Mid-Ohio Set to Host Mazda Road to Indy Open-Wheel Extravaganza
 July 26, 2016| 
  • Series News

Seven Races on Tap as Title Chases Tighten for Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000

PALMETTO, Fla. – Just five races remain in the quest for a trio of Mazda scholarships and season-ending awards worth more than $2.3 million as competitors in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda – all three steps on the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires open-wheel development ladder – convene this weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, in support of the Verizon IndyCar Series.

The scenic and challenging 2.258-mile road course will host two races apiece for Indy Lights and Pro Mazda, as well as a triple-header for USF2000 as the 2016 season reaches toward its climax.

A Second Double for Telitz Ties Up Pro Mazda Points Chase 
Not so long ago, teenaged Mexican Patricio “Pato” O’Ward was looking like an odds-on favorite for this year’s Pro Mazda championship and a substantial Mazda scholarship to assist in the graduation to Indy Lights, the next step on the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, in 2017. But how quickly things can change.

Team Pelfrey teammate Aaron Telitz, 24, from Birchwood, Wis., turned the tables by winning both races at his home track, Road America, last month. Then, two weeks ago on the streets of Toronto, Ont., Canada, Telitz claimed another emphatic double victory to bring the pair equal on points with just five races remaining – two this weekend at Mid-Ohio and three more at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca finale in September.

“I’m really excited for Mid-Ohio this weekend and continuing my charge back to the front of the championship standings,” said Telitz. “I plan to keep approaching races with the same confidence and aggressiveness that has brought me four wins in a row. There's still lots of work to be done before this championship is settled so I need to keep pressing the issue and go for more wins.”

O’Ward, 17, from Monterrey, Mexico, was unfortunate in Race One at Toronto, crashing out on the first lap, but he bounced back well in Race Two to finish second and maintain a share of the points lead. Indeed, on a tie-breaker, O’Ward still holds a narrow edge by virtue of having won six races to the five of Telitz.

TJ Fischer, from Vacaville, Calif., will drive a third Team Pelfrey car, while opposition will stem from last year’s USF2000 champion, Nico Jamin, from Rouen, France, who is riding a streak of three podium finishes for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing, and Juncos Racing teammates Will Owen, from Castle Rock, Colo., Jake Parsons, from Melbourne. Australia, and fellow rookie Nicolas Dapero, from Buenos Aires, Argentina, who have enjoyed some intense battles in recent races.

Bobby Eberle, from Houston, Texas, will be looking to cement his position atop the season-long quest for National Class honors, although will face some stout opposition from JDC MotorSports teammate Kevin Davis, from Alvin, Ill., and Bob Kaminsky (Kaminsky Racing), from Homer Glen, Ill., both of whom have plenty of experience at Mid-Ohio.

The Royal Purple Pro Mazda Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio will commence with a trio of test sessions on Thursday, July 28, then continue with practice and qualifying on Friday and a pair of races on Saturday at 8:35 a.m. 
and 6:00 p.m. EDT. Live timing and live streaming shows will be available on the Road To Indy TV App and at promazda.com and indycar.com.

 

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