Mazda Road to Indy 2016 schedules revealed

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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The schedules for the 2016 Mazda Road to Indy have been revealed, which more or less mirror the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule that was released on Tuesday.

The only notable change is Indy Lights not going to Long Beach. Meanwhile, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will return as the season finale, a week before the Verizon IndyCar Series season finale at Sonoma Raceway. Pirelli World Challenge will be back at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2016, but not on the same weekend as MRTI.

The full release from the series is below:


Andersen Promotions today unveiled the 2016 calendar for the series that comprise the highly acclaimed Mazda Road to Indy – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. All events will be in support of the Verizon IndyCar Series with the exception of the season finale which will once again take place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Seven venues will feature all three levels of the ladder system.

“I am extremely pleased with the caliber of events we have on our 2016 schedule,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “We have a total of 50 races on deck for the three series across key markets in the United States as well as Canada. Finishing the season – and crowning all three champions – at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca finale this year proved to be a great ending and we are excited to return and close out the season again next year.

“We have a lot of exciting things in the works. including the unveiling of the new USF2000 car at Indianapolis in May, and we will be working hard to build on the tremendous season we had in 2015.”

On the heels of a successful debut of the Mazda-powered Dallara IL-15, Indy Lights will see an expanded schedule of 18 races next season with the addition of three new circuits – Phoenix International Raceway, Road America and the Streets of Boston. The blend of three ovals, three street circuit and five road course events will include doubleheader rounds at all street and road course venues with the exception of the Boston race. A new qualifying feature – the Cooper Tires Lightning Round – will also debut at select circuits next year featuring the top three drivers from qualifying in a one-lap shootout on a new, softer compound Cooper RS3 racing slick for the coveted Cooper Tires Pole Award.

Indy Lights competitors will again vie for a guaranteed three-race scholarship to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2017, which includes the Indianapolis 500. NBCSN will host one-hour broadcasts of all race events with 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.

RoadToIndy.TV and the Mazda Road to Indy App will continue to feature behind-the-scenes content, race recap episodes, special features, live streaming at select events and live shows of Mazda Road to Indy on and off-track activities.

Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires 2016 Schedule of Events

March 11-13 Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida 1.8-mile street course*
April 1-2 Phoenix International Raceway 1-mile oval
April 22-24 Barber Motorsports Park 2.3-mile road course*
May 12-14 Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.439-mile road course*
May 27 Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.5-mile oval
June 24-26 Road America 4.048-mile road course*
July 9-10 Iowa Speedway .875-mile oval
July 15-17 Streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada 1.755-mile street course*
July 29-31 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course 2.258-mile road course*
September 2-4 Streets of Boston, Massachusetts 2.25-mile street course
September 9-11 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca 2.238-mile road course*
*Doubleheader events

Upcoming tests include the fifth annual Chris Griffis Memorial Test at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) on November 21-22, Spring Training at Barber Motorsports Park on March 5, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 11 (road course) and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on June 7. Additional test dates, including a test day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, will be announced in the coming weeks.

Pro Mazda will maintain a 16-race schedule featuring five road course, two street course and two oval venues. With the exception of the ovals, all events will comprise double-header rounds. Pro Mazda competitors will once again vie for a Mazda scholarship to advance to Indy Lights in 2017.

Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires
March 11-13 Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida 1.8-mile street course*
April 22-24 Barber Motorsports Park 2.3-mile road course*
May 12-14 Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.439-mile road course*
May 28 Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis .686-mile oval
June 24-26 Road America 4.048-mile road course*
July 9-10 Iowa Speedway .875-mile oval
July 15-17 Streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada 1.755-mile street course*
July 29-31 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course 2.258-mile road course*
September 9-11 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca 2.238-mile road course*
*Doubleheader events

Test dates include the Chris Griffis Memorial Test at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) on November 21-22, Spring Training at Barber Motorsports Park on March 6/7, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 11 (road course) and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on June 8/9.

The USF2000 calendar will include 16 races held at eight venues featuring five road course, two street circuit and one oval event. Aside from the oval, all rounds are double-headers with the now traditional tripleheader event at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. At stake is a champion’s prize of a scholarship from Mazda to advance to Pro Mazda in 2017.

Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda
March 11-13 Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida 1.8-mile street circuit*
April 22-24 Barber Motorsports Park 2.3-mile road course*
May 12-14 Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.439-mile road course*
May 28 Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis .686-mile oval
June 24-26 Road America 4.048-mile road course*
July 15-17 Streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada 1.755-mile street course*
July 29-31 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course 2.258-mile road course**
September 9-11 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca 2.238-mile road course*
*Doubleheader events
**Tripleheader event

The test schedule includes the Chris Griffis Memorial Test at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) on November 21-22, Spring Training at Barber Motorsports Park on March 6/7, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 11 (road course) and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on June 8/9.

Off-track training for all series will feature the unparalleled Mazda Road to Indy Summit program which will take place over the St. Petersburg and Indianapolis race weekends. Past subjects have included media training, maximizing social media, fitness, performance thinking, creating a sponsorship proposal, the business of motorsports, what team owner’s look for in a driver and simulator training.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.