The Tatuus-Mazda PM-18 has been unveiled at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Show in Indianapolis.
Dan Andersen, owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions, John Doonan, director of Motorsports for Mazda North America and Chris Pantani, director of event marketing and motorsports for Cooper Tires, unveiled the new car that will complete the four-year overhaul of the Mazda Road To Indy.
A process that began with the introduction of the Dallara IL15 Indy Lights car in 2015 and continues next year with the Tatuus USF-17 for the USF2000 Series will conclude with the PM-18.
It replaces the venerable Elan tub, which Pro Mazda has used since 2005.
In the interests of cost-saving, the PM-18 shares its carbon and aluminum honeycomb monocoque with the USF-17 chassis, which makes its competition debut at the start of next season, with the initial run of 35 cars sold out.
The PM-18's enhancements over the USF-17 chassis include more sophisticated aerodynamics, featuring an adjustable dual-element rear wing and single-plane carbon fiber front wing with adjustable flaps.
There are Pro Mazda-specific front and rear wing endplates, larger American Racing forged Technomesh mono block alloy wheels - with 13 x 10" front and 13" x 12" rear Cooper tires.
Mazda's 275-horsepower 2L MZR-PM18A engine, developed by Elite Engines and utilizing a fly-by-wire throttle system and Cosworth SQ6 engine management delivers its power through a Sadev SL82 six-speed sequential transmission with limited slip differential.
Said Andersen: "Scot Elkins [project manager and race director for Pro Mazda and USF2000] and Tatuus have done a great job in augment the USF-17 base car to provide everything drivers on the second step of the ladder need to continue their career development.
"We currently plan to begin prototype testing in March next year, with the first shipment of cars delivered to teams in June. This will allow for a summer test program and, with the success of USF-17, I can't wait to see this car on track."
Elkins noted: "It's a pretty good next step, based on all the work that we have done so far. We know that the performance level is going to be a lot higher than the USF2000 car and the aero is going to be more like the Indy Lights car. It will allow drivers to transition to the next step much easier."
The series intends to use the PM-18 for a five-year span. Cost has not been revealed at this time.
Incentives in the MRTI are increasing during this 2017 transitional year for Pro Mazda. The champion's Mazda scholarship to advance to Indy Lights in 2018 is increased by $200,000, bringing the total award to $790,300.
The 2017 Pro Mazda champion also receives a Cooper Tires award valued at $75,000 and a series entry award of $24,000. Year-end prizes total over $1.1 million.
The top three finishers in the Pro Mazda championship will receive a one-day Indy Lights test, while the Rookie of the Year will win a Mazda street car.
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