The Mazda Road to Indy added another rung to its already impressive ladder following an announcement in late June that Andersen Promotions and the Mazda Road to Indy had formed an alliance with the MAXSpeed Group and the United States Rotax Max Challenge program. Less than three months after the initial announcement, the partnership today unveiled the twelve finalists into the Mazda Road to Indy and MAXSpeed Group Driver Advancement Program who will vie for an opportunity to test in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
“We are very pleased to have such a strong partnership with Andersen Promotions and the Mazda Road to Indy,” expressed Richard Boisclair, President of the MAXSpeed Group. “Together we are taking Rotaxians up the ladder and trying to help them fulfill their dreams of competing in the open-wheel motorsports world. The twelve finalists into this first-ever program are well-deserved and will represent Rotax, karting and the Mazda Road to Indy program very well.”
Following the completion of a Driver Advancement Program application, the candidates were narrowed down to a group of 12 based on selection criteria. The competitors who have been chosen will now enter a final interview process with Verizon IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe, Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion Gabby Chaves, US karting legend Alan Rudolph and three-time Rotax Grand Finals champion and four-time Euro MAX champion Ben Cooper who will select the four winners.
The candidates are Oliver Askew, 17, of Tequesta, Fla.; Christian Brooks, 14, of Santa Clarita, Calif., Sabre Cook, 19, of Grand Junction, Colo.; Jake Craig, 14, of Mission Viejo, Calif.; Trenton Estep, 14, of San Antonio, Texas; Kyle Kirkwood, 15, of Jupiter, Fla.; Michael McCarthy, 15, of Clearwater, Fla.; Christian Munoz, 15, of Deerfield Beach, Fla.; Ryan Norberg, 15, of Orlando, Fla.; Enzo Prevost, 15, of Novato, Calif.; Gavin Reichelt, 15, of Rhinebeck, N.Y.; and Austin Versteeg, 15, of Sandy, Utah.
“We are excited to enter the interview process to select the winners of our inaugural program with the MAXSpeed Group and introduce these talented up-and-coming karters to USF2000,” said Michelle Kish, COO of Andersen Promotions. “It was difficult enough to narrow the initial field down to 12, so I don’t envy our judges in selecting the final four.”
The video conference interview process will begin immediately with all interviews being completed by September 29, 2014. The winners will be announced on Monday, October 13, just prior to the annual Rotax Pan American Challenge in Mooresville, N.C. From there, the four winners will take part in a USF2000 test under the watchful eye of Andersen Promotions and members of the Mazda Road to Indy staff.
“We would like to thank all of the competitors who submitted their resumes for the Driver Advancement Program, and congratulate those selected for interviews,” added Boisclair.