ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – The 2019 NTT IndyCar season began this weekend in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Alberta native Parker Thompson was there to race in the Indy Pro 2000 category. A feeder series for the top-level IndyCar championship, Indy Pro 2000 is contested by young professional racers from all over the globe. Parker Thompson dominated the weekend. The Red Deer, Alberta native qualified on pole position for both Indy Pro 2000 races, set a new track record, and converted his starts from the lead position into victories for both races. With that he has established a big lead in the championship standings with Sweden’s Rasmus Lindh, and Singapore’s Danial Frost in second and third positions behind him.
Twenty-one-year-old Thompson is an established racer who has had the attention of the racing community since childhood. At age thirteen, he was ranked 3rdon the globe in Rotax Max karts. 2017 saw him dominate the Canadian F1600 Super Series Championship. The Road to Indy has been Thompson’s most recent conquest. Having twice finished second in the season championship, he is still seeking an overall title win. Double victories in St. Petersburg indicate that 2019 could be Thompson’s best season yet. Uncertainties off the track though, mean that his focus is not solely on driving.
In St. Petersburg, Thompson joined Kentucky based Abel Motorsports as their team took on the Indy Pro 2000 series for the first time. Thompson did so with a single-race contract which leaned on his experience in the series to help the Abel Motorsports team, and young lead driver Jacob Abel, adapt their experience in other series, to Indy Pro 2000. The partnership worked. Twin pole positions, twin victories, and a new track record mark a monumental achievement for a rookie team in the series. With such a strong performance, Thompson demonstrated that his skill and understanding of the car and series are second to none. A full season commitment, however, will require extended sponsorship support.
With the next event in the Indy Pro 2000 Championship occurring May 9th to 11th in Indianapolis, Indiana, Thompson has nearly two months to solidify the partnerships that will allow him to continue his pursuit of a championship title in 2019, and set the stage for a rise into IndyCar.
“IndyCar is the end goal. I’ve had my sights on it ever since I started racing cars. Many of my experiences suggest that I already have the skills to pilot the big cars, but auto racing is often about more than performance behind the wheel. At every level, it is a team sport that requires involvement from a big group of people both on and off the track. For now my focus is set on the second stop of the Indy Pro 2000 series. I had a great weekend in St. Petersburg with Abel Motorsports, and I’d love the opportunity to repeat that in Indianapolis this May.” – Parker Thompson