Irvine, California, March 3: Perth’s Anthony Martin rejoins Cape Motorsports for the 2017 season in the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires.
His new teammate is 20-year-old American Oliver Askew. Both are Mazda driver development scholarship winners.
Kalgoorlie-born Anthony, the 2016 champion in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda series, earned a scholarship to allow him to move up to the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires this season. Oliver won the Mazda Road to Indy Shootout late last year, which brings him to the USF2000 series this season with Mazda backing. The season-opening event for the entire Mazda Road to Indy takes place March 10 – 12 at St. Petersburg, Florida, where Cape Motorsports is based.
Cape has a sparkling record in the Mazda Road to Indy, including a remarkable 10 championships – and six consecutive titles – in the USF2000 series. Owned and operated by brothers Dominic and Nicholas Cape, the team has more than two decades of open-wheel racing experience.
Anthony makes his Pro Mazda debut next weekend after a six-win season earned him last year’s USF2000 championship. He won the title with Cape, and will stay with the team for the next step of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder.
“Going with Cape Motorsports again was a quite easy decision,” the 22-year-old said. “I’m a loyal person and I really do love sticking with the boys. They’re a great team, and everything they have is second to none. I witnessed it all of last year, and I could not leave the team because the way they run the show is impeccable. I’ve never been a part of a team or a family environment like this one.
“Winning the Mazda scholarship meant everything to me,” Anthony said, while describing the overwhelming response in his home country. “It was an immense reaction. There was so much hype in Australia about me winning this championship, I had to go back to talk to a lot of the media back home, and see all my friends and family that were really supporting me and backing me. Winning the championship really opened up my eyes to the support I have and how many people were actually watching me and pushing me to do the best I can over here.”
Co-owner Dominic Cape said his Team was “extremely happy” to have the Aussie back. “We had a great year with Anthony in 2016 and we saw him grow as a driver into a true champion. We feel confident he will bring the momentum of his success in the USF2000 series into Pro Mazda. We would also like to thank Mazda for establishing the scholarship programs, along with the series and their partners. We look forward to the start of the 2017 season.”
“Anthony is a perfect example of a driver from across the globe who saw the Mazda Road to Indy as the best opportunity to climb the motorsports ladder,” said John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports. “He is in a great position to help tell the Mazda story on multiple continents. Our colleagues at Mazda Australia have been able to tell his success story there, where Mazda has had great success in the marketplace. By choosing Cape Motorsports as his home for the 2017 Pro Mazda Championship, he is leveraging his experience with his championship-winning family. All of us at Mazda wish him the best as he starts the new season with high hopes.”
Oliver Askew was also quick to credit his teammate. “He’s been extremely helpful,” he said. “We’re not competing against one another, so it makes it easier for us to compare notes. He’s been through it all in USF2000 with this team, so I can bounce everything off of him. We’re good friends too.”
With the new Tatuus USF-17 chassis debuting, Mazda’s John Doonan said the 2017 season “is very much up for grabs.” More than 30 of the USF-17 cars have been sold.
“It’s a great honor to have both scholarship drivers compete on behalf of Cape Motorsports,” Dominic Cape said. “The support that Mazda gives young drivers is truly remarkable, and we would like to thank them and John Doonan for establishing the scholarship programs. There is nothing quite like this anywhere in the world. We look forward to debuting both Soul Red cars at our home race in St Petersburg next week.”
Mazda Motorsports boasts the most comprehensive auto racing development ladder system of any auto manufacturer in the world. In grassroots road racing, more Mazdas race on any given weekend in North America than any other manufacturer.
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