The final slot on the 18-driver roster for next week’s inaugural Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout has been completed by Australian Formula Ford runner-up Will Brown.
The 18-year-old from Toowoomba, Australia, finished a close second in the title race behind Leanne Tander, despite missing the opening three rounds of the season. Brown also took the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship Certified by FIA.
The MRTI Shootout at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, to be held Dec. 7-8, brings together talent from around the globe with the winner receiving a $200,000 prize from Mazda to assist in graduation to the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
The Shootout was designed this year to include the champions of select junior level open-wheel and karting series. In total, 20 championships were granted Shootout “entry tickets” to award their champions, with an eligibility requirement that drivers be between the ages of 14 and 25 on September 30, 2016.
The competitors, representing nine different nations, will range in age from 14-year-old Marcel Coletta, from Brazil, who earned his nomination via a karting shootout in Brazil, to Matt Machiko, from Pittsburgh, Pa., who celebrated his 25th birthday just a few days after clinching the Formula Mazda championship at the 53rd annual SCCA Runoffs.
“This is the next step in the worldwide growth of the Mazda Road to Indy,” said Kyle Kimball, operations manager at Mazda Motorsports. “It allows young drivers from around the world to see a direct path to the program, beginning with championships in their own country. Our hope is to continue to see the finest young drivers in the world choose the Mazda Road to Indy, and to represent their country on a path to the top rungs of open-wheel racing."
Oliver Askew, 19, Jupiter, Fla. - Team USA Scholarship
Will Brown, 18, Toowoomba, Australia - Australian Formula Ford Championship
Marcel Coletta, 14, Sao Paulo, Brazil - Seletiva de Kart Petrobras
Tim de Silva, 20, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. - Pacific F2000 Championship
Trenton Estep, 16, San Antonio, Texas - Formula Tour 1600 (Canada)
Austin Garrison, 18, Davie, Fla. – U.S. Rotax MAX Challenge (U.S. Open Rotax Senior class)
Kyle Kirkwood, 18, Jupiter, Fla. - Team USA Scholarship
Matt Machiko, 25, Pittsburgh, Pa. - SCCA National Championship Runoffs (FM)
Neil Maclennan, 18, Inverness, Scotland - Beatson’s Scottish FF1600 Championship
Axel Matus, 18, Guadalajara, Mexico - Formula Panam
Niall Murray, 21, Dublin, Ireland - BRSCC Avon Tires FF1600 Championship
Peter Portante, 20, Plainville, Conn. - F1600 Formula F Championship Series
Timo Reger, 20, Houston, Texas - Skip Barber Race Series
Nigel Saurino, 21, Tulsa, Okla. - SCCA National Championship Runoffs (FC)
Michael Scott, 21, Te Puke, New Zealand - New Zealand Formula Ford Championship
Jonathan Sugianto, 20, Alhambra, Calif. - Formula Car Challenge Presented by Goodyear
Karthik Tharani, 22, Chennai, India - MMSC MRF F1600 Indian Championship (see separate story)
Oliver White, 23, Bath, England - Mountney SuperSeries for Formula Ford 1600