By Steve Wittich

The Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires series visit the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the sixth straight year for the middle-rung of ladder’s 12th and 13th races.

The PM-18 made it’s “Month of May” debut last year and put on an outstanding show. The pole sitter won seven times in the first nine races that saw a total of three lead changes.

In 2018, the pair of races had five lead changes between them, and the race winners started in third and sixth place.

Juncos Racing and Team Pelfrey are currently tied with three Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course wins each. The other two active teams with wins in this event are Exclusive Autosport and RP Motorsport.

Previous Indy Pro 2000 winners on the the IMS road course





2018 Race #2

Parker Thompson

Exclusive Autosport


2018 Race #1

Harrison Scott

RP Motorsport


2017 Race #2

Victor Franzoni

Juncos Racing


2017 Race #1

Victor Franzoni

Juncos Racing


2016 Race #2

Pato O’Ward

Team Pelfrey


2016 Race #1

Pato O’Ward

Team Pelfrey


2015 Race #3

Santiago Urrutia

Team Pelfrey


2015 Race #2

Timothe Buret

Juncos Racing


2015 Race #1

Weiron Tan

Andretti Autosport


2014 – Race #2

Scott Hargrove

Cape Motorsports with /WTR


2014 – Race #1

Scott Hargrove

Cape Motorsports with /WTR


The advancemnt scholarship chase

Parker Thompson, winner of the first two races of the year, who started the 2019 season on a two-race deal with Abel Motorsports, will return for at least two more races with Louisville, Ky. based team.

The points leader headed into the “Month of May” has had some previous success on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course. The 21-year-old has two wins (including last year in Indy Pro 2000), three podiums, five top five and one pole in eight previous starts.

“I’ve had success there last year,” explained the Red Deer, Alberta, Canada driver. “I won and finished fifth, due to a mechanical issue, in the two Indy Pro 2000 events a year ago. As strong as Abel Motorsports is right now, there’s nowhere to go but up. I’m going to hold us to a pretty high standard. I don’t see any reason why we can’t be on the top step of the podium both days this weekend.”

Behind Thompson and his healthy 19-point lead are seven drivers covered by only 19 points.

Juncos Racing rookie Rasmus Lindh starts the “Month of May” as the driver closest to the veteran on top of the standing. The first of Lindh’s five podiums in the USF2000 championship last year came in the second race at this same event.

An aggressive move to start the second race in St. Petersburg propelled Exclusive Autosport rookie Danial Frost to a second place finish, his first Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires podium. The 17-year-old from Singapore, who begins the weekend only four points behind Lindh, will be making his first race start on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Frost did complete a successful Chris Griffis Memorial Test so that the circuit won’t be entirely new for him.

Only two points behind Frost is veteran Sting Ray Robb. The third-year driver has made four previous starts on the IMS Road Course, grabbing a podium in the second race last year.

Defending USF2000 champion Kyle Kirkwood rebounded from a DNF in the first race of the season to grab his 14th career Road To Indy podium in the second. Combine the fact that RP Motorsport is a proven winner on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with Kirkwood’s two USF2000 victories last year, and you shouldn’t be surprised when the Jupiter, Fla. native is at the pointy end of the grid.

Veterans Nikita Lastochkin (Exclusive Autosport), Moisés de la Vara (DEForce Racing) and Phillippe Denes (Fatboy Racing!) are all within seven points of Kirkwood and can move into the top five in points with a solid weekend.

Indy Lights points headed into the “Month of May”






Parker Thompson



Rasmus Lindh – R




Danial Frost – R




Sting Ray Robb




Kyle Kirkwood – R




Nikia Lastochkin




Moisés de la Vara




Phillippe Denes – R




Antonio Serravalle – R




Jacob Abel – R




Damiano Fioravanti – R




Parker Locke – R




Kory Enders – R




Charles Finelli




Ian Rodriguez will be making his Indy Pro 2000 and Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires debut with RP Motorsport.

The Guatemalan is not new to formula car racing, spending the past three seasons in Europe. The 18-year-old who was part of a one-car team had four podiums in three seasons of the hotly contested Italian F4 Championship.

“I’m really happy to make my debut in this championship with RP Motorsport,” said Rodriguez. “It is a great opportunity for my career, which will take place in a such a prestigious place as Indianapolis: a circuit where all drivers dream of racing at least once in their life, though of course my goal will be to stay focused on driving and learn as much as possible. I’m sure the team will give me great help in this regard, and I can’t wait to start!”

Road To Indy Returnee

Jacob Loomis, who made two Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship starts on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in 2017 returns with Texas-based open-wheel development team JDL Racing. The team includes principal Jim Loomis and former Indy Pro 2000 standout Moses Smith.

Loomis, a 19-year-old college student studying Aviation Technology stood on the podium four times over two seasons of F4 United States Championship Powered By Honda competition.

Jacob Loomis heads out on track during his Road To Indy debut in a USF2000 race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2017 (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

“This represents a major step forward in my career and toward my dream of winning an Indy 500,” said Loomis. “We are eager to put our small-town team’s effort to the test and are ready to show that a lofty budget and a lavish team aren’t always necessary to take that next step in climbing the Road to Indy ladder. I love racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, enjoying success at the F4 level, and am hoping to continue the streak.”


Keeping busy and winning races the Indy Pro 2000 edition

With the long break between Indy Pro 2000 events, the Abel Motorsports duo of Parker Thompson and Jacob Abel have kept busy.

Abel Motorsports with driver Kyle Kirkwood ware the defending F3 Americas Championship Powered By Honda champions and after five of sixteen races hold down the top spot with Abel.

Abel finished third and fourth in the opening pair of races at Barber Motorsports Park in support of the NTT IndyCar Series before winning twice and finishing on the podium once at Road Atlanta. The 18-year-old holds a one-point advantage headed to the third round of the competition.

“Getting those wins has given me a lot of confidence going into Indy,” said Abel. “It’s going to be a busy month of May for us with the Grand Prix weekend and then my oval debut at Lucas Oil Raceway on the 500 weekend. I can’t wait to get going!”

Abel’s teammate and Indy Pro 2000 points leader Thompson is contesting Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA series with JDX Racing. The single-make series began the season at Barber Motorsports Park with the NTT IndyCar Series in April where Thompson turned his first laps in a race car with a roof, before moving to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course last weekend.

Thompson began the season with a pair of second place finishes in the season-opening couple of races in Alabama. His third second-place finish followed a dominant victory in treacherous conditions Saturday in Ohio. That leaves the Canadian in second place, ten points behind countryman Roman DeAngelis headed into the next round at home in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Exclusive Autosport’s Nikita Lastochkin took part in a different kind of race. The Russian ticked off a bucket list item by completing the Los Angeles Marathon in March.



Other Notes

  • Abel Motorsports sophomore Parker Thompson is the only past winner the field this year.
  • Indy Lights rookie Oliver Askew, who also holds the USF2000 qualifying record on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course, set the qualifying track record last year with a lap of 79.3319 seconds.
  • Parker Thompson with a lap of 81.0338 seconds currently holds the race track record.
  • Only two of the eleven previous Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires race winners on the IMS have gone on to win the coveted advancement scholarship. Santi Urrutia won once in 2015, and Victor Franzoni won twice in 2017.
  • All 11 races have finished under green flag conditions.
  • The most significant margin of victory occurred in 2017 race #2 when Victor Franzoni obliterated the field, finishing 13.0798 seconds ahead of TJ Fisher.
  • Only three of the 11 races have had a margin of victory of less than one second, including the closest finish — Harrison Scott’s slim 0.3834-second margin over Oliver Askew in race #1 last year.
  • The first four Indy Pro 2000 races on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course had a first lap caution. There was then a six-race span with no first lap cautions, until a first lap caution in the second race in 2018.

Race Weekend Basics

  • Each entry can utilize three new sets of Cooper Tire slicks as well as one set of used/scuffed tires from the test at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
  • Race name: Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix of Indianapolis Presented by Cooper Tires
  • Race #1 length: 25 laps or 40 minutes
  • Race #2 length: 25 laps or 50 minutes
  • Drivers failing to slow at least 15% in a timing sector with a local yellow will be subject to a two-place grid spot penalty.
  • Drivers who fail to heed the checkered flag at the end of a session will receive a two-grid spot penalty.
  • Causing one red flag will result in a driver losing their fastest lap.
  • Causing a second red flag will wipe out all of drivers laps, and be parked for the remainder of the session.
  • Crossing the white line between Turn 6 and Turn 7 is considered out of bounds. Crossing behind the Turn 7 curbs in qualifying will result in the loss of that lap.
  • Pit lane speed is 45mph.
  • At pit exit, all cars shall exit behind the Turn 1 curb and keep all four wheels to the right of the white line.
  • Driver points are distributed as follows: 30 – 25 – 22 – 19 – 17 – 15 -14 – 13 – 12 – 11 – 10 – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 – an additional one point will be awarded to the pole sitter, to the driver who leads the most laps, and to the driver who turns the quickest race lap.

Watch the 2018 Races

Race #1

Race #2



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