Mazda Road to Indy 2015 schedules released

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The 2015 schedules for the Mazda Road to Indy ladder – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda – will feature an expanded schedule of 16 races with some exciting new venues added to the traditional mix of circuits.

All three series will end with the Pirelli World Challenge season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in September, which will serve as the MRTI trip to the Bay Area after all championships raced at Sonoma Raceway this year. Sonoma is now dropped from the MRTI schedule.

Indy Lights will race at nine venues, including eight race weekends with the Verizon IndyCar Series. Doubleheaders make up a majority of the schedule with all road and street races doubleheaders except for Long Beach; oval races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Milwaukee Mile and Iowa Speedway are single-race events. Iowa makes its return for Indy Lights in 2015 after a one-year hiatus.

Pro Mazda and USF2000 run similar schedules. They’ll be with IndyCar at St. Petersburg, NOLA, Barber, the Grand Prix of Indianapolis weekend, Toronto and Mid-Ohio. Pro Mazda will also race at Iowa.

The traditional Night Before the 500 at Lucas Oil Raceway will see the Pro Mazda and USF2000 races rebadged as the Freedom 90 and Freedom 75, respectively, and shifted to the afternoon from night.

SCHEDULES

Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires 2015 Schedule

March 27-29      Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida* (1.8-mile street course)
April 17-19	 Streets of Long Beach, California (1.968-mile street course)
April 24-26	 Barber Motorsports Park* (2.38-mile road course)
May 7-9          Indianapolis Motor Speedway* (2.439-mile road course)
May 22           Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
June 12-14       Streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada* (1.755-mile street course)
July 11-12       The Milwaukee Mile (1.015-mile oval)
July 17-18       Iowa Speedway (.875-mile oval)
July 31-August 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course* (2.258-mile road course)
September 11-13  Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca* (2.238-mile road course)
* Doubleheader Event

Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires 2015 Schedule

March 27-29      Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida* (1.8-mile street course)
April 10-12	 NOLA Motorsports Park* (2.75-mile road course)
April 24-26	 Barber Motorsports Park* (2.38-mile road course)
May 7-9          Indianapolis Motor Speedway* (2.439-mile road course)
May 23           Lucas Oil Raceway (.686-mile oval)
June 12-14       Streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada* (1.755-mile street course)
July 17-18       Iowa Speedway (.875-mile oval)
July 31-August 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course* (2.258-mile road course)
September 11-13  Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca* (2.238-mile road course)

Cooper Tires Winterfest
February 19/20   NOLA Motorsports Park** (2.75-mile road course)
February 25/26   Barber Motorsports Park** (2.38-mile road course)
** Tripleheader Event

Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda 2015 Schedule

March 27-29      Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida* (1.8-mile street course)
April 10-12	 NOLA Motorsports Park* (2.75-mile road course)
April 24-26	 Barber Motorsports Park* (2.38-mile road course)
May 7-9          Indianapolis Motor Speedway* (2.439-mile road course)
May 23           Lucas Oil Raceway (.686-mile oval)
June 12-14       Streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada* (1.755-mile street course)
July 31-August 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course** (2.258-mile road course)
September 11-13  Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca* (2.238-mile road course)
* Doubleheader Event
**Tripleheader Event

Cooper Tires Winterfest
February 19/20 NOLA Motorsports Park**(2.75-mile road course)
February 25/26 Barber Motorsports Park** (2.38-mile road course)
** Tripleheader Event

Upcoming tests will take place at Palm Beach International Raceway on December 16/17, the Homestead-Miami Speedway road course on January 26/27 and oval on January 29, NOLA Motorsports Park on February 17/18 and Barber Motorsports Park on February 23/24.

TV

Indy Lights will continue to enjoy one-hour race broadcasts on the NBC Sports Network with primarily same-day coverage as well as live broadcasts on the IMS Radio Network to Sirius XM Satellite Radio, indycar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR app from Verizon. ESPN International holds the international broadcast rights with races airing in Canada, Colombia, Mexico and Australia amongst others. The popular RoadToIndy.TV will continue to provide behind-the-scenes access to all competitors on the Mazda Road to Indy.

Pro Mazda will visit nine circuits next year with five road course, two street circuit and two oval events while USF2000 contests eight venues with five road course, two street circuit and one oval round. Four one-hour highlight shows on the NBC Sports Network and MOTORS TV in Europe will continue in 2015.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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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.