By Steve Wittich
With fields expected in the upper teens, the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires championship will have its fullest fields in over a decade.
With four months remaining in the series ‘silly season,’ TSO Ladder counts eight teams and 16 drivers as expected, and five more cars as probable or possible.
The number includes four new teams – Abel Motorsports, Force Indy, Exclusive Autosport, and TJ Speed Motorsports.
Andretti Autosport had four cars at the recent Chris Griffis Memorial Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Matthew Brabham, Hunter McElrea, Christian Rasmussen, and Sting Ray Robb. Robb is already confirmed, and official announcements of the rest of the team’s pilots will come soon.
HMD Motorsports / Global Racing Group had five cars at the Chris Griffis Memorial Test, with one of those cars operated for Force Indy and driver Ernie Francis, Jr.
TSO Ladder understands that Force Indy has purchased an IL-15 of their own and will likely run the seven-time Trans-Am Series champion in 2022.
Global Racing Group and HMD Motorsports, who led this weekend’s test with Benjamin Pedersen, will be a four-car team, with a fifth car in the probable category. Also testing with the team this weekend was Christian Bogle, Danial Frost, and Manuel Sulaiman.
Ricardo Juncos told TSO Ladder that he expects Juncos Hollinger Racing to run a pair of Indy Lights cars alongside his Indy Pro 2000 and NTT INDYCAR SERIES programs. The team tested Rasmus Lindh and Matteo Nannini at the Chris Griffis Memorial Test.
TJ Speed Motorsports, a new Indy Lights team run by a familiar face, entered a single car for the already confirmed Kyffin Simpson at the Chris Griffis Memorial Test. However, team owner Tim Neff, a multi-championship-winning Indy Lights engineer, assured TSO Ladder that the program would be two cars. We also understand that a third car is possible.
Abel Motorsports, who have competed in the USF2000, Formula Regional Americas Championship, and Indy Pro 2000 series with driver Jacob Abel, have purchased a pair of IL-15s. Spearheading the minimum one-car program is team manager John Brunner and engineer Kent Boyer, a pair that have won A LOT of American junior formula races. A second car for the Speedway, Ind.-based team is in the possible category.
Returning to competition for a second season of action will be Pserra Racing/AS Promotions with driver Antonio Serravalle. The team has made it known that a second car is in the possible category.
Last but not least is Exclusive Autosport. In the spring, the Canadian team, who most recently won the Indy Pro 2000 team championship, will be breaking ground on a new shop in Brownsburg, Ind. They were hoping to run one car at the Chris Griffis Memorial Test, but with the global shipping slowdown, they were, unfortunately, missing an essential part to make that happen. An official announcement on the program is imminent, with one car expected and another one possible.