Andersen Promotions, the promoter behind the Mazda Road to Indy development ladder of championships, has announced that Tatuus has been chosen to design and manufacture the next generation of chassis for the first rungs on the Road to Indy ladder; the ‘Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda’, and the ‘Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires’. The new Tatuus USF-17 and Tatuus PM-18 chassis will make their competition debut in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
The USF-17 is billed as a ‘significant’ technology leap over the outgoing Van Diemen USF2000 chassis. The tatuus chassis is a full carbon monocoque item, built to FIA F3 test specifications, and powered by the current Mazda MZR 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine. To meet US regulations, the chassis also features Zylon side intrusion panels and reinforced bulkheads to strengthen the chassis for racing on oval circuits. The USF-17 will also feature other upgrades such as a six-speed paddle shift gearbox, four-way adjustable dampers, aluminum American Racing wheels, four piston caliper PFC brakes, IndyCar-specific quick jack and roll hoop attachments, as well as a Cosworth-supplied data system, LCD steering wheel and ECU.
Uniquely, the PM-18 will use the USF-17 as the base car to help control the operational costs for teams who wish to move up. The PM-18 adds more power over the USF-17 from a Mazda SKYACTIV engine, more advanced aerodynamics with a revised underbody and diffuser, a three-element rear wing and a front wing with adjustable composite wing flaps. The PM-18 also adds a higher level Cosworth data system – which Andersen states will help ‘to help train the next level of drivers and engineers in the Mazda Road to Indy’.
“Since we first met almost 20 years ago, I have known Gianfranco De Bellis and the Tatuus brand of cars and have the highest respect for their product and performance,” said Dan Andersen, owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “To enter into this new venture with them as partners is exciting and I know they will deliver a very high quality, safe and fast race car – a car that career-minded drivers from around the world will see as a real step up from other open-wheel series cars. The Mazda Road to Indy trains drivers well, and this new race car will only enhance that training for the future”.
The new USF2000 chassis will be unveiled at the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 next May. Prototype testing is expected to begin in June with car deliveries taking place in the fall. A similar schedule will follow for Pro Mazda.