Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000 Series to Race on the Streets of Toronto
All three levels of the highly effective Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires open-wheel development ladder will venture north of the border this week for their annual visit to the streets surrounding Exhibition Place – just minutes away from downtown Toronto – in support of the Verizon IndyCar Series. The 1.786-mile, 11-turn temporary circuit always provides a stiff challenge for the drivers with its omnipresent concrete walls ready to punish any mistakes.
Two races each will be held for Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. All three series are now reaching into the crucial second half of the season with more than $3.5 million on offer in scholarships and awards to assist drivers in their progression from the grassroots of the sport to IndyCar.
Who Can Challenge Kirkwood in USF2000?
A strong field of youngsters will line up for the eighth and ninth rounds of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, all of them with one goal in mind – to end the dominance of Kyle Kirkwood, who has won five of the seven races, including the last four in a row.
Kirkwood, 19, from Jupiter, Fla., has picked up exactly where his friend (and karting rival) since early childhood, Oliver Askew, left off last year, and is intent upon delivering an astonishing eighth consecutive USF2000 championship for the Florida-based Cape Motorsports team.
Nevertheless, the list of talented rivals is extensive. Eight other drivers have shared the victory podium with Kirkwood this year, including recently turned 16-year-old Kaylen Frederick, from Potomac, Md., who has finished second in each of the three most recent races for Pabst Racing. Frederick also notched up five podium finishes during an impressive rookie campaign in 2017. His first win surely must be near.
Swedish rookie Rasmus Lindh and a pair of veterans, Calvin Ming, from Georgetown, Guyana, and Lucas Kohl, from Santa Cruz do Sul, Brazil, also will fly the flag for Pabst Racing. The quartet’s efforts so far mean that Pabst Racing is currently tied on points with Cape Motorsports for the Team Championship at the halfway point in the season.
Other potential front-runners will include Japanese-born Brazilian Igor Fraga, who drives for the Canadian Exclusive Autosport team alongside Singapore native Danial Frost, a proven race winner in the South East Asian Formula 4 series who made his North American debut recently at Road America; the DEForce trio of Jose Sierra, from Mexico, Kory Enders, from Sugarland, Texas, and Colin Kaminsky, from Homer Glen, Ill., all of whom have notched top-five finishes this year; South African F1600 champion Julian Van der Watt, who has shown good speed but so far encountered all manner of misfortunes with Team Pelfrey; Darren Keane, from Parkland, Fla., who also is due a slice of good fortune for Newman-Wachs Racing; Ireland’s Keith Donegan, who claimed a breakthrough podium finish for BN Racing at Road America; and Dakota Dickerson, from San Diego, who has rejoined the USF2000 fray with ArmsUp Motorsports after garnering several wins in F4 this year.
The Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix of Toronto Presented by Allied Building Products contenders will take to the track for the first time for a 25-minute practice session at 8:40 a.m. on Friday, July 13, followed by a pair of 20-minute qualifying periods at 12:55 p.m. and then the following morning at 8:00 a.m. Race One will commence at 11:45 a.m. on Saturday, with Race Two set for Sunday at 9:45 a.m. All times are EDT.
Coverage of on-track action in all three series can be found on a series of platforms including Road to Indy TV, the Road to Indy TV App and dedicated broadcast channels on demand via Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku and, most recently, the Xbox One Official App as well as live streaming and live timing on the series’ respective websites and indycar.com. Indy Lights is also featured on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts on Sirius 214, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app.