Pro Mazda Swings North for the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres
 August 9, 2013| 
  • Series News
PALMETTO, Fla. – The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires will make its third and final stop north of the border this weekend with a pair of races in support of NASCAR Canada at the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières. The historic and extremely popular 11-turn, 1.52-mile street circuit event held in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, invites precision from drivers as they maneuver around the concrete-lined course at Terrain de L'Exposition (fairgrounds) – especially at Porte Duplessis, a narrow concrete gateway in Turn 3.

Pro Mazda will close out its 16-race 2013 season on street circuits, with a double-header weekend in support of INDYCAR at Houston on October 5/6 following the Trois-Rivières rounds.

Brabham Shattering the Record Books
Andretti Autosport’s Matthew Brabham has been setting the record books on fire in his rookie season of Pro Mazda competition. The 19-year-old reigning Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda champion now holds the record for the most consecutive wins in a season at seven, and most wins in a season at nine – breaking the record set by 2012 champ Jack Hawksworth. The MAZDASPEED driver from Boca Raton, Fla., who has made 11 podium visits to date, is also fast approaching the record for most podiums in a season at 12, which is held by Hawksworth and 2010 champion Conor Daly, and fastest race laps. Brabham is currently at nine with Hawksworth setting the record with 11.

Will Experience Prevail at Trois-Rivières?
In a race weekend featuring limited track time with 13 races over the course of three days, three drivers may benefit from a return visit to Trois-Rivières – Diego Ferreira of Juncos Racing, and teammates Zack Meyer and Juan Piedrahita of JDC MotorSports.

Ferreira, 19, has been the only driver to turn up the heat on Brabham’s domination this season. With a win and eight additional podiums thus far, the Venezuelan talent has clearly left his mark but exited Trois Rivières last year with a rare pair of DNF’s – his only DNF’s in 29 races to date since the start of his 2012 Pro Mazda campaign.

Ditto for Meyer on the DNF front. The 21-year-old from Toronto left Trois-Rivières empty handed in both rounds last year. With 10 top-10 finishes in 12 rounds this season, Meyer is embroiled in a tight points battle that could see him break into the top five in the standings if he can add to his tally this weekend.

Colombian Piedrahita was the only driver to see the checkered flags last year. The 21-year-old finished ninth and 11th in the two races, and that should be a confidence booster for the two-time podium finisher this season.

Team-wise over the past three years, JDC MotorSports leads with three wins at Trois-Rivières followed by Team Pelfrey and Andretti Autosport with one apiece.

While Brabham hasn’t raced at Trois-Rivières, his father Geoff – a Le Mans 24 Hours winner and two-time IMSA champion – competed at the circuit in the early ‘80s in the Can-Am Series.

By the Numbers
Brabham currently holds a 65-point advantage over Ferreira in the standings, 336 to 271. With a win and six additional podiums, Andretti Autosport’s Shelby Blackstock has quickly made up some ground and now lies only 24 points in arrears of Ferreira in third at 247. Team Pelfrey’s Spencer Pigot, also a recent race winner with three additional podiums to his credit, is fourth with 221 points.

Scott Anderson of Juncos Racing rounds out the top five at 178 points, but has a trio of drivers at his heels gunning for the top-five including 17-year-old talent Kyle Kaiser of World Speed Motorsports (171), Meyer (165) and Lloyd Read (152).

Of Note
Julia Ballario of Marco Juarez, Argentina, will be making her second appearance with Juncos Racing after a fine debut at Mid-Ohio last weekend which included a ninth-place finish… Expert Class drivers competing this weekend include Bobby Eberle of World Speed Motorsports – a race winner at Mid-Ohio – and Jay Horak of M1 Racing.

Follow the Action
Pro Mazda drivers will take to the track for the first time on Friday with a 50-minute practice session at 1:20 pm ET followed by qualifying at 5:30 pm. The green flag will fly for Race 1 on Saturday at 1:00 pm and at 9:00 am on Sunday. Live timing and scoring with commentary is available via the series website at www.promazdachampionship.com.
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