We’re thrilled to introduce a greatly expanded Mazda Road to Indy driver blogger line-up for 2014! This year, five drivers from all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy will take you inside their helmets after each race weekend and share their experiences, on track and off, as they climb the open-wheel racing ladder.
The contributions from each of these drivers will begin next week after the conclusion of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Be sure to check back in and follow their progress from this first weekend of the year all the way through to the season finale!
Lloyd Read graduates to Indy Lights this season and will race with Bryan Herta Autosport, after competing in Pro Mazda last year for JDC Motorsports. The 23-year-old was born in Wales and arrived in the United States in 1999, now residing in Danville, California. He got his first go-kart at 15 years old and was quickly hooked on racing. In addition to Pro Mazda, Lloyd has competed in the San Francisco SCCA Formula Enterprise Championship, where he captured the rookie of the year honors with multiple podiums and finished 3rd overall, and the Formula Car Challenge Championship, which he won in 2011. Lloyd can be found on Twitter at @lloydread16.
Nashville native Blackstock marks his third year with Andretti Autosport, returning to the team’s Pro Mazda program for the second year. The 24-year-old has his eye on the championship after capturing his first series win and seven podium finishes in 2013, garnering third place in the points standings. In addition to his driver duties in the Mazda Road to Indy, Shelby will be pulling double duty as he also competes in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. (And yes, his mother does happen to be country music superstar Reba McEntire.) Follow Shelby on Twitter at @shelbilly.
USF2000 race winner and 2013 Rookie of the Year Garett Grist moves his way up the Mazda Road to Indy to join the Pro Mazda series for 2014. The Grimsby, Ontario, Canada resident plans to build on the momentum he and his crew have built with his race win at Winterfest and make 2014 another memorable rookie year for the 18-year-old. The upcoming season will mark Garett’s second year with the reigning Pro Mazda champions, Andretti Autosport. Follow Garett on Twitter at @gristgarett.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada resident Daniel Burkett returns to the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship this year for his second season with Belardi Auto Racing. Daniel’s earliest experience in racing was as crew member on his father’s formula car, which he eventually was allowed to try driving himself. The passion that resulted translated into a successful kart-racing career in Canada that launched Daniel’s own foray into formula car racing. Daniel is committed to taking his career to the next level and competing for the championship in 2013. Follow Daniel on Twitter at @dannyburks.
Twenty-two year old Wisconsin native Aaron Telitz began racing karts at age 7, and by age 13 he had won three karting championships. After moving on to road racing karts, he won five national championships in endurance kart racing. In 2011, the Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shootout gave Aaron his start in formula car racing after he placed fourth in the prestigious event. One and a half seasons in Skip Barber with eight wins and a second-place in points propelled Aaron into the F1600 Championship in 2013, where he again showed his strength by taking third in the series. In November 2013, the Skip Barber Racing School propeled him forward yet again as he won the Mazdaspeed / Skip Barber Shootout and will as a result compete this year as the Mazda-backed driver in the USF2000 Championship. Follow Aaron on Twitter at @aarontelitz.