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Pro Mazda Championship

 

 

 

THE SERIES

The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires debuted as a new series in 2013, replacing the Star Mazda Championship which ceased operation in 2012 after 22 years. The series is sanctioned by INDYCAR and owned and operated by Andersen Promotions. It is the second official step on the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires ladder system bridging the gap between the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. The series' champion is awarded a scholarship package from Mazda of over $790,000 to advance to Indy Lights competition the following year. 

Aaron Telitz of Team Pelfrey claimed the 2016 title and will advance to Indy Lights in 2017 via the Mazda scholarship system.

It is an exciting time for Pro Mazda with the introduction of the new Mazda-powered Dallara PM-18 chassis in 2018. Teams will take delivery of the new car in time for a concerted summer test and development program in 2017. During the transitional year, additional incentives are in place for competitors including an increase in the champion's Mazda scholarship from $601,700 to $790,300, bringing the total event and year-end prizes to over $1.1M, plus a one-day Indy Lights test for each of the top-three finishers in the championship and a new Pro Mazda Rookie of the Year Mazda Car Award which features a new Mazda street car of choice to the winning driver. Entry fee discounts are also available.

HISTORY

The series has served as a vital step on the career path of many of today's top drivers since 1991. Graduates include Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Marco Andretti, Jack Hawksworth, James Hinchcliffe, Sage Karam, Spencer Pigot, Graham Rahal and Tristan Vautier, NASCAR veteran Michael McDowell, and sports car talent Joey Hand amongst many others. 

SCHEDULE 

Pro Mazda will feature a condensed, six-weekend schedule of 12 races in order to allow teams to dovetail their racing commitments with a summer testing development program of the new PM-18 chassis. 

 Round Date  Track  Venue 
1/2 March 11/12 Streets of St. Petersburg  1.8-mile street course* 
3/4 May 12/13 Indianapolis Motor Speedway    2.439-mile road course  
5/6 June 24/25 Road America  4.048-mile road course*
7/8 July 29/30 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course 2.258-mile road course*
9 August 26/27 Gateway Motorsports Park 1.25-mile oval
10/11/12     September 2/3      Watkins Glen International 3.37-mile road course**

*Doubleheader Round   **Tripleheader Round

SERIES PARTNERS

Mazda, Cooper Tires, Allied Building Products, SpeedSource Race Engineering, Carl Haas Automobile Imports, MAXSpeed Group, RACER, Hi-Tide Boat Lifts, Royal Purple, VP Racing Fuels, Replay XD, Performance Friction, Staubli, Quarter Master, Racing Communications, INDYCAR Ministry

COVERAGE

All races will feature live streaming shows on indycar.com, promazda.com and the RoadtoIndy.TV App including pre- and post-race coverage. Additional coverage such as post-race press conferences and special events will be streamed on the series website and the RoadtoIndy.TV App.

The popular RoadToIndy.TV and RoadtoIndy.TV App will continue to provide behind-the-scenes content, race recap episodes, special features, live streaming and live shows of Mazda Road to Indy on and off-track activities.

In 2016, the Mazda Road to Indy became the first American racing series with a dedicated broadcast channel on demand via Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku.

CARS

The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires features open-wheel, single-seat, open-cockpit cars with front and rear wings. The carbon fiber chassis, which was introduced in 2004, is built to FIA standards.

VP Racing Fuels is the Official Fuel of Pro Mazda.

A new chassis will be introduced in 2018. The PM-18 will use the USF-17 chassis - introduced in 2017 - as the base car to help control the operational costs for teams who wish to move up. The USF-17 is a full carbon monocoque chassis built to the latest FIA F3 test specifications with additional safety features to meet the specific needs of racing in the United States. These features include full Zylon side intrusion panels and reinforced bulkheads to strengthen the chassis for racing on oval circuits. The USF-17 also features a six-speed paddle shift gearbox, four-way adjustable dampers, specific design aluminum American Racing wheels, Cosworth data system, LCD steering wheel and ECU, four piston caliper PFC brakes and IndyCar-specific quick jack and roll hoop attachments. 

The PM-18 adds more power over the USF-17 from a Mazda SKYACTIV engine, more sophisticated aerodynamics with a revised underbody and diffuser, a three-element rear wing and a front wing with adjustable composite wing flaps. The PM-18 also adds a higher level Cosworth data system to help train the next level of drivers and engineers in the Mazda Road to Indy. 

ENGINES

Pro Mazda currently utilizes the Mazda Renesis rotary engine as remanufactured and serviced by SpeedSource Race Engineering. The engine generates approximately 260 horsepower - 90 horsepower more than a USF2000 Mazda MZR powerplant - and is capable of powering cars to speeds of 160 mph.

TIRES

Slick/rain tires co-branded COOPER/PROMAZDA as manufactured by Cooper Tires.

POINT SYSTEM

​1st............................... 30              8th...............................13             15th............................ 6
2nd.............................. 25             9th................................12             16th............................ 5
3rd............................... 22             10th..............................11             17th............................ 4
4th............................... 19             11th..............................10             18th............................ 3
5th............................... 17             12th.............................. 9              19th............................ 2
6th............................... 15             13th.............................. 8              20th+.......................... 1

7th............................... 14             14th.............................. 7

One additional point is awarded for pole position, most laps led and fastest race lap.

MASTERS CLASS (for drivers age 35+):

1st............................... 22              6th................................ 8
2nd..............................18              7th................................. 6
3rd.............................. 15              8th................................. 4
4th.............................. 12              9th................................. 2
5th.............................. 10              10th+............................. 1
 

TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

1st............................... 22              6th................................ 8
2nd..............................18              7th................................. 6
3rd.............................. 15              8th................................. 4
4th.............................. 12              9th................................. 2
5th.............................. 10              10th+............................. 1

Single car teams will receive three bonus points as an equivalency to multi-car teams. Only the two best results will count in the team championship for teams fielding more than two entries.

PRIZE MONEY AND AWARDS

The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires will distribute over $1.1 million in prizes and awards in 2017. The series champion will receive a scholarship package from Mazda of $790,300 to advance to Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires in 2018. Additional champion’s awards include a Cooper Tires Award for tires and series award for race entries.

Each of the top-three finishers in the championship will receive a one-day Indy Lights test. There is also a new Pro Mazda Rookie of the Year Mazda Car Award which features a new Mazda street car of choice to the winning driver.

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS

The Mazda Road to Indy Summit and Oval Clinic is a three-part educational and promotional program held during the season. The platform provides valuable education on a variety of topics including marketing/business, media training, career growth and development, fitness and wellness, social media and a comprehensive introduction to oval track racing led by industry experts. It also features activities such as high-profile autograph sessions and fan Q&As, networking reception, team owner meet-and-greets, race shop tours and pace laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Verizon IndyCar Series drivers. Additionally, the current points leader will pace the Freedom 100 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires field on Carburetion Day and be interviewed in front of the Indianapolis 500 crowd only minutes before the race.

CURRENT TRACK RECORDS

 Streets of St. Petersburg Qualifying: Conor Daly 1:10.352 = 92.108 mph 3/27/2010
  Race: Jack Hawksworth 1:11.439 = 90.707 mph 3/24/2012
 Indianapolis Motor Speedway RC        Qualifying: Patricio O'Ward     
1:22.8800 = 105.941 mph 5/13/2016
  Race: Patricio O'Ward
1:23.2548 = 105.464  mph
5/14/2016
 Road America Qualifying: Adrian Carrio 2:03.849 = 117.666 mph 9/19/2006
  Race: Pablo Donoso 2:05.302 = 116.301 mph 8/19/2006
 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Qualifying: Nico Jamin 1:18.1385 = 104.031 mph 7/29/2016
  Race: Nico Jamin 1:18.5977 = 103.423 mph 7/29/2016
 Gateway Motorsports Park N/A

  N/A
 
 Watkins Glen International Qualifying: Alex Ardoin 1:46.223 = 117.602 mph  6/6/2008 
  Race: Charles Hall 1.46.632 = 117.151 mph 6/7/2008 

MILESTONES:

Most Starts  Dan Tomlin Jr. 60 2001-2008
Most Wins Matthew Brabham 13 2013
Most Wins in a Season Matthew Brabham 13 2013
Most Poles Jack Hawksworth 11 2012
Most Poles in a Season Jack Hawksworth 11 2012
Most Podiums Connor De Phillippi            19            2010-2012
Most Podiums in a Season          Matthew Brabham 15 2013

 

PAST CHAMPIONS:

Year Driver Entrant
2016  Aaron Telitz  Team Pelfrey 
2015 Santiago Urrutia  Team Pelfrey
2014  Spencer Pigot Juncos Racing
2013 Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport
2012 Jack Hawksworth Team Pelfrey
2011 Tristan Vautier JDC MotorSports
2010 Conor Daly Juncos Racing
2009 Adam Christodoulou JDC MotorSports
2008 John Edwards AIM Autosport
2007 Dane Cameron JDC MotorSports
2006 Adrian Carrio World Speed Motorsports
2005 Raphael Matos Ocean Tomo Racing
2004 * Michael McDowell Valley Motor Center
2003 Luis Schiavo Racers Edge Motorsports
2002 Guy Cosmo Racers Edge Motorsports
2001 Scott Bradley World Speed Motorsports
2000 Bernardo Martinez Team Bucknum
1999 + Joey Hand S3 Racing
1998 Ian Lacy S3 Racing
1997 Tony Buffomante Valley Motor Center
1996 Rich Stephens Miller Team Racing
1995 Mark Rodrigues Valley Motor Center
1994 Brad Loehner Loehner Racing
1993 Ben Massey World Speed Motorsports
1992 Chuck West World Speed Motorsports
1991 Mark Rodrigues Valley Motor Center

(*) Series switched from tube-frame cars to carbon-fiber cars in 2004.
(+) First season of unified national Star Mazda Championship series. From 1991 – 1999 the series crowned regional and oval-track champions.