Championship Celebration Concludes Road to Indy Season
 September 5, 2022| 
  • Series News
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Foster, d’Orlando Earn Scholarships to Progress Their Careers

PORTLAND, Ore. – This weekend’s Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Portland brought down the curtain on another successful season for the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires. Having arrived in the Pacific Northwest with a comfortable lead in the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, Exclusive Autosport’s Louis Foster was able to put the title beyond the reach of his rivals during the first of three races on Friday at the Portland International Raceway road course.

In contrast, the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship went down to the wire with three drivers still in for a chance at the crown prior to the final 25-lap race. Once the dust had settled, Michael d’Orlando profited from several incidents on the opening lap to emerge from behind and claim a victory for Cape Motorsports.

The achievements of both rising stars were lauded yesterday evening during the traditional Championship Celebration which began with a spectacular reception beside the Columbia River and with the majestic Mount Hood clearly visible in the background.

Over $1.1 million in scholarships and prizes subsequently were distributed in front of almost 200 in attendance.

Foster, a 19-year-old rookie from Basingstoke, England, in his very first season of racing in North America, earned a scholarship package valued at $614,425 to ensure his progression into Indy Lights, the next step on the unique open-wheel driver development ladder, in 2023.

Similarly, d’Orlando, 20, from Hartsdale, N.Y., took home a scholarship valued at $406,925 to make the step up to Indy Pro 2000 next season.

Both young drivers have their sights set firmly on a future in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and the Indianapolis 500.

Another highlight of the evening was provided by the presentation of a first-ever Road to Indy Lifetime Achievement Award to brothers Dominic and Nicholas Cape. Their Cape Motorsports team has enjoyed unparalleled success in USF2000, claiming 10 of the last 12 championships, and will also graduate along the Road to Indy in 2023 by fielding a new program in Indy Lights.

Up next for all the teams and drivers is an opportunity to commence preparations for the 2023 season with the traditional Road to Indy Fall Combine open test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on October 22/23.

Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires Award Winners:

Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires
Champion: scholarship package valued at $614,425 to advance to Indy Lights in 2023 – Louis Foster, Exclusive Autosport
Second Place ($40,000) – Reece Gold, Juncos Hollinger Racing
Third Place ($20,000) – Enaam Ahmed, Juncos Hollinger Racing
Team Champion ($10,000) – Juncos Hollinger Racing
Cooper Tires Rookie of the Year ($7,500) – Louis Foster, Exclusive Autosport
Hi-Tide Spirit Award ($1,000) – Reece Gold, Juncos Hollinger Racing
Tilton Hard Charger Award ($1,000) – Salvador De Alba, Jay Howard Driver Development
Move of the Year ($1,000) – Enaam Ahmed, Juncos Hollinger Racing
Makita Tools Mechanic of the Year ($1,000) – Derrick Barnes, Exclusive Autosport
Carl Haas Golden Wishbone Award ($1,100) – Turn 3 Motorsport
Original Artwork by Jim Swintal – Louis Foster, Exclusive Autosport

Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship
Champion: scholarship package valued at $406,925 to advance to Indy Pro 2000 in 2023 – Michael d’Orlando, Cape Motorsports
Second Place ($20,000) – Myles Rowe, Pabst Racing
Third Place ($10,000) – Jace Denmark, Pabst Racing
Team Champion ($7,500) – Pabst Racing
Hyperco Rookie of the Year ($2,500) – Jagger Jones, Cape Motorsports
Hi-Tide Spirit Award ($1,000) – Jace Denmark, Pabst Racing
Tilton Hard Charger Award ($1,000) – Jorge Garciarce, Jay Howard Driver Development
Move of the Year ($1,000) – Billy Frazer, Exclusive Autosport
Makita Tools Mechanic of the Year ($1,000) – Brendan Puderbach, Cape Motorsports
Carl Haas Golden Wishbone Award ($1,100) – DEForce Racing
Original Artwork by Jim Swintal – Michael d’Orlando, Cape Motorsports
Lifetime Achievement Award – Cape Motorsports

QUOTEBOARD:
Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions: “At the beginning of each season, I always wonder what it will bring us in terms of driver talent and competition. And year after year, the Road to Indy produces the most amazing racing and training for kids that make it all the way to INDYCAR. It’s fun to watch the drivers develop and I am proud of what we do here at the Road to Indy. I want to congratulate our champions this year. They produced some fantastic racing and I wish them all the best as they move on up the ladder.”

Chris Pantani, Director of Motorsports, Cooper Tires: “On behalf of Cooper Tires, I am excited to see this year’s champions. It is an exciting time when drivers move from one series to the next through a championship prize fund that no other development series has. The next step of these young drivers’ career as they develop in the Road to Indy is an exciting time for them, their families and everyone associated with Andersen Promotions.”

Louis Foster, winner of the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires: "My first year of racing in America has been challenging and at times stressful, but that's made it all the more rewarding. I've met a bunch of amazingly skilled and dedicated people, and it's been an absolute pleasure to race and live here. I can’t thank the Exclusive Autosport team enough for this year. They have been amazing and the series has been amazing. It’s been a great year and it is great to be here tonight to finish off the year and celebrate with my team. We have had a lot of success and I am really looking forward to stepping up to Indy Lights next year.”

Michael d’Orlando, winner of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship: “What a year. This is my third year in USF2000 with Cape Motorsports and it has been a long time coming. The past couple of years, I never had the luck here or there and I also didn’t have the experience. When I crossed the finish line on Saturday, I felt nothing but pure happiness. This is a dream I have had since I was 4 years old. When I left the track, there were tears rolling down my face and it was the greatest feeling ever. The maturity and consistency is what got me here today. This past weekend was a bit hectic but I managed to put myself in a good position and that’s all that mattered in the end. I am super looking forward to going to Indy Pro 2000. A huge thank you to Andersen Promotions, Cooper Tires and the Road to Indy for making this possible for me.”
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