New Venue to Host Third Annual Event
PALMETTO, Fla. – Andersen Promotions has confirmed that the third annual Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Open Test will take place on December 9 and 10 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. The two-day test features all three levels of the ladder system. The outing, which attracted more than 50 drivers last year, offers teams in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Indy Lights the opportunity to audition new talent and gain a head start on their 2014 campaigns.
The event is named in honor of Chris Griffis, a longtime member of the open-wheel community who was an accomplished mechanic turned team manager and led the Sam Schmidt Motorsports Indy Lights organization before passing away unexpectedly in September of 2011.
“We are excited to continue the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Test,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions, which will operate all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy next year. “This event is fast becoming a tradition, and the interest level continues to grow each year. It is a great opportunity for new drivers to experience both the Mazda Road to Indy platform and our teams, and also watch our graduates progress up the ladder.
“With the road course construction at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, we have moved the event to Barber Motorsports Park. It is a beautiful circuit that will be on the regular season schedule for all three series in 2014 making this test an even more valuable opportunity.”
The test will also feature several “award” programs in conjunction with INDYCAR. In British Formula Ford, eight drivers are vying for an all-expense paid trip to attend the event and experience full test days in both USF2000 and Pro Mazda cars. The candidates are James Abbott, Lassi Halminen, Camren Kaminsky, Jayde Kruger, Nico Maranzana, Juan Rosso, Andy Richardson and Harrison Scott. The winner will be chosen by a panel of experts from British and U.S. racing, and will be announced at Brands Hatch – the site of the season finale – on October 13.
Partnerships with the Latam Challenge Series in Mexico will enable the top-three drivers in the series to receive a one-day test in Pro Mazda, while the Canadian F1600 champions from both Quebec and Ontario will receive a full day in a USF2000 car.
“We are thrilled to once again have these partnerships in place to help secure some of the best junior open-wheel talent from around the world,” said Jason Penix, Director of Development Series for INDYCAR and Andersen Promotions. “The Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Open Test was created to give teams and drivers the chance to plan and build for the upcoming season and these partnerships, combined with growing interest in the test, accomplishes those goals.”
In addition to testing at the 2.38-mile, 17-turn circuit, Andersen Promotions will conduct its annual “Winter Meetings” for all three series at the facility on December 8.
Registration information for the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Open Test will be available on the respective series websites in the coming weeks.