Pro Mazda Championship
The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires debuted as a new series in 2013, replacing the Star Mazda Championship which ceased operation in 2012 after 22 years. The series is sanctioned by INDYCAR and owned and operated by Andersen Promotions. It is the second official step on the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires ladder system bridging the gap between the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. The series' champion is awarded a scholarship package from Mazda of over $790,000 to advance to Indy Lights competition the following year.
It is an exciting time for Pro Mazda with the introduction of the new Mazda-powered Dallara PM-18 chassis in 2018. Teams will take delivery of the new car in time for a concerted summer test and development program in 2017. During the transitional year, additional incentives are in place for competitors including an increase in the champion's Mazda scholarship from $601,700 to $790,300, bringing the total event and year-end prizes to over $1.1 million, plus a one-day Indy Lights test for each of the top-three finishers in the championship. A new Pro Mazda Rookie of the Year Mazda Car Award features a new Mazda street car of choice to the winning driver. Entry fee discounts are also available.
Pro Mazda has served as a vital step on the career path of many of today's top drivers since 1991. Graduates include Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Marco Andretti, Jack Hawksworth, James Hinchcliffe, Sage Karam, Spencer Pigot, Graham Rahal and Tristan Vautier, NASCAR veteran Michael McDowell, and sports car talent Joey Hand amongst many others.
In 2017, Pro Mazda will feature a condensed, six-weekend schedule of 12 races in order to allow teams to dovetail their racing commitments with a summer testing development program of the new PM-18 chassis.
Aaron Telitz of Team Pelfrey claimed the 2016 title and will advance to Indy Lights in 2017 via the Mazda scholarship system.
For more information on the Pro Mazda Championship, visit www.promazdachampionship.com.