Start of the Road To Indy and IndyCar series season this weekend: Thomas Nepveu back in USF2000

Wednesday 23 February 2022 by Philippe Brasseur

IndyCar and its supporting series will begin their 2022 season this weekend in Florida, on the temporary street circuit of St-Petersburg. A rising number of entries in almost all series and many title contenders bode well for a spectacular season.

In USF2000, Thomas Nepveu is preparing to begin his second season in this championship, within a new team; DEForce Racing. The young driver, once again the only Quebecer involved in the Road To Indy sector, will be at the controls of car number 10 (photo above) in the colors of Cromwell, Pétrole Bélanger, Home Hardware, Hamster de DEForce Racing.

About the Florida circuit, Thomas underlines: “Everything is more difficult because of the walls, there are not many loopholes and it is a narrow layout. « . The qualifying session will therefore be very important: “since it is difficult to overtake, it will be imperative to set good times during qualifying”. Nepveu adds: « We don’t have a lot of track time, I will have to maximize the 20 minutes of testing we have, as well as the advice of my trainer ».

Thomas is also joining the champion team in 2021: “I developed good chemistry with the members of DEForce Racing during testing at Homestead last week. The car is excellent and I think I understand it well, so I’m really happy and confident for the first two races this weekend”.

« We are delighted to have our first official event with Thomas, » said David Martinez, co-owner of DEForce Racing. “We believe in him and his past experience, he stood out for his success on the track, including his victory at Road America last year during his rookie season in the series. So we can’t wait to see what he does this season” added Martinez, who also underlined: “our strategy remains the same as in previous seasons; or not to be distracted by the competition and surpass yourself race after race. It’s a long championship, so you have to be patient, but with our excellent vintage of 2022 drivers, we are on the right track. Thomas can count on our support throughout the season”.

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is a spring break event in Florida. Traditionally, this is the event that kicks off the season of IndyCar and its supporting series. St Pete is a destination that offers a festival atmosphere thanks to its location in the heart of downtown. The street circuit has a 1.8 mile (2.9 km) layout and features 14 corners that take in the streets surrounding Pioneer Park, the Duke Energy Center for the Arts, the Dali Museum, in addition to using the tracks of the Albert Whitted Municipal Airport which overlooks the Tampa Bay waterfront and the picturesque harbor and marina.

The USF2000 drivers will be on track tomorrow (Thursday February 24) for free practice at 3:45 p.m. The only qualification will take place on Friday February 25, at 9:20 a.m., preceding the first race at 12:40 p.m. The drivers will return to the track for the second round on Sunday (February 27), at 10:45 a.m. For the list of the 19 registered for this event, click here.

For its part, the inaugural round of the IndyCar 2022 series will begin on Sunday from 12:30 p.m., for a duration of 100 laps. For the complete weekend schedule, click here.

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