PALMETTO, Fla. – The Mazda Road to Indy continues to expand its outreach to the grassroots levels of the sport with today’s announcement that Andersen Promotions has formed an alliance with the Australia Formula Ford Association Inc. (FFA) with immediate effect which will see the representative body for Formula Ford racing in that country become an Official Partner of the ladder series through 2016.
The first level of the highly acclaimed Mazda Road to Indy – the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda – will be promoted as an endorsed progression path for Australian drivers pursuing international careers in motorsports.
Established in 1969, the FFA currently manages the prestigious National Formula Ford series – the highest level of racing for junior drivers. The champion of the six-round series, which culminates on Nov. 29-30 at the renowned Phillip Island circuit, will be awarded a two-day test in USF2000 as well as a financial incentive to contest the full series calendar in 2015.
Matthew Brabham of Andretti Autosport is the most successful Mazda Road to Indy driver to come out of Australian Formula Ford. After graduating from the series in 2011, he claimed the USF2000 and Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires titles in 2012 and 2013 and has advanced to the final step on the ladder – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires – this season. Other notable graduates include Verizon IndyCar Series points leader Will Power and former Formula One and current FIA World Endurance Championship driver Mark Webber.
“Our partnership with the Formula Ford Association was a natural fit,” said Dan Andersen, owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “It is the premier driver development category in Australia. We’ve seen their graduates like Matthew Brabham and Luke Ellery move into USF2000 and not only win races but championships. It’s a testament to the quality of Formula Ford Racing in Australia and it is the perfect stepping stone to the Mazda Road to Indy.”
In addition to cross promotion of each series in their applicable markets, FFA and USF2000 information will be featured on each series’ respective website. Every Formula Ford entry will carry the Mazda Road to Indy logo and the ladder system will be acknowledged as a major supporter of the FFA.
“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,” said Formula Ford Association Marketing Coordinator Andrew Sill. “We are proud to partner with the Road to Indy ladder system, Dan Andersen and his team who offer highly professional series to build the bridge between Australian Formula Ford racing and an international career.
“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.”