INDIANAPOLIS – Twenty-year-old Canadian driver Devlin DeFrancesco will return to North America this year for an assault on the Indy Pro 2000 Championship presented by Cooper Tires with Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport.
The Toronto-born Italian/Canadian grew up in Florida and began his karting career at the age of six. He moved to London and Italy before becoming a teen to compete at racing’s highest level.
He recently competed in the FIA Formula 3 Championship, followed by the FIA Formula 3 Asian Championship over the “winter break” between 2019 and 2020, capturing three podiums and one pole position. DeFrancesco’s season ultimately came to a halt in early 2020, out of precaution for the ongoing global health crisis.
DeFrancesco will begin his own Road to Indy campaign starting at Road America July 9-10.
The co-effort of Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport last entered the Road to Indy with Colton Herta in the 2018 Indy Lights season. The team finished second in the series championship and captured victory at the Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
With the Indy Lights championship on hiatus in 2020, DeFrancesco will contest the Indy Pro 2000 series this year, with a planned Indy Lights graduation with Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport in 2021.
Andretti Autosport has a deep history in Indy Pro 2000 [formerly known as Pro Mazda and Star Mazda], from 2011 to 2015, having captured 32 victories, 32 pole positions and bringing home the series championship in 2013 with Matthew Brabham.
DeFrancesco’s program will be backed by Torque eSports brands, including leading race simulator manufacturer Allinsports, esports tournament and digital entertainment platform UMG.TV, game studio Eden Games and motorsport website and social media platform WTF1.
Additional partners include Apple’s largest premier partner in the U.S, Simply Mac, plus Purekana and OnePlant.
“I’ve had an incredible time racing in Europe over the past nine years, but I’m really looking forward to coming home to NorthAmerica and racing with Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport,” said DeFrancesco. “My season in Asian Formula 3 was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ability to travel to and from Europe for the rest of 2020 is very much up in the air.
“We have been talking about the possibility of coming back to race in North America and those plans have now been brought forward,” he continued. “I’m very appreciative of the opportunity from Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport.”
Outside open-wheel racing, the 20-year-old has competed twice in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. At only 18 years of age, DeFrancesco finished sixth in his Daytona Prototype debut.
He teamed up with Formula 1 legend Rubens Barrichello for 2019 and brought his Cadillac home in fifth, the same race where double F-1 champion Fernando Alonso took the win.
During the recent racing “pause”, DeFrancesco has been a race winner in The Race All-Star Series, where he has competed along with fellow Allinsports sim racers and mentors Juan Pablo Montoya and Barrichello.
The young Canadian has not only shared sim secrets with Barrichello – they also drove as teammates in the 2019 Rolex 24 at Daytona.