62 SEPTEMBER 2016
MAZDA ROAD TO INDY
Teams are awaiting delivery of the new USF2000 car, and Joel Miller reckons they’re in for a treat.
MAIN IMAGE Chris Owens/IMS photo
f you’re looking for a gig that lets you mix
business with pleasure, you could do worse
than be the Mazda Road to Indy
development driver responsible for refining
the USF- 17, which will roll onto Cooper Tires
USF2000 Powered by Mazda grids next
year. Except that Joel Miller has beaten
you to it. And based on his reactions to his
third test in the new car at Road America
recently, he has no plans to step aside.
“I radioed to the guys, ‘I’m not coming
in. I’m staying out here,’” he says. “It was
great, because once you start pushing
you kind of have that little slide in the
middle of the corner, and you can just
put your right foot down…”
The Tatuus-built car is based on the
tried and tested Formula 4 platform,
which meant that it was already
When he’s not working on the development of
the new USF2000 car, Joel Miller races in the
Weather Tech SportsCar Championship, where he
shares Mazda’s No. 70 Prototype with Tom Long.
HE’S A MAZDA MAN
relatively well-sorted when it rolled off
the truck for its shakedown test in June.
Since then, the focus has been on
refining the car and getting a baseline
setup locked in so that teams have a
starting point when they take delivery of
their new chassis. Miller predicts that the
2017 USF2000 drivers are in for a treat.
“I drove in F2000 with the [current]
Van Diemen chassis, and this will be a
whole clean sheet,” he says. “It has so
much mechanical grip. The wings are on
there and they do a little bit for balance,
but the car has a lot of mechanical grip.
“It actually reminds me a bit of the
driving style of a Formula Ford because
it slides around a little bit in the middle
of the corner, and if you’re not sliding
then you’re going too slow. So you’ve still
PREPARING FOR LAUNCH