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All Three Titles up for Grabs During Mazda Road to Indy September 9-11
Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Invitational set for inaugural event

Photo by Bob Heathcote

The season finale for the Mazda Road to Indy, the stepping stones that lead directly to the Indianapolis 500, comes to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Sept. 9-11 and the championship points battle in all three series won’t be decided until the last checkered flag waves.

Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, Pro Mazda Presented by Cooper Tires, and Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda are the three open-wheel competition rungs that make up the Mazda Road to Indy. Those series will be joined by the Mazda Prototype Lites Presented by Cooper Tires and the inaugural Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Invitational to create a true Mazdapalooza weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Indy Lights rookie Santiago Urretia (No. 55 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports w/Curb-Agajanian), who captured both Pro Mazda race wins and the championship last year at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, has a 16-point lead over Ed Jones (No. 11 Carlin) and a 25-point cushion on Dean Stoneman (No. 27 Andretti Autosport). Urretia swept the previous two rounds for his third and fourth wins of the season but Jones and Stoneman have each visited winner’s circle twice this year, as well.

Aaron Telitz (No. 82 Team Pelfrey) currently holds a 14-point lead over teammate Patricio O’Ward (No. 80 Team Pelfrey) in Pro Mazda, with Nico Jamin (No. 2 Cape Motorsports w/Wayne Taylor Racing) 74 markers back in third. O’Ward has six wins to Telitz’s five so the inter-team battle for the title should be spectacular, especially since a third race has been added to the weekend schedule as a rain-out make-up from Iowa Speedway in July.

Teammates are also vying for the season crown in Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda. Anthony Martin (No. 8 Cape Motorsports w/ Wayne Taylor Racing) is 21 points up on Parker Thompson (No. 2 Cape Motorsports w/ Wayne Taylor Racing) on the strength of seven wins to Thompson’s four. But Victor Franzoni (No. 9 ArmsUp Motorsports) is just 32 points behind Thompson so, with a win worth 30 points, it’s all up for grabs.

In Mazda Prototype Lites, Austin Versteeg (No. 7 JDC Motorsports) sits atop the point standings with Clark Toppe (No. 10 JDC Motorsports) second just 21 points down, and Maxwell Hanratty (No. 30 Extreme Speed Motorsports) 16 points from there in third. Versteeg has won five of the seven rounds while Toppe has won the other two and finished runner-up in the other five. 

The inaugural Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Invitational will include racers from Europe, Asia and North America. The non-points, invitation-only event will have drivers compete in two 45-minute races as part of the Mazda-exclusive weekend. The champion will receive an invitation to Mazda Motorsports partner Multimatic to train on the “Driver in the Loop” simulator and possibly advance to a one-day test in the Mazda Prototype which competes in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Tickets start at $20 and every ticket includes a paddock pass. Click HERE to purchase tickets for the Mazda Road to Indy as well as the Pirelli World Challenge, the fifth and final event of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca’s 2016 major event season.

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