The above picture is Canadian Dalton Kellett sampling Andretti Autosport’s Pro Mazda machinery at Putnam Park in Indianapolis.
And this is 2013 champion Matthew Brabham joining Kellett at the test, to help and coach.
This is interesting for a few reasons. For one, Michael Andretti hadn’t confirmed the return of his Pro Mazda program during his wide-ranging media availability at the Andretti Sports Marketing-promoted ABC Supply Co. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest Presented by the Metro Milwaukee Honda Dealers this August (it’s still likely to continue).
Second, Kellett, who raced a majority of events this year for Team Pelfrey in Pro Mazda, would be looking to move up for a second season in the championship.
Third, his name’s on the rear wing, which replaces the text of Shelby Blackstock’s name on that car. This was also done for Neil Alberico, who tested for Andretti Autosport at the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy test last month.
Kellett is the first driver to have raced all three divisions of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder in the same season, when he raced a full USF2000 season, one Pro Mazda weekend and one Indy Lights weekend in 2013.
Andretti ran Blackstock and Garett Grist in this season’s Pro Mazda championship, with Grist winning twice and Blackstock finishing fourth in the points.
Blackstock, who’s raced two seasons of Pro Mazda and also races in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge with Fall-Line Motorsports in a BMW M3 (won Daytona this year), would be a natural to move up to Indy Lights in 2015, and if he does, that would provide an opening on the Pro Mazda grid.