Entire Mazda Road to Indy Ladder in Action at Road America
 June 20, 2017| 
  • Series News

Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000 Set for Double-Header Rounds in Wisconsin

PALMETTO, Fla. – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, which collectively comprise the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires open-wheel development ladder, will all feature a pair of races this weekend at one of the country’s most scenic and challenging race tracks, Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wis., as part of the Kohler Grand Prix.

Each of the three championships are reaching their halfway stage, with Mazda Scholarship prizes and other awards totaling more than $3.6 million ultimately at stake to assist the respective champions move on to the next step on the ladder with the ultimate goal of competing in the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500.

Consistency has been the Key for Kaiser in Indy Lights 
Five different drivers have earned victories from the seven Indy Lights races held so far this season. Kyle Kaiser, 21, from Santa Clara, currently leads the points chase by a 14-point margin over Frenchman Nico Jamin. Kaiser, who is in his third year of Indy Lights and will be making his 75th Mazda Road to Indy start on Sunday, has been a consistent front-runner for Juncos Racing, although his streak of top-five grid positions and top-six finishes, including four straight podium results, was broken with a run to ninth in the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Both Jamin (Andretti Autosport) and Colton Herta (Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing), who lie second and third in the standings with two race wins apiece, also will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing race at Indianapolis. Jamin, who won the 2015 USF2000 championship, finished second in one of the Pro Mazda races last year on his debut at Road America, while Herta, the youngest driver in the field at just 17, will be competing on the historic, 4.048-mile road course for the first time.

Many eyes will be focused upon Wisconsin native Aaron Telitz, who swept both Pro Mazda races last year at Road America en route to the championship title and the right to carry the distinctive Soul Red colors on his Belardi Auto Racing Dallara-Mazda IL-15.

Uruguayan teammate Santi Urrutia, the 2015 Pro Mazda champion, also will have high expectations after winning one of the two races at Road America last year.

Other contenders include Matheus Leist, a rookie from Brazil who won last year’s BRDC British Formula 3 Champion and claimed a breakthrough victory in the most recent race at Indianapolis, and his Carlin teammates Neil Alberico, who has been a regular front-runner this year, and Canadian Zachary Claman DeMelo, who enjoyed a strong weekend at Road America in 2016 with a pair of top-five finishes and a fastest race lap. 

Ones to watch also include three drivers who landed top-five finishes at Road America last year – Shelby Blackstock (Andretti Autosport), Garth Rickards (Carlin) in USF2000 and Nicolas Dapero (Juncos Racing) in Pro Mazda as well as Team Pelfrey’s Juan Piedrahita, who will celebrate his 50th Indy Lights start in Saturday’s race.

Of note, Jamin, Leist, DeMelo and Dalton Kellett (Andretti Autosport) each tested an Indy car at Road America last Wednesday.

The Mazda Indy Lights Grand Prix of Road America Presented by Allied Building Products will begin on Friday, June 23 with a 45-minute practice session at 9:00 a.m. CDT, followed by a 30-minute qualifying period at 2:30 p.m. Race One will start at 12:00 pm on Saturday. A second qualifying session earlier in the day, at 7:50 a.m., will set the grid for Race Two at 8:45 a.m. on Sunday, June 25, with same-day television coverage on NBCSN at 11:30 am EDT.

Additional coverage of the Mazda Road to Indy can be found on a series of platforms including Road to Indy TV, the Road to Indy TV App and dedicated broadcast channels on demand via Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku and, most recently, the Xbox One Official App as well as live streaming and live timing on the series’ respective websites and indycar.com.

In addition to NBCSN, Indy Lights coverage is also featured on ESPN International and the Advance Auto Parts IndyCar Radio Network. The new Mazda Road to Indy game for mobile devices is available at the Apple App Store and Google Play.

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