The newly formed series was officially announced on December 7 to fill the opening vacated by the Star Mazda Championship. The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires represents the second step on the driver development ladder system established in 2010 and sanctioned by INDYCAR with drivers transitioning from the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda to Pro Mazda, Firestone Indy Lights and, ultimately, the IZOD IndyCar Series.
“The Pro Mazda Championship is off to a great start with Cooper Tires joining this new effort as our tire partner and presenting sponsor," said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “Cooper has provided excellent tires and service to our USF2000 Championship and they are a fantastic partner. I know our teams will benefit from this change, and we thank Cooper for now supporting the first two steps on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder."
Andersen Promotions recently announced a partnership extension between Cooper Tires and USF2000 through 2015. The Findlay, Ohio-based manufacturer alongside Mazda will now form the foundation for two key steps on the ladder system.
“As Cooper Tires begins our new venture with Andersen Promotions, we have enthusiastically stepped up the Mazda ladder system to become ‘The Official Tire of the Pro Mazda Championship,'" said Chris Pantani, Director of Motorsports for Cooper Tires. “Drivers and teams graduating from the USF2000 Championship will once again be joined with Mazda and Cooper Tires in their next step towards the IZOD IndyCar Series."
A schedule for the 2013 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires will be announced in the near future with a new website debuting in the coming weeks.