In 2017, the Pro Mazda Championship presented the Cooper Tires entered its twenty-seventh 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 and IMSA.
The attraction of the Pro Formula Mazda series is the scholarship program which advances drivers to the Indy Lights series. The scholarship will be increased from $590,300 to $790,300, bringing the entire event and year-end prizes to over $1.1M. The Cooper Tires Pole Award will be increased to $1,500 per race.
After several years the Mazda open-wheel championship replaced its race-proven Star Mazda with a new model. Beginning in 2004, competitors began racing a Pro Formula Mazda. It has proven to be a safe and reliable 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.
The opening weekend of the 2017 Pro Formula Mazda Championship was held at Saint Petersburg and ended in September at Watkins Glen International. Races were in support of the IndyCar Series. All road and street course events were doubleheaders, with the exception of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, which hosted three rounds.
The only track to host a tripleheader weekend on the 2017 Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires calendar was the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Drivers would compete in three contests around the thirteen-turn 2.258-mile road course.
|The pace lap for the weekend's first race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Fourteen drivers prepare to enter turn thirteen for round seven of the 2017 Pro Mazda Championship. On the pole is the No. 81 Team Pelfrey Pro Formula Mazda of Carlos Cunha. Sharing the front row is Anthony Martin driving the No. 8 Cape Motorsports Pro Formula Mazda. Immediately behind the leaders are Victor Franzoni and TJ Fischer.|
|Title contender Anthony Martin drove the No. 8 Pro Formula Mazda prepared by Cape Motorsports. Martin qualified second in the weekend's first contest but passed the pole-sitter, Carlos Cunha, on lap-1. Despite pressure from Victor Franzoni, he held on for the victory. The next day, Martin started on the pole but finished second to Franzoni. On Sunday, he qualified first, but this time Martin grabbed the win and points lead.|
|Anthony Martin's championship rival was Brazilian Victor Franzoni. Franzoni entered Mid-Ohio with three victories. In round seven, he qualified third driving the No. 23 Juncos Racing Pro Formula Mazda and chased Martin to a second–place result. Franzoni started second for the next contest but passed Martin while they were lapping a slower car. He qualified third for the finale and got by Carlos Cunha for a second-place finish.|
|Team Pelfrey's Carlos Cunha put the No. 81 Pro Formula Mazda on the pole for race one at Mid-Ohio. However, in the race, Cunha lost the top spot before the end of lap-1 and dropped another two positions before the end of the contest to finish fourth. In round eight, Cunha qualified and finished in third place. He qualified second for Sunday's race but lost the position on the opening lap and finished third.|
|TJ Fischer was looking for redemption at Mid-Ohio after collecting twelfth and fifteenth-place finishes in the previous rounds at Road America. In round seven, Fischer put the No. 82 Team Pelfrey Pro Formula Mazda fourth on the grid and passed his teammate for a third-place result. On Saturday, Fischer qualified fifth and finished fourth. In the final contest, he started fifth and passed Nikita Lastochkin for a fourth-place result.|
|1||2||Anthony Martin||Pro Formula Mazda||22||-|
|2||3||Victor Franzoni||Pro Formula Mazda||22||-|
|3||4||TJ Fischer||Pro Formula Mazda||22||-|
|4||1||Carlos Cunha||Pro Formula Mazda||22||-|
|5||7||Nikita Lastochkin||Pro Formula Mazda||22||-|
|6||5||Max Hanratty||Pro Formula Mazda||22||-|
|7||6||Kris Wright||Pro Formula Mazda||22||-|
|8||8||Bob Kaminsky||Pro Formula Mazda||22||-|
|9||9||Bobby Eberle||Pro Formula Mazda||21||-|
|10||12||Sting Ray Robb||Pro Formula Mazda||21||-|
|11||14||Dave Zavelson||Pro Formula Mazda||21||-|
|12||13||Kevin Bury||Pro Formula Mazda||20||-|
|13||10||Jeff Green||Pro Formula Mazda||14||-|
|14||11||Brendan Puderbach||Pro Formula Mazda||1||Off Course|
|1||2||Victor Franzoni||Pro Formula Mazda||26||-|
|2||1||Anthony Martin||Pro Formula Mazda||26||-|
|3||3||Carlos Cunha||Pro Formula Mazda||26||-|
|4||5||TJ Fischer||Pro Formula Mazda||26||-|
|5||4||Nikita Lastochkin||Pro Formula Mazda||26||-|
|6||6||Sting Ray Robb||Pro Formula Mazda||26||-|
|7||10||Bob Kaminsky||Pro Formula Mazda||26||-|
|8||8||Kris Wright||Pro Formula Mazda||25||-|
|9||14||Dave Zavelson||Pro Formula Mazda||25||-|
|10||11||Max Hanratty||Pro Formula Mazda||25||-|
|11||7||Bobby Eberle||Pro Formula Mazda||25||-|
|12||13||Brendan Puderbach||Pro Formula Mazda||25||-|
|13||9||Jeff Green||Pro Formula Mazda||24||-|
|12||12||Kevin Bury||Pro Formula Mazda||24||-|
|1||1||Anthony Martin||Pro Formula Mazda||23||-|
|2||3||Victor Franzoni||Pro Formula Mazda||23||-|
|3||2||Carlos Cunha||Pro Formula Mazda||23||-|
|4||5||TJ Fischer||Pro Formula Mazda||23||-|
|5||6||Sting Ray Robb||Pro Formula Mazda||23||-|
|6||4||Nikita Lastochkin||Pro Formula Mazda||23||-|
|7||7||Bobby Eberle||Pro Formula Mazda||23||-|
|8||11||Max Hanratty||Pro Formula Mazda||23||-|
|9||10||Bob Kaminsky||Pro Formula Mazda||23||-|
|10||9||Jeff Green||Pro Formula Mazda||22||-|
|11||8||Kris Wright||Pro Formula Mazda||22||-|
|12||12||Dave Zavelson||Pro Formula Mazda||22||-|
|13||13||Brendan Puderbach||Pro Formula Mazda||22||-|
|14||14||Kevin Bury||Pro Formula Mazda||10||Mechanical|
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