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Indy lights drivers already looking for seats elsewhere

by Ida Wood

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Drivers who were set to contest the cancelled 2020 Indy Lights season are already pursuing race seats in other series.

Ten drivers had committed to entering the season opening St. Petersburg round back in March, which would have been the series’ highest entry since last year’s Freedom 100. The season was cancelled earlier this week due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Reigning champion team Andretti Autosport was set to run almost half of the grid, with four driver signed up. Andretti’s scale of investment in the series means the cancellation has taken a serious financial toll, despite its IndyCar squad returning to action at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend.

“It’s hard to watch what was meant to be a very important year for me diminish. Although, I understand why,” said reigning Indy Pro 2000 champion Kyle Kirkwood, who was to step up to Indy Lights with the team.

“This [cancellation] is all very new information for me so all I can say is I plan on driving something this year and I plan on coming back in 2021. Please understand this is even more an issue for the many team members who are (as of now) not going to any races this year.”

His team-mate Robert Megennis, a race winner at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year, reiterated his comments: “It’s sad [it’s off], but these are wild times, and everyone’s health and safety had to be the priority.”

Also supposed to be stepping up with Andretti was Danial Frost, who is considering a return to IP2000 for a second season.

“There’s no definite path of what we will be doing this year just yet but we’re working on it,” he said.

Belardi Auto Racing intended to run Rasmus Lindh and Toby Sowery, and both are evaluating alternative race programmes.

“I don’t know really what to say, I was really looking forward to this season!” said Lindh. “But now we are trying so I can drive something [else] this year.”