It’s a good sign for the entirety of the Mazda Road to Indy that there’s as many confirmed seats as there are between the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
Here’s a quick rundown of who’s signed where thus far:
Juncos Racing – Spencer Pigot, Kyle Kaiser
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – Ethan Ringel, R.C. Enerson
Andretti Autosport – Shelby Blackstock
Carlin Racing – Ed Jones
Belardi Auto Racing – Felix Serralles
Juncos Racing – Jose Gutierrez, Will Owen, Timothe Buret, Garett Grist
Andretti Autosport – Weiron Tan, Dalton Kellett
Cape Motorsports – Daniel Burkett
JDC Motorsports – Kyle Connery
Cape Motorsports – Nico Jamin, Aaron Telitz
JDC Motorsports – Parker Thompson
Things to note from that list, given who’s signed and who isn’t thus far:
- Americans, Americans, Americans. Of the seven drivers confirmed for Indy Lights thus far, five are Americans. Consider there has been usually only one or two full-time Americans in Lights per year over the last three-four years, and that’s great news for the future of IndyCar as it relates to churning out fresh American talent.
- Latorre’s next move TBD. USF2000 champion Florian Latorre has not yet confirmed his team for his move up to Pro Mazda. It figures to be with Cape, as Scott Hargrove did a year ago, but that’s dependent on whether Cape retains either Hargrove or Neil Alberico for another season and confirms the second seat alongside previously announced Burkett.
- Hargrove, Harvey close to deals? Scott Hargrove (8Star Motorsports) and Jack Harvey (Schmidt Peterson) have tested with those respective teams last week. Assuming either or both gets a deal done, they would only add to the caliber of the Lights field for 2015. The driver we’d also like to see with 8Star, if possible, is the team’s PC star driver in 2014, Sean Rayhall.
- Cindric a wild card. Austin Cindric is only 16 but has driven a wide variety of machinery for his young age. He’s tested Pro Mazda, raced two years in USF2000, run a full year in Red Bull GRC Lites, sampled an Australian V8 Supercar, Pirelli World Challenge Ford Mustang Boss 302S, and just recently tested an ARCA car at Daytona. Cindric, as son of Team Penske president Tim, is an important asset to MRTI and is key to keep on the open-wheel ladder. We’ll see where he lands.
All told, exciting times for the MRTI with its current depth in fields – and it’s only December.