By: Ashley McCubbin
After taking a year hiatus as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, Indy Lights will be back on-track for the 2021 campaign. Thus far, it’s been a mix of ups-and-downs with the news in seeing some faces return while others are departing.
As we get ready to head into the new year, here’s a glance at where things stand right now.
2020 Indy Pro 2000 Champion Sting Ray Robb has earned the right to a full-time ride in Indy Lights, and will do so in sticking with Juncos Racing.
“While winning the championship was really special and when we realized we had secured it at New Jersey, I couldn’t tell if I was more excited to win the championship or the fact that I get to go up to Indy Lights, finally,” he told POPULAR SPEED in November. “So if that tells you anything in how special the Road to Indy is and how much hope it gives drivers if they work their way up and how much of a resource it can be, it’s pretty special.
HMD Motorsports will be fielding a two-car effort, thanks to a partnership with Global Racing Group (GBG).
The GBG branch will feature Benjamin Perdersen, who took part in the Formula Regional Americas Championship Powered by Honda and Formula 3 last season. It is worth noting he claimed a win at Silverstone and three podiums in F3.
The other entry will keep David Malukas involved with the series, following two podiums and six top-five finishes in 2019.
Andretti Autosport will once again have multiple entries, with familiar faces Danial Frost, Kyle Kirkwood, and Robert Megennis all part of the discussion after having previously signed on for 2020. Kirkwood is the only one who enters without experience off the heels of his 2019 Indy Pro 2000 Championship.
The difference maker in their program is Steinbrenner Racing making their return in partnership, after leaving the NTT IndyCar Series following 2020. Devlin DeFrancesco will be behind the wheel, after scoring a runner-up in the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 points with two victories and six podiums.
Carlin Racing has not been part of Indy Lights for the past two years – focusing on IndyCar, but will return for the 2021 campaign. It comes as a partnership with Jay Howard, with the organization serving as the top rung of Jay Howard Driving Development (JHDD). Alex Peroni will be the first driver part of the program after racing in the FIA Formula 3 Championship the past two seasons.
The flip side will be seeing Belardi Auto Racing close up their shop and depart from the series following a success over the past decade.
“I never wanted this day to come, but for several reasons, including my personal health, it is time to close this chapter. Open-wheel racing will always be a part of who I am. It isn’t something you can just let go or forget about, so you can bet I will still be watching every race and following all of the young talent that is coming up the ladder,” said Brian Belardi.
Categories: Road to Indy