Michael Andretti’s ever-expanding empire that includes Andretti Autosport and Andretti Sports Marketing has long had a history in the Mazda Road to Indy – at one point, Andretti fielded a team in all three of Indy Lights, Pro Mazda, and USF2000.
While the USF2000 program went away for 2014, the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires programs continued.
Despite some rumors that one or the other may be going away for 2015, Andretti is expected to continue with both.
In an interview with MotorSportsTalk from the Alabama-LSU game, where Andretti is promoting the new Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana this weekend, he said to expect both programs to be back in 2015.
“We’re getting close. Two Mazdas and working on two Indy Lights,” Andretti told MST. “I’m happy to report that, because I think we’ll be back in. There was a time we couldn’t say that.”
Andretti has a deep farm system, with Matthew Brabham and Zach Veach having run in Lights this past season, and Garett Grist and Shelby Blackstock in Pro Mazda.
Andretti has also tested Neil Alberico and Dalton Kellett in the team’s two Pro Mazda cars this offseason.
At Milwaukee earlier this year, Andretti said he was unsure if he and the team could commit to the new Dallara IL15 chassis citing costs.
But an Andretti return for 2015 would be huge news for the series, as it would ensure another two cars on the grid from the current field and keep a championship-winning operation in the field, to add legitimacy to what’s already set to be an increased grid.
Stay tuned for more next week from our conversation with Andretti related to some of his and the company’s other programs.