The national motto of Jason Bedasse's native Jamaica — "Out of many, one people" — speaks of the diversity of the population of that Caribbean nation. Bedasse has a twist to that phrase as his personal motto: "Out of many, one driver."
Bedasse, who has joined M1 Racing for selected events in the 2014 Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires, will be the first driver from Jamaica to compete in that Mazda Road to Indy series.
"I want to be the first Jamaican ever to do well in open-wheel racing, and my ultimate goal is Indy if I can make it," said Bedasse, who was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1975.
With M1 Racing's help, Bedasse is creating a Jamaican theme for his racing season. His car is No. 62 in honor of 1962, the year that Jamaica gained full independence from the United Kingdom. It's green, yellow and black -- the colors of Jamaica's flag.
Bedasse started in karting at Goodwood Kartways in Ontario in 2011. He moved into race cars after meeting a F1600 racer, and said, "I've been serious about racing ever since." Tests in a Formula 2000 car at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Mosport) followed.
Brian Graham Racing scouted and recruited him to join its team in the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship for 2013. That team has a long list of distinguished alumni, including Conor Daly, Mikhail Goikhberg, Spencer Pigot, Stefan Rzadsinski, Kyle Marcelli and Scott Hargrove. While at BGR Bedasse was coached by Jesse Mason, who has competed in British and German Formula 3 as well as Firestone Indy Lights and its predecessor, the Indy Pro Series. The highlight of Bedasse's season was placing third in the Masters class at the F1600 event at the Montreal Grand Prix in June, and he achieved three podium finishes in all last year.
The Pro Mazda season-opening doubleheader, which is part of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg March 29-30 in St. Petersburg, Fla., will not only be Bedasse's first Pro Mazda event, it will be his first street course races and his first in the United States.
"I'm going to learn as much as I can this year," Bedasse said. "All the tracks will be new to me, but I'm still pretty psyched about it. I'm not scared of it; I welcome the challenge."