Mazda Road to Indy Heads to Portland for Season Finale
 August 28, 2018| 
  • Series News
Portland Advance USF  2018

PALMETTO, Fla. – The Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires season will conclude this weekend in the Pacific Northwest when all three feeder categories for the Verizon IndyCar Series – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda – return to Portland International Raceway after a lengthy hiatus. Two races for each series will be held on the 1.967-mile, 12-turn road course situated just a few miles from downtown Portland, Ore.

A total of more than $2.5M in scholarships and awards will be presented at the Mazda Road to Indy Championship Celebration in Portland on Monday evening, when drivers and teams of the world-renowned open-wheel development ladder, representing at least a dozen nations and 14 different States, will be honored.

Kyle Kirkwood, from Jupiter, Fla., has already clinched the USF2000 title following a stellar rookie season with Cape Motorsports. He will claim a $325,000 scholarship to advance to Pro Mazda in 2019. The outcome of the other two series is still to be determined, although Dutch teenager Rinus VeeKay (Juncos Racing) has a substantial lead over Canadian Parker Thompson (Exclusive Autosport) in the quest for a Mazda Scholarship worth almost $800,000 to step up to Indy Lights in 2019, and Mexico’s Patricio O’Ward (Andretti Autosport) holds a 25-point edge over California’s Colton Herta (Andretti-Steinbrenner) in Indy Lights. At stake is a scholarship valued at $1M to guarantee entry into at least three Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2019, including the 103rd Indianapolis 500.

Who Can Challenge Kirkwood?
Kyle Kirkwood has enjoyed a remarkable season for Cape Motorsports. The 19-year-old from Jupiter, Fla., already has the championship wrapped up, thanks to a record-breaking sequence of nine consecutive victories dating back to the Indianapolis Grand Prix circuit in May. With only two races remaining, he cannot quite reach the record tally of 13 USF2000 race wins, accumulated in 1992 and 1993 by Chris Simmons (who now serves as race engineer for Verizon IndyCar Series championship leader Scott Dixon), but he can match the single-season mark of 12 wins established by J.R. Hildebrand in 2006, which, coincidentally, was the last time USF2000 visited Portland International Raceway.

Kirkwood, though, will have no shortage of challengers. Prime among them will be the Pabst Racing pair of Rasmus Lindh, from Sweden, and Lucas Kohl, from Brazil, who, along with Japanese-born Brazilian Igor Fraga (Exclusive Autosport), are all bracketed by just 13 points in the quest for second place in the championship standings. All have multiple top-six finishes to their credit.

Pabst Racing also will field cars for Guyana’s Calvin Ming and Potomac, Md., native Kaylen Frederick, who hold fifth and sixth in the championship as the Oconomowoc, Wis.-based team aims to cling onto a slender seven-point advantage over Cape Motorsports in the Team Championship standings.

Additional likely contenders include last year’s South African F1600 champion Julian Van der Watt; Team Pelfrey teammate Kyle Dupell, who hails from nearby Salem, the capital city of Oregon; F4 U.S. Championship leader Dakota Dickerson (ArmsUp Motorsports), from San Diego; and the DEForce Racing trio Colin Kaminsky, from Homer Glen, Ill., Jose Sierra, from Mexico City, and Kory Enders, from Sugarland, Texas.

Much interest also will be centered on Canadian F1600 Super Series champion Kellen Ritter, from North Vancouver, B.C., and recent F1600 Championship Series race winner Braden Eves, from Columbus, Ohio, who will be making their USF2000 debuts respectively with Exclusive Autosport and Newman Wachs Racing.

The full field of drivers in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix of Portland Presented by Allied Building Products will gain their first taste of the 1.967-mile road course on Thursday, August 30, with 100 minutes of testing split into two sessions. Thirty minutes of official practice session will start at 11:45 a.m. PDT on Friday, followed by the first of two qualifying sessions at 4:15 p.m. The grid for Race Two will be set during a separate 20-minute session at 9:15 a.m. on Saturday, while the pair of 40-minute races will take the green flag at 1:10 p.m. on Saturday and 3:20 p.m. on Sunday.

Coverage of all races can be found on a series of platforms including Road to Indy TV, the Road to Indy TV App and dedicated broadcast channels on demand via Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku and, most recently, the Xbox One Official App as well as live streaming and live timing on the series’ respective websites and

  • Christie
    • Team News
  • gavin-STP-042421-GB-01244Sb
    • Series News
  • gavin-BMS-041521-GB-00624S (1200x468)
    • Team News
  • gavin-BMS-041621-GB-02023S (1200x437)
    • Team News
  • gavin-STP-042321-GB-00743S (1200x457)
    • Team News