10.31.13 – RePLAY XD driver Zach Veach has been selected as the 2013 Firestone Indy Lights KeyBank Community Leader for being the driver who "best displays a passion for community service and community outreach." The 18-year-old is active in many public outreach campaigns and continues to pour his energy into philanthropy all throughout the year. Just in 2013, Veach was involved with organizations such as STEM, Racing for Kids, Racing for Cancer, No Bull (anti-bullying campaign), Miles Ahead and much, much more. Along with the honors of being a leader in the community, the Ohio native will receive a check for $3,000 for his efforts. Veach will return to Andretti Autosport for his sophomore season of Indy Lights in 2014.
Archive for the ‘Pro Mazda’ Category
10.19.2013 – Current sponsor United Fiber & Data (UFD) announced today that they will expand their current associate sponsorship role with the reigning champions by becoming the primary sponsor on the No. 27 IndyCar driven by James Hinchcliffe as well as Indy Lights driver Matthew Brabham for 2014.
IZOD IndyCar Series multiple race winner James Hinchcliffe will return to the team with which he captured his first career victory. The reigning series champions, Andretti Autosport, confirmed today that the Canadian fan favorite will pilot the No. 27 machine which will don the colors of UFD, a tech company, founded by three members of the multi-platinum rock band LIVE and their Think Loud Development company.
UFD will also serve as a major associate on the No. 25 and No. 28 cars piloted by Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay, respectively. In addition, Andretti announced earlier today that the company will serve as the primary sponsor for Pro Mazda Champion Matthew Brabham as he transitions to Indy Lights in 2014. The third-generation racer will also showcase the colors of UFD.
Based in York, Penn., United Fiber & Data offers a complete suite of all-fiber networking and broadband solutions and also served as a major associate sponsor of the No. 25 machine of Marco Andretti for the 2013 season.
United Fiber & Data will feature a 400-mile fiber optic line running between New York and Virginia and will operate out of different data centers across Pennsylvania (Allentown, Lancaster, Reading and York).
10.14.13 (via INDYCAR.com) – E.J. Viso makes it a priority to watch a portion of both Pro Mazda Championship races at Houston, frequently checking the lap monitor in the Andretti Autosport pit to gauge the progress of a particular driver.
Viso, who also competed on the 1.634-mile, 10-turn circuit at Reliant Park in the two 90-lap IZOD IndyCar Series races, is carrying the banner for protégé Diego Ferreira through Team Viso Venezuela. The initiative, loosely started about seven years ago and solidified in the past two years, promotes bringing young talent to compete in the Mazda Road to Indy ladder system with the aid of Venezuelan supporters.
“I come from a beautiful country and to give back energy and to help talent coming from there, to help someone be the next generation star is a dream,” says Viso with a nod to National Hispanic Heritage Month.
Sebastian Saavedra of Colombia and Oriol Servia of Spain are other Hispanics competing in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
“We’ve been through many political, financial difficulties, but I’ve never let go of the love for my country and I’m a big supporter,” continues Viso, who drives the Team Venezuela/PDVSA/CITGO car for Andretti Autosport. “I am a lover of my country and, in a way, I think that my country feels that and that’s the way it thinks back at me. This is why my career will be 23 years of consecutive racing. This is saying that we’ve been doing something right.”
Ferreira, 19, finished second in the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires standings for Juncos Racing. Viso also is representing countrymen Camilo Schmidt and Bruno Palli, both of whom competed in Pro Mazda in 2012, in addition to Diego Borelli and Sebastian Fernandez, who are competing in karting in Europe. There’s also an indirect association with Jorge Goncalvez, who is sixth in the Firestone Indy Lights standings heading into the season finale Oct. 19 at Auto Club Speedway.
“In a way, I’m even doing this more for my country than the kids,” Viso says. “Don’t get me wrong, they are youngsters coming up who love racing. I see it differently as the future of my country and I see my country as the place that I love. I see giving back to my country will be through them, so I want to teach them the fundamentals and give them all the coaching and ideas I can. I’m pretty sure they’ll go further.”
10.14.13 – Want in on the action? This is the place to find where you can see the Andretti Autosport drivers in action OFF the track. Be sure to show us your photos by sending them to our Twitter – @FollowAndretti or Facebook. (All times are in PACIFIC Time Zone)
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16
E.J. Viso at Neiman Marcus
6550 Topanga Canyon Blvd,
Woodland Hills, 91303
@ 5 – 7 p.m.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17
Marco Andretti at Albertson's
8850 Foothill Blvd,
Rancho Cucamonga, 91730
@ 4 – 6 p.m.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18
Zach Veach Q&A
INDYCAR Fan Village
@ 3:15 p.m.
Zach Veach & Carlos Munoz
Firestone Indy Lights Autographs
INDYCAR Fan Village
@ 3:30 – 4 p.m.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19
Ryan Hunter-Reay, E.J. Viso,
Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe
Chevy Display in INDYCAR Fan Village
@ 12:45 p.m.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, E.J. Viso,
Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe
IZOD IndyCar Series Autographs
INDYCAR Fan Village
@ 1 – 2 p.m.
10.2.13 – Andretti Autosport USF2000 driver Garett Grist has been keeping busy between his first career win at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in August and his fourth podium of the year clinched at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca earlier this month: The 18-year-old racer has gone back to his karting roots to coach a young racer, Gianfranco Mazzaferro, in the Rotax Max Junior class at the ASN Canada FIA Canadian National Karting Championships hosted at Goodwood Kartways just north of Toronto, Ontario Canada.
Garett, who holds the 2009 Canadian National Championship title in the Rotax Max Junior class, won at the very same facility where he coached Mazzaferro to victory. Both Gianfranco and Garett were rookies in the junior class when they each won the title in their respective championships at Goodwood.
“Goodwood means a lot to me because winning junior myself then coaching the winning driver in junior a few years later when the Canadian Nationals returned to Goodwood was a great feeling,” Grist said.
The USF2000 race winner and Mazzaferro will next head to New Orleans for the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals taking place in early November, the first time in the 14-year history of the event that it will be run on US soil. Grist knows a bit about being a rookie at the worldwide final – GG competed for the world title in Egypt (2009) and Italy (2010).
“It is the best of the best from Rotax Max Challenge series around the world, and it’s an event you can learn a lot from,” Garett noted. “As a rookie at the Grand Finals, I know how Gianfranco is going to feel, and I will be there to help him the whole time. I am really looking forward to his race, and I think he can achieve a great result.”
Before the Grimsby, Ontario native helps his young driver to another victory, Garett will head to Houston, TX for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda Championship doubleheader finale this weekend; Grist currently sits third in the championship points standings.
10.2.13 (via RACER.com) – They say everything is bigger in Texas, but that's not the case for the Houston Grand Prix around Reliant Park! With it being a 1.7-mile, 10-turn course, it'll be one of our shortest courses we've ran on this year in Firestone Indy Lights. This means it going to be very physical; the straightaways are pretty much corners as well so you wont have too much time to catch your breath. And with the Houston heat of 90+ degrees it's going to make a great proving ground to see how conditioned drivers are.
It's been over a month since our last race at Baltimore, since then I have had a lot of time to look ahead for the next race. Baltimore was a tough weekend for me as whole, when our race was decided for us just after the start when the electrical coils on the right side of the engine failed exiting Turn 1 on lap 1. After a quick pit stop, the problem was fixed and I was sent back out, but by that time our day was pretty much over. That's racing though, sometimes you're just going to have a bad weekend, and once you take away what you learned from it, there is no sense dwelling on it for too long.
Leaving Baltimore, I knew that the next race on the schedule was Houston, and the one thing I've heard over and over about this place is how tough it can be with the heat and humidity. So I made it my biggest goal to train as much as possible in the heat to prepare myself for that. This idea ranged from hot yoga, sauna weight training, and long distant running during the hottest parts of the day. But with having a month off, the worry of becoming “rusty” in the car grew ever bigger.
So, I was very excited to hear that we had a test planned at MSR Houston only a week before our race. This was going to give me the perfect combination to test seeing how I was conditioning wise, and knock the cobwebs off too to be in top shape for the race.
10.1.13 (via INDYCAR Nation) - No team supports the Mazda Road to Indy like Andretti Autosport. Not content to seek glory in the IZOD IndyCar Series, they are also involved in each rung of the open wheel ladder, from USF2000 through Firestone Indy Lights.
With that in mind, we asked some of Andretti’s up-and-coming drivers from each level of the ladder to give their thoughts on the IndyCar title hunt, the season finale, and their favorite memory of the year so far. We were joined by Zach Veach (Firestone Indy Lights), Matthew Brabham and Shelby Blackstock (Pro Mazda Championship), and Garett Grist (Cooper Tires USF2000) for a quick Q&A on these topics:
Question 1: Which driver do you predict will win this year’s IZOD IndyCar Series championship?
Zach Veach, Firestone Indy Lights: Personally I would like to see Marco Andretti be able to take home his first IndyCar Championship. He's worked extremely hard this year, and I feel like he deserves to definitely be in the fight for it!
Matthew Brabham, Pro Mazda: I predict that Helio Castroneves will win the championship. He has a great advantage in the points over everyone at the moment, and I think he can pretty much taste being the IndyCar champion. So I think he is extremely motivated to push hard in the next three races and clinch his first title.
Shelby Blackstock, Pro Mazda: I think Helio Castroneves will win this year's IZOD IndyCar Series Championship.
Garett Grist, USF2000: I think Helio Castroneves will win the championship, but I wish it was Scott Dixon or one of the Andretti Autosport drivers.
Question #2: Which driver do you think will triumph at Fontana?
Veach: I think we'll see all of the Andretti cars towards the front, but I have to say I think Ryan Hunter-Reay will be one of the strongest at Fontana. Andretti has fast cars on the super speedway, and Ryan showed his pace well last year being able to fight until the end to win the championship.
Brabham: Ryan Hunter-Reay is my pick to win at Fontana. I feel like he’s just out of range of the championship at the moment but has something to prove to everyone being the defending IndyCar champion. I believe at Fontana he will be the one to put it all out on the line and leave nothing on the table. He will be able to take advantage of those thinking too much about their championship; it’s all or nothing for him at the moment.
Blackstock: I think Ryan Hunter-Reay will do very well at Fontana
Grist: I think it’s RHR with the triumph in Fontana.
9.4.13 (via Open-Wheels.com) – This year's Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda features one, of if not the most, competitive grid in all of the Mazda Road to Indy. Qualifying sessions and races are often tightly contested and always action-packed. The reward for the USF2000 champion is a step up to the next rung on the road to Indy ladder, the Pro Mazda Championship. One of the young drivers striving to make a name for himself in USF2000 is that of Austin Cindric. Cindric is driving for Andretti Autosport this season in the #77 Nightrain car.
If the name Cindric sounds familiar to IndyCar fans, it's because it should. Austin's father is Tim, President of Penske Racing. But the younger Cindric doesn’t let that pressure get to him. “I think my Dad explains it the best. When he watches my races he just wants to be my Dad and nothing else and I think that is just the way I look at it whenever he is there. He gives me a lot of advice telling me to be smart, all the little things. He helped spot for me at Mid Ohio. Anything he can do to help out he is more than happy to do.”
Austin is currently 19th in series point standings after a rocky start to the year but is starting to find his footing “The past couple of races I have been pretty happy with myself and the way things have gone with all the outside circumstances. I can't control them, but due to mechanical failures and some difficulties on track with other cars and racing incidents, we had a rough start. Then we got to Toronto about halfway through the season and Race One didn’t go too well. But, Race Two I had to start 24th, we made our way up to 13th and made a lot of improvement there, and we got our setup down. Then we moved on to Mid-Ohio, and we got up on the top of the time charts like we wanted to and we just improved every race. We got our first top 10 in Race Three (at Mid-Ohio) so we are just using our momentum to go to Laguna and see what we can do there.”
The Concord, North Carolina native knows the USF2000 series is a great training series for any aspiring professional racing driver due to its ultra competitive nature “With the fields as close as they are, Mid-Ohio qualifying was like from first to 18th 1.1 seconds. Its just crazy how competitive it is. On a side note, it is really good for someone like me who is learning. It helps to learn how to pass people really well, but it also makes the racing really difficult. Its a lot of fun and its a privilege to be a part of it.”
9.3.13 (via eFormulaCarNews.com) – The latest installment features recent Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda race winner Garett Grist.
When and where did you start racing (karts or cars)?
I started racing karts at a local karting track when I was six. When I was 14, I started testing cars, but didn't race them until I was 16.
When did you decide that you were good enough, and wanted to race for a career?
I think after I broke the track record at Mosport in my first year of Formula Ford. It was previously held by both Conor Daly and Kyle Marcelli who are two great race car drivers, so that really made me believe in myself.
What was the first race you attended as a fan?
The U.S. Grand Prix Formula One at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway when I was eight. It was so cool to see the cars and hear the noise.
What is your favorite track?
I would have to say either Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course because of it's flowing corners, or Mosport because of the fast flat out corners, where you have to be brave and really trust your car.
What track have you never raced on, but really want to?
Road America. I always play it on racing games, but have never been to it. It looks like an incredible track, and I'm disappointed the USF2000 Championship didn’t go to it this year.
What is the most challenging track, in your opinion, and why?
I think it's hard to pick just one. In my opinion street races in general are the most challenging tracks for me. Being a rookie in USF2000, it's my first year on street circuits, so I have a lot to learn about them.
What is the most challenging corner that you’ve encountered?
I think it has to be corner 17 at Sebring. Being so bumpy and so fast, you have to position your car perfectly. It took a lot of work, but it ended up being one of my strengths there in the first round.
What race do you dream of winning?
The Indianapolis 500. I mean it’s the Indy 500! I was there this year for the very first time. It was so incredible to see the fans and be part of the action.
What was the best race you've been part of?
Either the final race at the Walter Hayes Trophy last October at Silverstone in the pouring rain against some guys that had won the event before, or Sebring this year battling it out with the Neil [Alberico] and Scott [Hargrove] at the front of the field.
What is the best race car you’ve ever driven?
The Formula BMW car prepared by Autotechinca. I tested when I was 14, and the car was very cool and a lot of fun to drive.
What is your dream race car to drive?
An IndyCar. I'm a big fan of the new DW12. It’s advanced, but not so advanced that the driver skill doesn’t matter.
Do you have a pre-race ritual?
Not really, I usually just have a nap, but that's it. I don’t get caught up in rituals or habits.