Race fans, officials and competitors alike were met with a thick marine layer at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca each morning of the Mazda Road to Indy. But, once the sun shone through, the all Mazda-powered championship open-wheel and sports car competition hit the track and all were witness to some of the most memorable racing of the year. A total of 82 drivers and 19 countries were represented during 12 races over the weekend in what some referred to as “Mazdapalooza.”
President and CEO of Mazda North American Operations, Masahiro Moro, today waved the inaugural green flag for the Mazda MX-5 Cup Global Invitational. Eighteen drivers from eight countries took the historic race start on Saturday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The 45-minute race had a familiar pole sitter, with current 2016 Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires points leader Nathanial Sparks leading the pack. Japanese racer Yuui Tsutsumi was the top international racer in qualifying, and began the race in fifth.
The MX-5 Cup race cars are the same ones that raced at Mazda Raceway just five months ago, but there are many new faces behind the wheel. This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as a part of the Mazda Road to Indy season finale weekend, the inaugural MX-5 Cup Global Invitational will take place. Ten American Mazda racers will be going head-to-head with five European racers, and two each from Japan and Australia, all in identically prepared Mazda MX-5 Cup race cars.
Mazda Motorsports is involved in an array of racing categories, both open-wheel and sports cars. No matter the series, one of the key tenets for Mazda helping further the careers of drivers, engineers, mechanics and teams. That will be on full display this weekend as five different Mazda-powered categories will race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. More than 80 drivers from 19 countries will compete in 12 races Saturday and Sunday at the renowned 2.238-mile track.
A thrilling climax to the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season is in store this weekend, September 9-11, during the Soul Red Finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, as no fewer than six championship aspirants – representing five different teams – battle it out for a Mazda Scholarship valued at $1M to ensure participation in at least three 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series events, including the 101st Indianapolis 500.
There are only five races left in the 2016 Mazda Prototype Lites Presented by Cooper Tires season, and just two points separate Lites 1 leader Austin Versteeg from second place Clark Toppe.
Three of those races will take place Sept. 9-11 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. So it’s not a stretch to call this the most pivotal race weekend of the season for the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Official Development Series.
What: A full schedule of open-wheel racing on three different competition levels is on tap with the Mazda Road to Indy. Season champions will again be crowned at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in all three classes of the driver development racing series that provides scholarships to the next level.
Beginning with the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, powered by Mazda, drivers and teams can then move up to the Pro Mazda Championship, presented by Cooper Tires round before reaching the top-tier Indy Lights, presented by Cooper Tires. This series’ champion provides the opportunity to compete in a number of events in the following season’s Verizon IndyCar Series, which includes the Indianapolis 500.
When: September 9-11, 2016
Tickets: An array of ticket packages – from single and multi-day tickets to VIP hospitality experiences – are available and may be previewed HERE.
Race Schedule: Click HERE for the latest race schedule.
Series News: Click HERE to stay abreast the latest series’ news.
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.
The competitive racing world knows Joel Miller as the driver of the No. 70 Mazda Prototype in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. But outside the car, the 27-year-old Californian acts as the Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda driver coach and mentor, helping to train the series’ young drivers on what it takes to succeed on the Mazda Road to Indy and beyond.
MONTEREY, Calif. March 10, 2016 – The 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season-opening event this weekend on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., elicits fond memories from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca where some of the biggest names in open-wheel racing pulled into victory lane.
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca annually hosted an Indy Car race from 1983 through 2004. It was under sanction of Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) from 1983-2003 and Champ Car World Series in 2004. The great teams and drivers of the era all made their mark there during the 22 years the event was held in the rolling hills just east of Monterey Bay.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian reaped the benefit of an additional private test earlier in the week as RC Enerson headed a team sweep of the top three positions today at Phoenix International Raceway. The teenager led a 16-car Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires field following a one-day pre-season test on the challenging 1.022-mile oval.
A weekly series providing an inside look at new faces on the Mazda Road to Indy, the only driver development program of its type in the world.
Jake Parsons turned more than a few heads in the November Chris Griffis Memorial test at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Parsons, who recently signed with reigning champions Juncos Racing for his rookie Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires season, finished in the top five in each of the six test sessions.
There is so much to see and do when visiting Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, whether it’s making a quick overnight stop to see a race, or if you’re making a weekend of it and checking out all the cool attractions in the Monterey County area.
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca offers some of the coolest apparel in all of motor racing, from jackets and sweatshirts to ball caps and tees. Be sure to visit our online souvenir store to browse the exclusive merchandise.
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