Parker Thompson finished first in qualifying this morning and kept the momentum going into today’s Indy Pro 2000 race #2 of the weekend. Parker led from flag to flag for his second victory of the weekend. Parker finished 1.4334 seconds ahead of #28 Kyle Kirkwood of RP Motorsport Racing, while #68 Danial Frost of the Canadian team Exclusive Autosport finished in third place.
Parker Thompson started on the pole for race #1 but was overtaken early by #10 Rasmus Lindh of Juncos Racing. Parker fought hard and finally regained the lead and held on to the win by 1.3238 sec.
Qualifying for Race #2 is Saturday morning at 7:55am with the race starting at 11:25am.
Qualifying for Friday’s race #1 goes today at 5:20pm
RED DEER, AB – The 2019 Road To Indy season kicks off in St. Petersburg, Florida this weekend with Parker Thompson driving for Abel Motorsports in the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires series.
With a decade of experience in open-wheel racing, the Abel Motorsports team is making its first foray into the series. Lead by Bill Abel, the team has demonstrated a high level of professionalism, with the consistency and pace necessary to win championships. Thompson is coming off his rookie season in Indy Pro 2000 where he finished second in the championship race accumulating three wins and six podium finishes.
Thompson joined Abel Motorsports for an official Indy Pro 2000 test in Homestead, Fla. last weekend. This opportunity to work together revealed great chemistry between Thompson and the Abel Motorsports crew, as well as promising pace for the coming season. As a result, Thompson will pilot the No. 8 Indy Pro 2000 Abel Motorsports car alongside talented rookie teammate, Jacob Abel, this weekend at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Team Principal, Bill Abel, is looking forward to the weekend. “We are excited to have Parker on board with us. His experience and professionalism will be a tremendous help in our pursuit of the championship.”
Thompson is appreciative of the opportunity and focused on achieving a great result. “Abel Motorsports is composed of a fantastic group of people. They may be new to Indy Pro, but they’re not new to winning. I’m really looking forward to the chance to work with them at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Our deal is just for St. Pete right now, but the goal is to put Abel Motorsports on top of the box this weekend and turn this into a Championship run.”
I will try to get a few words with Parker this weekend at St Petes.
The middle rung on INDYCAR’s Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires open-wheel driver development ladder will have a new name in 2019.
Andersen Promotions introduced the Indy Pro 2000 Championship presented by Cooper Tires name on Dec. 12.
Fitting in between the entry-level Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship and Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires, the Indy Pro 2000 will continue to build on a strong foundation which was further strengthened this year following the introduction of the state-of-the-art Tatuus PM-18.
Originally debuting as Star Mazda in 1991, then reformed as Pro Mazda in 2013 when Andersen Promotions took over the helm after the previous administration ceased operations, the series has served as a vital training ground for many of today’s open-wheel stars during its 28-year history.
Current IndyCar Series drivers Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe, Spencer Pigot and Graham Rahal all established their credentials in either Star Mazda or Pro Mazda, while recently crowned champion Rinus VeeKay is poised to move up one more step on the ladder when he enters the Indy Lights fray for 2019.
Indy Pro 2000 competitors next season will vie for a champion’s purse valued at $596,700 to progress to Indy Lights and follow in their footsteps, with the aim of graduating to the IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500.
“We are indebted to the tremendous support of Mazda over the past nine years, but now, as the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires legacy continues to grow, we feel the time is right to introduce a new look as we head into a new season,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “The Tatuus USF-17 has been hugely successful from the time it was introduced in USF2000 two years ago, and since the same chassis – along with some considerable enhancements – forms the basis for the PM-18, it makes sense to incorporate this into the name evolution while also strengthening our ties to INDYCAR. We are excited to roll-out the new Indy Pro 2000 branding over the course of the next few months.”
The Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires slate of 16 races at nine venues will kick off March 9/10 on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., where all three levels of the Road to Indy will be in action. The Road to Indy annual Spring Training will take place one week prior on March 2/3 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.