By: Ashley McCubbin
With many young drivers hopeful of competing in the NTT IndyCar Series one day, it’s no secret the Road to Indy Silly Season can sometimes be full of surprises and new faces. As a result, the past couple of weeks have seen a series of driver announcements as more competitors lock in their rides for 2021.
Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires
The four-car line-up for HMD Motorsports has been finalized, as Nikita Lastochkin takes the final seat at the table. The Russian makes the jump up to the final step of the Road to Indy ladder following 44 races in Indy Pro 2000 competition, including five top-five’s two years ago including a fourth at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
Christian Bogle, meanwhile, will skip the Indy Pro 2000 rung all together, jumping up to Indy Lights straight from USF2000. The 19-year-old’s best finish last season was a sixth at Road America.
- Juncos Racing – Sting Ray Robb, Toby Sowery
- HMD Motorsports – David Malukas, Nikita Lastochkin
- HMD Motorsports with Global Racing Group – Benjamin Pedersen, Linus Lundqvist
- Andretti Autosport – Danial Frost, Kyle Kirkwood, Robert Megennis
- Andretti Autosport with Steinbrenner Racing – Devlin DeFrancesco
- Carlin Racing and Jay Howard Driving Development – Alex Peroni, Christian Bogle
Indy Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires
The Road to Indy ladder will have a flair of the Irish, with 2019 Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the Year Award winner James Roe partnering with Turn 3 Motorsports. While a new face, he has been partaking in the Formula Regional Americas series over the past two years achieving a win, several top five finishes, and two team championships.
There will also be a famous name in the mix, with Enzo Fittipaldi set for his rookie campaign, thanks to a partnership with RP Motorsport and Andretti Autosport. Fittipaldi had been partaking in the Ferrari Driving Academy, but will withdraw as a result of moving to the United States. Reading between the lines, success his way could see progression down the road in knowing Michael Andretti’s Indy Lights team.
Juncos Racing also further finalized their Road to Indy program, announcing Kyffin Simpson will be partaking in Indy Pro 2000. He will be partaking in nine events while making a return to the FR Americas Championship.
- Velocity Racing Development – Hunter Yeany
- Miller Vinatieri Motorsports – Jack William Miller
- Turn 3 Motorsports – James Roe
- RP Motorsport (with support from Andretti Autosport) – Enzo Fittipaldi
- Juncos Racing – Kyffin Simpson
- Exclusive Autosport – Braden Eves
Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship
Bijoy Garg will make his return with Jay Howard Driver Development for a second season following a pair of top-10’s in his rookie campaign.
After winning the F1600 Championship with 25 wins and 32 podiums in 36 races, Billy Frazer will tackle the next challenge of his young career, teaming up with Exclusive Autosport.
Force Indy continued to solidify their plans, announcing Atlanta native Myles Rowe will take the first green flag for their brand new effort in 2021. He has been successful through karting thus far, winning the Procup Karting Championship during his first full season of racing at the age of 12.
St. Louis hopes to produce the next champion, thanks to a partnership under the name of Ignite Autosport with Cape Motorsports. The former series champions in partnership with KhS Global, Margay Racing, and World Wide Technology Raceway are hoping to make it happen by relieving the financial burden some drivers may feel. They will field entries for Spike Kohlbecker from Kirkwood, Mo. and Evan Stamer from Glen Carbon, Ill. in their first season of competition.
Cape Motorsports also confirmed Michael d’Orlando will return to their team, eyes focused on a championship. The 18-year-old scored a victory at Mid-Ohio and four additional podium finishes with Cape Motorsports in 2020, ranking fourth in the final season standings.
- Velocity Racing Development – Erik Evans, TBA
- Miller Vinatieri Motorsports – Kent Vaccaro
- Turn 3 Motorsports – Dylan Christie, Josh Green
- Pabst Racing – Josh Pierson, Yuven Sundaramoorthy
- Cape Motorsports – Thomas Nepveu, Michael d’Orlando
- Force Indy – Myles Rowe
- Jay Howard Driver Development – Bijoy Garg
- Exclusive Autosport – Billy Frazer
- Ignite Autosport with Cape Motorsports – Spike Kohlbecker, Evan Stamer
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