October 09, 2012 | By Arni Sribhen
Young Talent Seeking To Impress In Two-Day Indy Test
The South Terrace stands and Turn 2 viewing mounds are open from 9-6pm today and tomorrow for the testing here at IMS.
Jake Eidson has made a rapid rise of the racing ladder in the last few years, ascending from beginning karter to Skip Barber Racing Series champion in just five seasons.
On Oct. 10-11, the 17-year-old from Littleton, Colo., will take the biggest step of his young career when he tests a Cooper Tires USF2000 National Championship car on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course as part of his reward for winning the Skip Barber Winter Series and clinching the Skip Barber Summer Series at Lime Rock on Oct. 6.
Jake Eidson to test at IMS“Just being (at Indianapolis) will be a huge honor,” Eidson said. “To drive a race car there, not many 17 years olds get to do that. I’m very thankful for the opportunity, but I’m more excited than anything else. I’m absolutely looking forward to it.”
The test is the first step in his goal of joining the Mazda Road to Indy and fulfilling a dream of being a professional racing driver.
“My goal is to climb the Mazda Road to Indy ladder and become an Indy car driver,” he said. “It’s nice that we’re able to have a path straight to Indy. Most countries don’t have that. It’s nice to have that and have a chance to get a scholarship to make the dream possible.”
Eidson is one of six drivers awarded test days at the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Open Test thanks to the Mazda Road to Indy’s partnerships with the Skip Barber Racing School in the U.S., and international series such as the British Formula Ford Championship, Mexico’s LATAM Challenge Series and the Quebec and Ontario F1600 Championship in Canada.
“We are excited to see the results of our new partnerships with British Formula Ford, LATAM Challenge Series, Canadian F1600 and Skip Barber at the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Open Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” said Jason Penix, INDYCAR's director of grassroots initiatives. “These partnerships bring some of the world’s top young talent into the Mazda Road to Indy system, complementing very strong USF2000, Star Mazda and Firestone Indy Lights fields for this test.”
Spectators can watch the action from the grandstand in front of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum both days.
USF2000 entrant list || Star Mazda entrant list || Firestone Indy Lights entrant list
Finland’s Antti Buri, the champion of the British Formula Ford championship, will join Eidson and Canadian F1600 champions Nathan Blok (Quebec) and Michael Adams (Ontario) in the USF2000 portion of the two-day test. Three of the top four drivers in the LATAM Challenge Series -- points leader Francisco Cerullo, Andre Sulano and Jose Carlos-Sandoval – are also scheduled to participate in the Star Mazda Championship portion of the test. Burri is also scheduled to drive a Star Mazda car.
The Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Open Test – dedicated to the memory of Sam Schmidt Motorsports’ Firestone Indy Lights team manager – brings together the three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy Ladder system, including the Star Mazda Championship Powered by Goodyear and Firestone Indy Lights.
Hosted by INDYCAR, the outing not only offers all three series a jump-start on the 2013 season but also showcases the ladder system to prospective teams and drivers.
“We are looking forward to the test, as we have seen sizable increases in the USF2000, Star Mazda and Firestone Indy Lights entries over last year,” Penix said. “Altogether, we’ve seen nearly a 75 percent increase, which shows the momentum and interest around the Mazda Road to Indy program.”