IndyCar becomes sanctioning body, promoter for Indy Lights
Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles today revealed IndyCar will become the sanctioning body and promoter of the Indy Lights series at the end of this season 2021 season.
Also announced was that Cooper Tires will continue as a partner and tire supplier for all three Road to Indy series – Indy Lights, Indy Pro 2000 and USF2000. Andersen Promotions will continue stewardship of the latter two series.
“For many years, Dan Andersen has been integral to the success of Indy Lights,” said Miles. “His leadership since his group took over promotion in 2014 was crucial.
“However, with the Penske acquisition of IndyCar, we have an opportunity to bring the series in-house, which we think can provide greater opportunity for the growth of the top level of the ladder series.”
Over its 35-year history, Indy Lights has produced five drivers who between them have amassed 11 Indy car titles between them – Paul Tracy, Cristiano da Matta, Tony Kanaan, Scott Dixon and Josef Newgarden. Currently, 20 drivers in the NTT IndyCar Series are Indy Lights graduates, including 2021 race winners Colton Herta, Pato O’Ward and Rinus VeeKay.
“It has been our pleasure and honor to oversee the promotion and organization of Indy Lights for these past eight seasons,” Andersen said. “We are proud of the results demonstrated by the quick success of our many recent graduates. The Road to Indy works as a training program, and we will continue to develop young drivers and move them up to Indy Lights and, ultimately, the NTT IndyCar Series.”
Indy Lights teams have not only groomed drivers for IndyCar but also crew members. Juncos Hollinger Racing, Carlin and Andretti Autosport are all IndyCar teams that currently have squads in Indy Lights.
“It is about strengthening the pipeline to the NTT IndyCar Series,” Miles said. “We want to grow Indy Lights into an even stronger link and final step for drivers, teams and sponsor partners leading to the most audacious and competitive open-wheel series on the planet.”
The 2022 Indy Lights schedule and remaining details will be released at a later date.
Indy Lights Laguna Seca: Kirkwood dominates again for ninth win
Vital weekend for Indy Lights’ new IndyCar aces-in-waiting