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@SPMIndycar Meet and Greet with James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens

Photos from today’s Schmidt Peterson Motorsports meet and greet the drivers at Goodwood Kartways.

James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens

@WCRacing – Grand Prix of Monterey RD 12 Results


TC Results

1st #71 Paul Holton Audi RS 3 LMS Club Sport – C360R

6th #91 Nick Wittmer BMW M235iR – ST Racing

18th #2 Jayson Clunie BMW M235iR – Classic BMW

NC #99 Karl Wittmer Honda Accord – Honda Ste-Rose Racing

20th #38 Samantha Tan BMW M235iR – ST Racing

TCB Results

1st #25 P .J. GROENKE Sonic – Tech Sport Racing

@WCRacing – Grand Prix of Monterey RD 11 Results


TC Results

1 #71 Paul Holton Audi RS 3 LMS Club Sport – C360R

3 #91 Nick Wittmer BMW M235iR – ST Racing

11 #2 Jayson Clunie BMW M235iR – Classic BMW

23 #99 Karl Wittmer Honda Accord – Honda Ste-Rose Racing

17 #38 Samantha Tan BMW M235iR – ST Racing

TCB Results

1 #25 P .J. GROENKE Sonic – Tech Sport Racing

@WCRacing – GP of Monterey TC / TCA / TCB Rd.11 Qualifying

SALINAS, Calif. – Qualifying results for Saturday’s Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car Round 11 races starting at 9:00 a.m. Results are provisional until posted Final.

Pos,PIC,Class,Name,Hometown,Car,,Fastest Lap Time,Fastest Lap Avg. Speed
1,1, ,Paul HOLTON,Orlando, FL,Audi RS 3 LMS Club Sport,1:35.474,84.3
2,2, ,Greg LIEFOOGHE,San Francisco, CA,BMW M235iR,,1:35.652,84.2
3,3, ,Mark DRENNAN,San Jose, CA,Mazda MX-5,,1:35.698,84.1
4,4, ,Nick WITTMER,Montreal, Quebec, CA,BMW M235iR,7,1:35.751,84.1
5,5, ,Karl WITTMER,Montreal, Quebec, CA,Honda Accord,1:36.252,83.7
6,6, ,Mason FILIPPI,Alamo, CA,BMW M235iR,1:36.254,83.7
7,7, ,Pierre KLEINUBING,Coconut Creek, FL,BMW M235iR,1:36.343,83.6
8,8, ,Anthony MAGAGNOLI,Dexter, MI,BMW M235iR,1:36.761,83.2
9,9, ,Tony RIVERA,Oceanside, CA,Nissan 370Z,1:36.863,83.1
10,10, ,Toby GRAHOVEC,Celina, TX,BMW M235iR,1:36.913,83.1
11,11, ,Johan SCHWARTZ,Huntersville, NC,BMW M235iR,1:36.945,83.1
12,12, ,John WEISBERG,Webster, NY,Mazda MX-5,1:37.333,82.7
13,13, ,Anthony GERACI,Glen Cove, NY,Audi RS 3 LMS Club Sport,1:37.575,82.5
14,14, ,Nicolai ELGHANAYAN,Laguna Beach, CA,Lotus Exige,1:37.743,82.4
15,15, ,Aristotle BALOGH,Palo Alto, CA,BMW M235iR,1:37.762,82.4
16,16, ,JT COUPAL,Rochester, NY,Audi RS 3 LMS Club Sport,1:37.822,82.3
17,17, ,Jayson CLUNIE,Prince Albert, SK, CA,BMW M235iR,1:37.828,82.3
18,18, ,Travis WASHAY,Milford, CT,Audi RS 3 LMS Club Sport,1:37.863,82.3
19,19, ,Rodrigo SALES,Incline Village, NV,BMW M235iR,1:37.977,82.2
20,20, ,Henry SCHMITT,San Francisco, CA,BMW M235iR,1:38.034,82.1
21,21, ,Samantha TAN,Gormley, Ontario, CA,BMW M235iR,1:38.590,81.7
22,22, ,Scott THOMAS,Oklahoma City, OK,BMW M235iR,1:38.717,81.6
23,23, ,Chris OHMACHT,Franklin Lakes, NJ,BMW M235iR,1:39.389,81.0
24,24, ,Daren JORGENSEN,Austin, TX,BMW M235iR,1:39.662,80.8
25,25, ,Joshua FORAN,Odenville, AL,Honda Accord,1:39.789,80.7
26,26, ,Randy HALE,Haddam, CT,Mazda MX-5,1:40.160,80.4
27,1, A,Eric POWELL,Orlando, FL,Scion FR-S,1:41.680,79.2
28,2, A,Kenny MURILLO,Santa Rosa, CA,Mazda Global MX-5 Cup Car,1:41.788,79.1
29,3, A,Elivan GOULART,Shelton, CT,Mazda Global MX-5 Cup Car,1:41.795,79.1
30,4, A,Matthew FASSNACHT,Madison, NJ,Mazda Global MX-5 Cup Car,1:41.918,79.0
31,5, A,Jeff SEXTON,Austin, TX,Mazda Global MX-5 Cup Car,1:43.681,77.7
32,6, A,Shea HOLBROOK,Orlando, FL,Honda Civic Si,1:44.273,77.2
33,7, A,Kevin ANDERSON,Huntington Station, NY,Scion FR-S,1:46.048,75.9
34,8, A,Cameron PARSONS,Santa Ana, CA,Mazda Global MX-5 Cup Car,1:47.990,74.6
35,9, A,Daniel MOEN,Rindge, NH,Mazda MX-5,1:49.704,73.4
36,10,A, Tom O’GORMAN,Mason, OH,Honda Civic Si,No Time
37,1, B,Canaan O’CONNELL,Chandler, AZ,Chevrolet Sonic,1:51.488,72.2
38,2, B,Jake PIPAL,Oakdale, CA,Honda Fit,1:52.036,71.9
39,3, B,P.J. GROENKE,Richmond Hill, Ontario, CA,Chevrolet Sonic,1:53.124,71.2
42,5, B,Jasper DRENGLER,Shawano, WI,Honda Fit,1:56.648,69.0
43,6, B,James WILSON,Kyle, TX,Mazda 2,1:57.027,68.8
44,7, B,Stephanie ANDERSEN,Racine, WI,Mazda 2,1:59.276,67.5

2018 INDYCAR schedule builds on consistency, adds Portland event


For Immediate Release

INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017) – Consistency and stability, plus the return of a favored track in the Pacific Northwest, highlight INDYCAR’s announcement of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule that again contains 17 races.

Sixteen of the 17 races from this year’s exciting and momentum-building season return in 2018, with most falling in the same spot on the calendar to further capitalize on their date equity. The newcomer to next year’s schedule is Portland International Raceway, which hosted Indy car races under CART and Champ Car sanction from 1984-2007, including what is still the closest race finish in Indy car history on a road or street course. The Portland event is set for Labor Day weekend in 2018.

The 2018 season will feature the highly anticipated introduction of universal aero kits to be used by all teams. The new kits offer a car look more sleek, bold and reminiscent of favorite Indy cars of the past. The aerodynamics involved are expected to make the already intense competition even stronger by allowing cars to run closer together and provide more passing opportunities.

“The strength and consistency of the Verizon IndyCar Series’ 2018 schedule is something all of us should be proud of,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, which owns INDYCAR and the Verizon IndyCar Series. “We’re also looking forward to continuing the upward trend of the series through the introduction of the universal aero kits, which testing has shown to be an exciting product.”

Indicative of its status as the most diverse and demanding racing series, the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule features a virtual even mix of road courses, street courses and ovals. Five temporary street-course races will be held, starting with the season opener, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 11. Six races will be conducted on permanent road courses, including iconic tracks such as Road America and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and the Sept. 16 season finale at Sonoma Raceway.

Befitting the hundred-year history and tradition of Indy car racing, six oval tracks are on the schedule. Three are short ovals, including the last race using the original start/finish line at Phoenix Raceway on April 7. Three will be held on superspeedways, including the centerpiece of the schedule, the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 27.
For the eighth consecutive year, the 2018 season kicks off in St. Petersburg, Florida, on the 1.8-mile temporary circuit set up on city streets and a runway of Albert Whitted Airport. The Gulf Coast city has hosted Indy cars continuously since 2005 and provides the perfect warm-weather backdrop to usher in the new season.

Phoenix Raceway, which will be rebranded ISM Raceway in 2018, is the second stop on the schedule, returning to the first weekend in April after vacating that date this year to not conflict with the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four taking place in nearby Glendale, Arizona. The 1.022-mile oval that has hosted 63 Indy cars races dating to 1964 is undergoing a $178 million renovation that will see the start/finish line moved to the Turn 2 dogleg area following the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series race.

“We’re thrilled that the Verizon IndyCar Series Phoenix Grand Prix will return to April 6 and 7 under the lights,” said Bryan Sperber, Phoenix Raceway president. “Our race fans will be treated to the stars of the IndyCar Series racing at record speed at Phoenix at a time of year that delivers chamber of commerce weather.”

The Portland International Raceway event is set for Aug. 31-Sept. 2 on the 1.967-mile permanent road course and will be operated by Green Savoree Racing Promotions, which also promotes the Verizon IndyCar Series events at St. Petersburg, Toronto and Mid-Ohio. The return to Portland takes INDYCAR back to an important market rich with race fans and sets up a West Coast swing to finish the season, with the Portland event followed by the Sonoma finale.

“INDYCAR couldn’t be more excited to again race in front of one of our strongest fan bases,” Miles said. “Portland International Raceway has produced thrilling road racing throughout Indy car history – the 1997 finish still stands as the record for the closest finish on a road or street course – and the timing of our return couldn’t be better given the bold new look our cars will have in 2018. We expect this will be a show fans won’t want to miss.”

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said he attended the Indianapolis 500 as a young man and is excited to see the sport come back to his city.

“INDYCAR racing brings excitement and thrills to a city and to race spectators,” Wheeler said. “The return of INDYCAR racing to Portland will give us terrific international exposure, a great deal of revenue, new jobs and an exciting experience for race fans”

Other schedule highlights include:

Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach: The race on April 15 will mark the 35th consecutive year for Indy cars on the iconic Southern California street course, the longest-running relationship for any event on the schedule outside the Indianapolis 500;
Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear: The event at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park returns as the only doubleheader race weekend on the schedule, June 2-3;
KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America: In what has become a wildly popular event with fans since rejoining the schedule last year, the 2018 race is set for June 24;
Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park: On the heels of a virtual sellout crowd in INDYCAR’s return to the 1.25-mile oval this year after more than a decade away, excitement is already brewing in the St. Louis region for the 2018 race on Aug. 25.
Official track activities for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season begin with two days of open testing at Phoenix Raceway on Feb. 9-10.
All races on the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule will be broadcast by longstanding television partners ABC and NBCSN, as well as the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. The final broadcast schedule will be announced at a later date.

Victory for Jesse Lazare, Chris Green and Team MIA in Georgia



Chris Green/Jesse Lazare


October 7, 2017.- This weekend, on the Road Atlanta circuit in Georgia, the 2017 season of the North American Endurance IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge came to an end. A season that the Quebec Motorsports In Action (MIA) Team and its Montreal drivers  Jesse Lazare and Chris Green fully contested, from March until October, and ended on a high note by claiming a magnificent victory yesterday, crowning the efforts of the entire team. At the end of the two-hour race, the #69 McLaren 570S driven by Chris Green and Jesse Lazare finished in first place, after having led the majority of the laps.

The tenth and last race of the season, this two-hour event held as part of the twentieth anniversary of the popular “Petit Le Mans” at the Road Atlanta circuit, was highlighted by the heat, spectacular battles at the front of the pack, and a dominant effort by the MIA team for a good portion of the event, right through the finish line.

The #69 Pfaff McLaren and Garaga McLaren, driven by Jesse Lazare and Chris Green, progressed up the leaderboard throughout the duration of the weekend, despite a crash during the test session on Wednesday: Jesse had a catastrophic front left tire failure which delaminated moments before impact.  When he put the tire under load in the last corner at 192 kph there was no turning the car. Tire has been sent to the lab by Continental Tire for further investigation.

Seventh during the first practice session, and first in the third session, the team, with Chris Green at the wheel, qualified on the first line.

Right from the start of the race, Green maintained his second place, before taking advantage of the first neutralization to refuel. This tactic was perfectly executed by the MIA team mechanics, enabling Chris to take the lead once the racing restarted.

The following laps gave the spectators a great battle for top spot between three cars and just as the mid-way point of the race took place, in conjunction with a second neutralization, Green and the MIA McLaren were once again in the lead.

When it was time to switch drivers, refuel once again, and change the tires, the MIA team did another remarkable job and Jesse Lazare took to the track still in first place.

Having to deal with race traffic on the tricky Road Atlanta circuit, Lazare saw his lead vary by a few seconds each lap, throughout the second half of the race.  However, the young Montreal driver was flawless in his driving and was able to resist the pressure from his closest adversaries. “Honestly, when I got in the car I knew it was the perfect opportunity, it was the perfect sprint stint” said Lazare. “I had the car to go to the end – the fuel, the tires. The team did a perfect job. Chris did an outstanding job bringing me the car completely straight, like brand new. I was keeping every tire on out there and I was maintaining my gap and this is just a taste of what Motorsports In Action can do.”

This exceptional victory rewarded the MIA team for all their hard work all season, despite barely missing out on success earlier this season, for the #69 McLaren. At Road Atlanta, everything came together. “This is an extremely emotional victory for not only me, but the whole team that put all their love and effort throughout the whole season. I want to personally thank Carl Hermez that put this super star team together and achieved so much for a new team! Can’t wait for next year!” indicated Eric Kerub, team owner.

This success concludes the 2017 season for the MIA team, Jesse Lazare and Chris Green finished in sixth place in the Grand Sports final standings. More details regarding the 2018 plans of the team and their drivers will be

announced soon.


@IMSA Petit Lemans Canadian Lineup



Good luck to all those involved in this weekends IMSA races at Road Atlanta !


#59 GS Scott Maxwell              Jack Roush Jr. KohR Motorsports
Ford Mustang GT4
#76 GS Matt Plumb
Paul Holton
McLaren GT4
#69 GS Christopher Green
Jesse Lazare
Motorsports In Action
McLaren GT4
#77 GS Nico Rondet
Mathew Keegan
McLaren GT4
#12 GS Trent Hindman
Cameron Cassels
Bodymotion Racing
Porsche Cayman GT4
#37 ST Mike LaMarra
James Vance
#75 ST Pierre Kleinubing
Roy Block
Audi S3
#26 PC John Falb
Tomy Drissi
Garett Grist
BAR1 Motorsports
#20 PC Don Yount
Buddy Rice
Daniel Burkett
BAR1 Motorsports
#25 GTLM Kuno Wittmer
Bill Auberlen
Alexander Sims
#93 GTD Katherine Legge
Andy Lally
Mark Wilkins
Michael Shank Racing
Acura NSX GT3
#28 GTD Michael Christensen
Daniel Morad
Michael de Quesada
Alegra Motorsports
Porsche 911 GT3 R

A Seventh Place Finish Misrepresents the Efforts of Jesse Lazare, Chris Green and the MIA Team in California !


September 24, 2017.- This weekend, Quebec’s Motorsports In Action (MIA) team and its Montreal drivers Jesse Lazare and Chris Green contested the penultimate round of North America’s Endurance series, the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, at the Laguna Seca circuit in California. A four-hour race, twice as long as the other races held this summer, saw the McLaren 570S GT4 #69 in the lead longer than any other competitor or team, before Chris Green was sent spinning with only two laps left, while he was in second place.

The weekend had a rough start for the MIA team, as was the case for the other competing McLaren GT4, which were significantly off the pace at the tricky Laguna Seca track. « We worked very hard and opted for “aggressive” changes during the free practice, which turned out to be beneficial. With help from Ian Willis, the respected owner of the AIM team, they finished by getting the right qualifying and race setups, enabling Jesse Lazare to make his way to the front starting line », confided team owner Eric Kerub.


The Pfaff McLaren/Garaga endorsed #69, driven by Jesse Lazare, found itself in second position during the first few minutes of the race, but by the time one hour was completed, Lazare and Green were leading the event. Their position barely changed and by mid-point of the race and the start of the last hour, the MIA team’s McLaren was still at the top of the leaderboard.


After executing a perfect race strategy and flawless pit stops, the MIA team, with Chris Green at the wheel, found themselves in a podium position with only minutes remaining. As he was completing the second to last lap, Green fell victim of a rear end hit from an over ambitious competitor that misjudged his braking, causing a spin, and eliminated any potential podium that the team worked so hard for in 3 hours and 57 minutes of this 4 hour enduro. The Lazare/Green duo eventually finished the event in eighth spot, which turned into seventh place in the official race results when the competitor that sent Chris Green in a spin was penalized by the officials at the finish.


The MIA team and its drivers completed excellent work throughout the entire weekend in California. Despite the disappointing result, all team members want to finish the season on a positive note, as explained by team owner Eric Kerub ” we were one second slower than the other manufacturers during the free practice but got everything right when it counted and lead for more than half of the race”, he confided prior to continuing ” Chris had a broken rear diffuser early in his stint which certainly caused some performance loss with an hour to go. This, with combination of the extremely strong Aston Martin’s over the weekend made a victory impossible, but losing second place that way really hurts. The entire team did a perfect job this weekend and that’s the major positive point to retain “.


The next round of the 2017 championship of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series will take place in two weeks at the Road Atlanta circuit in Georgia.  This will be the final race of the season, contested as part of the prestigious “Petit Le Mans”, on October 6th.

Mazda Road To INDY Wraps Up Banner Year On And Off Track

Series News –

PALMETTO, Fla. – The Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires – the most effective driver development platform in the world – concluded its best season to date this month with thrilling championship battles punctuated by thriving off-track initiatives that firmly position the INDYCAR-sanctioned ladder series for future growth and global presence.

The relevance of the Mazda Road to Indy in assisting drivers to the pinnacle of the sport was highlighted in the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 where 24 of the 33 starters were graduates of the program. 2016 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion Ed Jones finished an impressive third and 2015 Indy Lights race winner Max Chilton fourth. The season-ending Verizon IndyCar Series finale witnessed 16 of 22 starters as graduates including newly crowned champion Josef Newgarden, who claimed the 2011 Indy Lights title.

“The Mazda Road to Indy from an IndyCar and, frankly, from an Indianapolis 500 perspective is priceless,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, the parent company of INDYCAR. “It is THE way for us to develop talent that supports the IndyCar series and the 500-mile race in Indianapolis. And it’s working.”

“You have all these young kids who race go-karts and want to race professionally and specifically look to IndyCar racing,” said Newgarden. “They need a system, they need a ladder that they can climb up and hopefully make it to the top — that’s the structure that the Mazda Road to Indy provides.”

Spencer Pigot, who won consecutive championships in Pro Mazda and Indy Lights, and multiple Indy Lights race winner Zach Veach further cemented their footprints as IndyCar drivers following recently announced full-time campaigns for 2018. Since 2013, 16 drivers have graduated from the Mazda Road to Indy into IndyCar.

Premier Competition and Over $3.5M in Prize Money and Awards
Drivers representing 17 nations and five continents made up the grids for Indy Lights, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda in one of the most competitive seasons on record. Across the three series, 13 drivers claimed race wins and 26 different drivers finished on the podium. Over $3.5 million in prize money and awards was distributed.

Kyle Kaiser of Juncos Racing captured the Indy Lights crown and will use his Mazda Scholarship valued at $1 million to contest a minimum of three races in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series including the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500. Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni of Juncos Racing will take his $790,300 Mazda Scholarship to Indy Lights while Oliver Askew of Cape Motorsports – who claimed his second consecutive Mazda Scholarship with the USF2000 title – will advance to Pro Mazda via his $325,000 champion’s pay day.

“There are a lot of great drivers out there that never got the opportunity to compete at the top level,” said Ed Jones. “The Mazda Road to Indy allows you to prove yourself and when you prove yourself, it gives you the opportunity to move up. Without the Mazda Road to Indy, I wouldn’t be in IndyCar today.”

“The competition level is through the roof (and) you get to race people from around the world, but you have a good platform to start from that you can move up the ladder and eventually get to the pinnacle which is IndyCar racing, which I think is the best racing in the world,” said Scott Dixon, four-time IndyCar champion, Indianapolis 500 race winner and 2000 Indy Lights champion.

Series Revitalization Concludes
With the prototype testing debut of the Mazda-powered Tatuus PM-18, which will enter competition next year, the revitalization of all three levels is now complete. State-of-the-art chassis are in service across the board meeting the highest safety standards, including the Dallara IL-15, which debuted in Indy Lights in 2015, and the Tatuus USF-17 that was introduced to rave reviews this season. The price point for a new rolling chassis in USF2000 is $55,800 and $61,800 for Pro Mazda. In Indy Lights and USF2000, 20 track records were broken this year.

To guarantee parity in a very competitive field which saw seven different race winners in 2017, Indy Lights next season will introduce a higher quality turbocharger and wastegate for the 2.0-liter turbocharged Mazda MZR-R engine developed in conjunction with Advanced Engine Research (AER). The addition of at least six torque sensors, which will be rotated between teams, will monitor engine equivalency providing instant results that will be managed by a third-party analysis of the data to further ensure performance equality.

Mazda Road to Indy Team Expansion
The Mazda Road to Indy paddock continued to grow this year with the addition of new teams Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing, BN Racing, DEForce Racing, FatBoy Racing!, Exclusive Autosport, Team Benik and the return of Newman Wachs Racing. As teams await the 2018 schedule, which will be announced in the coming weeks, Andersen Promotions and Green Savoree Racing Promotions confirmed a new three-year partnership which will see all three series compete on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, through 2020 in support of the Verizon IndyCar Series headline event.

“What I like about the (USF2000) series is that it is always in front of the IndyCar series so all the people that are involved – the managers, the bosses, the driver coaches. If you are good then they will notice you and I think it is a very big advantage compared to many other series in the world,” said The Netherlands’ Marijn van Kalmthout, father of USF2000 championship runner-up Rinus VeeKay.

Enhanced Coverage 
Coverage of the Mazda Road to Indy has continued to expand. After becoming the first American racing series with a dedicated broadcast channel on demand via Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku last April, the Mazda Road to Indy became the first open-wheel racing series to feature an Official App on Xbox One. It also entered the gaming world with a new arcade-style game available for free download to mobile devices via the Apple App Store and on Google Play.

In addition to Indy Lights race broadcasts on NBCSN, the Mazda Road to Indy was featured on Road to Indy TV with behind-the-scenes episodes earning more than 420,000 video views this year. The Road to Indy TV App continued to expand its presence reaching 50,000 users. The Road to Indy TV Facebook followers grew to more than 300,000.

Worldwide live streaming and live timing on the series’ respective websites and was available for the majority of on-track racing action in all series. Indy Lights was also featured on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts on Sirius 214, XM 209,, and on the INDYCAR Mobile app.

Educational Aspects Continue
Education to provide competitors with the tools they need off the track continues to be paramount. Highlights of this year’s Mazda Road to Indy Summit program included media training by NBCSN’s IndyCar and Formula One play-by-play announcer Leigh Diffey, an Oval Clinic featuring Al Unser Jr., Johnny Unser, Spencer Pigot and Zach Veach and business presentations by series’ partners Mazda and Cooper Tires.

Drivers also participated in autograph sessions at every event hosted by the INDYCAR Fan Village plus Q&A sessions on the Cooper Tires stage and meet-and-greets/tours with children and their mentors from the Hi-Tide Kids On Track program which hosted groups from Big Brothers Big Sisters, Ronald McDonald House Charities and Boys and Girls Clubs of America amongst many others as well as Racing For Kids hospital visits.

Social Media Initiatives Emphasized
The Cooper Tires Hashtag program – which utilizes the hashtags #TeamCooperTire and #MRTI in a series of social media challenges – witnessed its best year since its launch in 2014. Ninety-five percent of teams and drivers participated in the program which ran from February 27 to September 4 accounting for over 5,250 original posts. The #TeamCooperTire hashtag reached 6,770,909 users on Twitter and was tweeted 22,918 times. Of those, it was paired with the #MRTI hashtag on 20,264 occasions or 88 percent.

Proof is in the Pudding with New Video-Based Site
The new RoadToIndy.Info website was launched recently to assist in educating new drivers about the Mazda Road to Indy. Entirely video-based, the website covers key areas in the ladder system from racing, cars and tracks and safety to education, exposure, awards and support highlighted by input from industry insiders including team principals, IndyCar drivers and key personnel, media representatives, parents of current drivers and series’ partners.

Still to Come
Two key events remain on the 2017 schedule. The first is the Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test, now in its seventh year, which provides teams the opportunity to audition new talent and jumpstart their campaigns, and new drivers the chance to sample the waters. This year’s test will see competitors return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course for a weekend outing at the iconic Brickyard on October 21/22. The test will mark the first time that the complete revitalization of the Mazda Road to Indy will be on display with all three series’ new chassis in action.

The second is the Mazda Road to Indy $200K Scholarship Shootout which will bring 20 champions from series 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. In 2017, nearly 400 drivers from 20 open-wheel racing championships on five continents will have competed for an entry ticket to the Shootout. Oliver Askew was the inaugural winner.

“This has been a terrific season on so many fronts but, as always, we will seek to make improvements,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “We are all about driver training and advancement and whatever we can add to ease the career paths of all these talented drivers, we will do. This program is the result of tremendous support from INDYCAR, Mazda, Cooper Tires and our other fine partners, and it works because of the talented staff we’ve assembled along the way. Building a career in racing is very challenging but it’s safe to say the Mazda Road to Indy has made it less so. There’s nothing like it in the world!”

@WCRacing – Announces Partial 2018 Schedule

Traditional Venues Return for Popular PWC Road Racing Campaign
SONOMA, Calif. – WC Vision, producer of the Pirelli World Challenge, today announced its racing schedule for the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge Championships featuring North America’s top GT Production-based road racing campaign.
In 2017 the PWC series, with over 25 auto manufacturers and 44 separate models through its seven racing divisions; GT/SprintX, GTA, GT Cup, GTS, Touring Car, TCA and TCB, enjoyed sensational racing action in its 28th year as one of the world’s most competitive and entertaining GT racing series.
For 2018, the Pirelli World Challenge season will host at least eleven weekends through North America including the traditional venues like the Streets of St. Petersburg, Circuit Of The Americas (COTA), Streets of Long Beach, VIRginia International Raceway (VIR), Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), Lime Rock Park, Road America and Utah Motorsports Campus.
In addition, two PWC weekends are set in July and September with dates and sites to be announced soon.
“After the success of this year’s Pirelli World Challenge SprintX and Sprint formats, several additional venues have inquired about hosting PWC races in 2018,” said Greg Gill, president and CEO of WC Vision. “We are excited to be back at most of our traditional tracks and dates but I think you might also see some other venues added to the PWC schedule. We are still in negotiations with additional sites and I will have more information soon.”
“As we enter our 29th PWC campaign, we want to thank many of North America’s most iconic and legendary road racing venues in bringing the best GT Production-based racing to their racing facilities in 2018. We expect another outstanding season in 2018 for the fans, teams, drivers and sponsors.”
The complete class participation for each PWC weekend will be announced in the coming weeks as GT single-driver sprint events will continue to run in conjunction with the Verizon IndyCar Series weekends. The IndyCar Series venues are being determined for the Sprint races but currently include St. Petersburg (March 9-11), Long Beach (April 13-15) and Road America (June 22-24). All except Long Beach will be doubleheader weekends.
In the five PWC headliner races, COTA (March 24-26), VIR (April 27-29), Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (May 18-20), Lime Rock Park (May 25-26) and Utah Motorsports Campus (Aug. 10-12) feature all seven racing divisions.
The Pirelli World Challenge finale again will take place at legendary Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with a unique weekend set for racers and fans on Oct. 19-21. Working in conjunction with the popular European-based SRO Blancpain GT Series, the SRO Motorsports Group Intercontinental GT Challenge will include an eight-hour GT endurance contest with GT3 and GT4 machines and the Touring Car final doubleheader weekend.
2018 Pirelli World Challenge Schedule
Date Track City/Region
March 9-11 Streets of St. Petersburg St. Petersburg, Fla.
March 23-25 Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) Austin, Texas
April 13-15 Streets of Long Beach Long Beach, Calif.
April 27-29 Virginia International Raceway Alton, Va.
May 18-20 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Bowmanville, Ont., CAN
May 25-26 Lime Rock Park Lakeville, Conn.
June 22-24 Road America Elkhart Lake, Wis.
July TBA
August 10-12 Utah Motorsports Campus Grantsville, Utah
September TBA
October 19-21 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
(with SRO Interncontinental GT Challenge) Salinas, Calif.

October 2017
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