Indy Next Step in DeFrancesco Challenge
 May 12, 2021| 
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DEF Indy 2021
  • Indianapolis road course a happy hunting ground for Andretti Autosport and Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport
  • DeFrancesco chases return to Indy Lights podium

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Miami-based Italian-Canadian racer Devlin DeFrancesco will take a key step on the "Road to Indy" when he does battle this weekend on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in the 2021 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship.

The Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport driver has a pair of podiums to his credit and sits fourth in the points after four rounds in his rookie season in the Indy Lights championship.

Andretti Autosport and Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport have both achieved great success in Indy Lights on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in the past.

Indy Lights first ran on the Indy road course in 2014, with Andretti's Matthew Brabham taking pole position and the first-ever win. Over the six years of Indy Lights / Indianapolis Motor Speedway competition (the championship did not run in 2020 with the COVID-19 hiatus) – Andretti and Andretti Steinbrenner machines have scored five pole positions and taken six victories.

For Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport, 2018 was a year to remember with Colton Herta taking both wins that season.

DeFrancesco will be racing at Indianapolis for the second time after debuting here last year in the Indy Pro 2000 championship, where he scored the Rookie of the Year award and finished second in the points chase.

For this weekend's round, the Indy Lights teams will have additional track time with two test sessions scheduled for Thursday, along with an official practice session.

Two separate qualifying sessions will be held on both Friday and Saturday before the Indy Lights drivers do battle over 30 laps on Friday afternoon and 35 laps on Sunday.


Q: How big a thrill is it to get to race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
 "This is the place where legends are born. I loved racing here last year in Indy Pro 2000, and I can't wait to climb aboard the Indy Lights here. 
"Everybody in Indy Lights has their sights set on making the transition to INDYCAR and getting a shot at the Indy 500.
"Everyone wants their face on that trophy – that's why we are all here this week taking a very important step towards chasing that dream."

Q: You have had the chance to race all around the world. How does Indianapolis compare?
 "There is an incredible sense of history to this place. The yard of bricks, the Pagoda, Gasoline Alley, the museum – everything about the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is incredible.
"My dream is certainly to race here for many years to come and get the opportunity to 'kiss the bricks.'
"But once you drive out the pit lane, that all disappears from your head, and you are 100 percent focused on getting the maximum you can out of the car.
"The points are the same for every round, but success here will certainly put a smile on faces."

Q: Andretti and Andretti Steinbrenner have been very successful here in the past – does this fill you with confidence going into this weekend?
"Absolutely. I know every time I climb aboard the No.17 car, I have brilliant equipment to do the job, but I'm also aware that the level of competition in Indy Lights is very intense.
"There is huge competition just amongst the four Andretti cars before we even think about taking on the rest of the field.
"The team has had some great success here in the past, but that doesn't guarantee anything for this weekend. We still have to work incredibly hard to get the most out of the car and really put down a strong lap in qualifying.
"Our goal is to get through both rounds this weekend with no mistakes and come away with a big bag of points. We managed to do that at Barber, but didn't pull it off in St. Pete – now it is time to bounce back."

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