2015 Mazda Road to Indy Cooper Tires Winterfest schedule set


February will once again see the now traditional Cooper Tires Winterfest back in action for the fifth time.

Both the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires will race six-race schedules, while Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams will take part in a comprehensive test comprising over 14 hours of track time with the new AER-powered Dallara IL-15.

The outing for the Mazda Road to Indy will kick off at NOLA Motorsports Park just outside of New Orleans, La., on February 18/19/20 and will move to Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Ala., on February 24/25/26.

Three races for USF2000 and Pro Mazda will be on deck at each circuit with competitors vying for an enhanced prize money package of $50,000 and early bragging rights on the southern road courses. Indy Lights teams posting the fastest lap time at each track will be awarded one free set of Cooper tires.

“The Cooper Tires Winterfest provides a great first glimpse of the talent we have onboard for the upcoming season,” Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions, said in a release. “It’s a chance to welcome new and returning drivers and also watch our graduates take their next steps on the ladder. Obviously, I am especially excited this year with the debut of the Dallara IL-15 and very much look forward to seeing the progress our teams make with this new package after such a successful prototype testing program.

“I want to thank our tremendous partners at Cooper Tires for continuing to support this pre-season championship as well as enhancing the prize package for our competitors.”

Added Chris Pantani, Cooper Tire Director of Motorsports, “After the exciting finish in all classes for the 2014 championships, we cannot wait to see who the front-runners will be. The Cooper Tires Winterfest is the first chance to see the 2015 teams and drivers begin, or defend, their title quest.”

A full schedule for the Cooper Tires Winterfest is available on the series’ respective websites. The 2015 Mazda Road to Indy “regular” season race calendar for each series will be announced in the coming weeks.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media

ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.