Road to Indy
The Mazda Road to Indy is a driver development program, providing a scholarship-funded path to reach the Verizon IndyCar Series. and Indianapolis 500. Sanctioned by IndyCar, the Mazda Road to Indy is owned and managed by Andersen Promotions. On December 9, 2010 it was announced that Mazda would become the title sponsor of the program and provide scholarships for series champions to advance to the next rung of the ladder with all three series running on Cooper Tires.
Since its launch in 2010, the Mazda Road to Indy ladder system has attracted competitors from around the globe. Drivers from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Finland, France, Ireland, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Spain, United Kingdom, Venezuela and Zimbabwe have been part of the grids, showcasing their talents at premier venues on a mix of road courses, temporary street circuits and ovals.
Participating series (in order from lowest to highest "rung"):
- The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda
- The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires (known as "Star Mazda" until the end of the 2012 season)
- Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires
- Verizon IndyCar Series
One of the season highlights is the Indy 500 weekend, with Indy Lights competing in the Freedom 100 on Carb Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and USF2000 and Pro Mazda racing at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis later that evening.
Mazda Road to Indy Shootout
For 2016 a shootout race for up and coming talents was announced. The Road to Indy has several partnerships with other development series. In a knock-out format the drivers will compete for a $ 200.000 scholarship to race in the 2017 USF2000 series.
Drivers from the following series can qualify to compete in the 2016 shootout:
- Australian Formula Ford
- BRSCC F1600
- Cubik Formula Ford Super Series
- F1600 Formula F Championship
- F2000 Championship Series
- Formula Car Challenge Presented by Goodyear
- Formula Panam
- Formula Tour 1600
- MMSC 1600 Indian Championship
- New Zealand Formula Ford Championship
- Pacific F2000
- Rotax Max Challenge (USA)
- SCCA Runoffs – F1600
- SCCA Runoffs – FC
- Scottish Motor Racing Club Formula Ford 1600 Championship
- Skip Barber Race Series
- Team USA Scholarship
- Atlantic Championship Series
- Mazda Road to Indy Brazil
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- "Mazda Road to Indy". Retrieved 25 March 2014.
- Mazda to sponsor Road to Indy program, IndyCar, December 9, 2010, Retrieved 2010-12-09[dead link]
- "Official Feeder Series of the Mazda Road to Indy". USF2000. Retrieved 20 September 2016.