podiums.

“I can’t wait for the 2016 season,” said Enerson. “We had a great learning year and I’m looking forward to battling for the championship. My goal is to continue to develop my skills and learn as many things as I can.”

Last Sunday and Monday, Enerson tested at Sebring International Raceway with SPM teammate Ethan Ringel and newcomer Santiago Urrutia. Over the two days, the trio ran more than 200 miles each, with all cars completing a unique checklist of testing goals.

“We were able to test some new ideas with good success,” said Indy Lights Team Manager Dave Higuera. “RC and Santiago ran very similar lap times – close to the best we’ve ever run – and Ethan closed the gap considerably. Overall, it was a success and we’re looking forward to the next test.”

Enerson added, “I feel that this test was a breakthrough for us as we figured out a lot of things. We were able to accomplish a variety of new setup testing that we hadn’t tried yet.”

The SPM Indy Lights squad will test next at the Circuit of the Americas in mid-November for the Chris Griffis Memorial Test. The test will include Heamin Choi, who drove for SPM for the season finale weekend at Laguna Seca Raceway in September.

The Lucas Oil sponsored No. 7 of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian takes home it's first victory at with RC Enerson at the wheel.  (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

The Lucas Oil sponsored No. 7 of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian takes home it’s first victory at with RC Enerson at the wheel. (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

Kyle Kaiser Returns to Juncos Racing for the 2016 Indy Lights Campaign

Indianapolis, Indiana (October 29, 2015) – Juncos Racing is pleased to announce American Kyle Kaiser will return to the championship winning team for his second season in the Indy Lights Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. The 2016 season will mark Kaiser’s third consecutive year with Juncos Racing.

Kyle Kaiser, a 19 year-old from Santa Clara, California will be taking part in his sophomore Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire season with Juncos Racing in 2016 (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

Kyle Kaiser, a 19 year-old from Santa Clara, California will be taking part in his sophomore Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire season with Juncos Racing in 2016 (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

After a successful debut in the Indy Lights series with Juncos Racing, Kyle Kaiser (Santa Clara, California) looks to be a top contender in the 2016 Indy Lights Championship. During Kaiser’s impressive rookie season the young American recorded two podiums, along with seven Top-5 finishes.

I’m excited to return for another year of Indy Lights with Juncos Racing,” said Kaiser. “The chemistry and team synergy we’ve developed over the past two seasons, combined with their work ethic, passion, and dedication will be a huge advantage going into next year. I am very confident in the team’s ability to provide me with a car to win races and defend their title during my sophomore season. There is a great race schedule ahead of us, and I’m looking forward to competing on some of my favorite tracks. I am more motivated than ever to succeed, and I’m grateful for the team, my sponsors, and everyone involved for putting their faith in me this upcoming season.”

The InterVision sponsored Juncos Racing No. 18 will return to action at the hands of Kyle Kaiser for a second season of Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire action (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

The InterVision sponsored Juncos Racing No. 18 will return to action at the hands of Kyle Kaiser for a second season of Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire action (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

Kaiser first joined Juncos Racing for the 2014 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. That year Kaiser won the season finale at Sonoma Raceway, and earned multiple podiums, helping Juncos Racing win the team championship.

The 2016 season will mark the longest consecutive run Team Principle Ricardo Juncos, will have worked with any driver that has been a part of Juncos Racing. Juncos is confident Kaiser will be a tough candidate to battle with for the 2016 championship and looks forward to continuing the strong relationship they have built during the past two seasons.

“It is with great pleasure we announce that Kyle (Kaiser) will be returning to Juncos Racing for the 2016 season,” said Juncos. “This will mark the third consecutive season we will work with Kyle, and sets a team record for the longest successive seasons we have worked with any driver. Having closely worked with Kyle last year I can personally say that he will undoubtedly be a championship favorite in 2016. Kyle found himself on the podium a number of times in 2015 and demonstrated his astounding pace throughout the season. I want to once again thank the Kaiser’s for instilling their trust in us especially in our first season of Indy Lights. We look forward to bearing the fruit of our 2015 labors.”

Kyle Kaiser communicates with his Juncos Racing crew.  (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

Kyle Kaiser communicates with his Juncos Racing crew. (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

My Mazda Road to Indy: Anthony Martin

PALMETTO, Fla. – When we look back on our lives, it’s often clear to see the path that led us to where we are today, the pivotal moments when we made the decision to choose one path or another. Young Australian Anthony Martin may someday look back on one such moment, when a suggestion from a mentor changed the direction of his racing life, sending him to America and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
“In December of last year,” said Martin, “we were approached by Mark Larkham (V8 Supercars announcer and board member of the Australian Institute for Motor Sport Safety), who suggested we do a test with the Mazda Road to Indy. We were a bit shocked at first – it was all the way over in America! But Mark is a well-known figure here so we took his word for it and did a test with John Cummiskey Racing in New Orleans. The test went very well. It was my first time driving a car with a bit of grip and I loved it from the first day. The team was keen to have me back for a full season.”
Top Cooper Tires USF2000 powered by Mazda rookie Anthony Martin will be a favorite to win the Mazda Advancement Scholarship in 2016 (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

Top Cooper Tires USF2000 powered by Mazda rookie Anthony Martin will be a favorite to win the Mazda Advancement Scholarship in 2016 (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

Starting in karts at the age of 13, Martin won rookie of the year honors and earned the West Australia Formula Ford Series title in 2013. He returned to the series last season and was exploring his options for 2015 when Larkham called. Needless to say, the amount of adjustment required to leave parents Michael and Lee-Anne and siblings Patrick and Caroline behind in Perth to come to America and join the USF2000 series was significant.
“The racing is so much different here, and the car is so much different than what I’m used to – but really, just about everything is different. Racing in America is very professional, with all the media and the spectators, so to be on this kind of level took some getting used to. There’s more pressure here and the competition level is much higher in America, with drivers coming in from all over the world. It’s the best of the best.
“It was also a bit of a culture shock,” continued Martin. “I hopped on a plane in Perth and it was 120 degrees, but when I arrived in Indianapolis it was 30 degrees and snowing! It was hard at first, going from one side of the world to the other and leaving behind friends and family, but I got a routine together and kept working at it.”
Martin’s plan was to learn the series as quickly as possible and perhaps get into the Top 10 in the early races. The plan accelerated dramatically however, when Martin scored top-four finishes in both races at the season-opener in St. Petersburg, Fla.
“My initial goals were to get some top 10s in the first few races, then hopefully some top fives mid-season, but I exceeded that in the first race weekend. So our goals changed quickly to finishing on the podium and staying in the top five. We were consistent, but still being in the top four or five definitely exceeded what I thought I could do.”
Martin finished second at Barber Motorsports Park in April for his first series podium, in only his sixth race. He was only the second driver to break up the race podium juggernaut of sophomore drivers Nico Jamin, Jake Eidson and Aaron Telitz.
“The top three boys were hard at it, though I was able to move in on them over the last half of the year. Nico was too good for me but I was knocking on the door and was able to mix it up with them. All three are very experienced, since they’ve been doing it for a few years. They know the tracks and the setup. It was hard for us, since I was a rookie and we’re a rookie race team and I was the only driver on the team, but we did very well despite that.”
His season highlight came at the next race event, the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, when the 20-year-old from Kalgoorlie earned a fourth and a third in two races at one of the world’s most famous racetracks. It’s a moment he won’t soon forget.
“Standing on the podium at Indianapolis was such a great feeling. That podium has so much history and to be a part of the history at Indy now is amazing. There’s been almost 100 years there and I love being a part of it and I hope I can be a part of it in the future.”
Martin credits Cummiskey and race engineer Louis D’Agostino for rookie season success that included five podiums and 14 top-five finishes in 16 races. When all was said and done, Martin earned a fourth-place finish in the title chase, took home Rookie of the Year honors and was named the recipient of the USF2000 “Spirit Award” given to the driver or team that embodies the “heart of a champion” as they aspire to reach their goals. As difficult as it might have been to leave behind so much that was familiar for so much that was unknown, his accomplishments and the support of his team helped make the transition remarkably easy.
Driver Anthony Martin (left) and team owner John Cummiskey (right), both rookies in the ultra competitive Cooper Tires USF2000 powered by Mazda series made quite a first impression.

Driver Anthony Martin (left) and team owner John Cummiskey (right), both rookies in the ultra competitive Cooper Tires USF2000 powered by Mazda series made quite a first impression. (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

“I’m lucky to have joined up with John Cummiskey. It’s a great team. We get together away from the track as well, have dinner and socialize. It’s good to have a team where you’re not just a client, you’re family, especially since we’re all learning together. John has so much experience and has so much knowledge and to be able to learn from him really helps me. I get on so well with my engineer, with the mechanics – and to have that relationship in my first year is so important.”
As he makes plans for 2016, the target is on Martin’s back as one of the early favorites for the USF2000 title and the Mazda scholarship. The lad from “down under” has made America his home and he appreciates what the ladder system has meant to his racing future.
“I’d like to win the USF2000 championship next year and win the scholarship. We just need to work on the budget. Everything this year exceeded my expectations. I didn’t think it would be on this kind of level. Mazda and Cooper Tires do such a great job; there’s nothing like this in the world. I think it sets a good example. There should be a distinct process leading up to the top level. To be a part of this is very special, and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.”
You can follow along with Anthony’s career at the following links: Website, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
You can read about the other drivers that have been profiled so far at the following links:

My Mazda Road to Indy: Pato O’Ward

Sixteen-year-old Patricio “Pato” O’Ward arrived on the Mazda Road to Indy scene this season with a poise and realistic outlook not often seen from a driver his age. But then again, O’Ward, who finished sixth in this year’s Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, has managed his share of hurdles along the way.
O’Ward moved from karts to cars in 2013, racing in a variety of series on different continents. He made the decision to drive formula cars in Europe last season in order to expand his racing horizons – an experience that taught him a great deal and led to the realization that his future lay much closer to home, back in the U.S. with the Mazda Road to Indy.
The alway smiling Pato O'Ward had a successful rookie Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire season with Team Pelfrey (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

The alway smiling Pato O’Ward had a successful rookie Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire season with Team Pelfrey (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

“I was still very young and only two series in Europe would let me race in 2014,” said O’Ward. “Italian F4 and French F4. I chose to go to France because the budget was less and all the cars were the same, so the driver made a bigger difference. It was tough to travel from the U.S. to France every single race weekend, so I looked for something here. I think the Mazda Road to Indy is the best one; it’s the series to be in because it’s the national ladder. You can work your way up, which is what we all want to do. Plus, it’s easier to go to school and race.”
Parents Patricio and Elba Junco O’Ward moved their two children, Pato and his sister Elba, to San Antonio, Texas from Monterrey, Mexico when Pato was very young. O’Ward began karting at the age of 7, winning numerous championships in Mexico and the U.S. including two SKUSA junior titles. But the young racer realized that a move into formula cars could give him the push he wanted to mature as a driver.
“The move into cars was a big step, but with the right tools I learned faster. Karting was second nature and now cars are becoming the same way. I learn about the car every session I run and I’m getting better and better. That’s very important, because the setup of the car is everything. You can be a very fast driver but if you don’t have the right setup – and if you don’t know how to tell the engineers how the car is supposed to feel – you’re going to be in the back. Starting at a young age helped me with technique and helped me mature. I’m with the ‘big boys’ now and I’ve matured as a person and as a driver.”
O’Ward made the jump to cars in 2013, competing in the Formula LATAM F2000 Series in Mexico, the Formula Renault 1.6 NEC Junior series in Europe and earning a victory in the Pacific F2000 series in the U.S. O’Ward then headed to French Formula 4 and finished seventh despite missing the first two events, winning the penultimate race at Circuit Paul Ricard and earning 10 top-five finishes in 15 races. O’Ward and his father looked around to see where the next move would be, and an opportunity with Team Pelfrey in the Pro Mazda Championship beckoned.
“The team is so important,” said O’Ward. “My dad called Anders Krohn, the Team Pelfrey coach, to see if we could do the Chris Griffis Memorial Test at Indy last Fall. We were quickest, which gave the team an idea of what I was capable of. I had an awesome teammate in Santi [Urrutia], who won the championship. We really pushed each other and learned a lot from each other. The team was like a second family and I’m grateful for the support they gave me.”
Despite being the youngest driver in the series, O’Ward hit his stride mid-season, taking podium finishes in three straight races (second and third in Toronto and third on the oval at Iowa) and finishing in the top 10 in 14 of 16 races. O’Ward also was the recipient of the series’ “Spirit Award” given to a driver or team that embodies the “heart of a champion” as they aspire to reach their goals.
After spending his summer on the Mazda Road to Indy circuit alongside drivers in the Verizon IndyCar Series, O’Ward knows that anything can happen as he plots out his future. A sophomore at Texas Military Institute in San Antonio, O’Ward plans to maintain that balance and stay in school as long as he can. While many young men his age might begrudge the discipline required to attend a military school, O’Ward knows that the lessons he’s learning now will only help him in his chosen career.
“I still have a few years to go but I manage it the best I can,” he said. “I prefer to stay in school, especially military school, because it’s very strict. I need to have a Plan B in case my Plan A doesn’t work out, but so far Plan A is going fine.”
And where does he see Plan A taking him? To the Verizon IndyCar Series where he has hopes of being its youngest ever champion. But in the meantime, there’s that pesky age issue…
“I would like to race Indy Lights next season, but my age isn’t in my favor – you have to be 17 years old. I turn 17 next May so maybe I can start the season late. But doing another year of Pro Mazda would be a good idea as well.”
You can along with Pato’s career at the following links: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
You can read about the other drivers that have been profiled so far at the following links:

Top-Seven Finishes for Dickerson, Stephens in Thrilling Formula Ford Festival Final

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WEST KINGSDOWN, England (October 25, 2015) – Team USA Scholarship drivers Dakota Dickerson, 18, from San Diego, Calif., and Michai Stephens, 23, from Evanston, Ill., were in the thick of the action during today’s 44th Formula Ford Festival, finishing third in their respective Semi Final races before claiming fifth (Dickerson) and seventh (Stephens) after a thrilling finale.

The action began under sunny skies this morning with a trio of 15-lap Semi Final races. Dickerson lined up fourth for his race but quickly moved his way into third where he stayed for the duration to chase Stephen Daly and Luke Williams home to the finish.

Just a few minutes later, an excellent start by Stephens from the outside of the front row saw him forge past pole-sitting Team Canada driver Michael Adams and claim the lead. His work was undone shortly afterward due to a red flag stoppage caused by a multi-car incident at Graham Hill Bend. Undeterred, Stephens repeated his feat at the restart to lead 2013 Festival winner Niall Murray, fellow Irishman Jake Byrne and Dutchman Melroy Heemskerk, after Adams unfortunately tangled with Oliver White at Druid’s. Stephens held on gloriously in the lead for four laps before slipping to third behind his vastly more experienced adversaries. All three were blanketed by less than a half-second at the finish, with Heemskerk and Noel Robinson also in close attendance.

Michai Stephens (Photo Courtesy of Team USA Scholarship)

Michai Stephens (Photo Courtesy of Team USA Scholarship)

The grid for the Final was established by finishing positions from each of the Semi Final races, with Dickerson lining up eighth and Stephens ninth. Both were jumped by Stuart Gough at the start but remained in contention as Northern Irishman Wayne Boyd made good his escape at the front of the field.

Dickerson and Stephens ran seventh and eighth on Lap 10, whereupon the Final was halted by a red flag after Murray’s engine expired, leaving a wide oil slick around much of the 1.2-mile Brands Hatch Indy circuit.
The race was restarted for a 10-lap dash to the checkered flag, with Boyd picking up where he left off and winning comfortably to reprise his 2008 success. Irishman Robert Barrable headed Gough in a tense battle for second, with Heemskerk, Dickerson, Daly and Stephens all blanketed by just 1.2 seconds.

“The racing was extremely hard with experienced racers breathing down my neck while still trying to pass the multiple cars in front of me,” related Dickerson. “With half the race to go, a competitor’s motor blew in front of me, which threw all of us for a loop. The restart was good, maintaining position, and then capitalizing on others’ mistakes brought a fifth position. I learned a tremendous amount during this race and can’t wait for Silverstone!”

Dakota Dickerson (Photo Courtesy of Team USA Scholarship)

Dakota Dickerson (Photo Courtesy of Team USA Scholarship)

“Wow, what a race,” added Stephens. “It was hard, fun, surprising and most of all memorable. Finishing within the top 10 made for a fantastic learning experience and optimistic approach heading to Silverstone! A massive thanks to the Team USA Scholarship and all its tremendous supporters for allowing us to come out here and race our hearts out!”

For more information, please visit www.TeamUSAScholarship.org or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

You can follow Michai on Twitter, & Facebook.

You can follow Dakota on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.

Team Pelfrey Expands to Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires

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TAMPA, Fla. (October 26, 2015) – Team Pelfrey, 2015 Pro Mazda Champions, announced today that it has acquired all of the assets of 8Star Motorsports including the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires team and will expand the program to two cars for 2016. With the acquisition, Team Pelfrey becomes the only team to currently operate in all stages of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder, as well as the F1600 Formula F Championship Series

“After watching the development and success of our F1600, USF2000 and Pro Mazda teams this season, I decided Team Pelfrey should take the next step,” said Dale Pelfrey.

“Rather than start from ground zero, we researched the market and quickly realized that absorbing the great people and resources at 8Star Motorsports was the best way possible to enter Indy Lights with Team Pelfrey. We will be entering the 2016 season with an already proven race winning package and cannot wait to get started.”

Gary Neal will continue as team manager for the Team Pelfrey Indy Lights team, and the current 8Star crew will continue to operate the Indy Lights team out of their Pompano Beach, Fla. Headquarters. All Team Pelfrey teams will be run in conjunction with each other, offering transparency in diverse operations.

“I am really excited to have the opportunity to build the Indy Lights team with Team Pelfrey,” says Neal. “Since my Engineer, Yves Touron, and mechanics are staying in placewith the new team I am sure we will be a contender for the Indy Lights Championship in 2016. It is a pleasure to work with such a passionate team owner as Dale Pelfrey.”

With the addition, Team Pelfrey becomes the largest operating open-wheel development team in North America and one of the largest teams in the world.  Beginning with the F1600, drivers will learn their trade in this proven category before graduating to the Mazda Road to Indy where Team Pelfrey will now have a prominent presence on every step of the ladder.

For more information about Team Pelfrey, please visit team-pelfrey.com and follow us on Twitter @TeamPelfrey.

2015 Mazda Road to Indy and MAXSpeed Group Driver Advancement Program Finalists Announced

Drivers now progress to the interview process with four test winners to be announced at the US Open finale
October 14, 2015 – Continuing to foster the next wave of up-and-coming drivers in the world of professional motorsports, Andersen Promotions and Mazda Road to Indy along with the MAXSpeed Group are pleased to announce today the 12 finalists chosen for the 2015 Driver Advancement Program. Following a successful launch last year, the 2015 edition of the program was opened to participants from all countries that competed in a MAXSpeed Entertainment promoted event in 2015.
“We had a strong group of candidates submit applications for the 2015 program,” said MAXSpeed Group President Richard Boisclair. “It was not an easy choice to select the 12 finalists. Ultimately, we have invited drivers from three different countries including the United States, Canada and The Netherlands, returning finalists from the 2014 edition of the MAXSpeed Group Driver Advancement Program as well as new faces, an up-and-coming female driver and competitors that range in age from 14 to 19.”
Following the completion of a Driver Advancement Program application, the candidates were narrowed down to a group of 12 based on selection criteria. The competitors who have been chosen will now enter a final interview process with Verizon IndyCar drivers Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud, Andersen Promotions COO Michelle Kish and Boisclair, who will select the four winners.
The candidates are Trenton Estep, 15 of San Antonio, Texas; Enzo Fittipaldi, 14, of Davidson, North Carolina; Jake French, 19, of Sachse, Texas; Anthony Gangi Jr., 14, of Brookville, New York; Morgan Healey, 18, of Ft. Myers, Florida; Darren Keane, 15, of Boca Raton, Florida; Aidan Keel, 14, of Plant City, Florida; Jeffrey Kingsley, 17, of Port Hope, Ontario; Kyle Kirkwood, 16, of Jupiter, Florida; Sting Ray Robb, 14, of Payette, Idaho; Luke Shanahan, 17, of Dallas, Texas; and Rinus Van Kalmthout, 15, of Hoofddorp, Netherlands.
“Once again, we had an outstanding group of applicants and I would like to congratulate our 12 finalists,” said Kish. “I look forward to learning more about these drivers during the interview process. It will not be easy to narrow this group down to our four winners.”
The videoconference interview process will begin immediately. The winners will be announced during the US Open series finale at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. From there, the four winners will take part in a one-day test in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda during off-season testing.
“We would like to thank all of the competitors who submitted their applications for the Driver Advancement Program, and congratulate those selected for interviews,” added Boisclair.

My Mazda Road To Indy: Max Chilton

Max Chilton had worked his way to the pinnacle of international open wheel racing – Formula One – by 2013. But, when his F1 career took an unexpected turn, his next move was across the Atlantic, toward the top level of American open-wheel racing via a prominent racing ladder: the Mazda Road to Indy and…

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Dickerson, Stephens Earn 25th Anniversary Team USA Scholarships

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. (October 7, 2015) – Talented young Americans Dakota Dickerson, from San Diego, and Michai Stephens, from Evanston, Ill., were today named as winners of 2015 Team USA Scholarships. Following in the footsteps of such accomplished alumni as Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, Buddy Rice, Andy Lally, Joey Hand, A.J. Allmendinger, Josef Newgarden…

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