Archives for Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires

Andersen Promotions Signs Three-Year Agreement with Green Savoree Racing Promotions

PALMETTO, Fla. (August 29, 2017) – All three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires – the world’s most effective open-wheel development ladder – will continue to enjoy competition at three high profile venues as Andersen Promotions and Green Savoree Racing Promotions today announced a new multi-year contract.

Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda will all be in action on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, through 2020. All three events respectively known as the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Honda Indy Toronto and Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio will be highlighted by rounds of the Verizon IndyCar Series.

“Eight years ago the Mazda Road to Indy’s relationship with Green Savoree began with USF2000 at St. Petersburg, and over the years it has been a tremendous partnership,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “This renewal to have the entire Mazda Road to Indy at all three Green Savoree events through 2020 is the perfect foundation for what we believe to be the best calendar of road courses, street circuits and oval venues designed to train young drivers for careers in professional racing. Kim [Green] and Kevin [Savoree] have three of the premier events on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule – a testament to their skills in organizing and promoting – and we are very pleased to be a part of their success.”

The waterfront street course at St. Petersburg, the cosmopolitan Toronto street circuit – the second longest-running street race – and picturesque Mid-Ohio Sports Car course have played host to the Mazda Road to Indy since the inception of the INDYCAR-sanctioned ladder system in 2010.

”The racing competition and the depth of driver talent showcased in the Mazda Road to Indy have been fantastic. Dan (Andersen) and his Andersen Promotions team have done a phenomenal job of building each step of the development ladder for open-wheel racing’s future stars,” said Kevin Savoree, president and chief operating officer of Green Savoree Racing Promotions. “We’re proud to have all three series return and be key features at all three of our INDYCAR venues for an additional three years.”

The Mazda Road to Indy provides opportunities for drivers from around the world to progress all the way from the grassroots to the pinnacle of the sport in North America. This year, over $3.5 million in Mazda Scholarships and awards are on offer to help drivers take the next steps in their careers, with the Indy Lights champion claiming a prize valued at $1 million to ensure entry into three Verizon IndyCar Series events in 2018, including the 102nd Indianapolis 500. All three levels will wrap up the 2017 season this weekend at Watkins Glen International.

Franzoni Reclaims Points Lead with Gateway Win

Madison, Ill. – The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires made its inaugural visit to Gateway Motorsports Park a memorable one as title rivals Victor Franzoni and Anthony Martin once again traded the lead of the championship as Franzoni claimed his fifth victory of the season in this afternoon’s St. Louis Pro Mazda Oval Challenge Presented by Cooper Tires. The pair now share five wins apiece.
Martin, of Cape Motorsports, took pole position in qualifying earlier this afternoon – his sixth pole of the season – with Juncos Racing’s Franzoni a close second. Martin held the advantage at the start but a yellow followed shortly after the green flag following a spin by Jeff Green (Juncos Racing) and Brendan Puderbach (Fat Boy Racing!). The battle for the lead resumed on Lap 3 with some entertaining side-by-side racing between the two.
Carlos Cunha of Team Pelfrey, who qualified fourth, managed to pass teammate TJ Fischer and briefly enter the fray at the front of the field. Franzoni made several attempts to get around Martin on the high side and finally made the move stick on Lap 18. Once past Martin, Franzoni romped to the checkered flag with a 4.6 second lead claiming the bonus points for most laps led and fastest race lap.
Cunha held off Fischer to claim his fourth podium of the season and narrow the gap to Fischer to just five points for third in the championship.
Jeff Green recovered from his earlier spin to pass the third Team Pelfrey car of Nikita Lastochkin and finish fifth, earning the Staubli Award. The Quarter Master Hard Charger Award went to World Speed Motorsports’ Sting Ray Robb with a gain of two positions. Juncos Racing earned the PFC Award.
Franzoni now leads Martin by two points (287 to 285) with the final two races on the docket coming down to the season finale at Watkins Glen International next weekend.
Victor Franzoni (#23 Juncos Racing): “After qualifying, I wasn’t sure we could do it, since I was three-tenths slower than him. We thought, we’ll make some big changes and just hope to survive and finish second. But when I passed him and started to pull away, I knew the changes worked. Here, we had to have a little bit more respect for each other, because the ovals are more dangerous and things happen so fast. But both of us were so focused on winning. I had to try outside in Turn One on the first lap and it was crazy oversteer, I thought I would go into the wall. I tried a couple of lines until I found one that worked. I think we’ll be really strong next weekend, so I’m very confident for the championship.”
Anthony Martin (#8 Mazda/Burgess BLA – Cape Motorsports): “We were fighting really hard at the start. We struggled with the car a little bit during the race while Victor and the Juncos team had a really good car and really good race pace. He was just able to make the car stick in Turn One and get around, and I couldn’t stay with him. We were fast all weekend so it’s a shame to finish it like that, but we took good points, and he’s only two points ahead. It doesn’t matter who’s ahead and who’s behind, you go in to win the race. At this point, I have to get all the points I can so you forget the championship, really. You have to win, there’s nothing else. I’m going to go into the last two races striving to do my best. Anything can happen at Watkins Glen so we’ll go in with guns blazing.”
Carlos Cunha (#81 Team Pelfrey): “I think ovals are amazing! I thought it would be easy but when we came here for the test two weeks ago, I realized it would not be easy. I actually touched the wall twice during the race. You need to be technical all the time and tell the engineers the right things because the car is the most important. You have to drive on the limit and you get what you get – and for us, that was third place today. Victor and Anthony had better place but for my first oval, it was good. I had no mistakes and we finished on the podium. I’m really excited to do another oval.”

Martin Tightens Pro Mazda Title Rivalry by Winning at Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON , Ohio. – Anthony Martin, from Perth, Australia, scored a narrow victory over title rival Victor Franzoni, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, this afternoon in the first of three races which will comprise the Cooper Tires Pro Mazda Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Presented by Allied Building Products. The pair are now separated by just three points as they chase a Mazda Scholarship worth over $790,000 to assist in the progression to Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the final step on the Mazda Road to Indy open-wheel development ladder, in 2018.

Californian TJ Fischer rebounded from a disappointing weekend at Road America last month to complete the podium for Team Pelfrey.
Qualifying this morning for Round Seven of this year’s Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires threw up a surprise as Fischer’s young Brazilian teammate, Carlos Cunha, claimed the pole position ahead of title rivals Martin and Franzoni, who came into the weekend separated by just seven points after each winning three times in the opening six rounds.

After the first attempt at a start was waved off, Cunha edged away cleanly at the second time of asking, but he led only as far as Turn Four where a bold move to the inside under braking enabled Martin to claim the position. A close-following Franzoni also took advantage of his countryman’s loss of momentum to sneak through into second place.

The two leaders quickly stretched their lead, trading fastest laps as they edged away from Cunha, who in turn was unable to shake off Fischer.

Martin and Franzoni were never separated by more than a second, even as they worked their way past some slower traffic, but Martin maintained the upper hand to win by just 0.3847 second, securing Cape Motorsports its fourth Pro Mazda race win in succession at Mid-Ohio dating back to 2015 and yet another PFC Award.

The battle for third was just as intense until Lap 18, when Cunha inadvertently made contact with the lapped car of Jeff Green (Juncos Racing) at Turn Two. Cunha, who had been struggling with excessive understeer, was assessed a drive-through penalty but ended up losing only one position to Fischer – and still finishing ahead of the third Team Pelfrey car of Nikita Lastochkin, who had started a lowly seventh.

Max Hanratty (ArmsUp Motorsports), from Milwaukee, Wis., claimed sixth place and the Staubli Award following a race-long battle with Kris Wright (JDC MotorSports), from Pittsburgh, Pa.

Bob Kaminsky from Homer Glen, Ill., finished eighth overall and won the National Class for the third time this season, closing to within one point of Brendan Puderbach in the point standings.

Another qualifying session at 8:35 a.m. tomorrow will set the grid for this weekend’s second and third races, which will be held at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday and 10:20 a.m. on Sunday.

Anthony Martin (#8 Mazda/Burgess BLA-Cape Motorsports): “It was a perfect day – we just have to do that two more times this weekend! It’s a “one down” type feeling today, since we’re only halfway through our season. I have to focus forward and get as many points as I can. I got a good run on Carlos coming out of the Keyhole and was able to get to the inside of him, though I think the right side of my car was in the grass. It was quite slippery under braking but I was able to get past. I locked it up going through the corner but I was able to gather it up and go on my merry way. It was hard having someone filling up your mirrors so you have to focus on making no mistakes. It’s hard to pass here so I just had to be fast in the places he was fast. The Capes have done well here in the past so that gives me the motivation to push hard because I know I have the equipment to do it.”

Victor Franzoni (#23 Juncos Racing): “The points are really even now so we have to go for the win and try to increase that again. But today really came down to qualifying. The track changed so much between practice and qualifying and we were lost. The whole Juncos team sat down after qualifying and they gave me a great car to race. I was faster than Anthony but I couldn’t pass him. I had to let off to get a gap so I could get the point for the fastest lap. But we have found the car and are fast again and that will be important for the rest of the weekend.”

TJ Fischer (#82 Project O2-Team Pelfrey): “It’s been a very challenging weekend so far, so thanks to the Pelfrey team for working so hard. I hung in there during the race and was able to get by Carlos. We’ll hit the reset button and plan for qualifying tomorrow – two laps there will change your world, since Race Two goes off your quick lap and Race Three goes off your second quick lap. You have to bank not one, but two good laps so now that we’re in a good position, we’ll do our best to get to the front.”

Franzoni and Juncos Racing Dominate Pro Mazda GP of Road America

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Despite losing the advantage of his pole position on the opening lap, Juncos Racing’s Victor Franzoni swept effortlessly past primary Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires rival Anthony Martin (Cape Motorsports) to take the lead of this afternoon’s Pro Mazda Grand Prix of Road America Presented by Allied Building Products. The talented and popular Brazilian then drove off into the distance. Los Angeles-based Russian Nikita Lastochkin earned his first podium finish with a solid run to third for Team Pelfrey.
Franzoni, who also won last year at Road America in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, comfortably secured the pole position during a damp qualifying session yesterday afternoon. He duly led the field toward the green flag in picture perfect conditions less than 24 hours later, only to fall victim of the draft as Martin slingshotted past him to grasp the lead at Turn One.
The pair battled mightily for the first couple of laps before Franzoni finally managed to sneak past under braking for Turn 12, Canada Corner. He was never seriously challenged thereafter as he romped to his third consecutive victory, this time by a margin of almost 12 seconds over Martin.
Lastochkin displayed renewed confidence, especially during the opening stages when he ran in the wheel tracks of the two leaders after fighting past Brazilian teammate Carlos Cunha at the start. Lastochkin was unable to maintain that pace but still remained well clear of the chasing pack. He also took home the Staubli Award.
His task was made easier when Cunha ran briefly off course on the second lap and then, to the consternation of his crew, made an unscheduled pit stop to report that his front shock absorber cover had fallen off. Cunha was quickly sent on his way. He circulated at the same pace as the drivers who finished on the podium but could salvage no better than ninth by the finish of the 30-minute, 14-lap race. TJ Fischer, driving a third Team Pelfrey car, also was out of luck, his streak of podium finishes ended by a faulty fuel pump.
Idaho teenager Sting Ray Robb finished a distant fourth for World Speed Motorsports, although he was being challenged in the closing stages by Milwaukee’s Max Hanratty, who took fifth after making a welcome return to the series for the locally based ArmsUp Motorsports team.
Jeff Green, from Peoria, Ill., earned the Quarter Master Hard Charger Award by rising from 12th on the grid to a career-best sixth, not far behind his much younger rivals, while veteran Bob Kaminsky, from Homer Glen, Ill., won the National Class with a seventh-place overall result.
Franzoni, who secured another PFC Award for the winning Juncos Racing team, now leads the championship by a 14-point margin, 149-135, heading into tomorrow’s sixth round – the midway point in the 12-race season. But he will likely have to work much harder after some unfortunately timed red flag stoppages during this morning’s qualifying meant he was unable to record a representative lap time and therefore will be required to start from the back of the field.
The green flag for tomorrow’s race will fly at 3:05 p.m. EDT. Live timing and live streaming will be available on the Road To Indy TV App, at RoadToIndy.TV, and
Victor Franzoni (#23 Juncos Racing): “This is the best feeling in the world. There really are no words when you get to the checkered flag for the win. The championship is really close so we both have to go for the wins. I have to open the biggest gap in points that I can, but it’s not going to be easy. Now the fights are getting more exciting – and more difficult. Anthony and I were really hard with each other but clean. I couldn’t get away on the first lap so he got around me, then we started just passing back and forth. But I had a great car today. Ricardo Juncos pushes me very hard so we can go to Indy Lights together and then go on to IndyCar together. If we win here and win in Indy Lights, we can do that. They have so much going on with Indy Lights and IndyCar that they could just forget about Pro Mazda, but they don’t – they keep pushing. And that’s been great.”

Brazilian Franzoni Sweeps at Indy to Claim Pro Mazda Points Lead

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Victor Franzoni ensured a banner weekend for himself and the Juncos Racing team by sweeping both races that comprised the Mazda Road to Indy Grand Prix Presented by Royal Purple Supporting Lupus Foundation of America on the 2.439-mile Indianapolis Grand Prix road course. Franzoni, from Sao Palo, Brazil, was never seriously threatened this morning in cool and sunny conditions, finishing a full 1.0798 seconds clear of Team Pelfrey’s TJ Fischer.
Fischer’s teammate, Carlos Cunha, from Campinas, Brazil, finished a comfortable third ahead of Australian’s Anthony Martin (Cape Motorsports), who had led the point standings coming into this weekend after sweeping both races at St. Petersburg, Fla., in March.
Franzoni set the tone yesterday morning by annexing the bonus point for pole position in qualifying. And whereas on Friday he made a poor start and had to work his way back to the front, this time there was not the hint of a mistake as he maintained his advantage into Turn One, then romped clear of the field at a prodigious rate.
After finishing third in each of the first three races of the season, Fischer, from Los Angeles, Calif., exited the tight first corner in the same position he had started, second, and soon began to edge clear of teammate Cunha to secure a career-best finish.
Cunha, similarly, was under no real threat from Martin, who instead was kept honest by the third Team Pelfrey car of Nikita Lastochkin. The Australian managed to reduce a deficit of over three seconds to Cunha to around 1.2 seconds between Laps 11 and 16, but that was as close as he got before Cunha edged clear once more to secure his first podium finish.
The World Speed Motorsports trio of Phillippe Denes, from Carmel, Calif., Sting Ray Robb, from Payette, Idaho, and Bobby Eberle, from Houston, Texas, completed the top seven ahead of SCCA National Formula Mazda Champion Matt Machiko (ArmsUp Motorsports), from Pittsburgh, Pa.
Kevin Davis, from Alvin, Ill., strengthened his lead in the National Class by winning the division with a 10th-place overall finish, despite being earlier punted into a spin at Turn One by fellow Illinois racer Jeff  Green (Team Pelfrey). Davis also earned the Quarter Master Hard Charger Award.
Ricardo Juncos of Juncos Racing, based close to the race track in Speedway, Ind., earned another PFC Award as the winning car owner, while Cunha claimed the Staubli Award.
Franzoni’s second win in as many days vaulted him to the lead of the 12-round Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, which will offer a Mazda Scholarship worth over $790,000 to assist the champion in progressing to Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires in 2018.
Franzoni now holds a 116-110 edge over Martin as all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires – the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights – head next to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., for two more races once again in support of the headlining Verizon IndyCar Series on June 23-25.
Victor Franzoni (#23 Juncos Racing): “It was a perfect weekend. I knew the Juncos team would have a really good setup here so it was important for us to be ready – and it was the best car ever. It was a machine; it was so easy to drive. All I had to do was focus and drive fast. I had a much better start today than yesterday and was happy to keep the lead at the start – with the long straight, it’s so easy to draft on someone. I am so happy to get the win. This happened at the end of last year in USF2000 where I had a perfect weekend, and now to get it here means so much. I so appreciate the opportunity Juncos has given me, and the car they gave me today. I hope we can keep this going. We’ll work really hard to do that and I hope next year I can be with them on the next step!”
TJ Fischer (#82 Project 02-Team Pelfrey): “We didn’t have the headwind that we had yesterday so we didn’t get swallowed up by the field at the start this time. It was my first front row start on the Mazda Road to Indy and I hated getting swallowed up like that. I wanted to make sure it didn’t happen again so when Anthony got behind me and gave me a push, we went into Turn 1 hard but Victor was on rails today. I know that if we keep our heads down and keep packing on the points, we’ll have a race like that.”

Franzoni Controls the Pro Mazda Grand Prix of Indianapolis for Juncos

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Victor Franzoni had to work hard to ensure victory in this afternoon’s Mazda Road to Indy Grand Prix Presented by Royal Purple Supporting Lupus Foundation of America. After setting the pace in qualifying for locally based Juncos Racing by a comfortable margin of almost a half second, the personable Brazilian botched his start and had to come from behind to beat Australian Anthony Martin (Cape Motorsports) to the checkered flag.

Californian TJ Fischer (Team Pelfrey) maintained his streak of third-place positions in the third round of this year’s Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. He also won the Staubli Award.
Franzoni led the field toward the starter’s stand at a virtual snail’s pace, but the ploy backfired as he found himself swamped by several hungry rivals as the field barreled into Turn One. Championship leader Martin, who had won both opening races in St. Petersburg, Fla., took full advantage by sweeping from third on the grid into the lead. Pelfrey teammates Fischer, Carlos Cunha and Nikita Lastochkin also were embroiled in the mix.
Martin duly led at the end of the opening lap, by which time Franzoni had managed to claw his way back into second place. Franzoni quickly made up the deficit but Martin put up a staunch defense of his hard-earned advantage.
After four laps, Franzoni used the draft to draw alongside last year’s winner of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda on the entry to Turn One… but the canny Australian made sure his Soul Red car was occupying the preferred inside line. Undeterred, Franzoni held on around the outside, whereupon the two talented young men proceeded to jockey for position, side by side, before Martin emerged onto the back straight still in the lead.
Next time around, Franzoni made his move a little bit earlier and was able to clear his rival at the apex of Turn One to grasp the lead for the first time. He never looked back and went on to secure his first Pro Mazda victory by a margin of just over five seconds.
Los Angeles-based Russian Lastochkin held third place for the first couple of laps but was already struggling for confidence in his car’s braking capabilities. Fischer was the first to take advantage, slipping through under braking for Turn One. Lastochkin also lost out to Cunha, from Brazil, a couple of laps later, and then teenaged Californian Phillippe Denes, who drove another strong race for World Speed Motorsports.
Lastochkin held on for sixth ahead of 14-year-old Sting Ray Robb, from Payatte, Idaho, who enjoyed a race-long battle with World Speed teammate Bobby Eberle.
The PFC Award went to the winning team, Juncos Racing, which is based less than a half-mile away from the track in Speedway, Ind., while Martin secured the Quarter Master Hard Charger Award.
Bob Kaminsky, from Homer Glen, Ill., won the National Class, finishing ninth overall after a protracted duel with the Championship class Juncos Racing entry of fellow Illinois native Jeff Green.
Franzoni will start on the pole for tomorrow’s fourth round of the championship, which is due to start at 8:15 a.m. EDT. Live timing and live streaming will be available on the series website,, as well as on, the Road To Indy TV App and RoadToIndy.TV.
Victor Franzoni (#23 Juncos Racing): “It’s unbelievable to get my first win in Pro Mazda and my first win at Indianapolis. This track is amazing; everything here is about racing so to win here is totally different than winning anywhere else. Anthony made a better start than me but he didn’t have anywhere to go, so he was pushing me. I’ve raced Anthony for three years now on the Mazda Road to Indy so we respect each other – and we know that if we do something bad for each other, it will be bad for the championship. Of course, if we are still fighting this close as we get to the end of the championship, things will get more difficult. My car is really fast and I am starting on the pole (for Round 4), so I will try to make a better start and win again tomorrow.”

New PM-18 Pro Mazda Chassis Impresses in Test Debut NOTE: Sorry for the delay in getting this out. Series News April 15, 2017 Initial Phase of Prototype Development Successfully Completed PALMETTO, Fla. – Following a shakedown test on Monday at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Ill., the brand new Mazda-powered Tatuus PM-18 wrapped up two days of development testing yesterday evening at…

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Martin Begins New Pro Mazda Season in Style with Debut St. Pete Victory

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Anthony Martin began his bid to follow Matthew Brabham as only the second driver to claim back-to-back Mazda Scholarships in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires with a flag-to-flag victory in the Hi-Tide Kids on Track Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The 22-year-old from Kalgoorlie, Australia, driving for St. Petersburg-based Cape Motorsports, remained under pressure virtually throughout the 25-lap, 30-minute race from Brazilian Victor Franzoni (Juncos Racing) before taking the checkered flag to earn victory by just 0.5084 second.
Californian TJ Fischer finished third for Team Pelfrey.
After Martin snagged the pole position yesterday from Franzoni by a scant 0.0120 second, the two USF2000 protagonists from last year continued to be separated by next to nothing. The pair traded fastest laps several times during the early stages before Martin settled into a consistently fast pace and began to edge clear. The gap between them ebbed and flowed as they worked past some slower cars but Franzoni was never quite close enough to mount a serious challenge.
Team Pelfrey’s pair of TJ Fischer and Pro Mazda debutant Carlos Cunha, from Brazil, also remained close together in their battle for third, some distance behind the two leaders. Los Angeles-based Russian Nikita Lastochkin, in a third Team Pelfrey car, completed the top five after a race-long battle with teenager Phillippe Denes, from Carmel, Calif., who made a solid debut after clinching a late deal to join World Speed Motorsports.
USF2000 graduate Max Hanratty, from Milwaukee, Wis., also showed well in his first-ever Pro Mazda race, holding sixth place in the early stages for ArmsUp Motorsports before losing out to Sting Ray Robb (World Speed Motorsports), from Payette, Idaho,  just before the half-distance mark.
Kevin Davis, from Alvin, Ill., claimed National Class honors with an 11th-place overall finish in his self-run car, followed by Brendan Puderbach (FatBoy Racing!).
Martin also claimed the Staubli Award, while the PFC Award went to the winning team, Cape Motorsports. Another debutant, Matt Machiko, from Pittsburgh, Pa., claimed the Quarter Master Hard Charger Award after making up three positions during the race to finish ninth for FatBoy Racing!.
Qualifying for tomorrow’s second race took place earlier this morning with Martin again securing pole by a narrow margin over Franzoni. The green flag for the Allied Building Products Grand of St. Petersburg is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday.
Live timing and live streaming will be available on the series website,, as well as on and the Road To Indy TV App.
Anthony Martin (#8 Mazda/Burgess BLA-Cape Motorsports): “I’m so happy to be on the podium in St. Pete – I’ve raced here for three years and this is my first podium here. It’s great to put the Soul Red car on top. It was a crazy race. I actually hit the wall at the exit of Turn Three – a lot of people have hit that wall this weekend and now I get to join that club. I also hit at Turn Eight late in the race and took off all the Cooper Tire signs, so sorry for that! It may have looked easy but I was certainly challenged in the car. I try to look forward as much as I can and not worry about what’s going on behind me and I was able to do that today but Victor was right there. The Cape Motorsports guys gave me a great car but we’ll look at the data and see where we can improve for tomorrow.”
Victor Franzoni (#23 Juncos Racing): “I am happy with the result, but I could be happier. It’s been a crazy week. I was supposed to race in USF2000 but Juncos Racing gave me the opportunity to move up and I really appreciate that. I ran half a season in 2015 and tested with Juncos late last year so to finish second is very good. It’s difficult to pass here but our lap times were so close that I stayed right with Anthony early in the race. It was giving me bad air and I started to get loose, so I had to back off a bit. It’s the first race of the season, so it doesn’t make sense to try something crazy. Anthony was really fast so I am happy with second.”

Starting Grids Set for Four of Six Mazda Road to Indy Season-Opening Races

Starting Grids Set for Four of Six Mazda Road to Indy Season-Opening Races
Mazda Scholarship Driver Telitz Captures Pole for Indy Lights Debut
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg kicked off today with practice and qualifying for four of the six races which comprise the start of a new campaign for the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires.
A dramatic qualifying session for Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the highest rung on the acclaimed open-wheel development ladder which offers Mazda Scholarships to enable talented drivers to reach all the way from the grassroots of the sport to the Verizon IndyCar Series, ended with Aaron Telitz marking his first Indy Lights start with pole position for Belardi Auto Racing.
Telitz, 25, from Birchwood, Wis., who is stepping up after winning last year’s Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, jumped to the top of the timing charts moments before young Mexican Pato O’Ward ended his session in the barriers at Turn Eight. Ironically, Telitz and O’Ward had been teammates last year in Pro Mazda – and had shared one victory apiece on the streets of St. Petersburg.
O’Ward, 17, from Monterrey, Mexico, had posted the fastest time in practice this morning for Team Pelfrey and also set the pace prior to Telitz’s fine lap of 1:07.5844. Even worse, as a penalty for causing a red flag stoppage, O’Ward was penalized with the loss of his fastest time, dropping him from second on the grid to ninth in the closely packed field.
Kyle Kaiser (Juncos Racing), from Santa Clara, who won the pole in 2016, will start second for the opening race of the weekend, the Mazda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Presented by Cooper Tires, which will start at 5:10 p.m. EDT tomorrow afternoon.
Juan Piedrahita (Team Pelfrey), from Bogota, Colombia, will line up third ahead of rookies Matheus Leist (Carlin), from Brazil, and Colton Herta (Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing), from Valencia, Calif.
Qualifying for Race Two will take place at 7:55 a.m. tomorrow.
USF2000 Champ Martin Fastest in Pro Mazda 
Anthony Martin, from Kalgoorlie, Australia, will start on pole for the Hi-Tide Kids on Track Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Round One of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. Martin, 22, who is stepping up to Pro Mazda after winning last year’s USF2000 championship, set the fastest time at 1:13.6718 for Cape Motorsports, edging out Brazilian Victor Franzoni (Juncos Racing) by a scant 0.012 second.
Franzoni had been fastest in the first practice session this morning at 1:14.1486.
TJ Fischer, based in Los Angeles, will start third for Team Pelfrey ahead of teammate Carlos Cunha, from Campinas, Brazil, and Californian teenager Phillippe Denes for World Speed Motorsports.
The race will start tomorrow at 11:50 a.m.
Qualifying for Race Two, the Allied Building Products Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, will take place at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow, with the green flag slated for 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Megennis, Thompson Earn Poles for USF2000 Double-Header 
A new era for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda kicked off today with qualifying for the first two races of the new season which will take place tomorrow on the streets of St. Petersburg.
The brand-new Tatuus USF-17 looks set to provide some sensational action this year, as evidenced by the closeness of the times in each of the two 20-minute sessions.
Last year’s Rookie of the Year, Robert Megennis, was first out of the blocks yesterday for Team Pelfrey, posting the fastest time during a 30-minute period of practice that was punctuated by a variety of incidents. The teenager from New York, N.Y., maintained that form this morning on a slightly reconfigured race track, stopping the clocks in 1:15.3708 (85.975 mph) to secure pole position for the Hi-Tide Boats Lifts Grand Prix of St. Petersburg – and the first championship point of the 2017 campaign.
Calvin Ming (Pabst Racing), from Guyana, will start second for the opening race ahead of Oliver Askew, from Jupiter, Fla., representing the defending champion Cape Motorsports team. Askew, 20, is commencing his very first full season of car racing after winning the inaugural Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout last fall.
Dakota Dickerson (Newman Wachs Racing), from San Diego, Calif., and Kaylen Frederick (Team Pelfrey), from Potomac, Md., will round out the top five starters. The top 11 qualifiers were all blanketed by less than one second.
The race is set for 8:40 a.m. tomorrow, with the green flag due to be waved by Tatuus Race Cars Director Gianfranco DeBellis.
Qualifying for Race Two, the Allied Building Products Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which is slated for a 2:00 p.m. start tomorrow, ended with Parker Thompson, from Red Deer, Alb., Canada, atop the charts for the new Exclusive Autosport team. Thompson, who finished a close second in the 2016 title-chase, set an identical time – 1:15.3708 – to that set earlier by Megennis.
Askew, who bounced back impressively from an incident on Thursday afternoon which caused damage to his Soul Red Tatuus, will start second for Race Two ahead of Dutch teenager Rinus VeeKay (Pabst Racing), Dickerson and Megennis.
Live timing and live streaming of all sessions will be available on the respective series websites,, and, as well as on and the Road To Indy TV App.

Mazda Road to Indy Scholarship Grad Jamin Scores First Pro Mazda Wins

Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Ends Team Pelfrey’s 11-Race Win Streak LEXINGTON, Ohio – A remarkable streak of 11 consecutive race wins for Team Pelfrey in this year’s Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires finally came to and end today at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course as French rookie Nico Jamin, the winner of…

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