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2017 Mazda Road to Indy Calendar Announced

The Mazda Road to Indy announced it’s three-series 2017 calendar, featuring a return to Watkins Glen International and the addition of Gateway Motorsports Park.

Gone is the Soul Red Finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, but race fans have plenty to be excited about moving into the transitional year as every MRTI race weekend will be supporting the Verizon IndyCar Series. With the new schedule comes the inaugural season of the Tatuus USF–17 Chassis in USF2000 and plans to further prepare for the future of the development series.

The 2017 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires calendar is spread across 10 weekends of racing for a total of 16 rounds. The top rung of the IndyCar development ladder will return to Gateway Motorsports Park in August for the first time in 13 years. Double header weekends include St. Petersburg, Barber Motorsports Park, the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Road America, Toronto, and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

This year was sparse for teams in Pro Mazda and with the series moving to the final year of the current chassis, several incentives have been implemented. The scholarship for winning the Pro Mazda championship was increased from $601,700 to $790,300 bringing the total prizes to over $1.1M. The top three points finishers will also receive a test day in an Indy Lights car and a Rookie of the Year Mazda Car Award will award the highest scored rookie with a new Mazda road car. Additional entry fee discounts will also be used to help boost the entry lists along with a National Class prize to be announced later for SCCA FA class competition rules.

The Pro Mazda teams will be treated to a condensed schedule to allow for testing of the new chassis ahead of its official rollout. Six weekends of competition will feature 12 rounds for 2017 with a variety of double header weekends. Double header weekends include St. Petersburg, Indianapolis, Road America, and Watkins Glen with a triple-header event at Mid-Ohio in July.

USF2000 has a big year ahead with the debut of the new Tatuus USF–17 chassis. The manufacturer already sold out of its previous 30-car inventory, so the entry lists should be teeming with competition. A total of 14 rounds will be dispersed between eight weeks of competition. The additional of Iowa in July will mark the series’ only visit to an oval next year with Lucas Oil Raceway coming off the calendar for both Pro Mazda and USF2000. Doubles headers will be at St. Petersburg, Barber, Indianapolis, Road America, Toronto, and Mid-Ohio.

The new Tatuus chassis has many in the series looking for a bright future in an attempt to make open wheel racing more cost-effective and sustainable.

“The Dallara IL–15 revitalized Indy Lights competition and I foresee our field counts growing significantly in 2017,” said Anderson Promotions CEO, Dan Anderson. “We expect the same with USF2000 and the new car, where I do expect 30 fields. With the in-between year for Pro Mazda before the PM–18, we’ve added what we feel is an excellent incentive package to attract more teams and drivers to the grid, including a summer testing program with the new chassis.”

The developments in the technical department of the series will be mirrored by coverage and exposure. This year was a big year for Road to Indy TV, being the first American racing series with a dedicated broadcast channel on Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire. The effort will grow with expanded coverage in 2017 including both live on-track coverage as well as off-track features. NBC Sports Network will continue to produce one-hour programs of all Road to Indy events and the IndyCar Radio Network will continue to cover the series live online and XM Satellite Radio.

The heart of Mazda Road to Indy is the generous scholarship award to championship winners in each series to field them in the next rung of the ladder all the way up to the IndyCar Series. Next year, USF2000 champion Anthony Martin will be fielded in Pro Mazda and Aaron Telitz in Indy Lights, each in a Soul Red-liveried Mazda representing scholarship wings. The next generation of North American open wheel racing commenced in December with the Mazda Road to Indy $200K Shootout in December to determine the USF2000 scholarship awarded for next year.

2017 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires
March 11/12 – Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida*
April 22/23 – Barber Motorsports Park*
May 12/13 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway*
May 26 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
June 24/25 – Road America*
July 8/9 – Iowa Speedway
July 15/16 – Streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada*
July 29/30 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course*
August 26/27 – Gateway Motorsports Park
Sept. 2/3 – Watkins Glen International
*Doubleheader Rounds

2017 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires
March 11/12 – Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida*
May 12/13 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway*
June 24/25 – Road America*
July 29/30 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course**
August 26/27 – Gateway Motorsports Park
Sept. 2/3 – Watkins Glen International*
*Doubleheader Rounds
**Tripleheader Round

2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda
March 11/12 – Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida*
April 22/23 – Barber Motorsports Park*
May 12/13 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway*
June 24/25 – Road America*
July 8/9 – Iowa Speedway
July 15/16 – Streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada*
July 29/30 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course*
Sept. 2/3 – Watkins Glen International
*Doubleheader Rounds

As a mechanical engineer, Dusty’s passion is for sports cars and endurance racing. In his opinion, there’s nothing better than a race car closely based on a model that you can go out and buy from the manufacturer showroom. He’s very particular about his writing utensils and appreciates a great, cruelty free pomade.

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