Kiwi IndyCar hopeful Hunter McElrea will now have the opportunity to receive a guaranteed promotion to the Indy Lights championship and partake in an IndyCar test after the Road to Indy scholarships all inherited significant revamps.
Andersen Promotions today announced a momentous boost to the current Indy Pro 2000 champion’s scholarship which is currently valued at $609,245 and will now include a full season contract with an Indy Lights team of the driver’s choice.
The 2020 champion will also receive a test session with an NTT IndyCar Series outfit at the conclusion of the 2021 Indy Lights season, creating the ultimate base platform to launch themselves into the main game.
Ultimately, depending on McElrea’s success in the Indy Pro 2000 championship, there is the possibility of seeing the 20-year-old join the IndyCar grid as early as 2022.
The 2020 USF2000 champion will receive full-season contract with an Indy Pro 2000 team of the driver’s choice including all 2021 race and test events, entry and test day fees. They will also be eligible for an Indy Lights test after the 2021 Indy Pro 2000 season.
“2020 has been a very unsettled season for all of motorsports and for the Road to Indy in particular in our 10th anniversary year,” said Dan Andersen, owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions.
“As we look ahead to 2021 with high hopes for a reinvigorated Indy Lights championship, these changes to our already strong prize package for Indy Pro 2000 and USF2000 will strengthen the entire Road to Indy ladder and ensure that our champions have the greatest opportunity to make it to the top.
“The best drivers from the U.S. and around the world come to train with us, and they deserve the best we can give them for their careers. Our program continues to do its job of providing a complete training, both on and off the track, for the future stars of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. Adding a test for our 2020 champions to sample the next step of the ladder further underscores our commitment.”
The Indy Pro 2000 and USF2000 have served as a vital stepping stone for many of today’s top drivers, with recent Road to Indy graduates Oliver Askew and Rinus VeeKay both making their graduation to IndyCar earlier in the year.
A freshly revised 18-round season has been announced despite the pandemic creating havoc in the United States, with both series’ slated to kick start their campaigns with a doubleheader round from Road America on July 9-10.