Scholarship prizes and awards totaling more than $2.3 million were distributed during the Mazda Road to Indy Championship Celebration on Sept. 14 in Monterey, Calif.
The Mazda Road to Indy offers scholarships that enable drivers to progress from karting and racing schools through the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires to the Verizon IndyCar Series.
“We have some incredible talent in all three series and it was a pleasure to honor them and provide the scholarships that will enable our champions to take the next step in their careers,” said Dan Andersen, owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions, which oversees operations of the three series.
“All of this would not be possible without our tremendous partners in Mazda and Cooper Tires. Just as we watched Gabby (Chaves) blossom in the Verizon IndyCar Series this year, we are excited to see what the future holds for Spencer (Pigot). He is a tremendous talent and a deserving champion.”
Pigot, 21, from Orlando, Fla., swept the Indy Lights championship-deciding doubleheader at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca over the weekend to win the championship.
The series Rookie of the Year received a $1 million scholarship that will be used for a 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series race program that includes the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.
Pigot earned several additional awards, including a $25,000 cash award from Cosworth, a champion’s ring from Jostens and an original artwork by Jim Swintal to commemorate his success.
Pigot previously claimed a Mazda scholarship to progress from karting to the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National series in 2009, which he promptly won to secure another scholarship that enabled him to progress to USF2000. He also won the 2014 Pro Mazda title.
“This has been the biggest weekend of my career for sure,” he said. “I’ve been in the Mazda Road to Indy for my entire car racing career and to win two races and the championship at Mazda Raceway was the perfect end to my time here. I can’t thank Mazda and Cooper Tires enough for everything they have done for me and every driver in the Mazda Road to Indy.
“Thanks to them I’m going to be a part of the biggest race in the world and achieve my dream of being in the Indianapolis 500.”
Santiago Urrutia, 19, of Uruguay, driving for Team Pelfrey, secured the Pro Mazda title and a scholarship for $590,300 to assist in his graduation to Indy Lights in 2016.
USF2000 champion Nico Jamin, 19, from Rouen, France, earned a Mazda scholarship $381,100 to allow him to graduate to Pro Mazda in 2016.
In addition, six former champion drivers were inducted into the Mazda Road to Indy Hall of Fame: Jonathan Bomarito and Lawson Aschenbach in USF2000, Guy Cosmo and Conor Daly in Pro Mazda and Paul Tracy and Josef Newgarden in Indy Lights.
Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires award winners
* Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Champion ($1 million scholarship) – Spencer Pigot, Juncos Racing
* Second place ($75,000) – Jack Harvey, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian
* Third place ($50,000) – Ed Jones, Carlin
* Fourth place ($25,000) – RC Enerson, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian
* Fifth place ($10,000): Max Chilton, Carlin
* Indy Lights Rookie of the Year Award ($15,000) – Spencer Pigot
* Tilton Hard Charger Award ($1,000) – Shelby Blackstock, Andretti Autosport
* Indy Lights Team Championship ($15,000, plus $5,000 from SSTube) – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Indy Lights
* INDYCAR Mechanic of the Year ($1,000) – Jason Robb, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
* Indy Lights Spirit Award ($1,500) – RC Enerson
* Dallara Bent Pushrod Award ($2,000) – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
* Jostens Indy Lights Champion’s Ring – Spencer Pigot
* Mazda Road to Indy Rings (drivers contesting all three levels) – Spencer Pigot and Shelby Blackstock
* Motegi Winning Driver Team Owner Trophy (set of street wheels) – Ricardo Juncos, Juncos Racing
* Cosworth Champion’s Cash Award ($25,000) – Spencer Pigot
* Dallara Champion’s Parts Credit ($25,000) – Spencer Pigot
* Original artwork by Jim Swintal – Spencer Pigot
Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires
* Pro Mazda Champion ($590,300 scholarship) – Santiago Urrutia, Team Pelfrey
* Second place ($25,000) – Neil Alberico, Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing
* Third place ($12,500) – Garett Grist, Juncos Racing
* Fourth place ($7,500) – Weiron Tan, Andretti Autosport
* Fifth place ($5,000) – Timothé Buret, Juncos Racing
* BBS Rookie of the Year ($7,500) – Santiago Urrutia
* Pro Mazda Expert Class Champion ($2,500) – Bobby Eberle, World Speed Motorsports
* Pro Mazda Team Championship ($7,500) – Juncos Racing
* Pro Mazda INDYCAR Mechanic of the Year ($1,000) – Alejandro Juncos, Juncos Racing
* Pro Mazda Spirit Award ($1,500) – Patricio O’Ward, Team Pelfrey
* Carl Haas Auto Golden Wishbone Award – Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing
* Quarter Master Hard Charger Award ($1,000) – Alessandro Latif, World Speed Motorsports
* Jostens Pro Mazda Driver Award (ring) – Santiago Urrutia
* PFC Pro Mazda Team Award ($1,000 product certificate) – Juncos Racing
* Original artwork by Jim Swintal – Santiago Urrutia
Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda
* USF2000 Champion ($381,100 scholarship) – Nico Jamin, Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing
* Second place ($10,000) – Jake Eidson, Pabst Racing
* Third place ($5,000) – Aaron Telitz, Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing
* Fourth place ($3,000) – Anthony Martin, John Cummiskey Racing
* Fifth place ($2,000) – Parker Thompson, JDC MotorSports
* Rookie of the Year ($1,500) – Anthony Martin
* USF2000 Team Championship ($4,000) – Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing
* USF2000 INDYCAR Mechanic of the Year ($1,000) – Jerome Guimont, Pabst Racing
* USF2000 Spirit Award ($1,500) – Anthony Martin
* Carl Haas Auto Golden Wishbone Award – Team Pelfrey
* Tilton Hard Charger Award ($1,000 product certificate) – Nikita Lastochkin, Team Pelfrey
* Jostens Pro Mazda Driver Award (ring) – Nico Jamin
* PFC USF2000 Team Award ($1,000 product certificate) – Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing
* Original artwork by Jim Swintal – Nico Jamin