IndyCar champions Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti endorse unique development ladder
Palmetto, Fla. – The winners of F1600 championships in England, New Zealand and Scotland will join an expanding group of talented young drivers who be eligible to contest the Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout in 2016.
The Shootout will be an unprecedented event, bringing the champions of North American and international series together for the first time with a $200,000 Mazda scholarship on the line to join the first step of the ladder system, the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, in 2017.
The Mazda Road to Indy is acknowledged as the world’s premier open-wheel development ladder, providing opportunities for drivers to progress from karting through USF2000, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires to the Verizon IndyCar Series with scholarships at every level.
The Mazda Road to Indy is a very well-organized ladder system which is unique in motor racing today,
At the recent conclusion of the 2015 Mazda Road to Indy season, over $2.3 million in scholarships and prizes was distributed among the three championships, including more than $1 million to Indy Lights champion Spencer Pigot which will enable him to contest at least three Verizon IndyCar Series events in 2016, including the historic 100th Indianapolis 500.
An initial group of series whose champions will be given an “entry ticket” to the Shootout was announced at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 1. These included ROTAX MAX Challenge, Skip Barber Race Series, the F2000 and F1600 Championship Series, Pacific F2000, Formula Car Challenge, SCCA Runoffs (F1600 and FC), the Team USA Scholarship, Australian Formula Ford Championship and BRSCC F1600 in England.
Today’s announcement adds the English Cubik Formula Ford Super Series, which includes such prestigious events as the Walter Hayes Trophy; the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship, whose previous alumni include current and four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon and 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours winner Brendon Hartley; and the Scottish Motor Racing Club’s Formula Ford 1600 Championship.
“The Mazda Road to Indy is a very well-organized ladder system which is unique in motor racing today,” said four-time IndyCar champion and three-time Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti, who attended a function earlier this week in his native Scotland to announce this exciting initiative. “It takes away a lot of the confusion for young drivers when they are trying to chart a career path, and the fact that if you win at each stage it allows you to progress to the next level is huge. If your goal is IndyCar then the Mazda Road to Indy is the only place in a lower formula where you can learn all the skills required and drive an open-wheel car on an oval.”
“It’s exciting to learn about the partnership between the Mazda Road to Indy and NZ FF1600,” added Dixon. “Formula Ford 1600 was a large player in the form of introducing me to single-seater racing. I learned so much during those two years that helped pave the way towards my open-wheel career and developing my race-craft. The opportunity of a scholarship to USF2000 is priceless. The Mazda Road to Indy is a very valuable step towards high-level open-wheel competition – a real chance to learn from the best in the business on and off the track.”
Full competition details on the Shootout, which will take place in the fall of next year, will be distributed in the coming months. All participating series are designated as an Official Feeder Series of the Mazda Road to Indy, and a full list with links can be found on the usf2000.com website under the “About” section.
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