Words by Christopher Kho
 
berjaya roadtoindy
Berjaya Auto Philippines, the local distributor of Mazda, may only be a few months old since they started operations in 2013, but they're now taking a big leap into motorsports. No, they're not going to race locally, but instead, they've inked a deal to back Filipina-American race car driver Michele Bumgarner on her campaign in the Mazda Road to Indy series. Yes, Michele is a she!
 
The Mazda Road to Indy was made to develop drivers, such as Michele, for the IZOD IndyCar Series - the top tier open-wheel formula race series in the USA. Think of it as the Formula 1 of North America, but racing on street courses, race tracks, and ovals. She'll be racing in the Pro Mazda Championship in 2014, driving a 495 kg single seat open-wheel formula car that's powered by a 1.3L Mazda-supplied Renesis rotary engine. And when she does, Michele will be the sole female driver not only in the Pro Mazda Championship, but the entire Mazda Road to Indy series.
Published in Motorsports
Photos courtesy of Indycar Series and Sam Schmidt Motorsports
 
wheldon_memorial
On lap 11 of the inaugural IZOD IndyCar World Championships held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway last October 16, 2011, 15 cars were involved in a terrifying fiery pile up which forced officials to red flag the race. Paul Tracy, Buddy Rice, Alex Lloyd, E.J. Viso, Charlie Kimball, Timas Scheckter, Jay Howard, Wade Cunningham, James Jakes, and Vitor Meira all climbed out of their mangled vehicles relatively unscathed. Will Power, Pippa Mann, and JR Hildebrand, on the other hand, were brought to the hospital for evaluation and treatment. 
 
Sadly, the 200 lap race turned mournful as quickly as it started when IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard announced two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Daniel Clive “Dan” Wheldon from Emberton, England, who was driving the No. 77 Bowers & Wilkins race car for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, was pronounced dead after succumbing to injuries suffered in the crash.
Published in Motorsports