Archive for the ‘Pro Mazda’ Category

Pro Mazda team clinches Winterfest title

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

2.26.15 – The Andretti Autosport Pro Mazda crew clinched the Winterfest team championship title at Barber Motorsports Park today with a win and third-place finish in the winter series finale.

It was a battle to the very last lap for the driver championship honors between Andretti driver Weiron Tan and Team Pelfrey’s Jack Aitken. It came down to who nabbed the most points from the double points race, and although Weiron came away with points for most laps led and the win, ultimately the two points for fastest lap went to Aitken giving him the championship by one point. Our “Malaysian Sensation” (as he’s now called by new friends in the paddock) managed fairly well for his first series of competition in the United States with two wins, five podium finishes, one pole position and two fastest race laps.

"Jack (Aitken) did pretty well… he kept the pressure on me,” Weiron said. “I was trying to find the time, but since he had the fastest lap time, that gave him the championship (win). It’s disappointing. We got the victory but we lost the war, so it’s good and bad. But this is a good start for us since the real championship starts now. Looking back on the penalty, I have regrets for doing that – if it had been a fair fight, I think we could have won. I learned from that; it’s a big mistake and it cost me the one point I needed. It’s all about learning – that’s why we’re doing this. We’re all here to learn, to grow up, and it’s all part of learning how not to make the same mistakes next time. After these races, we know we have good pace going into the full season. I think we should be pretty confident. We have to keep working hard and I have to stop making stupid mistakes!

"In the end it was a good way to end the Winterfest, but not the best,” the 20-year-old elaborated. “Very happy for the team to secure the team championship. Unfortunately, for me, I lost the championship by just one point; had I not have gotten a five-point penalty at NOLA, the Winterfest Championship would have turned out differently. No matter, it was a good start for us and the team as a whole, and now we're looking forward to the full season championship where it really matters."

Series sophomore Dalton Kellett shined throughout Winterfest as well, capturing one poidum and four top-10 finishes. The racer/engineering student superstar coasted his way from 11th to fifth during Race One at the 2.3-mile circuit in Birmingham, AL and went on to snag a podium (P3) for Race Two to assist the Michael Andretti-led outfit to capture that team championship.

“Race Two was a great way to end Winterfest,” the Canadian commented. “Moving from fifth to third, I had a good start and was able to hold third for the rest of the race. When the first caution came out, I had my eyes set on (teammate) Weiron (Tan) and Jack (Aitken), but with a second caution coming out soon after, there wasn't enough time left. In the end, it felt great to see Andretti Autosport bring home the team championship. Moving forward, I am looking forward to keeping up this momentum for the 2015 season championship! Keep watching for the No. 28 K-Line Insulators USA Pro Mazda at St. Pete!"

The duo can next be seen racing on the streets of downtown St. Pete, Florida for the Grand Prix of St. Pete during their doubleheader season opener on March 28 and 29.

 

 

Rob Edwards shifts from SPM to Andretti

Monday, January 5th, 2015

1.5.15 (via MotorSportsTalk) – Andretti Autosport has hired Rob Edwards, who had been the team manager with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, as the team’s new Director of Race Operations and Engineering, effective immediately.

Edwards essentially replaces Kyle Moyer, who departed for Team Penske this offseason.

Under Michael Andretti’s umbrella, the remainder of the management team will be George Klotz (Team Manager, IndyCar), Dave Popielarz (Team Manager, Indy Lights), and Fran Reilly (Team Manager, Pro Mazda).

“We are excited to welcome Rob (Edwards) to the Andretti family,” Andretti said. “His experience in racing will be valuable in moving our organization forward across multiple racing platforms.”

Incidentally, this is the opposite of what happened to one of Andretti’s drivers this offseason. James Hinchcliffe left Andretti for Schmidt Peterson this winter, and was flanked by Edwards and SPM co-owner Ric Peterson at October’s announcement.

Edwards’ hiring bolsters Andretti’s management staff. The team has three IndyCars confirmed (Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, Carlos Munoz), one Indy Lights car (Shelby Blackstock) and two Pro Mazda cars (Dalton Kellett, Weiron Tan) confirmed thus far for 2015.

A fourth IndyCar and second Indy Lights car are expected to be confirmed in the new year.

 

 

Read more here… 

 

 

 

Andretti Autosport Confirms Weiron Tan for 2015 Pro Mazda

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

12.17.14 — Weiron Tan will be the first Malaysian driver to compete for an open-wheel racing team in U.S. motorsport, as he and Andretti Autosport partner together for the 2015 Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires campaign.

Kuala Lumpur-born Tan, who has been part of the Caterham F1 Young Driver programme for the past three years, moved to Europe in 2013 to compete in the Protyre British Formula Renault championship and secured second place in the points standings, scoring five wins, nine podiums and six pole positions. 2014 saw Weiron compete in the ATS Formel 3 Cup (commonly referred to as German F3) for Van Amersfoort Racing where he recorded two wins and five podiums for the Dutch outfit and now he feels the time is right to turn his attention to U.S. open-wheel racing.

“I am really thankful to Caterham F1 for all their support over the past few years, and I have really enjoyed racing in Europe and I can’t wait to start the next chapter of my career with Andretti Autosport in the USA.”

19-year-old Tan is managed by WH Sports Group who are the UK-based agency which also manages the career of 2012 Pro Mazda champion and current Verizon IndyCar Series driver Jack Hawksworth.

“As Jack and I share the same management company, I naturally took a big interest in him and his racing, and his success is part of the reason why I wanted to move my career to the U.S.; to try and emulate what Jack has achieved,” said Weiron.

The 2013 Pro Mazda Champions are equally excited to be working with Weiron for the 2015 season and Team Owner, President and CEO Michael Andretti had the following to say,

“Weiron has a great resume so far in his racing career, and we are very pleased to welcome him to open-wheel racing in the U.S. to our Pro Mazda team. He did very well for us at our evaluation test at Nola Motorsports Park last week, and we’re all looking forward to a successful season together."

Weiron and the Indianapolis, IN-based team will be back in action together in January in preparation for the Mazda Road to Indy Winterfest Championship that will visit the two permanent road courses of Nola and Barber Motorsports Park. 

Blackstock graduating to Indy Lights

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

12.2.2014 – It was announced today that Mazda Road to Indy standout Shelby Blackstock will graduate from Pro Mazda to the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires Championship for the 2015 season; the 24-year-old remains with Andretti Autosport, entering his fourth year with the Indianapolis-based team.

 
"I am very happy to be back with the Andretti Autosport team for the 2015 Indy Lights season," Blackstock said. "I'm extremely excited to test the new IL-15 and to see if all the great expectations are true. I want to thank Andretti Autosport for giving me the opportunity to be in one of its cars this year – this team is like a second family to me. I hope there is a lot of success to come from a completely fresh season."
 
The Nashville, Tenn. native captured one win, three pole positions, 13 podiums and 18 top-five finishes throughout two seasons in Pro Mazda (2013, 2014). Blackstock becomes the third driver to take the next step up the Mazda Road to Indy through Andretti Autosport’s Pro Mazda program to its Indy Lights outfit (Zach Veach, 2013; Matthew Brabham, 2014). The North Carolina resident will go back to his racing roots by using the first number of his racing career, piloting the No. 51 Starstruck entry.
 
"Shelby has been with us for some time now, and he's put in a lot of hard work to make the step from Pro Mazda to Indy Lights happen," Andretti Autosport's Chief Operating Officer JF Thormann noted. "We are all very excited to keep Shelby in the Andretti Autosport family and look forward to watching his success continue during this new chapter of his career with us."
 
Joining the two-time Indy Lights championship-winning team, Blackstock marks Andretti's official confirmation of Indy Lights contention for 2015. The upcoming season will see the race debut of the new Dallara IL-15. With winter testing gearing up soon, the Indy Lights calendar kicks off on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. on March 28.
 
 
 

Andretti, Pelfrey teams to test New Orleans circuit on Dec. 8-9

Monday, December 1st, 2014

12.1.2014 (via MotorSportsTalk) – Andretti Autosport and Team Pelfrey’s Mazda Road to Indy programs will get a crack at the updated NOLA Motorsports Park circuit in a test session on Dec. 8-9.
 
The Andretti camp will run one Pro Mazda car, while Pelfrey will run two Pro Mazdas and two USF2000 cars. This session, which is free and open to the public, will mark the first open-wheel test on NOLA’s new 2.67-mile course.
 
The top-tier Verizon IndyCar Series will stage its third round of the 2015 championship, the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana, at NOLA in early April (tickets are now on sale, by the way).
 
Additionally, NOLA will be a major track for all three of the Mazda Road to Indy leagues. The MRTI’s Winterfest will take place there in February (with Indy Lights testing for two days), and both Pro Mazda and USF2000 will run doubleheaders as part of the track’s IndyCar weekend.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Dalton Kellett added to Pro Mazda roster for 2015 season

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

11.18.14 – Andretti Autosport confirmed today that Dalton Kellett has joined its Mazda Road to Indy roster. The 21-year-old will drive the No. 28 K-Line machine for the Indianapolis-based team for his sophomore season in the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires.

With one podium, two top-five and nine top-10 finishes, Kellett came away 10th in the 2014 season, the Canadian’s rookie year. The Toronto native raced in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda for two years before his graduation to Pro Mazda. Prior to his involvement in the Mazda Road to Indy, Kellett competed in the Ontario Formula Ford Championship as well as multiple karting championships over four years where he was awarded with Rookie of the Year honors and other scholarships for his achievements.

Not only will Kellett be competing full time in the Pro Mazda Championship 2015 title, the Stouffville, Ontario resident will enter his fourth year of Engineering Physics at Queen’s University in Kingston, looking to complete his engineering degree for April 2015.

"It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to join Andretti Autosport for the 2015 Pro Mazda season,” Kellett said. “I anticipate that we will have a successful year, and I am looking forward to the start of the race season! I was able to get to know the Andretti crew at a post-season test where I immediately felt like we were a good fit. They are a very professional team and I feel like we work well together."

“We’ve noticed Dalton as he’s been making his way through the Mazda Road to Indy and have been impressed by his work ethic and consistency over the years,” added JF Thormann, Chief Operating Officer of Andretti Autosport. “Dalton joined us earlier in the offseason for a test and we were pleased to see how well he fit in with our Pro Mazda team. We’re very excited to have he and his family join our Mazda Road to Indy family and expect great things in the 2015 season.”

Kellett will be available for a live question and answer today at 1:00 p.m. ET on his Twitter, @Dalton_Kellett, using #WelcomeDalton.

Andretti Autosport enters its fifth year in the Pro Mazda Championship and sixth year being involved in the Mazda Road to Indy. The Michael Andretti-led outfit continues to be the sole INDYCAR team with squads in Pro Mazda, Indy Lights and the Verizon IndyCar Series.

 

 

Andretti Autosport confirms Abt, Kellett for upcoming evaluation tests

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

9.30.2014 – The four-time IndyCar Series and one-time Pro Mazda championship winning team will take part in two tests in the coming weeks to evaluate Formula E racer Daniel Abt (right) and Mazda Road to Indy driver Dalton Kellett (left).

Abt, a former Formula 3 teammate of 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year Carlos Munoz, will test one of the team’s Indy cars on October 27 at Barber Motorsports Park. The 21-year-old German has been on the team’s radar since competing against him in its FIA Formula E efforts across the pond and would like to see what the GP2 Series veteran can do in an Indy car.

“I’m super excited to be testing an Indy car for the first time,” said Daniel. “I want to thank Andretti Autosport for giving me the chance to get my first outing in a race car in the USA. There will be a lot of things for me to learn, but I’m sure I can adapt quickly and master the challenge with all the experience I have gained in single-seater racing over the last couple of years. IndyCar is something I could definitely see myself racing in, so it’s good to get a feeling for everything and to show what I can do.”

The team’s Pro Mazda crew will see Canadian Kellett get behind the wheel at Putnam Park next Monday, October 6. The 21-year-old participated in his rookie year of Pro Mazda for the 2014 season and came away 10th in the championship with one podium, two top-five and nine top-10 finishes.

"I am very excited and grateful to have the opportunity to test with Andretti Autosport's Pro Mazda Team," Dalton added. "In the process of looking ahead to my next step in the Mazda Road to Indy, spending a test day with this successful organization will be a rewarding experience. Seeing how the team works and how I fit in with them will be an important part of the day. I hope to learn a lot and am looking forward to a successful test!"

The Indianapolis-based team remains busy during the INDYCAR offseason with its efforts in Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross with race winners Tanner Foust and Scott Speed racing in the November 5 season finale at SEMA. Additionally, the Andretti Formula-E Team, with drivers Franck Montagny and Charles Pic, alongside reserve driver Matthew Brabham, will head to Malaysia in late November for the second round of FIA Formula E competition. To stay up to date with the team, please follow along via Twitter (@FollowAndretti, @AndrettiFE), Instagram (andrettiautosport, andretti_fe) and Facebook (Andretti Autosport).

 

 

MRTI in action this weekend for Chris Griffis Memorial test

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

9.10.14 – The fourth annual Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy test will take place on the revamped 14-turn, 2.434-mile road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:35 p.m. both days with USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights on track. Andretti Autosport will see Team USA Scholarship winner Neil Alberico in its No. 27 Pro Mazda car for an evaluation.

The 21-year-old from Northern California has contended in the Mazda Road to Indy for the past two years claiming a Winterfest title, second place in the USF2000 Championship, as well as a third-place finish in points for his rookie year in Pro Mazda. 

“I’ve spent most of my career trying to beat the Andretti Autosport guys, so it is great to get the chance to work with them this weekend,” said Alberico, who scored two podium finishes at the Indianapolis track earlier this year. “They have a great reputation and it is clear that everyone on the team has the same desire to succeed that I do, so I’m looking forward to having a productive couple of days at The Speedway.” 

Fans will be able to watch Alberico, who captured two podium finishes during the inaugural Grand Prix of Indy weekend, and the rest of the next generation of IndyCar stars from the Turn 2 Viewing Mounds and the South Terrace grandstands and can follow along with our team on Twitter via @FollowAndretti.

Don’t Miss Out: Driver Appearances for Sonoma

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

8.20.14 – Don't miss out on your opportunity to visit with all our Pro Mazda, Indy Lights and IndyCar drivers! Check out the list of appearances for our weekend at Sonoma Raceway!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Saturday, August 23
 


Marco Andretti
, James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Carlos Munoz
Verizon IndyCar Series Autograph Session

INDYCAR Fan Village

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.



 
Shelby Blackstock, Garett Grist
Pro Mazda Autograph Session

1:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
 
 
Zach Veach, Matthew Brabham
Indy Lights Autograph Session

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
 
 


Ryan Hunter-Reay
Autographs
GoPro Booth

3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.


 
 
 
 

Don’t Miss Out: Driver Appearances for Milwaukee IndyFest

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

8.13.14 – Don't miss out on your opportunity to visit with all our Pro Mazda, Indy Lights and IndyCar drivers! Check out the list of appearances for our weekend at the historic Milwaukee Mile!

 

 

 

Friday, August 15



Marco Andretti

Piggly Wiggly

2201 E. Rawson Ave, Oak Creek, WI 53154

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.




James Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti

IndyFest Street Party Autograph Session

5:15 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

 



Carlos Munoz

IndyFest Street Party Autograph Session

5:45 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.

 



Ryan Hunter-Reay, Zach Veach, Matthew Brabham

IndyFest Street Party Autograph Session

6:15 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.



 

Garett Grist, Shelby Blackstock
IndyFest Street Party

6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.


 

Michael Andretti

IndyFest Street Party Autograph Session

6:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.

 





Saturday, August 16



Zach Veach, Matthew Brabham

IndyFest Tweet Up

Social Media Tent in the Infield

11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Garett Grist, Shelby Blackstock

Pro Mazda Autograph Session

INDYCAR Fan Village

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.



 

Zach Veach, Matthew Brabham

Indy Lights Autograph Session

INDYCAR Fan Village

2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

 





Sunday, August 17



Michael Andretti

Coffee with Legends

Main Stage in the Infield

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.



 

James Hinchcliffe, Carlos Munoz, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti

Verizon IndyCar Series Autograph Session

INDYCAR Fan Village

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.



 

Marco Andretti

Generations Q&A

Main Stage in the Infield

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.