The highly anticipated Road to Indy pre-stage presented by Cooper Tires will make its official track debut at an open test at Barber Motorsports on Tuesday, March 22 as part of “Spring Training” for USF Juniors Presented by Cooper Tires .
Sixteen drivers and seven teams are currently set to participate as plans for 2022 continue to unfold for competitors in preparation for the season-opening triple-header at Ozarks International Raceway a month later, April 22-24 .
USF Juniors follows the renowned scholarship-funded format of the Road to Indy — which saw 20 of 33 2021 Indianapolis 500 starters as graduates — and will offer its champion a scholarship of more than $221,000 to advance to the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship in 2023.
The series has made several key announcements over the past few months as it prepares for the start of its inaugural racing season, including a six-event/16-race schedule at the best road courses in North America, services of the AMR safety team, a live streaming platform for all races and a dedicated USF Juniors app as well as the launch of the new Tatuus JR-23 next season.
“We’ve been working a lot on our new USF Juniors program this offseason and I think everyone is just excited to start our first official test at Barber,” said Rob Howden, series development director. “Interest in the program has been strong, with teams having filled their available seats over the past few weeks to the point that some have unfortunately had to turn drivers away.
“There are still places available and we can certainly help coordinate the connection between drivers, parents and team owners. In this sense, I expect to see half a dozen or more announcements additional drivers by our first rounds at Ozarks International Raceway in April.
The USF Juniors “Spring Training” off-track portion will take place today featuring media training with renowned play-by-play announcer/reporter/analyst and NTT IndyCar Series Pit Reporter Kevin Lee; an introduction to the competition by Road to Indy Competition Director Tony Cotman and Series Director Gustavo Yacaman; a sim training presentation by Greg De Giorgis of SimMetric Driver Performance Labs; filming with Road to Indy TV – the broadcast, production and social media arm of USF Juniors and Road to Indy – and studio photography sessions.
With the USF2000 on track on Monday and the 2000 Indy Pro Championship presented by Cooper Tires on track on Monday and Tuesday, more than 49 drivers from all three series will be on hand to prepare for their second rounds of the season at Barber Motorsports Park in support of the NTT IndyCar Series from April 28 to May 1.
DEForce Racing’s Nolan Siegel and Pabst Racing’s Jace Denmark currently top the Indy Pro 2000 and USF2000 points standings respectively after a double-header opening weekend on the streets of St. Petersburg on last month.