By Steve Wittich

For the second time in four days, Andersen Promotions and the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires (RTI) have announced a partnership aimed at bolstering the top level open wheel development ladder in North America.

The Lucas Oil School of Racing has entered a long-term partnership with Andersen Promotions to become the Official Driving School of the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires.

The Lucas Oil School of Racing and it’s companion, the Lucas Oil Formula Car Race Series, have quickly become the must-attend racing school for young drivers looking to pursue a career as a professional race car driver. The car is a derivative of multi-championship winning Ray Formula Ford/F1600 chassis with a 2.0-liter powerplant that is made by Elite Engines, the same engine builder as USF2000. The hi-tech car features a Sadev five-speed sequential gearbox with paddle shift, an AIM data acquisition system and Cooper Tires, making the jump to a USF2000 that much easier.

“We receive a lot of requests from drivers, particularly in karting, asking how to get started on the Road to Indy and we always direct them to the Lucas School of Racing, so to welcome them as our Official Driving School makes perfect sense. With their scholarship programs, they have a driver development program in place and are a true feeder series to the Road to Indy as witnessed by Reece joining our series this year. Our new alignment will allow us to further expand that message in marketing, live streaming, social media, websites, and beyond.”

“Our partnership is a natural progression of the relationships we already have in place with Neil and his family, Gerardo Bonilla, Director of Operations and former Road to Indy series driver coach, Cooper Tires and Elite Engines,” said Dan Andersen, Owner, and CEO of Andersen Promotions.

Current USF2000 drivers, Darren Keane, Manuel Cabrera, and reigning Lucas Oil Formula Car School champion Reece Gold are all graduates of the school and race series.

Reece Gold on track in a USF2000 race at Road America (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

The winner of the six-event, 18 race, arrive-and-drive Lucas Oil Formula Car Race Series will take home a $75,000 scholarship to utilize in USF2000. Also, drivers in the series will be allowed to attend Road To Indy events; learning more about the next step in career advancement while being embedded with USF2000 teams.

The CEO of the Lucas School of Racing is Neil Enerson, a Road To Indy team owner and father of RTI graduate and NTT IndyCar Series RC Enerson.

“A partnership between The Lucas Oil School of Racing and Andersen Promotions is a no-brainer,” said Neil Enerson, Lucas Oil School of Racing Founder and CEO. “It’s an honor to be named the Official Driving School of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires and we look forward to cultivating the next crop of Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship drivers.

“As the dad to a successful graduate of the Road To Indy and team owner, I’m in a unique position to understand what it takes to move from karting to a professional race car driver at the top tier. My staff of passionate racers at the Lucas Oil Formula Car Race Series have pooled years of experience to create a race series that will teach drivers what is expected of them – both on and off the track – at the next level of their racing careers.”

The Lucas Oil School of Racing and the Lucas Oil Formula Car Race Series will travel next to New Jersey Motorsports Park for basic and advanced classes on July 9/10 and the next championship rounds on July 16/17. The series is currently led by 16-year-old Jackson Lee of Avon, Ind.

The Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires will be back in action north of the border in Toronto, Ont., Canada on July 13/14