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 2008 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 eight of the 2008 Pro Formula Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear was held at Mosport International Raceway. Drivers would compete in a forty-five-minute contest around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course.
|After Trois-Rivieres, Peter Dempsey became the season's second driver to be a repeat winner. The first was John Edwards. After round eight, Dempsey was the first competitor in 2008 to collect a hat trick. Dempsey wasn't particularly fast in practice but qualified third driving the No. 21 Andersen Racing Pro Formula Mazda. He passed the leader on lap-7 and held the position until the race ended under yellow.|
|Finishing in the runner-up position at Mosport was Joel Miller. Miller, the 2007 Skip Barber Pro Series Champion, who won his fully sponsored ride this season, drove the No. 20 JDC Motorsports Pro Formula Mazda. He qualified on the outside of the front row just 0.081 seconds slower than the pole-sitter, John Edwards. Miller was second when the checker flew but more important, he was now the points leader.|
|Peter Dempsey's teammate at Andersen Racing was Tom Gladdis, who drove the No. 5 Pro Formula Mazda. Gladdis had a successful weekend earlier in the year when the series visited Portland International Raceway. He collected two pole positions, a victory and a runner-up result. Gladdis was fast in the practice sessions and qualified fifth. When the forty-five-minute race ended under caution, he was third.|
|John Edwards appeared to be the odds-on favourite to capture his third victory of the season at Mosport International Raceway. Edwards topped the timesheets in the two practice sessions and qualifying. The driver of the No. 7 AIM Autosport prepared Pro Formula Mazda held the top spot until lap-7 of the race. Edwards had issues with the restarts and lost positions until he was fourth at the checked flag.|
|Round eight started on a positive note for Alex Ardoin. However, it all went downhill during the second practice session. Ardoin failed to record a time and in qualifying, it went from bad to worse. An accident left the No. 51 Mundill Racing / Oral & Facial Surgery Center / Twister Trailer Pro Formula Mazda badly damaged. However, the team made repairs in time for the race and Ardoin finished fifth.|
|1||3||Peter Dempsey||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|2||2||Joel Miller||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|3||4||Tom Gladdis||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|4||1||John Edwards||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|5||6||Alex Ardoin||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|6||9||Ernesto Otero||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|7||8||Billy Goshen||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|8||16||Caio Lara||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|9||10||J.C. Kester||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|10||14||Natalia Kowalska||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|11||17||Rusty Mitchell||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|12||19||Kristy Kester||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|13||12||Chris Cumming||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|14||20||J.W. Roberts||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|15||15||Gerry Kraut||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|16||18||Chuck Hulse||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|17||21||Carlos Conde||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|18||7||Phil Fogg Jr.||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|19||5||Charles Hall||Pro Formula Mazda||19||-|
|20||11||Taylor Hacquard||Pro Formula Mazda||11||-|
|21||13||Scott Rettich||Pro Formula Mazda||7||-|
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