IMSA: Jonathan Bomarito picks up Mazda opportunity

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Jonathan Bomarito will join the SpeedSource Mazda team for 2015 in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, which serves as his return to the team that he drove for from 2010 through 2012.

The American was well in line to secure the GT Le Mans class championship with SRT Motorsports this year in one of the Dodge Viper SRT GTS-Rs. But he and full-season co-driver Kuno Wittmer were split up at the final race and Wittmer won the title; then the program was pulled on the Monday after the season finale at Petit Le Mans.

Bomarito will be in the No. 70 Mazda SKYACTIV-D prototype. Exact driver pairings are to be determined but are expected to feature the team’s 2014 drivers (Tom Long, Sylvain Tremblay, Tristan Nunez, Joel Miller, Ben Devlin, Tristan Vautier).

“I feel as though I’m coming home to be back with Mazda,” Bomarito said in a release. “It excites me to see what the future holds with SpeedSource and Mazda in the prototype class. This program has been about development, and I’m honored to come on board to add to this collaboration and watch it continue to grow. It’s a great feeling to be back in the No. 70 car with Sylvain Tremblay. It all started for us when we won the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2010. I can’t think of a better way to kick off the 2015 race season.”

Provisional Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew ready for IndyCar ride

Road to Indy
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Provisional Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew has done nothing but dominate the 2019 season, winning seven of the 16 races run so far and finishing on the podium in all but two of those events.

Now all the 22-year-old Floridian needs to do to formally clinch the 2019 title is simply start the final two races of the season, both of which will be held this weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

For Askew, his maiden Indy Lights season will likely be one he’ll never forget. 

“It’s been a dream come true,” Askew told NBC Sports. “Being with the championship-winning team from last year, we had a really good shot at winning it again for Andretti Autosport. It’s very rare that we show up to a track and struggle to find speed. 

“That’s a fantastic feeling, especially as a driver. That gave me a lot of confidence and hopes of holding the million dollar check at the end of the year. That was the goal going into it.”

This weekend, Askew will accomplish said goal. The championship will not only bring him a sense of pride, but also the opportunity of a lifetime. 

As an award for being crowned the Indy Lights champion, Askew will be awarded a scholarship that guarantees him entry into a minimum of three NTT IndyCar Series events next year – including the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500. 

Time will only tell which team Askew will race for in IndyCar next season, and whether or not Askew’s rookie campaign will be a full-time or part-time affair, but Askew’s performance during the last few seasons in the Road to Indy system has certainly drawn attention of IndyCar’s top team owners.

In August, Askew had the chance to drive an Indy car for the first time in his career during a test session at Portland International Raceway, driving the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda usually piloted by Scott Dixon.

“It was an opportunity with Chip Ganassi Racing that I was very fortunate to have,” Askew said. “I think with my experience in the past couple of years with Cape Motorsports and this year with Andretti Autosport, going into that test was very helpful.

“Going into the test, it was more of trying to treat it as just another day at the racetrack, when it really wasn’t. It was a fantastic opportunity for me – a great experience – and I hope I can take that into my rookie season next year in IndyCar.” 

The final two races of the 2019 Indy Lights season will take place this weekend on Saturday, September 21 at 6 p.m. ET and Sunday, September 22 at 12:05 p.m. ET. Both races will air live on NBC Sports Gold.

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