Performance is a hallmark of the Mazda experience, and it's put to the test every weekend at racetracks and autocross tracks by racers and enthusiasts across the nation. Mazda involvement in professional motorsports has grown from a grassroots program in 1967 to a competition footprint that now includes the most complete driver development program in the country – the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Ladder stretches from sponsored go kart races to the prestigious Mazda Road to Indy program.

Mazda competes at the highest levels of motorsport competition in North America, including in the American LeMans and Grand American Rolex GT series. This competition, with some of the world’s best teams and engineers, results in knowledge and experience that translate into exciting Mazda vehicles.

The MAZDASPEED Motorsports Ladder revolutionized the North American motorsports landscape for drivers aspiring for a professional career. Beginning with Mazda-sponsored youth karting events, Mazda helps drivers realize their potential by paving a clear cut path to success. From karting, the Ladder includes the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge, the Mazda MX-5 Cup, the Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda, and the Star Mazda Championship – the latter two series are integral components of the 3-part Mazda Road to Indy. The Mazda Road to Indy program culminates in the Indy Lights Series, from which graduates have a chance to compete in the pinnacle of open wheel racing – IndyCar.

All Mazda-supported series and competition programs are powered by Mazda engineering, ingenuity, and the passion for a true driving experience.
The next rung on the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Ladder is the Star Mazda Championship, a single-specification open wheel racing series featuring state-of-the-art carbon fiber chassis race cars powered by advanced Mazda RENESIS rotary engines. Since 1991, the Star Mazda Championship has been the development series for some of the top international racing prospects of tomorrow. Champions receive a scholarship package from Mazda to advance to the next step of the Mazda Road to Indy – the Indy Lights series. Many of today’s top drivers are Star Mazda graduates, including open wheel stars Graham Rahal and Marco Andretti.
The Mazda MX-5 Cup is a national single specification race series based on the MX-5 Miata roadster, which reset the benchmark sports car world when it was first unveiled in 1989. The Mazda MX-5 continues to be the standard for uncompromised sports roadsters; its combination of a light weight chassis, 50/50 balance, and neutral handling make it a sports car at home on the track as well as the road. Easy entry and great competition make the series a natural starting point to a motorsports career.
Like the Mazda MX-5 Cup, the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge was developed as a counterpart rung to the USF2000 Powered by Mazda series on the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Ladder. Aspiring drivers who prefer to compete door-to-door versus in open wheel based series will find the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge an excellent development ground for a possible career in sports car racing. Like the Mazda MX-5 Cup, the MAZDASPEED Challenge features specifically prepared Mazda MX-4 Miata Cup roadsters.
The USF2000 Powered by Mazda Series is one of the first rungs on the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Ladder. The series features single-specification tube chassis open wheel race cars powered by Mazda MZR 2.0 liter engines. Sanctioned by INDYCAR, the series is also the first step in the 3-step Mazda Road to Indy driver development program for IndyCar hopefuls. Winners of the USF2000 receive a scholarship package from Mazda to advance to Star Mazda, the next rung on the ladder.