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 four of the 2007 Pro Formula Mazda Championship was conducted in Utah at Miller Motorsports Park. Drivers would compete in a fifteen-lap contest around the twenty-three turn 4.486-mile road course.
|Canadian Lorenzo Mandarino made an interesting journey on his way to the Pro Formula Mazda Championship. The successful kart racer was a contestant in last year’s reality show Star Racer. He was vying for a chance to win a free ride in the 2007 series along with sixteen other hopefuls. He finished second but found funding for this season. At Utah, Mandarino qualified eighth but grabbed his first series victory.|
|Australian James Davison drove the No. 7 Easternats Velocity Motorsports Pro Formula Mazda. Davison has finished in the top ten in every race this season. He was the pole-sitter in round three at Virginia International Raceway and was the fastest qualifying in Utah. He found the track extremely slippery during the race and went off course twice. Unable to hold off Lorenzo Mandarino, Davison finished second.|
|Finishing in the third position at Miller Motorsports Park was Jonathan Goring. Goring raced the No. 14 Skip Barber Racing Andersen Pro Formula Mazda. Despite an accident in practice, the car was repaired in time for him to qualify third fastest. While the positions around him changed, Goring held his spot to the checkered flag. This was his second podium result of the season; he finished third at Houston.|
|Dane Cameron entered round four with a record that included two pole positions and victories at Houston and Virginia International Raceway. These results put him at the top of the championship standings. A poor qualifying effort saw Cameron start eleven in the No. 19 Lynx Racing Ocean Tomo 300 mockett.com JDC Motorsports Pro Formula Mazda. During the race, he charged to the front and finished fourth.|
|Marco DiLeo inherited the round one victory at Sebring International Raceway when James Davison was disqualified for passing under a yellow. DiLeo wasn’t as fortunate in race two at Houston, where he finished eighteenth. However, his program came together with a third-place result at Virginia International Raceway. The No. 21 Pro Formula Mazda driver finished fifth at Utah after starting on the pole.|
|1||8||Lorenzo Mandarino||Pro Formula Mazda||15||-|
|2||2||James Davison||Pro Formula Mazda||15||-|
|3||3||Jonathan Goring||Pro Formula Mazda||15||-|
|4||11||Dane Cameron||Pro Formula Mazda||15||-|
|5||1||Marco DiLeo||Pro Formula Mazda||15||-|
|6||5||Nick Haye||Pro Formula Mazda||15||-|
|7||9||Ron White||Pro Formula Mazda||15||-|
|8||10||Russell Walker||Pro Formula Mazda||15||-|
|9||12||Natacha Gachnang||Pro Formula Mazda||15||-|
|10||6||Alex Ardoin||Pro Formula Mazda||15||-|
|11||13||Charles Anti||Pro Formula Mazda||15||-|
|12||4||Devon Cunningham||Pro Formula Mazda||15||-|
|13||15||Eric Freiberg||Pro Formula Mazda||15||-|
|14||25||Richard Fullerton||Pro Formula Mazda||15||-|
|15||18||Richard Zober||Pro Formula Mazda||15||-|
|16||14||Tony Rivera||Pro Formula Mazda||15||-|
|17||19||Chris Cumming||Pro Formula Mazda||15||-|
|18||23||Steve Hickham||Pro Formula Mazda||15||-|
|19||22||Stan Kohls||Pro Formula Mazda||15||-|
|20||16||Scott Rettich||Pro Formula Mazda||15||-|
|21||20||Claudio Cornali||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|22||21||Lucas Downs||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|23||24||Dave Mundy||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|24||17||Phil Fogg, Jr.||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
|25||7||Jonny Baker||Pro Formula Mazda||8||-|
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