Andretti Autosport announced today that it would compete in the 2011 Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear with Sage Karam. Sage competed in the Cooper Tires Presents the US F2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda for Andretti Autosport along with his teammate Zach Veach and won the series championship in strong fashion winning nine of the twelve races. Zach will continue running the US F2000 series for Andretti in 2011.
no images were found“Andretti Autosport did such a fantastic job of preparing me for the USF2000 series that choosing a Star Mazda team was an easy choice.
“I developed a lot of close relationships with the Andretti Autosport team members last year; it’s like a family. I’ve always sensed the team’s dedication and desire to win. Performing for them and never letting them down were always priorities of mine.
“Driving for Andretti Autosport is special for me. Growing up in Nazareth, Mario, Michael and Marco have always been heroes to me. So every time I strap in the Andretti car, it’s very special to me.
“I believe in the ‘Road to Indy’ program and I know that the team does too. It’s an exciting time to be a part of IndyCar and the Andretti Autosport family.
“I’d like to thank Michael Fux for believing in me and for supporting me through each step of my career.”
— Sage Karam
Sage’s move to the Star Mazda Championship with his 2010 team makes Andretti Autosport the only team to be involved at every level of the Road to Indy program having an effort in the US F2000 National Championship, the Star Mazda Championship, the Firestone Indy Lights, and the IZOD IndyCar Series.
“Sage did a great job in 2010 and really showed us what he is capable of. I’m glad we can continue to bring him through the ranks of the ‘Road to Indy’ program. This takes us one step closer to developing a driver all the way through to the IZOD IndyCar Series. I’m looking forward to seeing what Sage can accomplish next season.” — Michael Andretti
To those who have been listening to our podcast or keeping tabs on the Road to Indy program in general, you’ll know this isn’t really a surprise. Sage, a native of Nazareth, PA, is very close to the Andretti organization and is one of their strongest development drivers. Andretti Autosport has claimed early last year that it was their intent to develop young American talent through karting and the Road to Indy program to bring the next generation of drivers to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I’m very happy to finally hear this move by Andretti Autosport to Star Mazda officially confirmed. As always, sponsorship and funding is always a concern, and although Sage’s participation in the 2011 Star Mazda Championship was certain, given his scholarship from winning the 2010 US F2000 Championship, Andretti Autosport’s participation wasn’t guaranteed. Thankfully, Comfort Revolution has agreed to be the primary sponsor on Sage’s car.
The off-season so far hasn’t been especially bright in regards to the Road to Indy program with Star Mazda not competing at Sebring nor at Road Atlanta, and the Autobahn Country Club pulling out of the USF2000 event scheduled there for July. This move by Andretti Autosport is a much needed positive, and if things that I’ve been hearing are true, there are a lot more really exciting things in store for the entire Road to Indy ladder system!