Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

USF2000: Road to Indy Signings (Pre-2012)

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted January 2, 2012 at 10:28 am Indy Lights, Signing, Star Mazda, U.S. F2000 National Championship

STORM BREWING: USF2000 drivers test at Iowa Speedway in 2010. The event marked the first time the entire 'Road to Indy' development ladder raced together at one venue.
(Photo: Ryan - JuniorOpenWheelTalent.com)

Are you looking to keep track of who’s racing with whom in the Mazda Road to Indy development ladder?  Well, you’re in luck.

Make the jump to read about each of the USF2000 National Championship drivers who committed early for the 2012 season.

The following is an update of early signings for the 2012 junior formula open-wheel racing season. All have been previously documented on JuniorOpenWheelTalent.com’s Twitter account. So, if you want to make sure you’re getting the latest open-wheel news; follow here. For the complete update, read on…

Part 1 of 3 Road to Indy signing updates.

USF2000 signings (Pre-2012)

Ardie Greenamyer – Accelerace Motorsports

  • Greenamyer, team owner of Accelerace Motorsports, has confirmed his entry in the USF2000 National Championship and hopes to field an additional three cars in 2012.

Thomas McGregor – Andretti Autosport

  • McGregor was one of the first to secure a ride for 2012, inking a deal with Andretti Autosport just prior to the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy test at IMS. McGregor has a decent amount of experience after developing his craft in Skip Barber and later traveling to Europe for the Formula Ford Festival. Last season, the Canadian won the opening Skip Barber National race at Sebring and later became the Series’ first repeat-winner of the season at Virginia International Raceway.
Scott Anderson – Belardi Auto Racing
  • Anderson showed great development last season, winning the 2011 Skip Barber National championship with six wins, four pole positions, and 11 podiums. If he’s able to take the same steps he did last season, he should finish inside the top three in 2012. A championship is certainly not out of the question if he continues to adapt and develop his skills at such an expedited rate. At 22 years-old, he needs to top the field in order to improve his chances of climbing the Road to Indy ladder.
Luca Forgeois – Belardi Auto Racing
  • Forgeois, the 2011 USF2000 National-class Champ, will make the jump to the championship division in 2012. The 16-year-old did a nice job improving in 2011 and I fully expect to see much of the same in 2012, especially with a solid group of teammates at BAR. While he didn’t face much opposition in the National class, his season tally concluded with six wins and 10 podium finishes.
Roman Lagudi – Belardi Auto Racing
  • Lagudi, 17, went through the typical steep learning curve that all rookie drivers experience at one time or another in their racing career. But, unlike all rookies, Lagudi showed improvement throughout the year. He was adapting. His results failed to really stand out until late in the season. At Baltimore, the young Australian earned his first top-five during the first race of the doubleheader. In his second race, he finished third. A podium. Then, at the Chris Griffis Memorial RTI test, Lagudi clocked the third quickest time overall and best among those testing with Belardi. While Roman has flown under the radar, he could be a dark horse in 2012.

Colin Thompson – Belardi Auto Racing

  • Thompson has a diverse CV, but not a ton of experience. With a full-season lined up for 2012, this could be a break-out year for the up-and-coming driver. Last season, Thompson was a candidate for the prestigious Team USA Scholarship following his performances in the VW Jetta TDI Cup and the F1600 Formula F Championship Series (via a family-owned team). In F1600, he made the podium three times (all 3rds) but his speed and race craft made him stand out. At Lime Rock Park, Thompson drove from last place to third. He will be fun to watch in ’12.
Matthew Brabham – Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing
  • Matthew Brabham, son of Geoff Brabham and grandson of Sir Jack Brabham, will make his USF2000 debut in 2012 after spending the last two years in the Australian Formula Ford Championship. In 2011, Brabham earned two wins at Winton and two runner-up finishes at Queensland en route to ninth overall in the championship. By all reports, his test with Cape went well and the squad holds high expectations for him this coming season.

Trent Hindman – Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing

  • Hindman had an exceptionally busy 2011 season. The seat time and experience should prove beneficial in his ’12 campaign. The 16-year-old Team USA Scholarship recipient won the Ontario Formula Ford Championship with nine wins and finished runner-up in the 2011 Skip Barber National Championship, capturing three wins and nine podiums. In addition, he added USF2000 experience in last season’s Winterfest where he secured three podium finishes. He will be a front runner in 2012.

Spencer Pigot – Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing

  • Pigot has established himself as one of the best drivers in junior formula racing. He won the 2010 Skip Barber National Championship, traveled to Europe as a recipient of the prestigious Team USA Scholarship, and, in 2011, finished runner-up in both the USF2000 Winterfest and National Championship (3 wins, 8 podiums). This fall, he set the pace at the Chris Griffis Memorial Road to Indy test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (w/Andretti Autosport). He is certainly one of the favorites for the USF2000 title in ’12.

Jason Wolfe – JAY MotorSports

  • Wolfe, 16, will make his debut in the USF2000 National Championship this spring after developing his craft in Formula E competition with JAY MotorSports. In 2011, Wolfe finished runner-up in the 2011 SCCA National Championship Runoffs and later capped off  the season with a third-place in the SCCA Pro Formula Enterprises championship earning two pole positions and four podium finishes. This will be a learning year for Wolfe, but watch for his results to improve quickly.

Scott Hargrove – JDC MotorSports

  • Hargrove has quickly established himself as a driver to watch. Strong karting performances earned him the opportunity to compete at the Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shootout where he won a funded half-season in regional competition. The young Canadian was named Skip Barber Summer Series Rookie of the Year after winning four races. He was impressive in early USF2000 testing with JDC at Blackhawk Farms Raceway this fall and set the second-quickest lap at the Chris Griffis Memorial Road to Indy test at IMS. Hargrove is a solid find for the Minnesota-based team. Watch for good results in ’12.
Zac Silver – JDC MotorSports
  • Silver is a driver who has truly flown under the radar, but could make a splash in 2011. The Illinois native has a good karting background and has done well in Skip Barber regional competition. Last season he made the jump to Formula Mazda, finishing fifth in the SCCA June Sprints and winning his first Formula Car Challenge race (in the rain) at Blackhawk Farms Raceway. Watch for steady improvement as he adapts to the USF2000 car.
Matthew Di Leo – MDL Racing
  • Di Leo will look to bring some additional experience to the grid this season after competing in both the 2011 USF2000 Winterfest and National Championship. The young Canadian sustained serious injury while karting at the SKUSA SuperNationals this fall in Las Vegas. By all reports, however, his recovery is going well. He completed last season with three top-five finishes, including a podium at Baltimore for Brian Stewart Racing. This season he will be running under the family-owned squad MDL Racing.
Dalton Kellett – Pabst Racing Services
  • Kellett was the final USF2000 signing of 2011, announcing his 2012 plans on Christmas Eve. The young Canadian is a good find for Pabst Racing. Kellett graduated from karts to cars last season via the Ontario Formula Ford Championship. After missing several early rounds, he concluded the season with seven podiums to claim third-place in the championship. The team plans to announce another championship driver for 2012, which should help Kellett’s results.
JR Smart – Pabst Racing Services
  • Smart will be back for his third season of USF2000 competition (National Class). He has finished runner-up the last two seasons. In 2011, he won at Road America.

For up-to-date news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.

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2 Comments

  1. Doug on January 5, 2012 12:43 pm

    I think USF2000 is showing signs of being the healthiest of the three rungs of the MRTI ladder. Star Mazda will have an improved grid this year as well, but USF2000 is BOOMING! I’m getting really excited about their 2012 season.

  2. Ryan on January 5, 2012 7:38 pm

    Indeed. Should be a really competitive season.

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