Indy Lights Going On Hiatus For 2020

Rinus VeeKay (21) leads the pack during Friday's Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (IndyCar Photo)
The 2020 Indy Lights season has been canceled. (IndyCar Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS – IndyCar and Andersen Promotions have announced that Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires competition will be deferred until 2021.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and modifications to the IndyCar race calendar as a result, multiple companion events were cancelled for the series, rendering the season no longer viable.

“The effects of the global pandemic on businesses, including racing, have been severe,” said Dan Andersen, owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “The changes to our overall calendar of races as well as each event weekend’s scheduling and the ability for some of our drivers to compete has impacted the Indy Lights series far more harshly than our other two championships. With less of a cushion to begin with, it became increasingly apparent that the 2020 season was in jeopardy and the best plan was to take a pause, reconstitute for 2021, and do our best to enhance the Indy Lights championship for next season.

“After discussions with IndyCar and understanding of their firm commitment to Indy Lights going forward, we, together, decided to suspend the 2020 Indy Lights season. We recognize that this will cause some hardships, but we hope all participants will realize the necessity of this decision and we look ahead to 2021 with a promise of better things to come.”

Indy Lights has a long history as the top ladder series of IndyCar, with 23 of the 33 starters in the 2019 Indianapolis 500 graduating from the Road to Indy program, including nine Indy Lights champions.

Dating back to 1986, more than 150 drivers have made the step from Indy Lights to IndyCar. Reigning Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew and runner-up Rinus VeeKay will become the latest to make that progression when they make their IndyCar debuts at Texas Motor Speedway this Saturday with Arrow McLaren SP and Ed Carpenter Racing, respectively.

”The Road to Indy is extremely important to IndyCar,” said Jay Frye, President of IndyCar. “This was a difficult decision, knowing the impact it would have on the competitors and how disappointing it would be for the fans. However, it became clear, that we needed to focus our collective efforts on preparing for a strong 2021 Indy Lights season.”

The two junior levels of the Road to Indy – the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship – will continue with a full season of competition this year. Complete details will be finalized shortly.