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‐ What are the main features of the Cooper Tires USF2000

Championship powered by Mazda and the Pro Mazda

Championship presented by Cooper Tires?

«A difficult question as I necessarily can't have favorites! The returning

drivers will have an edge due to experience, but for USF2000, the new car

will be a great equalizer. The champion that emerges from the $200,000

Mazda Scholarship Shootout in December will be funded into USF2000

for 2017 and coming out of that intense competition will mean that he or

she is a driver to watch. In Pro Mazda, our USF2000 champion (Anthony

Martin from Australia) moves up and he will be very competitive as he

tries to move through Pro Mazda and into Indy lights in one season. It

will be fun to watch!»

‐ How did the partnership with Tatuus begin and why did you turn to

this Italian company for your latest endeavours?

«In the 1990's, I owned and operated the USF2000 series and during those

years we had open chassis regulations, meaning that there were six or

seven different manufacturers providing chassis to our teams.

Tatuus entered the series (I believe in 1998) and immediately demonstrated

that they built a superior race car. I sold the series in 2001, and the

subsequent owners went to a "spec" chassis and I lost touch with Tatuus.

In 2010, INDYCAR asked me to become involved in a resurrection

of the USF2000 series which had ceased operations in 2006.

I did so, and when the time came to introduce a new chassis, Tatuus was

immediately on my list of companies to receive a proposal from. I never

forgot the car they hadn introduced back in 1998, and always held them in

very high regard».

Do you have any funny memory to share about your friendship with

Gianfranco De Bellis?

«Tatuus brought a fantastic and fun loving group of staff to the

US in 1998 and 1999, and we enjoyed them very much. I do recall a soccer

(football) game we hosted at Mid‐Ohio between the Italians and the

world, and I played and I believe Gianfranco did as well. The Italians won,

though it could have been because the "world" team spent too much time

drinking during the stoppages!»

‐ After the first on‐track tests at Indianapolis, what is your opinion

about the new USF‐17 by Tatuus? What are the aspects that you

appreciated the most?

«The USF‐17 is a remarkable race car, providing so much for a great

price point. It accomplishes what we sought ‐ using less aero downforce

which will result in closer and better racing and, of course, better

training. The quality is as I expected, top notch Tatuus workmanship, and

the features include everything a young driver of today seeks. The reviews

following our recent test at Indy were all positive, and we think this car

will completely change the series for the better!

What will the new 2018 Pro Mazda Championships car need in order

to succeed?

«Our design for the updates include more aero (and adjustments

for the driver), more HP and more tires. We are looking at gearbox

enhancements and a step up in dampers as well. The idea is to better

prepare drivers for the step into Indy Lights, and I am confident that the

PM‐18 will do just that.»

‐ The cars built by Tatuus and Dallara are a normal sightseeing in

American competition. In 2016, F1 was joined by an American team,

Haas GP. Do you think there will be more partnerships and

cooperation between Europe and the USA in the future?

«That would be my hope. We have really improved the training that

drivers in the Mazda Road to Indy are receiving and hopefully our

graduates will seek opportunities worldwide, and world teams will see

opportunities here in the United States».