USF2000 champion Braden Eves has announced he will return to Indy Pro 2000 in 2021 after his rookie season was curtailed by injury.
The 21-year-old won the USF2000 title in his first full season in single-seaters last year, which earned him a scholarship to step up to IP2000.
He joined Exclusive Autosport for his graduation to the next rung of the Road to Indy, and after picking up his first pole and win in his third race he was in the thick of the title fight prior to breaking his neck in a crash on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course.
That ruled him out of the rest of the year, but his rehabilitation proccess is on track for him to be race-ready by the start of the 2021 season, where he will rejoin Exclusive Autosport.
“I’m extremely excited to rejoin Exclusive Autosport for the 2021 season,” said Eves.
“This season we showed our incredible pace and the team did an incredible job consistently throughout the year. I’ll be coming back next year with unfinished business and I’m ready to get back after it.
“I can’t wait for a much more normal season after this year was so shaken up by the pandemic, but next year I’m coming back and I’m coming back stronger than ever!”
As a one-car entry in 2020, the team has been absent from the IP2000 paddock since Eves’ crash until it found a replacement driver – one-time Super Formula starter Tristan Charpentier – for this weekend’s St. Petersburg season finale.
“I am thrilled to welcome Braden back to the team for 2021,” Exclusive Autosport team principal Michael Duncalfe said.
“Braden is a fierce competitor both and off the track. His focus, attention to detail, and work ethic make him a true pleasure to work with. I am confident we will come back out of the gates in 2021 incredibly strong.
“Exclusive has a very strong Indy Pro 2000 program backed by numerous pole positions, podiums and race wins. I am very much looking forward to the 2021 season and contending for the 2021 Championship with Braden.”