Brabham Seeks to Extend Win Streak in Allied Building Products GP of Toronto
 July 9, 2013| 
  • Series News
PALMETTO, Fla. – The streets of Toronto, Ont., Canada will play host to Rounds 7 and 8 of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires this weekend, with the Allied Building Products Grand Prix of Toronto comprising a pair of 30-minute races as part of the action-filled Honda Indy Toronto.

Pro Mazda represents the middle step on the acclaimed Mazda Road to Indy, in between the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and Firestone Indy Lights which collectively provide a path – and a series of full scholarship packages – to enable winning drivers to graduate all the way from the grassroots of the sport to the IZOD IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500. All four levels will be in action this weekend along with the Pirelli World Challenge and Stadium Super Trucks.

Third-Generation Racer Brabham Leads in Dominant Style
Matthew Brabham, from Boca Raton, Fla., who earned a MAZDASPEED Scholarship to graduate into Pro Mazda following his victory in the 2012 USF2000 title-chase, has taken full advantage by romping to a commanding lead in the point standings – and the quest for another scholarship to graduate into Indy Lights next season – with the Andretti Autosport team. The grandson of three-time Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jack Brabham and son of Le Mans 24 Hours winner Geoff Brabham established himself as a preseason favorite after setting the pace during winter testing. Although he had to be content with a third-place finish in the opening event at Circuit of The Americas in March, he has been unbeaten in the subsequent five races.

Brabham extended his margin to 49 points over his nearest challenger following dominant runs in the pair of oval races at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis and the Milwaukee Mile. He has led almost 85 percent of the total number of laps this season (176 out of 208) and has every intention of continuing his streak on the 1.75-mile street circuit.

Ferreira, Blackstock, Pigot Lead the Chase
Second-year contender Diego Ferreira is the only other driver to have tasted the spoils of victory this year. The 19-year-old Venezuelan came out of the box strongly for Juncos Racing, building impressively upon his series of five consecutive top-five finishes to round out his rookie campaign in 2012 and winning from the pole at the majestic Circuit of The Americas road course.

Two rookies and graduates of USF2000, Shelby Blackstock and Spencer Pigot, have been closing the gap on Ferreira in recent races and have their sights set firmly on knocking Brabham off his perch, too.

Blackstock, the son of country singer star Reba McEntire, has shown impressive form in a second Andretti Autosport entry, netting a pair of poles at St. Petersburg and finishing on the podium in four of the six races held to date.

Pigot, 19, who finished a close second in the USF2000 championship in each of the past two seasons (despite winning no fewer than eight of the 14 races in 2012), also has been creeping gradually closer to Brabham’s pace for Florida-based Team Pelfrey which won the championship last year but has undergone a major transformation over the winter. Pigot this weekend will be working with a new engineer, IndyCar veteran Darrell Soppe, for the first time. He will also have a new teammate in the form of 21-year-old Brazilian Nicolas Costa, from Rio de Janeiro, who tested impressively with the team last month at Mid-Ohio.

Toronto’s Meyer Looking For Local Success
Hopes for a local victory will rest with second-year Pro Mazda contender Zack Meyer, who hails from Toronto and has been making steady progress with the JDC MotorSports team. Meyer claimed a pair of ninth-place finishes on the Toronto streets in 2012 and earned a career-high finish of sixth this year at St. Petersburg.

Allied Building Products Returns as Title Race Sponsor
A leader in the wholesale building materials industry, Allied Building Products expanded its partnership with Andersen Promotions earlier this year to include title sponsorship of select Pro Mazda races in addition to USF2000 and will headline the Toronto rounds.

Allied’s guests will participate in a variety of activities in addition to enjoying trackside hospitality suite programs. Guests will serve as honorary race starters giving the command to start engines and waving the green flag, assist in podium ceremonies and trophy presentations, and take part in private paddock tours, driver meet-and-greets and dinners featuring series drivers. All Pro Mazda entries will also carry Allied Building Products branding.

Of Note
Meyer’s JDC MotorSports teammate Juan Piedrahita, 20, from Bogota, Colombia, finished a career-high second in the most recent race at the Milwaukee Mile.... Former Skip Barber Racing National Champion and USF2000 race winner Scott Anderson, from Fort Collins, Colo., has three top-five finishes to his name and has designs on stepping onto the podium for the first time with Juncos Racing.

Follow the Action
Pro Mazda drivers will take part in a pair of practice sessions on Friday, June 12, at 8:05 am and 12:45 pm, followed by qualifying at 4:15 pm. Race 1 of the Allied Building Products Grand Prix of Toronto will start at 8:45 am on Saturday, while the green flag for Race 2 will fall at 9:55 am on Sunday, immediately prior to the IndyCar warmup. Live timing and scoring for all on-track sessions can be accessed via the series website at www.promazdachampionship.com.
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