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MRTI USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout Dates/Venue Announced

Champions From Around the World to Vie for 2018 USF2000 Entry

PALMETTO, Fla. (September 12, 2017) – The highly anticipated Mazda Road to Indy $200K Scholarship Shootout will bring 20 champions from around the globe to the Valley of the Sun as the Bondurant Racing School near Phoenix, Ariz., will host the second annual event on December 9/10. The winner will receive a $200,000 prize from Mazda to assist in graduation to the 2018 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda – the first step on the most effective driver development program in the world, the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires.

In 2017, nearly 400 drivers from 20 open-wheel racing championships on five continents will have competed for an entry ticket to the Shootout. Last year’s Shootout winner Oliver Askew, 20, of Jupiter, Fla., earned his entry via the Team USA Scholarship program. He parlayed his MRTI USF2000 $200K Scholarship into a second Mazda Scholarship by winning this year’s USF2000 title. He will now move another step up the ladder to the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires next year.

“Oliver Askew is proof of what the Shootout can lead to for a young driver,” said John Doonan, Director of Mazda Motorsports in North America. “With very little experience in race cars, Oliver won the inaugural $200,000 scholarship and turned it into a USF2000 championship in 2017. He is the embodiment of what the Mazda driver development scholarships are all about: giving young drivers the opportunity to move up the racing ladder all the way to the Verizon IndyCar series. We can’t wait to see who the next Shootout winner will be.”

Drivers will showcase their skills on the 15-turn, 1.6-mile Bondurant main track at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park – formerly known as Firebird International Raceway – for an intense two days of competition. The Bondurant Racing School features Formula Mazda cars powered by Mazda rotary engines on Cooper tires. Competitors will also be evaluated off-track by an illustrious judging panel to be announced in the coming weeks.

The Bondurant Racing School was launched by renowned, multi-faceted and race winning driver Bob Bondurant in 1968 at Orange County International Raceway near Los Angeles. His first “students” were actors Paul Newman and Robert Wagner who were preparing for their role in the movie “Winning.” Since 1990, the school has been at its current location in Chandler, outside of Phoenix. It maintains over 200 race-prepared vehicles, sedans, SUVs and open-wheel cars and is the largest dedicated facility of its
kind in North America.

“The Mazda $200,000 Shootout represents exactly what the Mazda Road to Indy is all about, giving drivers an opportunity to compete and advance all the way up the ladder to IndyCar,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “Bringing champions from all over the world together in a shootout format will produce a driver who is sure to be a contender in 2018 and, with the training provided in our program, that driver will have a much better shot at a career at the pinnacle of the sport down the road. I love what Mazda, Cooper Tires and our other partners are doing to provide this opportunity and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.”

Shootout entry tickets will be issued to champions of the following series, with an eligibility requirement that drivers be between the ages of 14 and 25 on September 30, 2017.

BRSCC Avon Tires FF1600 Championship (England)
Pacific F2000 Championship (USA)
Formula Panam (Mexico)
Beatson’s Scottish FF1600 Championship (Scotland)
New Zealand Formula Ford Championship (New Zealand)
MMSC MRF F1600 Indian Championship (India)
Formula Tour 1600 (Canada)
Formula Ford Super Series (England)
Australian Formula Ford Championship (Australia)
Formula Car Challenge Presented by Goodyear (USA)
F1600 Formula F Championship Series (USA)
Team USA Scholarship (USA)
Formula Ford Festival (England)
Walter Hayes Trophy (England)
Formula Ford Ireland (Ireland)
SCCA National Championship Runoffs (USA)
Selectiva de Kart Petrobras (Brazil)

Two or three additional at-large entries will be offered at the discretion of Mazda.

A full list of scholarship Shootout contestants will be announced prior to the event. Four series have already crowned champions that will be part of the Shootout – Liam Lawson, 14, of Pukekohe, New Zealand representing the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship; Niall Murray, 22, of Dublin, Ireland, representing the BRSCC Avon Tires FF1600 Championship; Olin Galli, 21, of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, representing Selectiva de kart Petrobras; and Ross Martin, 16, of Kilmaronock, Scotland, representing the Scottish Motor Racing Club Formula Ford 1600 Championship.

“We chose Bondurant this year for a number of reasons,” said Kyle Kimball, Operations Manager for Mazda Motorsports. “Bondurant is an official partner of IMSA, a sanctioning body that Mazda is also very involved with. We like to do business with those who support auto racing, and Bondurant fits the bill, especially with their Formula Mazda cars.”

A full schedule and program of events will be announced in the near future.

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About the Mazda Road to Indy $200K Scholarship Shootout: Launched in 2016, the MRTI $200K Scholarship Shootout (#MRTIShootout) is an unprecedented event which brings together talent from select junior level openwheel and karting series from around the world with the best-of-the-best vying for a slot on the first step of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires driver development ladder, the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. The Mazda Road to Indy offers scholarships for talented young drivers to progress all the way from the grassroots of the sport to the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500.

About USF2000: The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda debuted in 2010 and is a continuation of the highly-regarded USF2000 series which ran from 1990 through 2006, launching the careers of many of today’s top drivers. Sanctioned by INDYCAR and managed by Andersen Promotions, the series is the first official step on the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires ladder system. The top driver in the Championship class will earn a scholarship package from Mazda to advance to the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires the following year. Additional information can be found at www.usf2000.com and at RoadToIndy.Info.

About Mazda, Mazda Motorsports: Mazda Motorsports boasts the most comprehensive auto racing development
ladder system of any auto manufacturer in the world. The Mazda Road to 24 program offers a number of scholarships to advance drivers up the sports car racing ladder, beginning with the Global MX-5 Cup series and culminating with the Mazda Prototype team. The Mazda Road to Indy is a similar program that includes Mazda-powered categories of USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights. In grassroots road racing, more Mazdas race on any given weekend in North America than any other manufacturer. Mazda is also the title sponsor of the renowned Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. Follow all of the latest news at MazdaMotorsports.com, @MazdaRacing on Twitter, and MazdaMotorsports on Instagram and Facebook.

About Cooper Tire & Rubber Company: Cooper Tire & Rubber Company is the parent company of a global family of companies that specializes in the design, manufacture, marketing and sale of innovative, great-performing tires that you can count on to last for thousands of miles, getting you where you need to go, and back again. Cooper is proud to be the spec tire for all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires, a development program within the IndyCar racing series. Cooper tires can also be seen on the track as a sponsor in the short course off-road TORC Series. Headquartered in Findlay, Ohio, Cooper, with its subsidiaries, has manufacturing, sales,
distribution, technical and design operations in more than one dozen countries around the world. To connect with Cooper, visit us.coopertire.com/, www.facebook.com/coopertire or www.twitter.com/coopertire.

Contacts:

Tamy Valkosky
Andersen Promotions
pr@roadtoindy.net
(949) 842-3946 C.

Diane Swintal
Andersen Promotions
dswintal@roadtoindy.net
(949) 439-7871 C.

Jade Gurss
Mazda Motorsports
mazdamotorsports@icloud.com
(317) 517-4121 C.

LOCATION

Track:
20000 S. Maricopa Road, Gate #3
Chandler, AZ 85226

Mailing:
P.O. Box 51980
Phoenix, AZ 85076

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