The IZOD Indycar Series announced today the "Road to Indy" development system. The ladder system will begin with the Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda, before the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, then onto the Firestone Indy Lights before finally reaching the IZOD Indycar Series.
All three series will race on Ovals, Road, and Street Circuits with the entire "Road to Indy" system racing at both St. Petersburg and Iowa.
"In creating the 'Road to Indy,' we are trying to bridge the gap between the premier open-wheel racing divisions and the entry level open-wheel series by creating a clear career path for aspiring racing drivers. With the 'Road to Indy,' a driver has the opportunity to hone his professional racing skills at an early stage of his or her career and has a chance to build upon those skills in a professional environment while driving similar-style open-wheel racing vehicles on similar tracks at every step." -Brian Barnhart
"The Indy Racing League is open-wheel racing here in North America, and it is my great privilege to work with them again in the creation of a true ladder for young drivers to follow. There is finally a clearly defined path to a career in the IZOD IndyCar Series, and I am looking forward to seeing many of tomorrow's IZOD IndyCar Series stars racing with us in the USF2000 series in 2010." -Dan Andersen, co-owner and CEO, Andersen Promotions, administrator of the Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda.
"Today's announcement is a formidable milestone in the 20th year of our history as a development series. For the Star Mazda Championship to be honored with a formalized position in the pathway to an IZOD IndyCar Series driving career is not only gratifying to us, but provides a clarity that open-wheel drivers and fans have long been seeking. Now young driving talent can know where they need to be and where they are trying to go. Race fans can now determine where to watch for tomorrow's stars.
"I am convinced that everybody in our sport wins with this program. The best new talent can build their motorsports careers. Race fans in North America eventually get to see them in Indy cars." -Gary Rodrigues, founder of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear