The North American open-wheel race season gets going this week, with the three Mazda Road to Indy championships participating in the Cooper Tires Winterfest two-track event.
The Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000 championships will be at NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21-22, before shifting to Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. next Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 25-26.
For Indy Lights, it’s four days of preseason testing. Meanwhile the other two series will participate in races. Pro Mazda will have four races, with two apiece at each track, and USF2000 will have six races, with two triple headers.
USF2000 and Pro Mazda each will start out with a practice session and a qualifying session on Day 1, followed by one race later in the afternoon. Day 2 at each track will comprise two practice sessions and one race for Pro Mazda and one practice plus two additional races for USF2000.
Some quick news and notes on the entry lists, which are slightly different from those at the Chris Griffis Memorial test this winter:
- Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has four cars entered, with series veteran Juan Pablo Garcia joining in one of the cars. The No. 8, currently listed as a TBA, has had ex-GP2 driver Luiz Razia testing this winter.
- Andretti Autosport has the other TBA of the 12 cars, with its third car not listing anyone. Italian Vittorio Ghirelli tested in that car earlier this winter.
- Team Pelfrey adds a third car for Brandon Newey, a USF2000 competitor in 2013 and son of Bryan Herta Autosport team co-owner Steve Newey.
- Danilo Estrela, formerly of Belardi Auto Racing, makes his official debut with Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing, as second driver alongside Jake Eidson at the three-time defending championship-winning team.
- Afterburner Autosport’s fourth car is the only “TBA” listed of the 20 cars entered.
INDY LIGHTS (12) Team Moore Racing: 2 Zack Meyer (CAN) Belardi Auto Racing: 4 Alexandre Baron (FRA), 5 Gabby Chaves (COL) Schmidt Peterson Motorsports: 8 TBA, 10 Juan Pablo Garcia (MEX), 42 Jack Harvey (GBR), 77 Juan Piedrahita (COL) Fan Force United: 24 Scott Anderson (USA) Andretti Autosport: 26 Zach Veach (USA), 27 TBA, 83 Matthew Brabham (USA) BHA/Jeffrey Mark Motorsport: 28 Lloyd Read (WAL) PRO MAZDA (16) Cape Motorsports w/WTR: 2 Neil Alberico (USA), 3 Scott Hargrove (CAN) Juncos Racing: 5 Jose Gutierrez (MEX), 6 Julia Ballario (ARG), 7 Spencer Pigot (USA), 18 Kyle Kaiser (USA) World Speed Motorsports: 13 Bobby Eberle (USA), 16 Michele Bumgarner (PHI) Andretti Autosport: 27 Garett Grist (CAN), 28 Shelby Blackstock (USA) M1 Racing: 37 Jay Horak (USA) JDC Motorsports: 54 Michael Johnson (USA), 91 Kyle Connery (USA) Team Pelfrey: 80 Dalton Kellett (CAN), 81 Pipo Derani (BRZ), 82 Brandon Newey (USA) USF2000 (20) Cape Motorsports w/WTR: 2 Jake Eidson (USA), 3 Danilo Estrela (BRZ) Belardi Auto Racing: 4 Daniel Burkett (CAN), 14 Florian Latorre (FRA), 41 Nico Jamin (FRA), 44 Michael Epps (GBR) Team E Racing: 7 R.C. Enerson (USA) Afterburner Autosport: 11 TBA, 15 Gustavo Myasava (BRZ), 17 Victor Franzoni (BRZ), 18 Jeroen Slaghekke (NED) M2 Autosport: 13 Juan Carlos Maldonado (COL), 79 Santiago Lozano (COL) Pabst Racing Services: 23 Will Owen (USA), 77 Austin Cindric (USA) ArmsUp Motorsports: 24 Peter Portante (USA), 51 Aaron Telitz (USA) JDC Motorsports: 93 Scott Andrews (AUS), 97 Clark Toppe (USA) JAY Motorsports: 96 Henrik Furuseth (NOR)