10th Annual Chris Griffis Memorial Test on Deck This Weekend
PALMETTO, Fla. (October 28, 2021) – After crowning its 2021 champions earlier this month, the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires will be back in action this week for its traditional Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 30/31. All three levels of the ladder system – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship – will take part in six 45-minute sessions over the course of the two days on the 2.75-mile “Inner Loop” road course.
Following a year’s hiatus due to the pandemic, the now 10th annual test is named in memory of Chris Griffis, the former team manager of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports who passed away suddenly in September 2011. The foundation of the highly anticipated event is to provide new drivers with the opportunity to sample the Road to Indy while offering returning drivers the chance to hone their programs for the following year.
“As is the case every year, I’m really looking forward to this year’s Chris Griffis Memorial Test at IMS,” offered Road to Indy Series Development Director Rob Howden. “Driver development and preparation is at the absolute core of our mission with the Road to Indy, and this annual test is so satisfying because we get to see drivers take what they’ve learned all year and apply it to the next level of our program. It’s exciting to see how much the drivers grow and mature from the start of a season to the end, and watching USF2000 drivers jump into Indy Pro 2000 cars, and so on up the ladder, is fantastic.”
The test will be followed by a one-day outing on Monday, November 1, for the top three finishers in this year’s Indy Lights championship – Kyle Kirkwood, David Malukas and Linus Lundqvist respectively – who earned an NTT INDYCAR SERIES Indy car test as part of their prize package.
Currently, 44 drivers have been registered for the Chris Griffis test representing 11 countries and 15 different teams.
Indy Lights will see the advancement of several drivers testing the next step of the ladder including reigning Indy Pro 2000 champion Christian Rasmussen (Andretti Autosport), Hunter McElrea (Andretti Autosport) and Kyffin Simpson, who was recently confirmed for a full 2022 season with new entrant TJ Speed Motorsports. Abel Motorsports will also move up to the top step with Jacob Abel.
New faces include Ernie Francis Jr. (HMD Motorsports), Matteo Nannini (Juncos Hollinger Racing) and the return of Matthew Brabham (Andretti Autosport), who last competed in Indy Lights in 2015.
The Indy Pro 2000 entry list is peppered with drivers looking to make the move up from USF2000 including champion Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing), Josh Green (Turn 3 Motorsport), Bijoy Garg (Jay Howard Driver Development), Nolan Siegel (DEForce Racing), Yuven Sundaramoorthy (Pabst Racing), Josh Pierson (Pabst Racing) and Billy Frazer (Exclusive Autosport).
Sampling Indy Pro 2000 competition are drivers Nicholas Rivers (Jay Howard Driver Development), Casey Putsch (Legacy Autosport), Louis Foster (Exclusive Autosport), Arias Deukmedjian (Deuk Spine Racing) and Blake Upton (Turn 3 Motorsport).
USF2000 will see a mix of returning drivers and at least nine newcomers including Jagger Jones and Nicholas d’Orlando (Cape Motorsports), Mac Clark (DEForce Racing), Viktor Andersson (Legacy Autosport), Ayrton Houk (Pabst Racing), TJ Thompson and Yeoroo Lee (Jay Howard Driver Development) and Lucas Mann and Ethan Ho (Exclusive Autosport).
Testing will kick off at 8:00 am EDT on Saturday. Live timing will be available on the series’ respective websites, and photography at https://media.roadtoindy.net/.