The USF2000 rookie of the year makes the jump to the top rung of the Road to Indy ladder
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (September 7 2022) – Cape Motorsports has signed the first of two drivers for its 2023 Indy Lights program, as Jagger Jones graduates up the Road to Indy ladder with the team from its championship-winning Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship effort.
“We’re happy to head back to Indy Lights with Jagger,” said brothers Dominic and Nicholas Cape. “He’s fast, and he’s shown what a solid driver he is with his performance in USF2000 this year. He learned the tracks and the car so quickly and we don’t expect next year to be any different. Continuity is so important for our team, and bringing Jagger along makes much of this quite seamless – he gets along with the entire team and fits in so well. We’re ready to get started on 2023.”
Jones, 20, captured USF2000 rookie of the year honors with a victory at Barber Motorsports Park, three pole positions, and five podium finishes. The Arizona native, currently a dean’s list student at High Point University in North Carolina, eagerly anticipates the challenge as he aims toward his ultimate goal: the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.
“I’m super happy to continue progressing in my Road to Indy career,” said Jones. “This is a great opportunity to move up to Indy Lights with Cape Motorsports. I’ve had such a good year learning from everyone on the USF2000 team, so once Cape announced they were moving to Indy Lights, I knew it was my chance to continue my development with them. Dominic and Nicholas are completely committed to winning at every level. It will be a new challenge for me and for Cape, but I know with our dedication, we’ll be fighting for podiums and wins next year. I can’t thank all those who have made this happen enough – TotalSim US, Apex Motor Club, Simcraft, and so many others for trusting me.”
On paper, it would seem like a big jump from the 175 hp Tatuus US-22 to the 450 hp Dallara IL-15 – but the grandson of Indianapolis 500 legend Parnelli Jones is a quick study, having spent several years racing 650 hp stock cars and late model cars, finishing second in the 2019 NASCAR Menards Series West. Jones adapted quickly to open-wheel cars, setting the quickest time at last year’s Road to Indy Chris Griffis Memorial Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and earning a victory in his fourth start. Jagger and his management advisor Mike Hull believe that the time is right for him to move into Indy Lights.
“I think everyone’s path is different,” said Jones. “I started open wheel a little later in my racing career. I’ve done a great deal of stock car racing, with really big horsepower so while that is quite different from driving the Indy Lights car, I have experience driving other cars. Yes, it is a big jump, but I’m ready for the challenge and I have the background to help me learn quickly.”
Cape Motorsports first contested Indy Lights in 2007, 2008 and 2010. In 2007 and 2008, the Cape brothers managed the RLR Andersen Racing team (a partnership between Dan Andersen and Rahal Letterman Racing) with a driver lineup that included future series champion JR Hildebrand, with whom they had captured the USF2000 title in 2006. The 2010 effort was formed in partnership with Wayne Taylor Racing, with Gustavo Yacamán behind the wheel.
The team expects to take delivery of the first of its pair of Dallara IL-15s later this month, with the announcement of its second driver coming within the next several weeks. Testing is scheduled to commence at Sebring International Raceway in November.
About Cape Motorsports:
Cape Motorsports returns to the Indy Lights series in 2023, having competed in the series in 2007, 2008 and 2010. The winningest operation in Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship history, Cape Motorsports captured 10 of the last 12 USF2000 Driver Championships and 14 titles in total, with drivers such as Matthew Brabham, Petri Suvanto, Scott Hargrove, Florian Latorre, Nico Jamin, Anthony Martin, Oliver Askew, Kyle Kirkwood and Braden Eves.
The goal of Cape Motorsports is to provide unmatched driver development both on and off the track. It is difficult for a young driver to jump into a professional series and win, regardless of talent. Through coaching and mentoring, Cape Motorsports provides young drivers with as much knowledge of motorsports as possible, to help them earn success.