2020 Indy Pro 2000 Season Preview
By Christopher DeHarde
The Indy Pro 2000 Championship presented by Cooper Tires will award a nearly $600,000 scholarship to the champion of the middle rung of the Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires and there will be a variety of challengers for the crown as the Road to Indy celebrates its 10th anniversary.
Exclusive Autosport are running one car in Indy Pro 2000 this year with last year’s USF2000 champion Braden Eves driving the No. 1 Tatuus PM-18. The Ohio native won six races last year and will look to follow Kyle Kirkwood’s footsteps of winning the USF2000 title and then the Indy Pro 2000 title the following year.
Hunter McElrea finished second to Eves last year in USF2000 but will try to beat him in 2020 as part of Pabst Racing’s lineup. Augie Pabst’s team is finally expanding to Indy Pro 2000 after two years of trying to find the right situation to compete. Colin Kaminsky completes Pabst Racing’s lineup after three seasons in USF2000.
Turn 3 Motorsport is returning to Indy Pro 2000, the Peter Dempsey-led team returning with Canadian driver Antoine Comeau behind the wheel. Comeau competed in the final seven Indy Pro 2000 races in 2019 for the team. The team have a second car at the Homestead preseason test, but it is uncertain if that seat will be filled for St. Petersburg.
DEForce Racing has four cars entered in the 2020 championship. The Texas squad has returning drivers Moises de la Vara and Kory Enders teaming up with Manuel Sulaiman, jumping up from the DEForce USF2000 squad. The fourth car will have Road to Indy veteran Parker Thompson behind the wheel. The Red Deer, Alberta native has finished second or third in the standings in the last four years he has competed on the Road to Indy.
Juncos Racing has three cars at Spring Training at Homestead, with Artem Petrov and Sting Ray Robb both confirmed to race in 2020. Nate Aranda will also be behind the wheel for Juncos Racing at the Homestead test. Aranda had competed in the Lucas Oil Formula Car Series as a part of the Lucas Oil School of Racing before racing in the 2019 USF2000 season opener.
RP Motorsport USA won last year’s Indy Pro 2000 championship with Kirkwood and are hoping to repeat in 2020. The team has announced that Lucas Petersson will drive for the team after having competed in the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand before racing for Carlin in British F3. Phillippe Denes will pilot the other RP Motorsport USA PM-18 at the Homestead Spring Training test, but it is uncertain if he will race at St. Petersburg.
Team Benik are back in the Road to Indy, as the karting juggernaut will feature Sabré Cook behind the wheel of their entry for the majority of the 2020 season when it does not conflict with her W Series commitments. No driver has been announced for the races where Cook will not be in the car.
As always, Fatboy Racing! will be back with Charles Finelli driving the No. 83 Surgere/Hagerty entry. The self-described “Gentlemen Racers of Distinction” aim to do one thing: have fun in motorsports, and nobody tops them in that department.
Indy Pro 2000 will feature 18 races in 2020. Lucas Oil Raceway in May and World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway in August will be the two ovals on the schedule while the series will have doubleheader weekends at St. Petersburg, Circuit of the Americas, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Road America, Toronto, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Portland and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. As is the case in the rest of the Road to Indy, oval races will pay one and a half times the normal points payout.
The 2020 Indy Pro 2000 season will start on the streets of St. Petersburg with race one at 1:25 p.m. ET on Friday March 13th. The second race will be at 11:45 a.m. ET on Saturday March 14th.