The initial supply of 40 upgrade kits slated for shipping in August and September have sold out as teams on the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires prepare for significant chassis enhancements in 2022. The Tatuus IP-22 in the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the USF-22 in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship will feature new advancements to extend competition life to at least 2026.
Leading race car manufacturer Tatuus in conjunction with Andersen Promotions designed the original USF-17 as a base car to help control operational costs for teams who wish to move up to Indy Pro 2000. The current PM-18 features more sophisticated aerodynamics, larger Motegi Racing forged Technomesh monoblock alloy wheels with Cooper tires and more horsepower (250 HP versus 175 HP) via a 2.0-liter powerplant prepared by Elite Engines over the USF-17.
The 2022 upgrades include a new, wider monocoque with the addition of a Halo as well as new sidepods, underfloor, engine cover, air ducts, damper covers and fuel cell.
“With our current monocoque and fuel cell approaching their useful life expectancy, the timing was right to introduce an upgrade to ensure our cars will be set for the next five-plus seasons,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “Extending the competition life of our race cars is important to enable teams to amortize their investment over many seasons.
“Tatuus has yet again come up with a well-thought-out plan and design, and I’m very pleased with how beautiful these cars will look with the enhancements. As more orders continue to be placed, we look forward to seeing the newly improved USF-22 and IP-22 cars on track at our annual Chris Griffis Memorial Test the end of October.”
At the most recent rounds for the Road to Indy at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, USF2000 saw its largest grid size since 2013 with 28 entries. Field sizes for both junior levels are expected to expand considerably in 2022 as drivers move up the ladder system and new faces make the move to the leading driver development platform.
“I’m thrilled that the initial 40 upgrade kits were quickly secured, although I’m not surprised considering the significant momentum that the Road to Indy is enjoying here in 2021,” offered Rob Howden, RTI Series Development Director. “The addition of the halo-type device to our Indy Lights car this year has fueled extremely positive interest for 2022 and beyond, and taking the USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000 cars to the next level is sure to provide a similar response. We’re fortunate to have forward-thinking, business-savvy team owners in our program, and their pro-active steps to get their deposits in on the available upgrade kits is proof-positive that we’re moving in the right direction for the future.”
Indy Pro 2000 will be back on track August 19-21 at World Wide Technology Raceway for its second oval event of the season alongside Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. USF2000 will next head to New Jersey Motorsports Park on August 27-29 where triple-header rounds are in store for both USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000.
Edge-of-your-seat competition throughout the Road to Indy currently sees Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing) leading by 19 points over Michael d’Orlando (Cape Motorsports) in USF2000; Christian Rasmussen (Jay Howard Driver Development) ahead of Braden Eves (Exclusive Autosport) by 39 points in Indy Pro 2000; and Kyle Kirkwood (Andretti Autosport) 11 points in front of David Malukas (HMD Motorsports) in Indy Lights. Kirkwood is seeking to become the first driver to record three successive championships on the Road to Indy.