MONTEREY, Calif. – Neil Alberico’s hometown of Los Gatos, Calif., isn’t far from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
So it’s not a surprise to see a large contingent of friends and family at the track supporting the one of two native Californians in the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires field along with Kyle Kaiser, Saturday’s race winner, who hails from Santa Clara, Calif.
“My friends and family are up camping on the hill overlooking Turn 9,” said Alberico, who finished sixth in Saturday’s race. “They have a few campsites and banners up there.”
Can he see them when he’s on track?
“Oh yeah, you can see them up there if you look for them,” he said with a smile.
Pair of drivers punch tickets to MRTI Scholarship Shootout
Two more talented young drivers have earned an invitation to the inaugural Mazda Road to Indy $200K Scholarship Shootout which will take place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in December.
Marcel Coletta, 14, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, will take up his place as winner of the Mazda Road to Indy - Brasil karting shootout, which was held at the world-renowned Interlagos Kart Circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil, while Ryan Norman, 18, from Aurora, Ohio, recently clinched the Formula Race Promotions Atlantic Championship Series with two rounds remaining in the 14-race season.
Coletta and Norman will join a selection of championship winners from around the world who will be invited to the shootout as part of an extensive network of feeder series for the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires. The unique open-wheel driver development ladder offers opportunities for drivers to progress all the way from the grassroots of the sport to the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and then on through the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires to the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Coletta and Norman joins New Zealand Formula Ford 1600 Champion Michael Scott, Pacific F2000 champion Tim de Silva and Indian MRF Formula 1600 champion Vikash Anand, who have already secured an invitation to the shootout, where the winner will claim a $200,000 scholarship to graduate into USF2000 in 2017.
Finalists Announced in Mazda Road to Indy Program
The Mazda Road to Indy Driver Advancement Program announced that 12 finalists are set for the videoconference interview part of the process.
The finalists are: Michael d’Orlando, Zoey Edenholm, Luis Forteza, Austin Garrison, Dev Gore, Aidan Keel, Ryan MacDermid, Ryan Norberg, Enzo Prevost, Mathias Ramirez, Kellen Ritter, and Matt Solarczyk.
Mazda Road to Indy graduates turned Verizon IndCar Series drivers Charlie Kimball and Spencer Pigot serve as judges for final interview process, along with Andersen Promotions COO Michelle Kish and Richard Boisclair.
The interviews will take place Sept. 12-14, with the two winners set to be announced on Sept. 19. The winning pair will that are named to the 2016 Driver Advancement Program will receive a two-day Cooper Tires USF2000 powered by Mazda test on Oct. 8-9 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course as part of the annual Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test, which will also include the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires and Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires.