Added the Road to Indy Ladder graphic to the right.
12/09/10 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, With the announcement that Mazda is joining ranks with IndyCar for the development of drivers, what does this do to their relationship with Nascar and the Grand-Am series? Jon Edwards needs to be in an IndyCar instead of driving around in those Grand-Am POS. Is this one more feather in the cap of RB and IndyCar? Does Nascar have any idea what is hitting them now (Attendance, TV Ratings, Sponsors all in decline) and what will hit them (IndyCar getting back to where they were 15-20 years ago as a major player in the US and international racing scene)? Thanks. Brandon Stevens
Dear Brandon, Mazda is still involved with the Grand-Am series, so we do not view this announcement as a negative against them, but more of a positive statement that IndyCar and open wheel are on a roll and they want to be part of it. Mark C.
12/09/10 The number one brand in road racing returned to the biggest motorsports trade show in the country to make a number of early announcements for the 2011 season as the MAZDASPEED team gathered at the annual Performance Racing Industry show to share updates on a variety of topics.
1. The open wheel side of the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Ladder is teaming up with INDYCAR to create the Mazda Road to Indy beginning in 2011 (SEE BELOW).
2. Mazda and Honda jointly announce “B-Spec” in conjunction with the SCCA and NASA. Other OEM’s encouraged to join in. (SEE BELOW)
3. Mazda partnership with Modspace in both ALMS and Grand-Am.
4. 2011 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda schedule announced. The season will kick off at the 12 Hours of Sebring week and will race at Virginia International Raceway, Road Atlanta, Road America, Mid-Ohio, and twice at the Skip Barber home track of Lime Rock Park.
5. Trent Hindman and Danilo Estrela won Skip Barber National scholarships at the 2010 Skip Barber Karting Shootout held this past week at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. They become the final MAZDASPEED class of 2011 racers. The others are 2010 Skip Barber Champion Spencer Pigot, 2010 USF2000 Champion Sage Karam, 2010 Star Mazda Champion Conor Daly, 2010 Club Racing Shootout winner Scott Shelton, and 2010 Playboy MX-5 Cup Champion Brad Rampelberg.
Sage Karam will race with Andretti Autosport in Star Mazda in 2011
Spencer Pigot will race with Andretti Autosport in USF2000 in 2011
Brad Rampelberg will race with Freedom Autosport, and his 2010 MX-5 Cup teammate Michael Cooper, in the 2011 Continental Tire Challenge.
Conor Daly and Scott Shelton will announce their 2011 plans at a later date.
6. Mazda is presenting their third annual complimentary Business/Marketing/PR seminar at the PRI.
7. Mazda Marketing Manager Jim Jordan featured speaker at Road Racing Drivers’ Club Young Drivers Symposium.
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