All three rungs of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder – Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000 championships – to be decided at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Millions of dollars in prizes and Mazda scholarships are on the line this weekend as the Mazda Road to Indy season reaches its climactic conclusion. Championships for Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000 will be decided with doubleheader races for each of the categories at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca September 11 – 13. Each of the three categories are powered by Mazda racing engines, and Mazda scholarships will be awarded from the more than $2.3 million season-ending prize fund.
“We can’t wait to see the doubleheaders for all three series, but especially the very tight points battle for the Indy Lights title,” said John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports in North America. “The Mazda scholarship to the Indy Lights winner will assure them of three Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2016, including the historic 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. It’s the pinnacle of our efforts to support the superstars of tomorrow. Our scholarships in open-wheel and sports cars help drivers move up the ladder to the top levels of racing in North America. And to have the finale at our home track of Mazda Raceway is a great bonus.”
Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires
Four young drivers are eligible to win the title and the $1 million scholarship that will assure the champion a seat in three IndyCar races in 2016, including the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. (In the 2015 Indy 500, 23 of the 33 starters had experience in a Mazda-backed ladder series, and five of the last six Indy Lights champions started the race.) Englishman Jack Harvey (Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian, No. 42) leads by a slim margin of six points over Californian Spencer Pigot (Juncos Racing, No. 12), a current and multi-time Mazda scholarship winner. Dubai-based British driver Ed Jones (Carlin, No. 11) is only 18 points out of the lead, while a late-season charge by teenager RC Enerson (Schmidt-Peterson with Curb-Agajanian, No. 7) has him eligible for the title. The Indy Lights championship will be determined in two races: Saturday at 3:45 PT (6:45 ET) and Sunday at 2:40 PT (5:40 ET) this weekend. To learn about each of the contenders, read in-depth features at: http://www.IndyLights.com/news.
Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tires
In the Pro Mazda series, drivers are battling for a full-season scholarship to move up to the Indy Lights series in 2016. Santiago “Santi” Urrutia (Team Pelfrey, No. 81) leads the standings, with the 19-year old Uruguayan holding a 29-point advantage over Californian Neil Alberico (Cape Motorsports w/Wayne Taylor Racing, No. 3). Urrutia will be racing with a special helmet in honor of his countryman Gonzalo Rodriguez, a racing hero in Uruguay, who lost his life in a practice crash at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca while driving for Team Penske in 1999. The Pro Mazda doubleheader will feature race one at 2:45 PT (5:45 ET) Saturday and the finale Sunday at 11:40 PT (2:40 ET). For complete feature stories about Urrutia and Alberico, go to: http://www.ProMazda.com/news.
Cooper Tires USF2000 powered by Mazda
The USF2000 season has been dominated by Frenchman Nico Jamin (Cape Motorsports w/Wayne Taylor Racing, No. 2), who has eight wins, 11 poles and 13 podium finishes in 14 races. He has an opportunity to break several USF2000 season records for poles and podium finishes at Mazda Raceway. Jamin’s closest competitor is Jake Eidson (Pabst Racing, No. 22), who has grabbed four wins and 12 podium finishes this year. The season champion will earn a Mazda scholarship to move up the ladder for a full season in the Pro Mazda series. The USF2000 weekend features a doubleheader with race one at 10:30 am PT (1:30 ET) Saturday, followed by the finale Sunday at 4 pm PT (7 pm ET). To learn more about the USF2000 contenders, go to: http://www.USF2000.com/news.
Don’t Miss a Lap: Watch All Six Races Live
Race fans who are unable to attend the action in person at Mazda Raceway can watch the the six races streaming live at RoadToIndy.tv or on the Road to Indy mobile app. Live timing and scoring can also be found at IndyCar.com and on the Road to Indy app.
From Road & Track: How Mazda’s Scholarship Program is Shaping the Future of American Motorsports by Marshall Pruett; see the article posted by RoadandTrack.com: http://www.roadandtrack.com/motorsports/a26637/mazda-road-to-indy/.
Manufacturers Title in Reach for Mazda in Pirelli World Challenge
As another glimpse of the breadth and depth of Mazda’s motorsports program, the manufacturer will also be competing for race wins in three categories and a Touring Car manufacturers championship in the Pirelli World Challenge Series, which will also compete this weekend at Mazda Raceway. With three races remaining, Mazda holds a 21-point lead in the Touring Car manufacturer standings.
Military Appreciation Day
Mazda racer and retired Staff Sgt. Liam Dwyer will be the grand marshal for Saturday’s action on Military Appreciation Day at Mazda Raceway. The raceway will provide a free general admission ticket to active military and veterans with military ID, plus one guest, for Saturday, September 12.