In 2007, Mazda introduced their company-sponsored ‘motorsports ladder’ that goes from karting to Champ Car.
This year’s Pro Formula Mazda series champion will receive a Mazda-sponsored full-season drive for 2008 in the
next series up the ladder; the Cooper Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda.
And the 2008 winner of the Atlantic Championship gets a $2 million sponsorship to help them move up to Champ Car.
After several years the Mazda open-wheel championship replaced its race-proven and reliable Star Mazda with a new model. Beginning in 2004, competitors would be racing a Pro Formula Mazda.
The Pro Formula Mazda is manufactured by the Van Diemen / Elan Motorsports Technologies group. The chassis is a carbon-fiber tub with fiberglass bodywork. The front and rear suspension is a pushrod setup with two-way adjustable shock absorbers. Stopping the Pro Formula Mazda are four-piston calipers with vented rotors. It is powered by a 240-horsepower Renesis Mazda engine, also used in the road-going version of the Mazda RX-8. Bolted to the motor is a six-speed sequential transmission with a no-lift shift.
The opening round of the 2007 Pro Formula Mazda Championship was held at Sebring International Raceway and ended in mid-October at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
In addition to the overall title, championships were on the line for:
Round one of the 2007 Pro Formula Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear was held at Sebring International in conjunction with the 12 hours of Sebring. Drivers were scheduled to compete on the seventeen-turn 3.7-mile road course for twenty laps; however, heavy rain forced series officials to stop the race after eight laps.
|Successful kart racer Marco DiLeo joined Ross Smith Racing for the 2007 Pro Formula Mazda series. DiLeo drove the No. 21 Pro Formula Mazda with backing from Maxwell Paper Products. He was gridded on the outside of the front row after qualifying second. DiLeo would cross the finish line in second place. However, he was awarded the win when the race leader was penalized two positions.|
|Joining his brother at Sebring International Raceway was another karting standout Daniel DiLeo. Like Marco, Daniel drove a car prepared by Ross Smith Racing. His Pro Formula Mazda was No. 20 and sponsored by Maxwell Paper Products. During the qualifying session, DiLeo recorded the fifth fastest time. He received the checkered flag in third place but inherited the runner-up spot when the leader was penalized.|
|Australian James Davison joined the Pro Formula Mazda Championship with North American racing experience in the Formula BMW and Atlantic series. In 2004, he drove the No. 7 Pro Formula Mazda. He was near the top timesheets during the practice sessions and qualified in the third position. Davison led the race when it was stopped; however, he was penalized two positions for passing under a yellow.|
|Dane Cameron gave notice early that he would be someone to contend with a Sebring International Raceway by topping the timesheets in practice and qualifying. Cameron captured the pole by a margin of just 0.204 seconds. The driver of the No. 19 JDC Motorsports Pro Formula Mazda struggled during the wet race. Passes by James Davison, Marco and Daniel DiLeo relegated him to a fourth-place finish.|
|Lorenzo Mandarino competed in a Canadian reality TV show called Star Racer. Sixteen contestants competed to win an all-expenses paid season in this year’s Pro Mazda Formula Championship. Mandarino finished second but was entered at Sebring International Raceway driving the No. 23 Northwest Autosport Pro Formula Mazda. He started in the eighth position and finished fifth.|
|1||2||Marco DiLeo||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|2||5||Dan DiLeo||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|3||3||James Davison||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|4||1||Dane Cameron||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|5||4||Lorenzo Mandarino||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|6||7||Cole Morgan||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|7||4||Ricardo Vassmer||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|8||10||Charles Anti||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|9||14||Nick Haye||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|10||15||Jonathan Goring||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|11||13||Eric Freiberg||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|12||6||Alex Ardoin||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|13||17||Phil Fogg, Jr.||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|14||18||Phil Saville||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|15||24||Jamie Morro||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|16||16||Devon Cunningham||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|17||7||Tyson Sy||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|18||9||Russell Walker||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|19||26||Sean Burstyn||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|20||20||Scott Rettich||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|21||28||Mike Fitzgerald||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|22||32||Jon Brownson||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|23||22||Jonny Baker||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|24||11||Ron White||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|25||30||Dan Tomlin, Jr.||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|26||25||Steve Hickham||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|27||19||Tony Rivera||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|28||29||JW Roberts||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|29||21||Michael Duncalf||Pro Formula Mazda||4||-|
|30||23||John Strickler||Pro Formula Mazda||2||-|
|31||27||Gerald Krau||Pro Formula Mazda||2||-|
|32||31||Dan Weyland||Pro Formula Mazda||2||-|
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