The new-for-2017 USF- 17 USF2000
car was christened with a thrilling battle
for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered
by Mazda championship, won by rising
star Oliver Askew.
The Floridian rookie is making a
habit of career progression through
scholarships, having first been part of
the Team USA program, then earning his
USF2000 ride via the Mazda Road to
Indy Shootout – and he’s now preparing
to graduate to Pro Mazda next season
after securing the USF2000 crown over
The long list of
to have made it
to IndyCar proves
that the real value
of the scholarships
can be much more
than what’s printed
on the checks.
rival Rinus VeeKay at Watkins Glen.
“Within a year, I’ve won three
scholarships now. That’s pretty crazy,”
said Askew. “I didn’t think that was going
to be possible, but here we are. I look
forward to having great success in the
future with Mazda Racing, and just keep
going through the ladder and learning
as much as I can and winning races.”
The high point of Askew’s 2017
campaign was the five-race win streak
between St. Petersburg and Indianapolis,
and he added further weight to his trophy
shelf with victories at Iowa and Mid-Ohio.
Second place behind VeeKay at Watkins
Glen was enough to make Askew the
sixth driver to win back-to-back Mazda
scholarships, and give the benchmark
Cape Motorsports team its seventh
consecutive USF2000 drivers’ title.
A five-race win streak set Oliver Askew up for a USF2000
crown – and a scholarship to race in Pro Mazda next year.
WIN, THEN REPEAT
Like IndyCar driver
before him, Askew
is making a habit
of winning MRTI
“YOU AREN’T GIVING OUT PRIZE MONEY; YOU’RE GIVING OUT HOPE”
The Mazda Road to Indy Presented
by Cooper Tires handed out more
than $2.6 million in scholarships at
its end-of-season awards banquet.
But as history has shown, the real
value could be much higher.
“You aren’t just giving out prize
money; you’re giving out hope,” said
2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor
Franzoni. “The Mazda Road to Indy
is just amazing.”
Franzoni’s prize, worth almost
$800,000, will help the 21-year-old
rising star move up to Indy Lights
next year, where he’ll aim to match
the achievements of newly-crowned
champion Kyle Kaiser. The
Californian’s $1 million scholarship
gives him a guaranteed minimum of
three Verizon IndyCar Series races
next year, including the Indy 500.
Meanwhile, Oliver Askew earned a
$325,000 ticket to Pro Mazda for
winning the USF2000 title.
Other high-placing drivers also
earned cash awards, while Franzoni,
Anthony Martin and Carlos Cunha
will all get an Indy Lights test day.
For the latest from the USF2000
championship, go to usf2000.com
Rinus VeeKay (his surname an abbreviation
of van Kalmthout) fell just short of toppling
Oliver Askew in 2017 USF2000, but the
rapid Dutch teen had plenty to be proud of
after earning three wins and nine podiums
in only his first season out of karts.
ONE TO WATCH
2017 COOPER TIRES USF2000
Powered by MAZDA
1. Oliver Askew (R) 351pts
2. Rinus Veekay (R) 344
3. Parker Thompson 269
4. Kaylen Frederick (R) 240
5. Calvin Ming (R) 207
6. Robert Megennis 173
7. Lucas Kohl 160
8. Devin Wojcik (R) 140
9. Kory Enders (R) 138
10. David Malukas (R) 108