ROAD TO INDY ALLIANCE
In 2014 the Australian Formula Ford Series formed an alliance with Andersen Promotions, promotor of the US-based driver development ladder known as the “Mazda Road to Indy” at the time, now Road To Indy.
The alliance provides Australian Formula Ford competitors with a defined pathway to the NTT IndyCar Series, including the famed Indianapolis 500.
Road to Indy starts with the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship and progresses through the Indy Pro Championship to Indy Lights, the official IndyCar Series feeder category.
All competitors of the Australian Formula Ford Championship are also invited to participate in one of the 2019 Road To Indy race weekends. Andersen Promotions will provide credentials, hospitality and alignment to shadow a team during the event.
Our competitors are also invited to participate in the annual Road To Indy Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test, held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the end of the American racing season.
In 2018, Australian Formula Ford Champion Hunter McElrea competed in the Mazda Road To Indy Shootout and won the US$200,000 scholarship to participate in the Cooper Tures USF2000 Championship in 2019.
The 2019 Australian Formula Ford Championship winner will receive a ticket to participate in one of the Road To Indy official tests in USF2000 machinery.
Cooper Tires USF2000 is a one-make 'wings and slicks' open-wheel category. It uses a Tatuus US-17 carbon fibre chassis, powered by the 2-litre EFI Mazda MZR engine. It's an ideal stepping-stone for Formula Ford drivers, and was won in 2012 by Matthew Brabham, grandson of Australian racing legend Sir Jack Brabham. Matthew went on to win the Pro Mazda title in 2013, contested Indy Lights in 2014 and 2015 and joined fellow Australian Will Power in IndyCars in 2016.
The USF2000 Championship is an international series that attracts up-and-coming racers from around the globe. 2018 Australian Formula Ford Champion Hunter McElrea and 2017 runner-up Cameron Shields are currently racing in this Series, developing the baseline learnt during their experience in Australian Formula Ford and measuring their ability against some of the world’s quickest young drivers.
Road to Indy series director Dan Andersen is confident that Australian Formula Ford Championship winners will be very competitive in USF2000.
"We hope that our alliance will provide Australian competitors with an opportunity to further progress their careers in our IndyCar-sanctioned USF2000 series”, Mr Anderson said.
Road To Indy is arguably the world's most lucrative 'junior development' open-wheel ladder, with a prize package to help the winner of each category compete in the following series, up until the NTT IndyCars Series.
With European open-wheel series becoming increasingly uneconomical for Australian competitors, Road to Indy is a highly attractive alternative.
The 2019 Australian Formula Ford Championship is proudly supported by Yokohama Tyres, Road To Indy, Shell V-Power, Ferodo, CHI (Cylinder Head Innovations) and Varley Red Top.