F1600, F2000 and Atlantic Drivers Set for Mazda Shootout

October 6, 2016
Portante (right) and Verhagen (left)

Salem, NH – Drivers representing Formula Race Promotions’ (FRP) F1600, F2000 and Atlantic Championship Series have stamped their tickets to the Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout.

Ryan Norman (Atlantic), John McCusker (F2000) and Peter Portante (F1600) earned tickets through Formula Race Promotions, while Neil Verhagen won the F1600 Championship but had previously earned his entry through his dominating win at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs.

The winner of the Shootout will receive a $200,000 scholarship from Mazda to join the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda in 2017.

The entry tickets were handed out at an awards ceremony following the FRP season finale this past weekend at VIR.

“When I got called up and given my ticket to the Shootout all I could was sit back down, hold it and stare at it,” said Portante, who finished runner-up in the F1600 Championship for K-Hill Motorsports, while teammate Verhagen took the title.

“It has been culmination of so much hard work, sweat and tears. And I know that is cliché but this the break every driver looks for and I couldn’t be here at all without the F1600 Series, K-Hill and Intercity Lines,” Portante added.

For Dotworks Racing driver John McCusker, a late-season surge elevated him to second in the points, the first eligible driver behind Series Champion and Masters Class driver Steve Bamford.

“I’m very excited to get out to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in December,” said McCusker. “I was caught off guard and a bit shocked to get this. I’m thankful for everything the F2000 Series has done; I’ve developed as a driver considerably racing in it.”

Clinching the title with one weekend to spare with a strong performance at New Jersey Motorsports Park in August, Ryan Norman won the Atlantic Championship for K-Hill Motorsports, and doubled down, also being crowned the Atlantic SCCA Runoffs Champion.

"The plan from the beginning was to make a run for the championship. I knew we had the team and car to do it and I just had to give it everything I had," said Norman, who also graduated high school between races earlier in the year.

The inaugural Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout will be held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, December 6-7, bringing together champions from around the world.

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