Mazda Road To Indy $200k Scholarship Shootout date and venue set
Junior open-wheel champions from around the world will battle for supremacy in order to earn the second annual Mazda Road To Indy Scholarship and follow in the wheeltracks of 2017 USF2000 champion Oliver Askew.
The champions from 20 open-wheel championships on five continents will convene at the 15-turn, 1.6-mile Bondurant main track at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix, Ariz., on December 9-10. The winner will receive a $200,000 prize from Mazda to assist in graduation to the 2018 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda.
The wide parameters of eligibility means that over 400 drivers will have competed for the 20 slots in the 2017 Shootout.
Last year’s Scholarship winner, kart sensation Oliver Askew, joined Cape Motorsports for this past season, in the year that the spec series rebooted with the new Tatuus USF-17 Mazda, and he went on to take the title, winning seven of the 14 rounds. Next year he will move up to Pro Mazda, the next step on the Mazda Road To Indy ladder.
“Oliver Askew is proof of what the Shootout can lead to for a young driver,” said John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports in North America. “He is the embodiment of what the Mazda driver development scholarships are all about: giving young drivers the opportunity to move up the racing ladder all the way to the Verizon IndyCar Series.”
This year’s drivers will compete in Bondurant Racing School Formula Mazda cars powered by Mazda rotary engines and running on Cooper tires, showcasing their skills on what was formerly known as Firebird International Raceway. They will also be evaluated off-track by a judging panel, to be announced in the coming weeks.
Dan Andersen, owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions which runs the Mazda Road To Indy, said: “The Mazda $200,000 Shootout represents exactly what the Mazda Road to Indy is all about, giving drivers an opportunity to compete and advance all the way up the ladder to IndyCar. Bringing champions from all over the world together in a shootout format will produce a driver who is sure to be a contender in 2018 and, with the training provided in our program, that driver will have a much better shot at a career at the pinnacle of the sport.
“I love what Mazda, Cooper Tires and our other partners are doing to provide this opportunity and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.”
Shootout entry tickets will be issued to champions of the following series, with an eligibility requirement that drivers be between the ages of 14 and 25 on September 30, 2017: BRSCC Avon Tires FF1600 Championship (England); Pacific F2000 Championship (USA); Formula Panam (Mexico); Beatson’s Scottish FF1600 Championship (Scotland); New Zealand Formula Ford Championship (New Zealand); MMSC MRF F1600 Indian Championship (India); Formula Tour 1600 (Canada); Formula Ford Super Series (England); Australian Formula Ford Championship (Australia); Formula Car Challenge Presented by Goodyear (USA); F1600 Formula F Championship Series (USA); Team USA Scholarship (USA); Formula Ford Festival (England); Walter Hayes Trophy (England); Formula Ford Ireland (Ireland); SCCA National Championship Runoffs (USA); Selectiva de Kart Petrobras (Brazil).
Two or three additional at-large entries will be offered at the discretion of Mazda.
A full list of scholarship Shootout contestants will be announced prior to the event. Four series have already crowned champions that will be part of the Shootout – Liam Lawson, 14, of Pukekohe, New Zealand representing the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship; Niall Murray, 22, of Dublin, Ireland, representing the BRSCC Avon Tires FF1600 Championship; Olin Galli, 21, of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, representing Selectiva de kart Petrobras; and Ross Martin, 16, of Kilmarnock, Scotland, representing
the Scottish Motor Racing Club Formula Ford 1600 Championship.
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