PALMETTO, Fla. – The highly successful Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship – a six-race mini-series held in February which offers drivers and teams a head start on their regular season campaigns – has been a staple of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda the past three years.
In 2014, series promoter Andersen Promotions will take the concept to a new level with an expanded program to include the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, a testing opportunity for Indy Lights and two new venues.
The 2014 Cooper Tires Winterfest will be held over six days and will feature two tripleheader events for USF2000 (six races) and two doubleheader events for Pro Mazda (four races) with $30,000 in prize money on the line for both series. In addition, the schedule will be expanded to include four days of open testing for Indy Lights teams and drivers. For the first time, the event will include all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy.
The championship will kick off at the state-of-the-art NOLA Motorsports Park, just minutes from the historic French Quarter in New Orleans, La., on Feb. 21-22. The $60 million, 750-acre park circuit opened in 2011. Comprising numerous configurations – including the longest road course in the United States at 5.37 miles when the course configurations are combined – the series will utilize the 2.75-mile, 16-turn “North” circuit for the two-day outing.
On Feb. 25-26, drivers will switch their attention to the Barber Motorsports Park circuit in Leeds, Ala. Named “one of the most beautiful race tracks in North America” by Road & Track, the 2.38-mile, 17-turn circuit will be on the 2014 regular season schedule for all three series providing a valuable pre-season opportunity.
“The Cooper Tires Winterfest is something I look forward to every year and now even more so with our expanded program and two new and fantastic facilities,” said Dan Andersen, owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “It’s a great opportunity to preview the new talent we have coming into all of our series and, with the inclusion of Pro Mazda in the championship and Indy Lights testing, we will have a first glimpse of the progression of our drivers who are advancing to the next levels before the regular season.
“We have received so much positive feedback on the Cooper Tires Winterfest since its launch in 2011. It is a great opportunity for teams and drivers to develop their relationships in an actual racing environment before the season gets underway, and it’s cost effective. I have to thank our tremendous partners at Cooper Tires for continuing to support this program.”