Archive for the ‘Pro Mazda’ Category

20 Questions: USF2000′s Garett Grist

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

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.

 

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Trackside Update: Grand Prix of Baltimore

Monday, September 2nd, 2013
9.2.13 – As we say farewell to the holiday weekend, let's look back at our race day in Charm City…

 

The Firestone Indy Lights duo of Carlos Munoz and Zach Veach took to the streets on Sunday afternoon for their 35-lap race. Making contact after an unknown failure on the No. 26 car occurred, the Colombian was forced to retire early. Teammate Zach Veach made an unscheduled pitstop when a suspected engine problem was causing the No. 12 RePLAY XD machine to slow, but was able to bring home an eighth-place finish.

 

Immediately following the Firestone Indy Lights race, the fantastic four of James Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti, E.J. Viso and Ryan Hunter-Reay battled their way through the carnage that was the Grand Prix of Baltimore. Although stopping on track twice throughout the 75-lap race, Hinch made his way back by finishing in seventh place for his ninth top-10 finish in 2013. Third-generation racer Andretti maneuvered his way to the front of the pack to lead 12 laps before his broken front wing befell him, and Marco was able to come the twin checkers in 10th place. Another victim of an unfortunate run-in, E.J. was poised for his first podium of the season (was as high as fifth place and on the move!) when he was hit from behind, forcing the Venezuelan to hit a competitor and break his front nose cone; Viso eventually pitted and was able to salvage a P13 finish after starting 20th. Reigning champion and 2012 Grand Prix of Baltimore winner RHR was not having the race he had hoped or even imagined. On Lap 1, the anti-stall mechanism kicked in on the No. 1 Chevy and Hunter-Reay was seen stranded on the track; he later recovered to eighth place and was plagued with a battery failure just after the halfway point and was forced to retire early in P20.

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The IZOD IndyCar Series will pack up and head to Houston, Texas for the next round of competition on October 5 and 6 where they will be joined by the full Mazda Road to Indy ladder. In the meantime, keep up to date on all things Andretti Autosport by joining us on Twitter (@FollowAndretti) and don't forget to 'Like' us on Facebook where you can enter to be our featured Fan of the Week.
 
 
 

Trackside Update: Qualifying at the Baltimore Grand Prix

Saturday, August 31st, 2013
8.31.13 – SPOILER ALERT: This Trackside Update covers IZOD IndyCar Series Qualifying from the Grand Prix of Baltimore. While the qualifying session took place this afternoon, coverage will be broadcast by NBC Sports Network at 6 p.m. Eastern today. If you are not yet prepared to discover the results of today's qualifying, we recommend saving this Trackside Update for future reading.
 

 

Day two from the Grand Prix of Baltimore is in the books and the starting grids for both the IndyCar and Firestone Indy Lights races are set.
 

Champ Ryan Hunter-Reay led the way for the team's IndyCar effort and will roll off from the eighth position tomorrow — keep in mind he started 13th here last season and captured the victory, a pivotal point in his championship win. Following RHR was teammate James Hinchcliffe who will start 11th – his 10th top-10 start of the season. Marco Andretti, who has recorded 13 top-10 finishes this season, will take to the grid in the 18th position while E.J. Viso, who has clinched six top-10 finishes this year, will grid 22nd.

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In Firestone Indy Lights, Carlos Munoz will make yet another front row appearance, starting second, and teammate Zach Veach will start sixth in the RePLAY HD machine.

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Tune in tomorrow to NBC Sports Network (Verizon FiOS 90/590, DirecTV 220, DISH 159 and AT&T UVerse 640) for full race day coverage from Baltimore. The broadcast begins at 2 p.m. ET with the 75-lap IZOD IndyCar Series race and will be followed by the Firestone Indy Lights race broadcast. If you can't make it to the television, listen along with the broadcast by the IMS Radio Network, on SiriusXM (Channel 211) and IndyCar.com.

Trackside Update: Friday from Baltimore Grand Prix

Friday, August 30th, 2013

8.30.13 – Hello from Maryland's Inner Harbor where the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT kicked off our Labor Day weekend! Our sister company Andretti Sports Marketing has been working hard alongside race promoter Race On Baltimore to make this weekend an exciting one. Everything looks great and we can't wait to see what else this Celebration of Acceleration has in store for the INDYCAR teams.

 
Our four IndyCar Series drivers and duo of Firestone Indy Lights drivers took the streets today as they practiced for tomorrow's qualifying sessions.
 
GoDaddy driver and Mayor of Hinchtown, James Hinchcliffe, led the way for the Andretti Autosport IndyCar quartet today. "The times don’t look awesome; we didn’t get new tires there at the end, but largely I’m actually pretty happy with the GoDaddy car. We made small changes on it during the last session because the lunch changes were really good. Hopefully we can keep fine tuning things here and there because I think we’re pretty close. It’s definitely a car that can fight for the (Firestone) Fast Six."
 
E.J. Viso led the team in morning practice with a lap time fast enough for P2 and ended the day 15th overall. “Tough day. I think as a team, we are not where we are supposed to be. We just definitely need to work hard tonight and come up with some good changes and good ideas for tomorrow. It is extremely competitive, and it seems this track helps and really suits the Honda teams; I’m sure that overnight there will be some changes happening from us and Team Chevy.”
 
Returning race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay was not as pleased with today's effort but remains confident in the progress to come. "It’s tough," said RHR. "Right now we need to regroup as a team and go forward with some testing tomorrow. We’re all a little bit off paced from where we need to be. At the moment, the way the curbs and chicanes are set up, you need to put your car at major risk to get the lap time. I’m not quite there on putting the DHL Chevy at full risk – we’ll see. I’m fully confident we’ll be on it for tomorrow."
 
The maroon and white paint scheme of Dr Pepper returns to the No. 25 Chevy this weekend as Marco Andretti works to make his way into the Firestone Fast Six — it would be his first top-six grid appearance on the streets of Baltimore. "We totally went the wrong way today, but we were trying something that we thought we needed for qualifying tomorrow. I’m glad we got it out of the way today because now we know and won’t be a change behind tomorrow. I think we are headed in the right direction and can hopefully see the Dr Pepper car in the (Firestone) Fast Six tomorrow."
 
Making his second Firestone Indy Lights appearance in Baltimore, Carlos Munoz ranked second in today's practice session behind the wheel of the No. 26 Dialy-Ser machine. The Firestone Indy Lights Championship points leader posted a best lap time of 1:26.234 at the 12-turn street circuit. "Today's practice seemed quite short," said Carlos. "We didn't have much time on track, but I feel good. I think we have to improve a little bit… we'll make a couple changes overnight. It's only the beginning of the weekend, and we still have one more practice for qualifying tomorrow, so we have to work hard and start the weekend off the right way."
 
Replay driver Zach Veach worked his way into the top-six during today's practice, despite feeling a little under the weather. This weekend's 35-lap race marks Veach's 10th career Firestone Indy Lights start, where he has recorded six top-five starts. "Today, with the new Replay car, it didn't go exactly how we wanted with a P6 in the session," said Zach. "My engineer and I want to take a chance because it's still early in the weekend and try something that worked for him last year. The thing is, the track has really gripped up compared to this point last year, so I think we made the wrong call on that. But my Andretti guys are great at recovering, and we'll go back and be strong tomorrow morning and through qualifying. I just want to thank Replay for joining in on the No. 12 car this weekend – we're going to be working really hard to get Replay their first win." 
 
Catch all the IndyCar qualifying action from Baltimore on NBC Sports Network (Verizon FiOS 90/590, DirecTV 220, DISH 159 and AT&T UVerse 640) at 6 p.m. Saturday. If you don't mind a few spoilers, follow along with qualifying live at 12 p.m. via Twitter with @FollowAndretti and #GPoB. You can also catch the live radio broadcast by the IMS Radio Network, on SiriusXM (Channel 211) and IndyCar.com.
 

If you're here with us in Baltimore this weekend, don't miss multi-platinum band (and Andretti Autosport sponsor!) LIVE at the Main Stage located at Victory Lane tomorrow at 6 p.m. — it's going to be great!

 

 

Don’t Miss Out: Week of August 26, 2013

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

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 EASTERN Time Zone)
 

 

 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 29

Michael Andretti at Giant
4315 Mountain Rd, Pasadena, 21122
@ 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Marco Andretti at Giant
573 Ritchie Highway #1, Severna Park, 21146
@ 3 – 5 p.m.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, E.J. Viso,
Marco Andretti & James Hinchcliffe
w/ an appearance by LIVE
The Yellow Party
Pazo, 1425 Aliceanna St, 21231
@ 5:30 – 9 p.m.

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 30

E.J. Viso radio interview
HERB FM
@ 5:45 p.m.
 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 31

Michael at Andretti Club
Andretti Club, Marriott Camden Yards
TICKETS HERE
@ 10 a.m.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, E.J. Viso,
Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe
IZOD IndyCar Series Autographs
INDYCAR Fan Village
@ 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

LIVE in concert
Victory Lane Stage
@ 6 p.m.
 

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1

Zach Veach & Carlos Munoz
Firestone Indy Lights Autographs
INDYCAR Fan Village
@ 9:30 – 10 a.m.

Michael at Andretti Club
Andretti Club, Marriott Camden Yards
TICKETS HERE
@ 11:30 a.m.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, E.J. Viso,
Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe
Chevy Q&A
Chevy Display in INDYCAR Fan Village
@ 11:40 a.m.

Matthew Brabham’s success goes beyond the family name

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

8.15.13 (via RACER.com) – Steely determination. Relentless on the racetrack. Relaxed outside the car. Let's his driving do the talking. Always ready with a big smile. Which member of the racing Brabham family are we referring to? All of them.

19-year-old Matthew Brabham, son of Can-Am, Indy car and IMSA legend Geoff Brabham, nephew of ALMS champion and two-time Le Mans winner David Brabham and grandson of three-time Formula 1 world champion Jack Brabham, carries a surname that has been at the forefront of motorsports for more than 50 years, but it's the commonalities – the traits he shares with those family members – that make him unique.

The Florida-born, Australia-bred driver took four wins last year in the USF2000 championship, claiming the championship in his first season of competition in America with a wise-beyond-his-years approach. His closest rival, Spencer Pigot, had twice the number of wins – eight victories in the 14-round season – but with Brabham banking five second-place finishes and one third, his consistency as a rookie was too much to overcome.

With circuit familiarity on his side, Brabham entered the Pro Mazda series this year and has simply demolished the opposition. 11 wins from 14 rounds handed Brabham the title with two races left two run, and the experience of dominating his rivals – including Pigot who also graduated to Pro Mazda – has the third-generation driver standing out as one of the promising talents on the Mazda Road to Indy.

Like the elders in the Brabham family, Matthew has demonstrated both ends of the spectrum with his driving by demoralizing the opposition whenever possible and making sure he has a place on the podium when victory is out of reach. Those are attributes normally found within those who've graduated from the open-wheel ladder – something shared by IndyCar champions Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon – which makes a teenager like Brabham stand out even more.

 

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Matthew Brabham solidifies Pro Mazda title with AFS Racing on board

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

8.13.13 – The Andretti Autosport Mazda Road to Indy Driver Breaks Season Win Record

 

Pro Mazda Championship racer Matthew Brabham wheeled the No. 83 machine to a record-setting wins in Trois-Rivieres this last weekend. Recording his 10th and 11th victories of the season, the 19-year-old set a new series record for most wins, as well as most podium finishes (13) in one season and clinched the 2013 Pro Mazda Championship title.

The American’s Mazda-powered Andretti Autosport car hit the 1.53-mile Canadian circuit featuring the branding of longtime Mazda Road to Indy supporter and Andretti Autosport partner AFS Racing. AFS Racing officially came on board before the Aug. 4 race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and will see Brabham through the 2013 season and possibly beyond.

As part of the Mazda Road to Indy program, Brabham will receive the MAZDASPEED Motorsport scholarship helping to grant him a spot to race in 2014 as part of the next ladder step, Firestone Indy Lights; this will be Brabham’s second consecutive year to win the scholarship after securing the USF2000 Championship title in 2012 to ensure a ride in 2013’s Pro Mazda fight. “It was fantastic to have AFS Racing come on board and help us win the championship. Gary (Peterson) and AFS have helped many great young drivers in their careers and I'm honored to be now be part of that select group. I’m looking forward to exploring further development of my career with AFS and Andretti Autosport."

“AFS is proud to be a part of Brabham’s success,” said AFS Racing owner and former racer Gary Peterson. “He’s on his way to winning the 2013 Pro Mazda Championship in the AFS/Andretti Autosport car after clinching both races in Canada. It has been a primary focus of AFS to mentor young, up-and-coming drivers. Brabham will be one of a long list of talented young drivers we’ve worked with over the last 11 years. I’ve had the pleasure to get to know each of these great drivers and their families and I’m looking forward to helping Brabham take the necessary steps forward in his career.”

The AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport pairing has enjoyed success, winning two Firestone Indy Lights championships with drivers Raphael Matos (2008) and JR Hildebrand (2009). AFS/Andretti also joined forces in 2009 and 2010 with IZOD IndyCar Series entries piloted by Franck Montagny and Adam Carroll. Furthermore, drivers Marco Andretti, Carlos Munoz and Sebastian Saavedra have all carried the familiar red and yellow of AFS Racing.

 

Brabham locks up Pro Mazda crown with Trois-Rivieres sweep

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

8.13 (via RACER.com) – With his commanding performance in the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres double-header this weekend, Matthew Brabham of Andretti Autosport has clinched the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires title with two races still remaining. His season has sent record books flying. Brabham's 11th win aboard the No. 83 MAZDASPEED entry more than bested the record he recently broke of nine race wins in a season set by Jack Hawksworth last year.

The 19-year-old reigning Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda champion also holds the record for the most consecutive wins in a season at seven, the record for most podiums in a season at 13 – again besting Hawksworth as well as 2010 champ Conor Daly – and is tied with Hawksworth for fastest race laps in a season at 11.

The grandson of three-time Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jack Brabham and son of Le Mans 24 Hours winner and two-time IMSA champion Geoff Brabham has definitely upheld the family pedigree. Brabham is the first driver to advance to the Indy Lights series after winning USF2000 and Pro Mazda titles in succession.

“I am absolutely speechless. To get two wins and the championship makes this just an unbelievable weekend, and I couldn't think of a better place to win the championship," said Brabham. "It has been so much fun here in Trois-Rivieres. I can't thank everyone who supported me enough – Mazda, for giving me the opportunity to have this wonderful year, Cooper Tires and AFS Racing for coming in at the end. Andretti Autosport has been fantastic all year, so a big thanks to them. At the start of the season, I couldn't have predicted that I would have a year like this. I am just so, so happy.

As Pro Mazda champion, Brabham will earn a scholarship package from Mazda to advance to the Firestone Indy Lights Series next season – the third and final step on the highly regarded Mazda Road to Indy ladder system which provides a clear and scholarship-supported path for drivers to reach the IZOD IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500.

“I am definitely looking forward to the future," declared Brabham. "The United States has been wonderful for me. It was the perfect move for me at this point in my career and I am really looking forward to moving up to Indy Lights next year. I remember when I first went to St. Petersburg and I saw the Lights cars on track and I thought, 'These cars are really cool and I want to get in one of those.' I am really looking forward to being a part of Dan Andersen's series again next year. Last year and this year were run smoothly and perfectly. I have never been in a series this organized and well-run before."

 

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Grist overcomes competition to claim first USF2000 victory

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

8.4.13 (via RACER.com) – Garett Grist finally found his way to Victory Lane this morning at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, overcoming points leader Scott Hargrove to win Round 10 of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.

Grist, 18, from Grimsby, Ont., Canada, started his Andretti Autosport Van Diemen-Mazda from the pole but lost out to Hargrove as the field sped toward the first turn. Behind, there was mayhem as front row starter Neil Alberico, who had won both races yesterday, made contact with another car and spun in front of the main pack of 28 starters.

After a lengthy red-flag interruption while the track was cleared, the field was repositioned to the original grid order, minus the cars that had been involved in the original accident, with Grist on point ahead of Hargrove (Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing), RC Enerson (ZSports Midwest with Team E Racing), Henrik Furuseth (PRL Motorsports) and Felipe Donato (ArmsUp Motorsports). Hargrove made a fine jump to displace Grist from the lead at Turn One but maintained that advantage for only two more laps before Grist squeezed past on the inside line under braking for the Keyhole (Turn Two).

The young Canadian, who had lost a potential win in Round Nine yesterday afternoon by running onto the grass at the Carousel while in the lead, made no mistakes this time around, posting a series of fastest race laps as he pulled clear to win by 3.391 seconds.

“This has been a long timing coming. Even yesterday, I thought we had a chance to get two wins but I made a mistake and we had a mechanical," he related. "That stuff happens but the win today is big. It is big for the team and for me and everyone is feeling good now. On the pass [for the lead], I think I almost had two wheels on the grass going up the inside into [Turn] Two. I have to thank Scott for giving me just enough room to pull it off. I knew he was thinking about championship points, too, and I wouldn't want to be the guy to ruin his championship. So, thank you to Scott. Once I had the pass done, I just focused on checking out. I knew we had a good car and I knew we were fast in both races yesterday so I knew we had the pace to pull away.”

 

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Brabham adds to season win record

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

8.4.13 (via RACER.com) – There's an old adage in auto racing that says “I'd rather be lucky than good.” Well, both terms apply to Matthew Brabham.

He appeared to be headed for a second-place finish behind Venezuelan Diego Ferreira in this morning's 12th round of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, the second leg of the Allied Building Products Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, but moments after the caution flags flew as a result of an oil spillage in Turn Four due to contact between two cars farther down the field, Ferreira and Brabham encountered the oil slick and both leaders fought to maintain control of their cars.

Ferreira (Juncos Racing), who had taken the lead with an opportunistic maneuver on the first lap, slid off the road and through a gravel trap, narrowly missing the stranded car of Jay Horak. By the time Ferreira rejoined the track, Brabham, who had somehow managed to keep his Andretti Autosport Pro Mazda on the blacktop, was through and into the lead. The cleanup process could not be completed before the time-certain schedule had run its course, so the cars remained in that order as the race finished behind the pace car.

Ferreira, from Maracay, Venezuela, claimed that the pass had been made under caution, which indeed it had, but race officials ruled that since Brabham had managed to remain on the race track and Ferreira had not, the change in positions was legitimate. Brabham was duly credited with his record-breaking ninth win of the season, eclipsing the mark set by 2012 champion Jack Hawksworth.

“It was definitely an interesting race for us. I had a good start but Diego had a better start and managed to get me on the outside going into Turn Four," related Brabham. "At the start of the race, I was mainly focused on keeping Spencer [Pigot] behind me than trying to keep up with Diego. I managed to get a little gap and really put my head down to try to catch Diego. I had a really quick car in the middle of the race and I pulled up and Diego and I had a little fight for the lead for a couple of laps.

 

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