Mazda Road to Indy

Drivers Announced for MRTI Shootout

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The stage is now set for the second annual Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout on December 9 and 10 at the Bondurant Race School. The judges were announced, and now the competitors have been revealed.

“Oliver Askew is proof of what this event can provide,” said Kyle Kimball, manager of operations for Mazda Motorsports. “He won the Shootout and then went on to win another Mazda Scholarship as the USF2000 champion. The Shootout brings the most talented drivers from around the globe to find who will become the next Mazda scholarship winner, and we can’t wait to see which of these young drivers will prevail.”

The MRTI ladder was developed as a way to progress drivers through the open-wheel ranks, eventually leading to the Verizon IndyCar Series. Drivers begin in USF2000, followed by Pro Mazda, Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and then IndyCar. Notably, the champion at each level receives a scholarship to put towards a ride at the next level.

The shootout was developed last year by Mazda to include champions from a select group of junior level open-wheel and karting series around the globe. There was an option for 20 entry tickets to be given out by series to their Champions, with the only other requirement being each competitor must be between the age 14 and 25 as of September 30. The winner of the shootout earns a $200,000 prize from Mazda to allow them to compete in USF2000 in 2018.

The shootout kicks off with a welcome reception and dinner on Friday, followed by a full slate of on-track activity with instructor feedback throughout Saturday. The field will be narrowed down following another on-track session on Sunday, with those remain taking part in a qualifying sessions and a 30-minute race. The judges will then meet for a final time to select the winner of the Shootout.

The competitors named for the shootout consist of:

Spencer Brockman, 17, Westport, Conn. – SCCA Formula Atlantic (At-Large Entry determined by Mazda)
Manuel Cabrera, 17, Mexico City, City – Formula Panam (Mexico)
Matthew Cowley, 20, Manchester, England – F1600 Formula F Championship Series
Jake Craig, 20, Mission Viejo, Calif. – At-Large Entry determined by eKartingNews.com
Keith Donegan, 20, Dublin, Ireland – Formula Ford Festival (UK)
Mitch Egner, 25, Victoria, B.C., Canada – Pacific F2000 Championship
Elliot Finlayson, 21, Yorkville, Ill. – SCCA National Championship Runoffs (Formula Enterprises)
Olin Galli, 21, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Selectiva de Kart Petrobras (Brazil)
Aaron Jeansonne, 19, Sulphur, La. – Team USA Scholarship
Jonathan Kotyk, 23, Atlantic Beach, Fla. – Team USA Scholarship
Liam Lawson, 15, Pukekohe, New Zealand -– New Zealand Formula Ford Championship
Ross Martin, 16, Kilmarnock, Scotland – Beatson’s Scottish FF1600 Championship
Niall Murray, 22, Dublin, Ireland – Dawson WAM Northern Ireland Formula Ford 1600 Championship
Jamie Thorburn, 19, Duns, Scotland – Formula Ford 1600 SuperSeries (UK)
Max Vidau, 16, Adelaide, Australia – Australian Formula Ford Championship
Carter Williams, 19, Clovis, Calif. – Formula Car Challenge Presented by Goodyear
Oliver White, 25, Bath, England – Walter Hayes Trophy for Formula Ford 1600 (UK)

“This year presents another outstanding driver line up for the Shootout,” said Dan Andersen, owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “All of these drivers have impressed with their talent, and the judges are going to have a difficult decision to make on Sunday.

“This event is very special. It is tremendous to see rising stars from around the world come together, and I have to thank Mazda for its commitment to the next generation of racers.”

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Ashley McCubbin is currently studying journalism at the University of Guelph-Humber while writing for multiple websites. She also serves on the managing staff for a select few. Born in North York, Ontario, McCubbin currently lives in Bradford, Ontario and spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area where she enjoys taking photos and working on websites.

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