Articles By: John Lingle
With last year’s champion, Matthew Brabham, having moved up to Indy Lights for this year, several of his key competitors from last season are returning to Pro Mazda this year looking for their own opportunities to shine.
With an enormous amount of raw young talent ready to break loose, the 2014 USF2000 season promises plenty of great competition. Here, MFW’s John Lingle offers up the drivers he has an eye on and also consults with junior series experts Jeremy Shaw, Rob Howden, and Dan Anderson.
In the second part of John Lingle’s series on the Rolex 24 at Daytona, he examines the statistics posted by IndyCar drivers in the PC, GTLM, and GTD classes and pits them against those of their teammates.
In this first part of a two-part series, MFW’s John Lingle looks at IndyCar driver statistics from this past weekend’s Rolex 24 and compares them to those of their sports car teammates to revealing results.
Juan Pablo Montoya took his first turn behind the wheel of one of Roger Penske’s IndyCar’s last week, which ensured that the discussion once again turned to whether he would be the one to bring IndyCar back from the brink. But the sport’s other imports have struggled to find the results fans crave.
There are only two drivers in the Mazda Road to Indy who are truly happy at the moment: Matthew Brabham and Scott Hargrove, the recipients of the Mazda champions’ scholarships. For the rest of the feeder system’s stars, their futures remain uncertain.
With the conclusion of the final rounds of the 2013 USF2000 and Pro Mazda seasons at the Grand Prix of Houston, the eyes of the Mazda Road to Indy inevitably swing towards next year and the inevitable search for sponsorship. But on the final night of the year, Dan Andersen and his team at Andersen Promotions paused to host the 2013 Pro Mazda and USF2000 Awards Banquet at The St. Regis Hotel in Houston. IndyCar driver and Mazda Road to Indy graduate Tristan Vautier was on hand to help with awards presentations, and the champion drivers, teams, and mechanics for 2013 were crowned.
Under the guidance of Dan Andersen and his team at Andersen Promotions, the streamlining of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder for 2014 and beyond is rapidly taking form. The number of events for each series next year has already been determined, and a chassis decision for Indy Lights is expected within two weeks.
Leading up to the Grand Prix of Houston weekend, this article was originally scheduled to be a preview of the series finale at Reliant Park — but one of the most unprecedented seasons in Pro Mazda history has necessitated that it become a year-end review.
MFW contributor John Lingle previews his home town event with a brief history and a look at what we might see this coming weekend at the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston.
In this exclusive Q&A with new Indy Lights series promoter Dan Andersen, he fills us in on the changes expected in the series over the coming months, including the genesis of some decision-making that may begin as early as this coming weekend.
With so much talent driving in the Mazda Road to Indy, now seems like a good time to let the best of the best show what they can do in an Indy car.