August 10, 2022

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African American-Led Pressure Indy Rises To Indy Lights with Francis

Hovering Star Provides to Diversified Legacy of Rising Crew

Drive Indy has launched its entry for the 2022 Indy Lights Launched by Cooper Tires championship with Ernie Francis Jr. driving the workforce’s No. 99 auto.

Haitian American Francis heads to Stress Indy instantly after 3 wins in his lone 12 months within the Formulation Regional Americas Championship and a 2nd-location full within the inaugural interval of the Famous person Racing Working expertise (SRX), with a earn at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.

Florida native Francis, 24, can be a 7-time course winner within the Trans Am Assortment (2014-2020). His 47 job victories are essentially the most of any driver in Trans Am historic previous. His 24 wins within the main TA group path solely Paul Gentilozzi (31), Mark Donohue (29) and Tommy Kendall (28).

“That is a tremendous choice,” Francis defined. “After buying a taste final 12 months and beginning to perceive what open up-wheel racing is all about, I discovered myself in search of further. Open-wheel vehicles are exceptional to generate. To know that I’ll carry on my coaching with Drive Indy and just one transfer absent from the NTT INDYCAR Assortment makes this unbelievably particular. I can not wait to get begun.”

In December 2020, African American enterprise chief and former racing crew supervisor Rod Reid declared the event of Energy Indy with the intention on using guys and women of shade, together with mechanics, engineers, staffers and motorists. All through its inaugural 12 months within the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, the workforce gained in thrilling vogue at New Jersey Motorsports Park with driver Myles Rowe.

“Being geared up to finish our very first time with a win confirmed what this workforce is able to finishing up,” Reid defined. “We wish to thank Myles, who will usually be a member of the Drive Indy race crew, and can go on to offer help and mentorship as he pursues a further season in USF2000.

“I couldn’t be extra thrilled to endorse our workforce to the Indy Lights Supplied by Cooper Tires championship with Ernie Francis Jr. His do the job ethic and report of excellent outcomes converse for itself.”

Employees Principal Reid’s years of karting and automobile racing experience have established priceless. His NXG Youth Motorsports Inc., has launched greater than 2,300 pupils from much less than-represented communities, ages 11 to fifteen, to the academic features of the game.

Group Penske will keep it up to provide mentorship for Stress Indy, because the initiative additionally falls beneath Penske Leisure Corp.’s “Race for Equality & Change” declared in July 2020. The targets embrace issues like recruiting and creating a assorted workforce all through all phases of INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in the long run creating a neighborhood that essentially transforms the game.

“I used to be pleased to be taught that Ernie can be driving for Drive Indy in 2022,” Roger Penske defined. “As anybody who has a background in Trans Am, I do know the type of skillset that arrives from that collection. Ernie will likely be an exquisite addition to Indy Lights.

“It was inspiring to see the growth of Drive Indy in the middle of their 1st time, and we’ll keep it up to assist their improvement and mission because the group continues on a path to compete within the NTT INDYCAR Assortment.”

Pressure Indy will make its Indy Lights sequence debut Feb. 25-27 on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida. The group will carry on to make use of No. 99 on the automobile in honor of the late Dewey “Rajo Jack” Gatson, who drove a roadster with that choice in the direction of the conclusion of his vocation in 1951. Gatson, 1 of the winningest African American drivers and mechanics in racing report, under no circumstances gained a possibility to race within the Indianapolis 500.

“We stay extremely fortunate to have Crew Penske give its steering and mentorship,” Reid reported. “I’ve been in and across the exercise for 40 a very long time. Drive Indy stays a labor of like, and our plans are unchanged: specializing in range with an eye fixed in the direction of competing within the NTT INDYCAR Sequence and, in honor of Rajo Jack, the Indianapolis 500.”

For additional details, be certain to try the workforce’s web page: www.ForceIndy.com.