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:
The 2008 Mazda Pro Formula Championship presented by Goodyear passed the halfway mark of the season with round seven at Trois-Rivieres. The forty-five-minute contest was conducted on the eleven-turn 1.53-mile temporary street circuit.
|Irishman Peter Dempsey had a miserable weekend at the doubleheader in Portland, where he collected eighteen and nineteenth place results. However, the driver of the No. 21 Andersen Racing prepared Pro Formula Mazda bounced back at Road America and redeemed himself with a victory. Moving onto Trois-Rivieres, Dempsey proved his last win wasn't luck by leading every lap in Quebec.|
|John Edwards was the first repeat winner of the 2008 season. He grabbed victories at Miller Motorsports Park and Portland International Raceway. At Trois-Rivieres, Edwards started the race on the outside of the front row after qualifying 0.148 seconds behind the pole winner, Peter Dempsey. Driving the No. 7 AIM Autosport Pro Formula Mazda, Edwards chased Dempsey but was never a threat and finished second.|
|Louisiana's Alex Ardoin was still looking for his first victory of 2008. His previous win came last year in the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. To date, he had two podium results and a pole position at Watkins Glen International. Ardoin put the No. 51 Mundill Racing Pro Formula Mazda third on the grid. During the race, he challenged John Edwards, made a pass, but could not hold the position, and finished third.|
|Rookie, Joel Miller was a member of JDC Motorsports, which included Masters competitor Chuck Hulse and Brazilian Ernesto Otero. Miller piloted the No. 20 Pro Formula Mazda and won the season's first race, from the pole, at Sebring International Raceway. The 2007 Skip Barber Pro Series Champion, who won his fully sponsored ride this season, qualified and finished in the fourth position.|
|Andersen Racing driver Charles Hall, the current championship points leader and winner of round three at Road America, was quickest in the opening practice session and the only competitor to dip into the 1:02s. However, he lost his spot at the top of the timesheets in the second session after knocking a corner off the No. 77 Andersen Racing Pro Formula Mazda. Hall qualified twelfth fastest but finished fifth.|
|1||1||Peter Dempsey||Pro Formula Mazda||40||-|
|2||2||John Edwards||Pro Formula Mazda||40||-|
|3||3||Alex Ardoin||Pro Formula Mazda||40||-|
|4||4||Joel Miller||Pro Formula Mazda||40||-|
|5||12||Charles Hall||Pro Formula Mazda||40||-|
|6||5||Ernesto Otero||Pro Formula Mazda||40||-|
|7||8||Caio Lara||Pro Formula Mazda||40||-|
|8||7||Tom Gladdis||Pro Formula Mazda||40||-|
|9||10||Scott Rettich||Pro Formula Mazda||40||-|
|10||16||Taylor Hacquard||Pro Formula Mazda||40||-|
|11||6||Chris Cumming||Pro Formula Mazda||40||-|
|12||14||Chuck Hulse||Pro Formula Mazda||39||-|
|13||9||Natalia Kowalska||Pro Formula Mazda||39||-|
|14||18||J.W. Roberts||Pro Formula Mazda||39||-|
|15||15||J.C. Kester||Pro Formula Mazda||39||-|
|16||13||Phil Fogg Jr.||Pro Formula Mazda||39||-|
|17||19||Kristy Kester||Pro Formula Mazda||38||-|
|18||20||Dave Mundy||Pro Formula Mazda||38||-|
|19||11||Billy Goshen||Pro Formula Mazda||7||-|
|20||17||Rusty Mitchell||Pro Formula Mazda||0||-|
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