Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

Road to Indy adds Scouting Combine

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted March 9, 2011 at 1:34 pm Karting, U.S. F2000 National Championship

Keegan Laithwaite drafts down the straightaway during the SKUSA SuperNats in Las Vegas last November.
(Photo: CJ - JuniorOpenWheelTalent.com)

The Mazda Road to Indy announced today that they will be holding a scouting combine on Nov. 28-30, 2011 at Andersen Race Park in Palmetto, Fla.

The program aims to provide drivers from the World Karting Association (WKA), SuperKarts! USA (SKUSA), International Karting Federation (IKF), the Rock Island Grand Prix (RIGP) and the Rotax championships — as well as invitees from regional kart series and USAC — the chance to win an entry into the St. Petersburg round of the 2012 USF2000 National Championship. Participants will be evaluated on-and-off the track by a panel of judges during a three-day shootout at Andersen RacePark.

“The Mazda Road to Indy’s goal is to develop formula car drivers, and forming a link to karting is essential in achieving that,” said Jason Penix, manager of grassroots marketing for IndyCar. “Karting plays such an important role in the career of a young driver, and the Scouting Combine will give someone the chance to make the step into cars. Hopefully, we will find several young drivers ready to make the Mazda Road to Indy their next racing home.”

This is certainly another step in the right direction by INDYCAR and the Mazda Road to Indy development program.

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One Comment

  1. Speedgeek on March 9, 2011 1:54 pm

    Hmmm, this comment didn’t show up after I left it yesterday. It’s kind of a copy and paste job from a comment that I left at Tony Johns’s site, but JOWT is the proper place for it, really.

    It’s true that there are still a lot of improvements to be made to the entire ladder system (better, bigger scholarships leaps directly to mind, especially for the Lights champion), and the improvements that have been made in the last year or so have been long (um, really, really long) overdue. But, for the first time in my 20 years of following the sport and all of the junior formula (yes, all of them, back to the Barber Saab and SCCA ACC F2000 series days), there is a true, well defined path all the way to the top, even for the 6 and 8 year old kids jumping in a Briggs & Stratton powered kart for the first time. The addition of the combine is even better news, and a true indicator that the folks in charge understand where the driving stars of tomorrow and beyond will come from.

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