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TJ Speed team to join Indy Lights grid in 2022

by Ida Wood

New Formula Regional Americas team TJ Speed has confirmed it will move into Indy Lights next year as a multi-car entry.

Founded by established single-seater racing engineer Tim Neff, originally from Australia, the team won its first three races in its debut weekend in FRegional Americas and so far has five wins from six races courtesy of Kyffin Simpson.

Neff was a successful jet ski racer in addition to his career working on all things with four wheels, including stints at teams in IndyCar, Indy Lights and lower single-seater categories.

In addition to purchasing four Regional Formula 3-spec cars over winter to compete in FRegional Americas, Neff also revealed to Formula Scout that he had bought all of the assets of the now defunct Belardi Auto Racing team.

The takeover included the use of what was the Belardi workshop in Indiana, as well as the trucks, tools and the three Dallara IL-15 chassis it had campaigned to title success in the series.

Once those cars are upgraded to incorporate the halo cockpit protection device, which was introduced to the series on its return this year (after the COVID-19 pandemic led to the 2020 season being cancelled), then TJ Speed plans to start testing with the vehicles in August.

The American-Australian squad isn’t the only new name headed to Indy Lights, with the series expecting a 14th car to join the grid this year and then another new team to be competing full-time in the series in 2022.

Canadian team Exclusive Autosport was supposed to move into Indy Lights in 2020 prior to the season’s cancellation, while Indy Pro 2000 rival RP Motorsport also had plans lined up to step up into the next level of the Road to Indy although travel restrictions and a lack of drivers with budget have put pay to its North American racing hopes recently.