Mazda Road to Indy Scholarship Shootout to Hit Mazda Raceway in December
Over the last nine years, Mazda Motorsports has provided close to $15 million in driver development scholarships. The many recipients of support ranged from the grassroots level of sports car racing to the top category of open-wheel racing in North America.
Today, Mazda Motorsports announced its most ambitious program yet, with the first Mazda Road to Indy $200,000 Scholarship Shootout.
A truly global event, the #MRTIShootout will take place on December 6-7 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, and will pit 18 open-wheel and karting champions from nine countries on five continents against one another. The winning racer will be awarded with the $200,000 Mazda Motorsports scholarship into the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Series powered by Mazda.
“We are so proud to provide this opportunity to drivers from all over the world and continue Mazda’s long tradition of helping make dreams come true for championship-winning drivers on their way up the racing ladder,” said John Doonan, director of motorsports for Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). “The Mazda Road to Indy provides the only defined scholarship path anywhere in the world for young drivers to progress from grassroots racing all the way to the Indianapolis 500 and the Verizon IndyCar Series. We have some of the finest young racers in the world in the competition, so the winner will really have to earn the scholarship.”
The event was developed in collaboration with Andersen Promotions, the owner and operator of the Mazda Road to Indy program, which features the USF2000, Pro Mazda, and Indy Lights categories. Twenty racing series in junior-formula and karting will be sending their championship-winning driver (assuming the driver falls between the eligible ages of 14 to 25 years old) to the Shootout. Drivers from the US, Mexico, Canada, England, Scotland, India, Brazil, New Zealand, and Australia will attend.
On Thursday, Mazda will announce the all-star list of judges that will assess the on- and off-track attributes of each driver and choose a winner. In addition to the scholarship, the winning driver earns an opportunity to compete in the USF2000 series with the new Tatuus USF-17 chassis, which will make its racing debut at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March of 2017.