In 2009, the Pro Formula Mazda Championship entered its nineteenth season as one of North America's
premier open-wheel driver development series. Series graduates have gone on to race in F1,
Indy Cars, NASCAR, American Le Mans and Grand-Am.
In 2007, Mazda introduced their company-sponsored 'motorsports ladder' from karting to Champ Car. This year's Pro Formula Mazda series champion will receive a Mazda-sponsored full-season drive for 2010 in the next series up the ladder; the Cooper Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. And the 2009 winner of the Atlantic Championship gets a $2 million sponsorship to help them move up to Champ Car.
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.
In 2009, there were some upgrades made to the car. The Modifications, including new wings, shock absorbers and suspension rockers, are designed to increase the car's aerodynamic efficiency and top speed while improving engine cooling; in addition, it will be easier for drivers and their engineers to arrive at the best setup for each track. The cumulative effect of the upgrades will be to increase both top speed and cornering speed, reduce maintenance costs and enhance mechanical reliability.
The opening round of the 2009 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 2009 Pro Formula Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear was held at Sebring International Raceway during the 57th annual 12 Hours of Sebring. Drivers would compete in a forty-five-minute contest around the seventeen-turn 3.7-mile road course.
|Adam Christodoulou, from England, started from the outside of the front row in the No. 11 JDC Motorsports Pro Formula Mazda. Christodoulou made an excellent start and moved in front of the pole-sitter, Richard Kent. However, Alex Ardoin passed both of them on the opening lap for the lead. Ardoin would hold down the top spot until he was penalized. The rookie Christodoulou moved into first place and took the win.|
|Englishman Richard Kent, a veteran of the Formula Renault and Palmer Audi series, made his Pro Formula Mazda debut at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last year. Kent set a new qualifying record and won the race. He is back full-time this season and driving the No. 33 Andersen Racing Pro Formula Mazda. He topped the timesheets in practice and the final qualifying session. A poor start resulted in a second-place finish.|
|The No. 22 Andersen Racing Pro Formula Mazda was driven by Conor Daly. Daly is the 2008 Skip Barber Pro Series Champion and won his fully sponsored ride for this season. He is also the son of Derek Daly, a former Indy Car and F1 competitor. Conor set the fastest time in the first practice session but only qualified sixteenth. He charged through the field and finished fourth but was awarded third place when Caio Lara was penalized.|
|Brazilian Caio Lara returned for another season of the Pro Formula Mazda Championship. In 2008, he finished eighth in the final standings, with his best results being fifth place at Road Atlanta and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Caio was also back with JDC Motorsports driving the No. 19 Pro Formula Mazda. In qualifying, he was the seventh fastest. Lara finished third in the race but was penalized a position for a driving infraction.|
|In 2008, Joel Miller qualified on the pole and was victorious at Sebring International Raceway. Miller would end the season by finishing second in the title chase. Miller was the third fastest during the qualifying session. He fell to eighth place on the second lap and started moving through the field, eventually finishing fifth. Like Caio Lara, he resigned with JDC Motorsports driving the No. 2 Pro Formula Mazda.|
|1||2||Adam Christodoulou||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|2||1||Richard Kent||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|3||16||Conor Daly||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|4||7||Caio Lara||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|5||3||Joel Miller||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|6||5||Peter Dempsey||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|7||11||Joe D'Agostino||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|8||4||Alex Ardoin||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|9||8||Jorge Goncalvez||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|10||10||Kevin Toledo||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|11||17||Rusty Mitchell||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|12||14||Michael Furfari||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|13||20||J.C. Kester||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|14||19||Chris Cumming||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|15||25||Denis Navarro||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|16||18||Taylor Hacquard||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|17||6||Anders Krohn||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|18||21||Michael Guasch||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|19||24||Phil Fogg||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|20||20||Sean Burstyn||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|21||28||Gerry Kraut||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|22||32||J.W. Roberts||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|23||22||David Ostella||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|24||11||Kristy Kester||Pro Formula Mazda||19||-|
|25||30||Walt Bowlin||Pro Formula Mazda||19||-|
|26||25||Toshi Deki||Pro Formula Mazda||15||-|
|27||19||Billy Goshen||Pro Formula Mazda||0||-|
|28||29||Ryan Booth||Pro Formula Mazda||0||-|
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