Road to Indy Rebrands- Introducing the USF Pro Championships

From Andersen Promotions this morning, a rebranding of the Road to Indy. In my opinion, this is a good move. The release:

PALMETTO, Fla. – Andersen Promotions today unveiled a new moniker for the opening steps of the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires. Moving forward, the collective branding for the world’s most effective driver development program will be known as the USF Pro Championships Presented by Cooper Tires.

USF Juniors Presented by Cooper Tires – formerly a pre-step on the Road to Indy – will now become an official step on the ladder alongside USF2000 Presented by Cooper Tires and USF Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires (formerly Indy Pro 2000).

The USF Pro Championships ladder will remain an acclaimed scholarship-funded path for young drivers pursuing a professional career at the top levels of motorsports.

The decision came as INDYCAR, which assumed operations of Indy Lights in 2022, reassesses its overall branding with dual management of the ladder steps between INDYCAR and Andersen Promotions and, for 2023, different tire partners.

Both USF Pro 2000 and USF2000 will continue with INDYCAR services including INDYCAR Race Control, Timing & Scoring and the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team. USF Juniors will also utilize AMR Safety Team services with Race Control and Timing & Scoring provided by USAC.

“Although we are rebranding the Road to Indy, our goals remain the same – to develop drivers, teams and crew to advance to Indy Lights and ultimately the NTT INDYCAR SERIES,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions.

“With INDYCAR taking over the operation of Indy Lights this year, the Road to Indy designation really doesn’t work moving forward for all steps on the ladder. We are proud of our accomplishments under the Road to Indy banner and intend to further develop the full USF Pro Championships as the only real place for talented young drivers on the open-wheel path.”

Scholarships to advance from USF Juniors into USF2000, USF2000 into USF Pro 2000 and USF Pro 2000 to Indy Lights will remain intact. All 2022 champions – Mac Clark, Michael d’Orlando and Louis Foster – will prepare for their next steps on the ladder in 2023 with Foster being the first to confirm his “new home” with an Andretti Autosport Indy Lights seat.

As the Official Racing School of the USF Pro Championships beginning in 2023, the Skip Barber Racing School will also be a pathway to the ladder system with a $100,000 scholarship to its Formula Race Series champion to advance into USF Juniors.

The 2023 schedules for all three levels of the USF Pro Championships will be announced in the coming days.

Andersen Promotions Announces USAC Sanctioning

PALMETTO, Fla. – Andersen Promotions today announced a new agreement with the United States Auto Club (USAC Racing) to become the sanctioning body for the three racing series owned and operated by the organization – the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship and Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires as well as the new USF Juniors Presented by Cooper Tires.

Both USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000 are key steps on the highly visible Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, a scholarship-supported driver development platform to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and Indianapolis 500. The recently announced USF Juniors is a pre-step to the ladder system offering its champion a scholarship package to enter USF2000.

USAC Racing has enjoyed a storied history since being formed in 1956 as a sanctioning body for the United States National Championship and the Indianapolis 500. While its portfolio is best known in the circle track arena with Silver Crown, Sprint, Midget and .25 Midget sanctioning, it now governs a diverse motorsports platform which also includes the SRO World Challenge, Porsche Sprint Challenge and the SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks.

“Thirty years ago when I first announced the USF2000 series launch in 1991, USAC stepped up and was my first sanctioning body,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “We’ve come full circle and I am very pleased to be back with them and look forward to a long-term relationship. USAC Racing is widely recognized for its operation of Midgets, Sprint cars and Silver Crown cars but they are also becoming increasingly prominent in road racing with Porsche and SRO. This is a great sanctioning body and we are proud to be with them.

“I would also like to thank INDYCAR, which has sanctioned the Road to Indy since its inception in 2010. INDYCAR’s focus is, understandably, on series it owns and operates. We’ll continue to use their services on race weekends and look forward to our ongoing relationship as a support series where our drivers continue along their path toward the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.”

USAC Racing sanctioning services will include licensing and membership management, which will result in cost savings for teams and drivers. Andersen Promotions will continue to contract the services of INDYCAR for Race Control, Timing & Scoring and the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team with all events on its 2022 calendar for USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000 in support of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.

The Road to Indy will be back in action later this month with its traditional Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on October 30/31. The outing will feature all three levels of the ladder including Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, which is owned by INDYCAR and will continue to operate under its sanction.


Bulletin: Mazda Ends Partnership with Andersen Promotions and Road to Indy

Just announced: Mazda has ended its nine year association with Andersen Promotions, promoter of the Road to Indy which sanctions USF2000, Pro Mazda, and Indy Lights.

A statement from John Doonan, Director of Mazda Motorsports, said it was time for Mazda to focus its “resources on other areas of our motorsports footprint.” Mazda will continue its association with Andersen Promotions through the Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup series.

Dan Andersen thanked Mazda for their participation and said his company is committed to maintaining the ladder structure currently in place.

” We are currently in discussions with several potential companies as we actively pursue a new partner.”

I have no doubt Dan Andersen can find a new partner. I have no idea which companies he is talking with. I doubt if Honda or Chevy are involved. Could it be someone who is also interested in being a third OEM for Indycar? Possibly but not likely. A manufacturer involved in both series would give the appearance of having an advantage with the information gained in the Road to Indy program.

Mazda has been a great partner. I hope the next engine partner will further the program and help strengthen Indy Lights.

I will have more as this story develops.