By: Tanner Watkins
November 30, 2018 | 1:14 PM
Next week the Road to Indy will be back on track with two full days of testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Preparations are already underway for the 2019 season which will see the Road to Indy ladder program pay out over $2 million in scholarships across three series.
The entry list released today by the Road to Indy includes 22 drivers from 10 different teams taking part in the event. From that list, 15 drivers will be driving cars as rookies in preparation for 2019 debuts across different series.
One driver headlining the entry list that will not be a rookie is Zachary Claman DeMelo. The Canadian driver will put a Belardi Auto Racing IL-15 through its paces next week after making nine starts with Dale Coyne Racing in the IndyCar Series last season.
Joining Claman DeMelo in the Lights paddock next week will be 2018 Pro Mazda champion Rinus VeeKay driving for Juncos Racing, a pair of Andretti Autosport drivers in Julien Falchero and Ryan Norman, as well as BN Racing’s David Malukas.
Six drivers will take part in Pro Mazda testing on December 3rd and 4th with four different countries being represented. One driver of note is Kyle Kirkwood, the Jupiter, Florida native who absolutely dominated the USF2000 ranks in 2018.
Kirkwood, 20, won 12 of the 14 USF2000 events he entered this past season en route to a landslide championship victory with Cape Motorsports. The talented young driver will test with Abel Motorsports and their Pro Mazda outfit alongside Jacob Abel in a two-car program.
Other drivers piloting Pro Mazda machines next week include the recently announced pairing of Nikita Lastochkin and Exclusive Autosport, Parker Locke with Exclusive Autosport, Antonio Serravalle with Jay Howard Driver Development, and Rasmus Lindh driving for Pabst Racing.
Of the six drivers mentioned, Serravalle and Lastochkin are the only two with previous Pro Mazda experience.
The largest list of drivers participating in the South Florida test comes by way of the USF2000 series. A total of 11 racers across five teams will test the Formula 2000 cars with the group being led by returning drivers Alex Baron, Julian Van der Watt, Colin Kaminsky and Kyle Dupell.
Cape Motorsports is bringing a quartet of drivers to test three USF2000 machines. This group includes Van der Watt plus rookies Cameron Shields, Braden Eves and Nikko Reger. Three drivers will come by way of the Pabst Racing stable with Kaminsky, Yuven Sundaramoorthy and Hunter McElrea taking part in the test.
McElrea will be taking part in the December 3rd and 4th test as a warm-up for the Road to Indy $200,000 Scholarship Shootout. The Gold Coast native will be competing as part of a 20-driver invite-only event with the winner being granted a full season scholarship to next year’s USF2000 championship.
Five different countries will be represented in the group of 11 drivers testing USF2000 cars next week.
Drivers in each of the three series will have three 40-minute sessions on each of the two scheduled test days. All testing will be performed on the Homestead-Miami Speedway road course with no testing on the oval.
Live timing and scoring for all sessions will be available on the respective series’ websites as well as the Mazda Road to Indy TV App.
Header image provided courtesy of the Road to Indy.