The field has been set for the first Mazda Road to Indy Scouting Combine as IndyCar has identified the six regional karting series that will send a representative to the three-day driver evaluation program later this year. The winner of the Mazda Road to Indy Scouting Combine will have a chance to race in the Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship in 2012.
One driver each from the SKUSA Central States Challenge, Florida Karting Championship Series, TAG-World Championships, Eastern Canada Karting Championship and Cal State Karting Championship Series will join The Heartland Sprint Series as part of the combine.
"The response was overwhelming," said Jason Penix, manager of grassroots marketing for IndyCar. "We filled the grid in less than 72 hours and received inquiries from many of the top regional series in North America. We are already looking at ways to expand the program for next year."
The Mazda Road to Indy Scouting Combine will be held on Nov. 28-30 at Andersen Race Park in Palmetto, Fla., and will give a top driver from grass-roots racing series such the World Karting Association, Superkarts! USA, International Karting Federation, Rotax Max Challenge United States, United States Auto Club and the Rock Island Grand Prix the opportunity to test a USF2000 car. One driver will be selected and given an entry to race in the St. Petersburg rounds of the USF2000 National Championship in 2012.
"The Mazda Road to Indy's goal is to develop formula car drivers, and forming a link to karting is essential in achieving that," Penix said. "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."