The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda announced that Mazda has reaffirmed its alliance with the series with an extended agreement through 2014.
A pioneer in assisting drivers move up the ranks, Mazda has been a vital partner of USF2000 since 2010 with its reliable MZR engines, Mazda Road to Indy scholarship package and off-track training program.
“We are so proud to be a part of the Mazda family,” said Dan Andersen, owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions, the series promoter. “What Mazda does for young racers is unparalleled, and what they offer our series is simply amazing. Their Mazda Road to Indy scholarship program and training is in a class of its own and, on top of that, they provide our teams with MZR engines that are low cost and reliable. In three years, we have not had one engine failure.
“Mazda continues to raise the bar in the development series and we couldn’t be more honored to be aligned with such a great company and to have them as our partner in reaching our mutual goal – to help drivers move up the ladder system.”
Mazda launched the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder in 2006 to assist drivers in advancing their careers. In 2010, the program was expanded to include the Mazda Road to Indy, which awards champions in USF2000, Star Mazda and Firestone Indy Lights a Mazda scholarship package to advance to the next level the following year.
Mazda is also a key partner of the Skip Barber Racing School – the official racing school of the IZOD IndyCar Series – assisting young drivers in advancing from the school to USF2000 competition, as well as Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., the site of the series’ West Coast debut in 2013.
“The growth in the USF2000 Championship has been amazing,” said John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports, Mazda North American Operations. “We are pleased to continue our partnership with all the series’ supporters, especially Cooper Tires and Andersen Promotions. Key to the on-track success has been bulletproof reliability of our Mazda MZR engines as prepared by Elite Engines.
"Everyone at Mazda was thrilled when we were told that Matthew Brabham, our 2012 champion, had over 9,000 race miles on his engine. That showcases the Mazda quality, durability and reliability while saving money for our racers. A great win-win. We can’t wait to see more of our Skip Barber graduates move up to USF2000 in 2013. We also look forward to the top USF2000 drivers moving up to the Star Mazda Championship. It’s only a matter of time until we have a Mazda alum winning the Indy 500.”
While Mazda’s presence in motorsports throughout North America is extensive with involvement in more than a dozen series and more than 200 races, Mazda Motorsports also has a prominent role in on-road safety. It recently announced a partnership with Project Yellow Light, the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Skip Barber Racing School, the Ad Council and the National Organization for Youth Safety to promote a broader awareness of distracted driving for new drivers. The national peer-to-peer mentoring program on the dangers of distracted driving features dozens of young racers from the Mazda Road to Indy as well as a Skip Barber Racing School Teen Safety and Survival Class.
The 2013 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season will open with the 61st running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on March 14-15. The full schedule will feature 14 races and will see the series expand into three new markets with events at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and street circuit venues in Toronto and at Reliant Park in Houston.
The series preseason Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship – a six-race mini-series – will take place at Sebring on February 5-6 and Palm Beach International Raceway on February 9-10.