In 2014 the Australian Formula Ford Series formed an alliance with Andersen Promotions, promotor of the Mazda USA 'Road to Indy' driver development ladder.
The alliance provides Australian Formula Ford competitors with a defined pathway to the Verizon IndyCar Championship, including the famed Indianapolis 500.
Mazda Road to Indy starts with the USF2000 Championship and progresses through the Pro Mazda Championship to Indy Lights, the official IndyCar Championship feeder category.
All competitors of the Australian Formula Ford Championship are also invited to participate in one of the 2018 Mazda Road To Indy race weekends. Andersen Promotions will provide credentials, hospitality and alignment to shadow a team during the event.
Our competitors are also invited to participate in the annual Mazda Road To Indy Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test, held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on September 22-23, 2018.
The 2018 Australian Formula Ford Championship winner will receive a ticket to participate in the Mazda Road To Indy Shootout. The Shootout is usually held at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix, Arizona, at the beginning of December. In 2017, 18 drivers from eight different countries fought for the final prize - a US$200,000 scholarship to run in the USF2000 Series during the following season.
USF2000 is a one-make 'wings and slicks' open-wheel category. It uses a Tatuus US-17 carbon fibre chassis, powered by the 2-litre EFI Mazda MZR engine. It's an ideal stepping-stone for Formula Ford drivers, and was won in 2012 by Matthew Brabham, grandson of Australian racing legend Sir Jack Brabham. Matthew went on to win the Pro Mazda title in 2013, contested Indy Lights in 2014 and 2015 and joined fellow Australian Will Power in IndyCars in 2016.
As shown by the eight different nationalities represented in the 2018 Shootout, the USF2000 Championship is an international series that attracts up-and-coming racers from around the globe.
Road to Indy series director Dan Andersen is confident that Australian Formula Ford Championship winners will be very competitive in USF2000.
"We hope that our alliance will provide further Australian competitors with an opportunity to progress their careers in our IndyCar-sanctioned USF2000 series”, Mr Anderson said.
USF2000 is arguably the world's most lucrative 'junior development' open-wheel category, with a total prize of US$200,000 and a prize package for the winner to compete in the following year's Pro Mazda Series.
With European open-wheel series becoming increasingly uneconomical for Australian competitors, Road to Indy is a highly attractive alternative.
For further information on the USF2000 series and the Mazda Road To Indy program visit www.usf2000.com and www.roadtoindy.info.
The 2018 Australian Formula Ford Championship is proudly supported by Yokohama tyres, Mazda Road To Indy, Shell, Ferodo and CHI (Cylinder Head Innovations).
For more information, contact the Formula Ford Association administrator or your state committee delegate.