Billy Frazer is the latest Kiwi to head stateside to take the next steps of his career and despite the long shadow cast by the COVID-19 pandemic, his move to USF2000 is a great success for the Castrol Toyota Racing Series and Road to Indy partnership.
Castrol Toyota Racing Series drivers who have competed in all rounds of the 2020 and 2021 championship – and that includes Kiwi Driver Fund-supported Frazer – automatically qualify for a package that could help them get established in the programme. This includes free entry for either the annual two day spring training test or the two day Chris Griffis Memorial test along with a free set of tyres for a test in either USF2000 or Indy Pro 2000.
Organisers of the TRS championship had hoped that two to three drivers would have been able to compete in the series this year from the US and that a significant number of TRS drivers would make the trip to the USA as part of the Road to Indy programme, but travel restrictions and the pandemic have proved a formidable obstacle.
“Of course it is a very challenging environment for these sort of partnerships with so much restriction on travel,” explained category manager Nico Caillol. “However, Billy represents a major success in the partnership and a strong show of intent from both ourselves and the Road to Indy programme that we want to continue to build this relationship and provide a pathway in both directions for up and coming single seater racing drivers.”
Although adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the USF2000 calendar will continue to offer a strong mix of road, street and oval events for drivers – the majority at INDYCAR events.
The 2021 USF2000 champion will receive a substantial scholarship guaranteeing a full season contract with an Indy Pro 2000 team of the driver’s choice including all 2022 race and test events, entry and test day fees and allowable number of sets of Cooper tyres. The scholarship also includes an Indy Lights test at the conclusion of the 2021 Indy Pro 2000 season.