Gregory & Appel Insurance announced today that it is expanding its "Securing Tomorrow" award to all three Mazda Road to Indy ladder series. 2012 will mark its seventh season honoring the future stars of the IZOD IndyCar Series.
For 2012, the "Securing Tomorrow" award will be given to the driver in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda, Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear and Firestone Indy Lights who accumulates the most race wins during the season. The USF2000 winning-most driver will be awarded $1000 and the Securing Tomorrow trophy. The Star Mazda winner will be awarded $2000 and a similar trophy. The Firestone Indy Lights winner will be awarded $3000 and a large trophy.
"We have been impressed with the growth of the Mazda Road to Indy over the past two years and felt the time was right to expand our investment," said Darren Hickey, Vice President Motorsports for Gregory & Appel. "2012 will be a great year for all three series and we look forward to helping these young racers."
In 2011, Firestone Indy Lights champion Josef Newgarden received the award after he won five races and finished on podium ten times.
"Winning races is arguably the most important thing in a young driver's career that will elevate them to the next level," said Director of Firestone Indy Lights, Tony George, Jr. "The Firestone Indy Lights championship values the "Securing Tomorrow" award that recognizes drivers who reach the winner's circle, and enjoys presenting it to its top performing driver each year."
"It's an honor to have Gregory & Appel's continued loyalty and commitment to recognizing the future stars of INDYCAR and their decision to expand that recognition to each level of the Mazda Road to Indy."
The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda provides a vital training ground for rising stars in addition to a scholarship package from Mazda to advance to the next series on the ladder. While debuting a new generation in 2010, the series boasts a rich history as a revival of the highly regarded national USF2000 series which ran from 1990 through 2006, launching the careers of many of today's top drivers. It is also part of the prestigious MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder which assists young drivers in advancing from the Skip Barber Racing School to USF2000.
"We appreciate the support for both our drivers and for the entire Mazda Road to Indy program from Gregory & Appel," said series owner and CEO, Dan Andersen. "Advancing young drivers' careers is what we are all about, and assistance in that endeavor from fine companies is very much appreciated."
The next series up is the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, now entering its 22nd season. The series is one of North America's premier open-wheel racing driver development series and is the middle step on the Mazda Road to Indy. Drivers and teams compete for $1.2 million prizes, including a scholarship valued at $500,000 for the series champion to graduate to Firestone Indy Lights.
"It is an honor to have a firm like Gregory & Appel recognize the achievements of young talent as they build a career in motorsports," said founder and President Gary Rodrigues. "The Star Mazda Championship has been working for 22 years to help showcase these rising stars. It is very gratifying to have an organization with the reputation and integrity of Gregory and Appel add its support to the drivers in our program and the Mazda Road to Indy."
Based in Indianapolis, IN Gregory & Appel has a nationally recognized Motorsports Practice that represents drivers, teams, tracks, promoters and other businesses directly involved with the Motorsports community. Its unique expertise allows it to provide clients with a strategic plan to achieve their risk management goals.