Home Road to IndyIndy Pro 2000 Brichacek moves team in IP2000, d’Orlando and Johnson join USF2000

Brichacek moves team in IP2000, d’Orlando and Johnson join USF2000

by Ida Wood

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

There are several changes to the Indy Pro 2000 and USF2000 grids at Road America this weekend, with team changes and new names.

In IP2000, Exclusive Autosport has ballooned from one car back up to three as Lindsay Brewer makes her second appearance of the season with the team while Wyatt Brichacek leaves Jay Howard Driver Development to join the line-up alongside her.

Brichacek has taken two fastest laps and a best finish of fourth from the first four rounds, and currently sits 12th in the standings. His move to Exclusive ends a long association with JHDD, who he had driven for exclusively since 2018.

“I am very excited to be joining Exclusive Autosport for the remainder of the 2022 season,” said Brichacek.

“It all came together very quickly, and I look forward to getting to know everyone on the team. With all the success the team has had in the past and just this year; I’m sure we can be fighting up front and finish strong this season. I am more motivated than ever to get on track and show what we can do as a team together.”

Brewer finished eighth on her debut on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course last month, but missed the Freedom 90 at Indianapolis Raceway Park as she is contesting a programme of select events.

In USF2000, Velocity Racing Development has returned to the series with three cars after it skipped the season’s only oval race, the Freedom 75, last time out.

Viktor Andersson returns to his usual seat, while USF Juniors Nicholas d’Orlando and Nikita Johnson debut as his team-mates. D’Orlando is the younger brother of USF2000 points leader Michael d’Orlando, reigning F1600 Championship Series champion and was a Team USA Scholarship finalist last year.

He did USF2000 testing with Cape Motorsports, his brother’s team, late in 2021 but instead moved to Formula 4 racing for this year with DC Autosport (running with Cape’s support). He came sixth in the YACademy Winter Series, then did the first two USF Juniors rounds.

Johnson came fourth in the YACademy series in 2021 with Velocity, then was not old enough to appear in F4 again until the 2022 season, which he was champion of. He has only just turned 14 years old, and is currently fourth in the USF Juniors standings.

Both drivers will see out the USF2000 season with Velocity, with Johnson continuing his F4 programme, and are expected to remain with the team in the series for 2023.

“It was our intention all along to have Nikita in USF2000, but age restrictions forced him to the Juniors program to start,” Velocity boss Dan Mitchell explained.

“He is gaining experience but proving his speed, so a step up in class and competition will only increase his learning curve and make him a better driver and racer in the future.”