Zak Brown’s marketing company up for sale

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Just Marketing Inc., the global motorsports marketing company that was founded by current INDYCAR CEO candidate Zak Brown, is now up for sale.

According to Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press, Brown informed the JMI staff that Spire Capital Partners is trying to sell its 60 percent stake in the company. As for any possible connections to a potential jump to INDYCAR by Brown, a copy of the memo obtained by the AP states that any sale is “completely unrelated” to that scenario.

“There is no immediate timeline in place for a transaction to occur and no guarantee that one will occur in the near future,” wrote Brown, who still owns a 20 percent stake in JMI (the other 20 percent is with the WPP advertising agency).

“JMI’s leadership and employees continue to be focused on providing excellent service to our clients and continue to grow our business.”

During the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg weekend, Brown was acknowledged by Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles as a candidate to replace Randy Bernard as IndyCar’s top dog. Right now, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and CEO Jeff Belskus is handling that job on an interim basis.

“I have a lot of passion for IndyCar and I’m getting to know Mark,” Brown told the AP in an e-mail about the situation. “We are exploring to see if there’s a way to work together. It’s a great product and I’m positive I could contribute to its growth and success.”

MRTI: pre-season testing Day 2 notebook

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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Day 2 of testing for the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires saw two series hit the Homestead-Miami Speedway road course for pre-season testing. The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda both got their turns on Saturday after the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires took to the 1.5-mile oval on Friday.

Both series got in two sessions apiece during the day. Below are quick reports for Pro Mazda and USF2000.

Pro Mazda: Thompson, Askew Lead Opening Sessions

A pair of USF2000 graduates led the two sessions for Pro Mazda. In Session 1, it was Parker Thompson and Exclusive Autosport leading the way, while Cape Motorsports’ Oliver Askew, last year’s USF2000 champion, led the way in Session 2. Times from both sessions are below.

Juncos Racing’s Rinus VeeKay, last year’s runnerup in the USF2000 championship, also put in a strong showing, ending up second in Session 2.

This was also the first official session for the brand new Tatuus PM-18, and it’s first official outing showed off quite a bit of speed. Lap times were reportedly upwards of four seconds a lap faster than the previous Elan Pro Mazda chassis.

USF2000: Pabst Racing, Cape Motosports Lead the Way

The teams that battled for last year’s USF2000 crown, Cape Motorsports and Pabst Racing, traded early blows during Saturday testing, with each team leading a session.

Pabst Racing’s Rasmus Lindh led the way in Session 1, with four Pabst cars in the top five, while Kyle Kirkwood led Session 2 for Cape. Times from both sessions are below.

However, it should be noted that DEForce Racing’s Kory Enders spent most of Session 2 at the top of the speed charts before getting pushed down to third late in the running. With the top three finishers from last year’s USF2000 championship all moving on to Pro Mazda (Askew, VeeKay, and Thompson), this USF2000 season could be anyone’s for the taking.

Of note, Keith Donegan, who signed with ArmsUp Motorsports after winning the $200K scholarship from Mazda Motorsports in November’s Mazda Road to Indy Shootout, was 16th in Session 1, but did not turn laps in Session 2.

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