The revamped Australian Formula Ford Series has received a boost for competitors with the announcement of an alliance with the INDYCAR-sanctioned Mazda Road to Indy ladder system in the US.
The alliance will see both the Formula Ford Association and Mazda Road to Indy promoters, Andersen Promotions, work together to provide Australian Formula Ford competitors with a defined pathway to the Verizon IndyCar series and Indianapolis 500.
The Mazda Road to Indy ladder system is the defined pathway to race Indy Cars in the US starting with USF2000 and leading to the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the main feeder category to Indy Cars, Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires.
The alliance will see the winner of the Australian Formula Ford Series be offered a two day USF2000 test in the US as well as the opportunity to receive a financial incentive to compete in the entire USF2000 series.
The USF2000 powered by Mazda series is a one make, wings and slicks category that is based on a Van Dieman Formula Ford style chassis and powered by a 2 litre, 4 cylinder Mazda engine. The cars are a great stepping stone for Formula Ford drivers with many Australian drivers including Luke Ellery and Scott Andrews having tasted the USF2000 cars successfully.
Australia’s most successful Mazda Road to Indy ladder system graduate, Matthew Brabham, currently competes in the Indy Lights series after winning the 2012 USF2000 and 2013 Pro Mazda series. Matthew has progressed successfully up the ladder and is destined to join fellow Australians Will Power, Ryan Briscoe and James Davison in Indy Cars in the near future.
“Forging an international motor racing career has been seen to be out of reach for many young aspiring Australian drivers but this alliance provides them with not only a pathway to an international racing career but also a great opportunity to take their first steps to a career racing Indy Cars. We are proud to partner with the Road to Indy ladder system owner Dan Andersen and his team who offer highly professional series to build the bridge between Australian Formula Ford racing and an international career”, said Formula Ford Association Marketing Coordinator Andrew Sill.
The USF2000 series attracts competitors from around the globe including Europe, UK, Canada, South America and the US making it a truly international class series.
“Australians that have graduated from Formula Ford racing in Australia have proven to be very competitive in our USF2000 series which is testament to the quality of Formula Ford racing in Australia. We hope that our alliance will provide further Australian competitors with an opportunity to progress their careers in our INDYCAR sanctioned USF2000 series”, said Road to Indy series owner Dan Andersen.
With a total prize pool over USD463,000 offered to competitors throughout the year with the ultimate prize an over USD378,000 prize package to compete in the Pro Mazda series, the USF2000 powered by Mazda series offers one of the highest prize pools in the world for a junior driver category.
Furthermore, the advantage of the currently high Australian Dollar make the US based series more affordable for Australian competitors than many European racing options.
Not only does this alliance benefit competitors but embraces the cross promotion of both Formula Ford in Australia and the US F2000 powered by Mazda series. Each party will be working to promote each other’s series in their respective markets which can pave the way for international competitors to race Formula Ford in Australia prior to embarking on their US career via the Road to Indy ladder system.
“From 1971 to 1992 the Australian Formula Ford Series was known as the “Driver to Europe Series”. We thought it fitting to rename the revamped Australian Formula Ford Series point score for the Formula Ford category the “Driver to US Series” to reflect our focus on building value for those that choose to race Formula Ford in Australia”, said Andrew Sill.
The alliance and its benefits begins immediately and will run for an initial period of three years with both parties keen to work together long into the future.
This is an exciting time for Formula Ford in Australia with more good news to come with the total prize pool for the Australian Formula Ford series to be announced in the near future.
For further information on the USF2000 series visit www.usf2000.com.
The 2014 Formula Ford Series is proudly supported by Avon tyres, Andersen Promotions, Castrol, Kincrome and Ferodo.
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