Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires Unveils Schedule
|Nine Events and 16 Races Comprise 2013 Calendar
PALMETTO, Fla. – The newly-formed Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires – the second official step on the Mazda Road to Indy – today announced its 2013 schedule which will feature 16 races at nine high-profile events. Drivers will have the opportunity to continue to hone their skills at three road course, four street circuit and two oval tracks, with five rounds held in conjunction with INDYCAR.
“Since we announced the new series in December, we have obviously been scrambling in a number of areas,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions, the series promoter. “I have to thank all of the track promoters for acting so quickly to allow us to finalize and announce our schedule. I am excited about our events for 2013. It is a good mix which will benefit our drivers as they continue up the ranks, and returning drivers and USF2000 graduates will both be exposed to new venues. In addition, the Mazda Road to Indy Summit program will continue to provide invaluable training to drivers in areas outside of the race car as well as race craft.”
Pro Mazda will make its debut at the Circuit of the Americas with a pair of races in support of GRAND-AM on March 1/2. The 3.4-mile road course and world-class facility located in Austin, Texas, received accolades from competitors and fans after holding its first Formula 1 Grand Prix in November.
The streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., will host the next two rounds of competition as Pro Mazda joins the full Mazda Road to Indy contingent at the season-opening race for the IZOD IndyCar Series on March 23/24.
May and June will encompass the two oval events on the calendar at Lucas Oil Raceway in Clermont, Ind., for the popular “Night Before the 500” on May 25 and at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis., with INDYCAR and the Milwaukee IndyFest on June 15.
Pro Mazda will make its first swing through Canada in July with four races held over back-to-back weekends. Two races will be in support of INDYCAR on the streets of Toronto July 13/14 with the full Mazda Road to Indy ladder followed by two rounds with the American Le Mans Series at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (formerly Mosport) on July 20/21.
The series will again team with INDYCAR and the full Mazda Road to Indy ladder at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for a pair of races on August 3/4 before heading back to Canada for a double-header weekend at the popular Circuit Trois-Rivìeres street course on August 10/11.
The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires season will conclude with two street course races at Reliant Park in Houston, Texas, in support of INDYCAR. The event will also be the site of the series’ season-ending awards banquet where the champion will be presented with a scholarship package from Mazda to advance to Firestone Indy Lights competition in 2014.
Nine test days are on offer prior to the start of the season in addition to private team testing, and competitors will have the opportunity to participate in three test days at the Circuit of the Americas before the season-opening race. Additional testing sessions will be held during the season at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lucas Oil Raceway, The Milwaukee Mile and Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. The annual Oval Clinic – a seminar on the intricacies of oval racing – will be held on May 10 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Mazda Road to Indy Summit program will take place during the St. Petersburg and Lucas Oil Raceway events. Activities include Mazda’s Business of Motorsports seminar, formal media training, a social media and marketing class, fitness and wellness training, team owner meet-and-greets and shop tours. Competitors also will have the opportunity to participate in events around the Indianapolis 500 and the winner of the “Night Before the 500” will pace the Freedom 100 Firestone Indy Lights race at the famed Brickyard and be introduced before the start of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
2013 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires Race Schedule
2013 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires Testing Schedule
About Pro Mazda: The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires will debut in 2013 as a new series, 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 ladder system with the series’ champion awarded a scholarship package from Mazda to advance to Firestone Indy Lights competition the following year.
About Mazda: Mazda is the number-one brand for road-racers across North America. Thousands of Mazda powered grassroots racers compete in various classes with the SCCA and NASA highlighted by Spec Miata, the world’s largest spec class with over 2,500 cars built. In 2006 Mazda established the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder to assist racers in moving up through the ranks. In 2010 this was expanded to include the Mazda Road to Indy. Key to Mazda’s success is strategic partnerships with the Skip Barber Racing School and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
MAZDASPEED Motorsports is managed by Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). MNAO is headquartered in Irvine, Calif. and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario; and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City. Consumer information can be found at www.mazdausa.com with press information at www.mazdausamedia.com. Racers and fans can follow the action on Facebook (Mazdaspeed Motorsports).
About Cooper Tire & Rubber Company: Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: CTB) is a global company with affiliates, subsidiaries and joint ventures that specialize in the design, manufacture, marketing and sales of passenger car and light truck tires. The company also has subsidiaries that specialize in medium truck, motorcycle and racing tires. With headquarters in Findlay, Ohio, Cooper Tire has manufacturing, sales, distribution, technical and design facilities within its family of companies located in 11 countries around the world.