PALMETTO, Fla. – Two more talented young drivers have earned an invitation to the inaugural Mazda Road to Indy $200K Scholarship Shootout which will take place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., on December 6/7. Marcel Coletta, 14, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, will take up his place as winner of the Mazda Road to Indy – Brasil karting shootout, which was held at the world-renowned Interlagos Kart Circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil, while Ryan Norman, 18, from Aurora, Ohio, recently clinched the Formula Race Promotions Atlantic Championship Series with two rounds remaining in the 14-race season.
Coletta and Norman will join a selection of championship winners from around the world who will be invited to the shootout as part of an extensive network of feeder series for the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires. The unique open-wheel driver development ladder offers opportunities for drivers to progress all the way from the grassroots of the sport to the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and then on through the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires to the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Coletta, whose previous accomplishments include a Brazilian championship, winner of the Copa do Brasil and six time winner of Super Kart Brasil, had to fight hard to overcome challenges from some of his nation’s top kart racers representing five different Brazilian states, including his 16-year-old brother, Murilo, who ultimately finished second, to win the shootout. Vinícius Papparelli, who won last year’s SCCA Formula Lites series, finished third overall.
“As soon as I saw the news about this opportunity, I ran to get an entry,” said Coletta, one of the youngest drivers to take part. “I knew it was a great prize and that I would need a great deal of focus and training. I am very happy to have won it.”
Norman began his driving career at the Skip Barber Racing School before moving into the Formula Enterprise class and finishing second in the SCCA National Championship Runoffs. He has displayed impressive form throughout this year’s Atlantic Championship, winning seven of 12 races and failing only twice to finish on the podium aboard his No. 48 Swift 016/Mazda fielded by K-Hill Motorsports.
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the Mazda Road to Indy shootout,” said Norman, who also graduated high school between races earlier in the year. “I want to thank K-Hill Motorsports who have helped me claim the Atlantic Championship. I also want to thank Mazda for giving me this opportunity and for what they do in helping young aspiring drivers.”
Coletta and Norman joins New Zealand Formula Ford 1600 Champion Michael Scott, Pacific F2000 champion Tim de Silva and Indian MRF Formula 1600 champion Vikash Anand, who have already secured an invitation to the shootout, where the winner will claim a $200,000 scholarship to graduate into USF2000 in 2017.
“We would like to congratulate Ryan on winning the 2016 Atlantic Championship Series title, and with that, earning himself a spot at the Mazda Shootout in December,” said Robert Wright, co-owner of Formula Race Promotions. “Ryan not only exhibited outright speed over the course of the season in the K-Hill Motorsports entry, but showed patience and excellent race craft.”
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