2020 Indy Lights Silly Season Synopsis (Update No. 4)
Everything is coming together, slowly but surely, for the 2020 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires campaign as a new face joins the Indy Lights ranks, while another driver returns.
Here is where things stand as of this point ahead of the 2020 campaign.
HMD MOTORSPORTS: – After scoring a pair of podiums in Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires competition in 2019, David Malukas will return to the series next season with HMD Motorsports. The Chicago, Illinois native recently spoke with POPULAR OPEN WHEEL about his thoughts on this past year and more.
He will be joined by Santiago Urrutia, who returns for his fourth campaign following eight wins, and a pair of points runner-ups
They are expected to field three cars with having that many in their current fleet, but have yet to announce a third competitor. Rasmus Lindh and Antonio Serravalle partaked in the Sebring test; Lindh scored a runner-up in Indy Pro 2000 presented by Cooper Tires competition last season, with Serravalle placing 10th following a limited schedule. Notably, Toby Sowery drove their second car in 2019.
ANDRETTI AUTORSPORT – Robert Megennis is set to return for his second campaign in the series, after ranking fifth in his rookie campaign, and partaking in the recent Sebring test. Being able to watch his teammate Askew win the championship and move up to IndyCar in 2020 certainly has boosted his confidence.
He knows two of his teammates as it was initially revealed that Indy Pro 2000 Champion Kyle Kirkwood will run his first full Indy Lights series season with Andretti. He did partake in the test at Sebring with them prior to the announcement. Then they revealed in February that Danial Frost will drive the No. 68 entry following experience in the lower Road to Indy division by placing fifth in the standings.
With J.F. Thorman telling TSO Ladder that they will have four entries on the grid – boasting one more than they had in 2019, that means that there should another confirmation to come. Notably, Ryan Norman did not partake in the Sebring test as placing fourth in the year-end standings. Instead, Kirkwood, Frost and Megennis were joined by Tristan Charpentier, who is taking his first dive into the ladder system following British F3 experience.
EXCLUSIVE AUTOSPORT – After success in the lower-tiers on the Road to Indy, the team will make the jump up to Indy Lights competition. Following the test at Sebring, they confirmed that Nikita Lastochkin will be behind the wheel after placing sixth in the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 standings. There is also discussions of a possible second, and third entry for 2020, with Frost taking part in a private test for Exclusive at Palm Beach International Raceway.
JUNCOS RACING – The team fielded a pair of entries last season with Rinus Veekay and Dalton Kellett, but neither appear to be returning in 2020. Veekay moves up to IndyCar with Ed Carpenter Racing, while Kellett remains focused on finding a seat at the higher level. There has been no leads towards possible competitors and they were not in attendance at Sebring.
BELARDI AUTO RACING – The team fielded a pair of entries through the schedule, along with a third on a part-time basis. Lucas Kohl and Aaron Telitz, who ran the back-end of 2019, have yet to announce plans for 2020. Alternatively, it was Flinn Lazier behind the wheel at the Sebring test; he has raced in Formula Vee, Formula Enterprise, Formula Atlantic, Formula 4, and Cooper Tires USF2000 competition.
JAY HOWARD DEVELOPMENT – Although in attendance at the Indy Lights test, the team has not announced any intentions to enter any events for the 2020 campaign. Instead, it was about giving Christian Bogle more seat time and experience as they widen their horizons for the new year. The American will compete in USF2000 and the F4 US Championship full-time.
CARLIN RACING – They are not expected to return, given that their tubs were purchased by Exclusive Autosport and Jay Howard Driver Development.
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