MRTI Stars of the Race – Indy GP

  The level of competition in this year’s Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires is extremely high, especially in the USF2000 and Indy Lights series. The introduction of the new Tatuus USF-17 race car has leveled the playing field in USF2000, which has provided the freshmen class with increased experience equality with the veterans. We’ve seen five different rookies record podium finishes through the first six races, in fact, they’ve dominated all three steps in four of the celebrations. The rookies are stepping it up in Indy Lights as well, having won the first five races of the year at the hands of Aaron Telitz, Colton Herta and Nico Jamin. Kyle Kaiser’s win in Race on the IMS road course finally broke that streak, and you’d have to expect that Santi Urrutia and Neil Alberico are primed for race wins this year as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the on-track battles through the six Continue Reading

MRTI Stars of the Race – Barber

  04.26.17 - One of the aspects that I truly enjoy about the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tire is that there are no holes in the schedule. There aren’t any races that prompt so-so reactions. St. Petersburg and Toronto are truly incredible street races, supported by rabid racing fans. The natural terrain road courses of Barber Motorsports Park, Road America, Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glen are four of my favorites and are truly iconic venues. The oval race at Iowa is such a challenge for the drivers and Indianapolis is, well, Indianapolis. I think the road course at IMS became much stronger with the track layout adjustment for IndyCar, and again, we’re in the shadow of the Pagoda, so all is right with the world. And to cap, I truly expect this year’s new venue – Gateway Motorsports Park - to be a high-quality event as it has the necessary and passionate support from the facility and the Continue Reading

2017 Projections – USF2000 v1

  01.19.2017 - It’s been a long time since there was this much excitement surrounding the first rung of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires. The arrival of the new Tatuus-built USF-17 to race shops around the country has fueled incredible momentum for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and there are a total of 14 teams that have purchased at least one new car. I’m told that there are indeed a couple of squads that may be looking to sell their new chassis due to unforeseen circumstances, but I’m expecting to at least a dozen transporters in the paddock at St. Petersburg. Surprisingly, the number of confirmed drivers sits at just seven at this time, but with test programs having already restarted in early January, I’m sure the game of musical chairs will begin and we’ll start seeing many more announcements. In fact, I’m expecting to see at least one driver Continue Reading

Indy Lights – 2017 Projections

  01.09.2017 - The flipping of the calendar to 2017 has re-fired the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, as testing has resumed in Florida. Belardi Auto Racing restarted their efforts at Homestead on Wednesday and Palm Beach on Friday, putting two drivers through the paces in both wet and dry conditions. The remaining Indy Lights teams will be back on-track later this month, all focused on being ready to run for race wins at the season opener in St. Petersburg on March 10-12. As it stands, we are looking at a total of five teams for the 2017 season and the fact that I’m predicting 14 cars for the first round is a pretty positive note, considering the shuttering of series stalwart Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports. Andretti Autosport has already confirmed four drivers, and I project that both Belardi and Carlin will have at least three cars under the tent. Juncos Racing has already Continue Reading