The Ladder Report: Mar. 30 Edition

The 'Road to Indy' driver development program made its debut last weekend during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. By all accounts it was a pretty exciting experience to see all the competitors from the USF2000 National Championship, Star Mazda Championship and the Indy Lights Championship racing together at the same venue as the IndyCar Series.  Interestingly enough, two American drivers found their way to victory lane over the weekend; Sage Karam in USF2000 and Conor Daly in Star Mazda.

Season Previews and Championship Picks

Prior to the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, I wrote season previews for the Skip Barber National Championship, USF2000 National Championship, Star Mazda Championship and the Indy Lights Championship.  I've linked to each below.  As noted above, I included my championship picks in each preview. 

F2000 Championship

R-Sport Signs Scarallo- Jonathan Scarallo, 18, has decided to return to the F2000 Championship in 2010.  After driving a family-owned car in 2009, he will join R-Sport for 2010.  He plans to run all 14 events alongside Keith McCrone, his teammate at R-Sport.

Cole Morgan Returns to F2000 Championship- Cole Morgan, who won the 2007 F2000 Championship, will return to the series in 2010 with Greisiger Motorsports and K-Hill Motorsports.  For now, his contract is only for VIR and Watkins Glen.

For those wondering, I plan to post a season preview for the F2000 Championship sometime this week.  I will link to it in my next edition of The Ladder Report.

USF2000 National Championship

Zach Veach Signs with Andretti Autosport- Zach Veach, 15, will join Andretti Autosport for the remainder of the 2010 USF2000 season.  His teammate this season will be fellow 15-year-old race driver Sage Karam, who swept both USF2000 races while in St. Petersburg. 

'Road to Indy' Lap Times from St. Petersburg- For anyone interested in comparing the USF2000, Star Mazda and Indy Lights' lap times to those of a full blown IndyCar, this is your link.  In qualifying, the fastest IndyCar time was 11.781 seconds faster than the best USF2000 lap time. 

Star Mazda

Andries Signs with Andersen Racing for St. Pete:  This is sort of old news by now for those of you who followed this weekend's results, but Skip Barber National competitor Nick Andries completed a one-off event in the Star Mazda Championship with Andersen Racing.

Maryeve Dufault Signs with Team Apex- FAZZT development driver Maryeve Dufault will join Team Apex for three events in the 2010 Star Mazda Championship.  Her first event with the team will take place at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis as part of the "Night Before the 500"

Indy Lights

Winslow Signs with Sam Schmidt Motorsports- James Winslow, who competed in the Atlantic Championship last season, has signed with Sam Schmidt Motorsports for the 2010 season.  He will join J.K. Vernay, Pippa Mann and Philip Major in the SSM stable.

Summerton Returns with Walker Racing- Jonathan Summerton returned to Indy Lights competition over the weekend in St. Petersburg with Walker Racing.  A last lap mishap dropped him from 4th to 8th in the final standings.  This week he is back in Europe trying to finalize his 2010 racing plans.

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For much more on the junior open-wheel racing scene, be sure and visit JuniorOpenWheelTalent.com and follow JOWT on Twitter!

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