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DATE News (chronologically)
04/01/11
irl
INDYCAR sets field for first Mazda Road To Indy scouting combine
The field has been set for the first Mazda Road to Indy Scouting Combine as INDYCAR has identified the six regional karting series that will send a representative to the three-day driver evaluation program later this year.

One driver each from the SKUSA Central States Challenge, Florida Karting Championship Series, TAG - World Championships, Eastern Canada Karting Championship and Cal State Karting Championship Series will join The Heartland Sprint Series as part of the combine.

"The response was overwhelming," said Jason Penix, manager of grassroots marketing for INDYCAR, the sanctioning body for the IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights and Mazda Road to Indy. "We filled the grid in less than 72 hours and received inquiries from many of the top regional series in North America. We are already looking at ways to expand the program for next year."

Earlier this month, INDYCAR announced that it would host the first Mazda Road to Indy Scouting Combine with the winner having a chance to race in the Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship in 2012.

The Mazda Road to Indy Scouting Combine will be held on November 28-30 at Andersen Race Park in Palmetto, Fla., and will give a top driver from grassroots racing series such the World Karting Association, Superkarts! USA, International Karting Federation, Rotax Max Challenge United States, United States Auto Club and the Rock Island Grand Prix the opportunity to test a USF2000 car.

One driver will be selected and given an entry to race in the St. Petersburg rounds of the USF2000 National Championship in 2012.

"The Mazda Road to Indy's goal is to develop formula car drivers, and forming a link to karting is essential in achieving that," Penix said. "Karting plays such an important role in the career of a young driver, and the Scouting Combine will give someone the chance to make the step into cars. Hopefully, we will find several young drivers ready to make the Mazda Road to Indy their next racing home."

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