News & Multimedia

New Pro Mazda Chassis Makes Sparkling Debut at Indy Test

The PM-18 still had that new car smell.

The new Tatuus PM-18 for the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires had its first official on-track activity Saturday at the Chris Griffis Memorial Test on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. The new chassis for the Pro Mazda category completes the upgrade process across the entire Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires development ladder.

Six teams tested the PM-18. A couple drivers had experience from the previous Pro Mazda car that helped form their opinion of the new car for the 2018 season.

“It feels smoother than the old car and the brakes are so much better. It’s just a better braking car, better accelerating and a better handling car,” said Sting Ray Robb, who tested with Juncos Racing. “Now, you have to brake much later by nearly 100 feet and so it’s a massive amount of difference. Also, you have to do bigger changes to get the same kind of reaction that you would out of the old car.

“The old car used to be quite edgy due to the short wheelbase, so now with the longer wheelbase, it feels more stable, more calm and easier to drive but the new fly-by-wire throttle is really nice to have,” Robb added. “I do like the mechanical throttle, but it’s time for a change so I think it’s going to be good.”

Carlos Cunha also tested with Ricardo Juncos’ team and finished third in this year’s Pro Mazda championship. He was fastest in Saturday’s opening session and second quick in the next two sessions.

“I think the car’s completely different. The first time I drove it, I was like ‘OK, this is a real race car!’ and it’s really technologically advanced,” Cunha said. “Everything is really fast. In the old car, it was really fun to drive and to learn, but this car is a real race car, it’s really a race car.”

Cunha spent much of his day on track zeroing in on the differences in how the PM-18 performs compared to the old Pro Mazda car.

“You can drive the (new) car better, you can try different things, different lines,” he said. “We can try trail braking and different things like (an) Indy car. It’s going to be a really big challenge for the drivers and the teams because it’s a completely different car and it’s an amazing car.”

Dan Andersen, owner of Andersen Promotions which owns and operates the Mazda Road to Indy under INDYCAR sanction, was delighted to see the PM-18 in action.

“It’s a great satisfaction and relief,” said Andersen. “A lot of time and effort went in on the part of my staff, my project manager, Scot Elkins, the folks from Tatuus and Elite Engines. I think what we’ve put together is a fantastic package and it does complete the overall ladder that we’ve envisioned for the last several years.

“This is a serious race car, this is a serious package, it does exactly what I want it to do. It takes the drivers who learn mechanical grip and competition in USF2000 and it teaches them aerodynamics and much higher speeds. It’s the perfect training ground to move them into Indy Lights.”

All three MRTI levels are participating in the two-day Griffis test. During Saturday’s first day of testing, Nico Jamin was quickest in Indy Lights for Belardi Auto Racing with a best lap of 1 minute, 15.7173 second in his No. 5 Dallara IL-15 Mazda. Pro Mazda’s fastest Saturday runner was 2017 USF2000 champion Oliver Askew at 1:19.8920 in the No. 8 Cape Motorsports PM-18 Mazda. The top USF2000 time went to Andres Gutierrez of Pabst Racing with a lap of 1:25.5618.

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Pro Mazda
New Pro Mazda Chassis Makes Sparkling Debut at Indy Test
The new Tatuus PM-18 for the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires had its first official on-track activity Saturday at the Chris Griffis Memorial Test on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
Read More
Related Media
Legends Day Announcement
Sam Hunt To Headline Firestone Legends Day Concert
Grammy Award nominee and multi-platinum superstar Sam Hunt will headline the Firestone Legends Day Concert on Saturday, May 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during Race Weekend for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Read More
Townsend Bell
Drivers Chasing Indy 500 One-Off Rides Work as Hard Off Track as On It
Securing the dollars to land a ride is a huge undertaking that doesn't happen with a meeting and a happy handshake.
Read More
Darrel Wallce Jr.
Bubba Breaks Through With Strong Daytona 500 Finish
The vignettes of emotion around Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. started early Sunday, well before he set sail in Richard Petty’s No. 43 for his first Daytona 500. They ended with a warm reception from his family after his second-place finish at Daytona International Speedway.
Read More
Austin Dillon
Dillon Battles for Victory at 60th Daytona 500
Austin Dillon prevailed in a game of Survivor played at 200 miles per hour, winning this Sunday's Daytona 500 fiercely and unapologetically after turning race leader Aric Almirola in the third corner of the final lap.
Read More
Kasey Kahne
Reigning Brickyard Winner Kahne Eager for Fresh Start with Small Leavine Team
Kasey Kahne knew he was leaving Hendrick Motorsports before he we won the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard last July at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. As that race lasted into the darkness of the night with overtime after overtime extending the contest, Kahne was physically and emotionally spent by the time he got to Victory Lane.
Read More
Items 29 - 33 of 2,915
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact IMS Sales Department at (317) 492-8739 or email at
Latest Tweets
It's Pole day on @CrownRoyal Armed Forces Weekend & we can't wait to see you! Check out details on the day:
May 21