MIAMI, FL (Tuesday, December 1, 2020) – Italian-Canadian racer Devlin DeFrancesco is set to take the next step on the “Road to Indy” when he graduates from Indy Pro 2000 to the 2021 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship.
DeFrancesco will graduate with the Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport team to Indy Lights – the series returning in 2021 after a one-year hiatus as the penultimate step on the “Road to Indy” ladder.
Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport is no stranger to Indy Lights’ success, having run Colton Herta in 2017 and 2018. Herta and the team scored four victories (plus three poles and seven fastest laps) en route to second place in the 2018 championship. In total, the Andretti Steinbrenner squad has six Indy Lights wins, including a Freedom 100 victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, ten pole positions, and 20 podium finishes.
DeFrancesco will drive the No. 17 Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport Indy Lights entry next year with backing from Kimoa – the fashion, clothing, and accessories brand founded by Fernando Alonso; world-class racing simulator manufacturer Allinsports; Simply Mac, Apple’s largest premium retail partner, Pure Kana CBD, and One Plant Florida.
Entering his first season in the Road to Indy in 2020, DeFrancesco once again demonstrated his raw speed, scoring pole in his first-ever Indy Pro 2000 race and first time at Road America.
DeFrancesco didn’t stop there, scoring second in the Indy Pro 2000 championship. He captured two victories in dominating fashion, six podiums, and three pole positions to earn the 2020 series Rookie of the Year honors.
Prior to debuting in full-time North American competition in 2020, DeFrancesco enjoyed nine years of racing across Europe, consistently a podium contender in karting and working his way up the single-seater ladder all the way to the FIA Formula 3 Championship.
Next year’s Indy Lights championship includes some of the most prestigious circuits in North American motorsport, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course; street course battles in Detroit, MI, and his home track race in St. Petersburg, FL; the fabled road courses of Road America and Mid-Ohio; plus a west-coast swing visiting WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and Portland International Raceway.
DeFrancesco will also return to the scene of his first oval victory in 2020 at World Wide Technology Raceway, where he dominated with a flag-to-flag victory.
While Miami, Florida is his home for DeFrancesco, he is pumped for the chance to do battle on the streets of Toronto, Canada, where he will race to support Sunnybrook Hospital and its Neo-Natal Unit.
DeFrancesco was “born fast,” coming into the world 15 weeks premature at just one pound. His priest may have given him his rights, but thanks to the help of the incredible doctors and nurses at Sunnybrook Hospital, all this “super preemie” heard was “start your engines!”
DeFrancesco will join the Andretti Indy Lights program in 2021 alongside teammates Kyle Kirkwood [No. 28 Dallara] and Danial Frost [No. 68 Dallara], in St. Petersburg, Florida, for the season opener on March 5-7, 2021.
“I’m super excited to be back with Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport for Indy Lights in 2021.
“I think we had quite a successful Indy Pro 2000 season in 2020. Considering we have all the pieces for 2021 and Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport has an incredible history in Indy Lights. Mark Bryant, my engineer, had a lot of success in 2018 with Patricio [O’Ward] as well as INDYCAR experience with Andretti.
“I have a great team around me and can’t express how ready I am to get going.
“I really enjoyed my first season racing back in North America last season, and Indy Lights is a great next step for me as I work towards my goal of one day lining up on the grid in IndyCar.
“The team behind me at Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport will put me in the best possible position to work towards that graduation.
“There are some brilliant new venues for me that I’m really looking forward to, including Detroit, Portland, and Laguna Seca.
“But having the chance to race in my home town of Toronto in front of family and friends is going to be amazing and something that I have dreamed about for a long time.”
GEORGE MICHAEL STEINBRENNER IV, Owner, Steinbrenner Racing
“We are excited to get Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport back into Indy Lights with Devlin for the 2021 season.
“We had a good amount of success in the Indy Pro 2000 series in 2020 with Devlin.
“We hope to build on that momentum and aim to field an entry comparable to the one Colton Herta piloted in 2017 and 2018.”
JF THORMANN, President, Andretti Autosport
“It is great to have Devlin make the next step up to Indy Lights in the Road to Indy program.
“Devlin had an impressive rookie campaign in Indy Pro 2000 and we are excited to see what he can do in an Indy Lights car.
“We are also thrilled to have Steinbrenner Racing back in the Indy Lights paddock alongside Andretti Autosport.
“Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport has a history of success in Indy Lights and we are proud to be back in the field.”