Thompson Joins DEForce Racing to Take on the 2020 Indy Pro 2000 Championship

Thompson Joins DEForce Racing to Take on the 2020 Indy Pro 2000 Championship

HOUSTON, TEXAS

Parker Thompson is proud to announce his return to the Indy Pro 2000 Championship presented by Cooper Tires for 2020, running with team DEForce Racing. After multiple years with rookie teams on the Road to Indy, Thompson will join an experienced DEForce Racing team and veteran drivers, Moises de la Vara and Kory Enders. Piloting the #9 DEForce Racing entry, Thompson sees an overall championship victory as the only way to improve upon the 3rd-place overall finish he earned in the series last year.

The young Canadian’s introduction to the team came during October’s Chris Griffis Test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where he showed promising pace and an instant connection with the DEForce Racing crew. The two parties recently came together at team headquarters in Houston to finalize their partnership and prepare for the coming season.

Parker Thompson
“I’m delighted to be with DEForce Racing, and back in the Indy Pro 2000 Championship for 2020. The Road to Indy is close to my heart. I’ve had some great success in both USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000, and after a strong season in 2019, I think that DEForce Racing provides me a great opportunity to advance to another level. The team is well established on the Road to Indy and is composed of some very experienced individuals. I want to thank David and Ernesto of DEForce Racing for this opportunity. My teammates Kory and Moises have graciously welcomed me onboard. After some great results by each of them last season, I’m excited to build on those performances in 2020. The goal is nothing less than a championship win!”

About the Series

The 2020 Indy Pro 2000 calendar will consist of a 10-event, 18-race schedule alongside the NTT IndyCar Series at premier venues, which include two ovals, six road courses, and two street course venues. It is the second official step on the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires ladder system, bridging the gap between the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. For 2020, a total event and year-end prize package valued at over $808,000 is on offer, including a champion’s scholarship valued at $594,820 to advance to Indy Lights in 2021.

 

2020 Indy Pro 2000 Schedule

Mar. 14 – 15, 2020     Streets of St. Petersburg
Apr. 25 – 26, 2020      Circuit of The Americas
May 08 – 09, 2020     Indianapolis Motor Speedway
May 22, 2020            Lucas Oil Raceway
Jun. 20 – 21, 2020     Road America
Jul. 11 – 12, 2020       Streets of Toronto, Ontario
Aug. 15 – 16, 2020     Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Aug. 22, 2020            World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway
Sep. 05 – 06, 2020     Portland International Raceway
Sep. 19 – 20, 2020     WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

 

Important Links

https://indypro2000.com
https://www.deforceracing.com

 

Parker Thompson Concludes the 2019 Season with a Massive Performance to Earn the Porsche GT3 Cup Vice Championship

Parker Thompson Concludes the 2019 Season with a Massive Performance to Earn the Porsche GT3 Cup Vice Championship

CIRCUIT MONT-TREMBLANT – MONT-TREMBLANT, QC

It has been an unforgettable season of racing for Red Deer’s Parker Thompson. Campaigning forty races across three different series, Thompson entered the year’s final weekend of racing having already clinched a title in the Canadian Touring Car Championship while placing third in the Indy Pro 2000 Championship on the Road to Indy. Holding third in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Championship, Thompson and team SCB Racing were looking to move up with strong finishes in races on Saturday and Sunday at Circuit Mont-Tremblant. The 21-year-old series rookie did exactly that. A fourth place and a second-place finish gave Thompson enough points to leap-frog rival Jeff Kingsley and take second place in the overall 2019 Porsche GT3 Cup Championship.

With cool fall conditions and light rain, the weekend began with Saturday morning’s qualifying session and a supreme performance from Thompson. After great results in rain earlier this season, including a Porsche win at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the Alberta native demonstrated his wet-weather prowess once again at Mont-Tremblant. Thompson piloted the #3 GT3 Cup Car of SCB Racing to the fastest time of the qualifying session, with more than a half-second cushion over second place.

Although performance during the qualifier should have given him the pole position for Race 1, a team infraction led to the disqualification of all lap times. Late in qualifying, the car was brought into the pits for last-minute adjustments that unfortunately were not completed before the session ended. As a result, Thompson was forced to start Race 1 from the back of the grid. 

On the drying track, Thompson showed incredible pace. He drove the black and gold #3 car from 14th to 4th place not once, but twice, after a drive-through penalty was assessed to him for jumping the race start. He would finish in 4th, clocking the fastest lap of the race.

Thompson’s performance on Saturday allowed him to start Sunday’s Race 2 from pole position. On a dry track, he found himself in an intense battle with championship leader Roman DeAngelis. The two drove nose to tail through 20 laps of the 4.2-kilometer road course before DeAngelis executed a pass that left Thompson in second place when the checkered flag fell.

These two strong finishes gave Thompson sufficient points to take second position in the overall championship. The result is an exclamation point at the end of a 2019 season where he has been impactful in every race that he competed in.  

Parker Thompson
“That was again a great weekend of racing, and I’m proud to end the year on a high note. Obviously, we are a bit disappointed about the penalty that took us off of the pole position for Race 1 in the rain. It’s hard not to think about what could have been. That said, we came into the weekend looking to take the second spot in the overall championship, and we met our target there! Many thanks to Ilker Starck, SCB Racing and our sponsors Porsche Centre Victoria and Island Circuit for a great year. I really can’t thank them enough for all their help this year. When I joined the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge series, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was in for. We were a young team but I think we smashed all expectations. I’d love to come back to the series in 2020 and build on our achievements this year.”

Images credit @motorsportlivemedia

Thompson Recipient of Four Awards at The Road To Indy Championship Celebration

Thompson Recipient of Four Awards at The Road To Indy Championship Celebration

MONTEREY, CA

After a dramatic 2019 Indy Pro 2000 season, Parker Thompson may have missed out on the overall championship title, but his accomplishments on and off the track are receiving strong recognition. On Monday night at the Road to Indy Championship Celebration, the young Canadian was awarded Third Place in the Overall 2019 Indy Pro 2000 presented by Cooper Tires Championship. He also brought home the Hi-Tide Kids On Track Spirit Award, the Tilton Hard Charger Award, and was the winner of the AiM Sports Move of the Year.

 

Third Place Overall Indy Pro 2000 Championship

After winning the opening two races of 2019, Thompson and rookie team Abel Motorsports were challenged to establish a rhythm in the mid part of the season. Disappointing finishes at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Freedom 90 were a serious blow to Thompson’s championship hopes. As the season progressed, the team re-discovered much of the pace that it had shown on opening weekend. Thompson’s final record for the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 Championship showed two wins and eight podiums. Earning a total of 300 points, he finished third in the overall standings.

 

Tilton Hard Charger Award

In races throughout 2019 Thompson repeatedly demonstrated an ability to navigate upwards through the field during race action. Most notably, in the final race of the season, he started from the 10th position after a mechanical issue in qualifying. Thompson would move up eight spots during the race to finish 2nd. With a total of 35 passes (seven more than any other competitor), he earned this year’s Tilton Hard Charger Award.

 

Hi-Tide Kids on Track Spirit Award

Recognizing his involvement both on and off the track, Thompson received the 2019 Hi-Tide Kids on Track Spirit Award as the Indy Pro 2000 driver who most embodied the spirit of hard work and a positive attitude throughout the Road to Indy season.

 

AiM Sports Move of the Year

AiM Sports nominated the three best overtake maneuvers from the Indy Pro 2000 season for this award, with a fan vote choosing the overall winner. For his exciting pass around the outside of Rasmus Lindh in Turn 4 at the Honda Indy Toronto, Parker Thompson captured the most fan votes and the award trophy.

 

Parker Thompson
“When Abel Motorsports and I got together at the beginning of the year, we had our sights set on a Championship win. Anytime that you don’t take home the top prize, there is going to be a hint of disappointment. That said, I’m proud of what we accomplished this year as a new team on the Road to Indy. Here at the Championship Celebration, it is great to see our hard work get the recognition it deserves. Bill Abel, Mark Gibbs, my teammate Jacob Abel, and the whole crew at Abel Motorsports were an absolute pleasure to work with all year. I’ve proven that I have what it takes to continue on the Road to Indy, and I’m excited about what opportunities I will find to move forward.”

 

NEXT EVENTS

Sep. 27-29 – GT3CAN Finale (Round 9 & 10) – Circuit Mont-Tremblant, QC

Thompson Earns 3rd in Championship After Exciting Indy Pro 2000 Finale Weekend

Thompson Earns 3rd in Championship After Exciting Indy Pro 2000 Finale Weekend

WEATHERTECH RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA – MONTEREY, CA

In the final weekend of the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 by Cooper Tires championship, Parker Thompson put together an exemplary performance to secure 3rd in the overall standings. With multiple drivers involved in a tight points race over the course of the two-race weekend, Thompson was presented with a serious challenge in the finale. A mechanical failure in qualifying prevented Thompson’s #8 Abel Motorsports car from finishing the session and saw him starting Sunday’s race from the tenth position. In arguably his best drive of the season, the young Canadian navigated traffic on the challenging WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, picking up eight spots to finish second. 

That race was a sharp contrast from Saturday’s Race 1. In the opening race of the weekend, Thompson started fourth and finished fourth. With many of the drivers participating in their first race on the iconic road course, fraught with sandy runoff areas and extreme elevation changes, action on track appeared somewhat cautious.

In Race 2, an opening-lap collision between teammates Kirkwood and Petrov seemed to loosen the reigns on the entire field. There was a constant re-ordering of the group throughout the race. None benefitted from that more than Thompson. Most notable was a lengthy battle between Thompson and Kory Enders of DeForce Racing. Putting constant pressure on Enders, Thompson made multiple pass attempts, often forcing side-by-side action through some of the most challenging parts of the track. He would pass Enders with less than five minutes remaining to take 2nd position, and then set his sights on the race leader, Lindh. Gaining time every lap, Thompson would get within a second of Lindh before the checkered flag flew.

The performance earned Thompson the 3rd overall position in the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 Championship and is a fitting end to a strong season with rookie team Abel Motorsports. The duo finished on the podium eight times and won two races.

Parker Thompson
“Coming into the weekend we knew that we weren’t going to be leaving with the big trophy, so it was important for us to find another way to have a big impact. We’re in a constant battle to go faster and move up. Starting the final race from tenth didn’t leave me a lot of options. It was a hard-fought race and one that we got rewarded for. I’m proud to have made another deep run for a Road to Indy Championship with a rookie team.”

 

 

NEXT EVENTS

Sep. 27-29 – GT3CAN Finale (Round 9 & 10) – Circuit Mont-Tremblant, QC

Thompson Shines in Chaotic Indy Pro 2000 Weekend at Portland Grand Prix

Thompson Shines in Chaotic Indy Pro 2000 Weekend at Portland Grand Prix

PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, OREGON

With the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 by Cooper Tires championship season nearing its end, Parker Thompson arrived at the Grand Prix of Portland this weekend looking for a fight. Driving with rookie team Abel Motorsports, Thompson has performed admirably all year. Entering the weekend ranked 3rd in the overall standings, Thompson’s hopes for the Indy Pro 2000 championship title were shrinking fast. With two strong performances in races this weekend, he continues to demonstrate that he is one of the top drivers on the Road to Indy series. 

A chaotic start to Race 1 saw a complete re-order of the field after a collision among the front group on the opening lap. Having qualified in fourth position, Thompson found himself in the ninth spot after taking a by-pass route to avoid a collision himself. In one of his best drives of the season, the twenty-one year-old Alberta native worked his way through the field to take the final podium position.

The second race of the weekend saw Thompson and the championship leader heading into the weekend, Rasmus Lindh, go head-to-head for the full duration of the race. The two exchanged positions multiple times early in the contest while running in P3 and P4. Lindh would make the final pass and hold Thompson off for the remainder of the race despite a very narrow gap.

With the final rounds of the championship series taking place later this month at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Thompson remains focused on proving that he and Abel Motorsports are a force to reckon with.

 
Parker Thompson
“We never gave up this weekend and we got rewarded with a podium finish. Any time you get shuffled to the back of the field but still manage a top three, it’s a bonus. We deserved that one though. The team did some great work preparing for the race and keeping things focused when it didn’t go exactly as planned. We are looking forward to the next event, and are excited to end the season on a high note.”

 

NEXT EVENTS

September 20-22 – IP2000 Round 15 & 16 – WeatherTech Laguna Seca, CA
September 27-29 – GT3CAN Round 9 & 10 – Circuit Mont-Tremblant, QC

Thompson Prepared for a Fight After Mid-Pack Finish at Gateway

Thompson Prepared for a Fight After Mid-Pack Finish at Gateway

WORLD WIDE TECHNOLOGY RACEWAY AT GATEWAY – MADISON, ILLINOIS

With two events remaining in the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 by Cooper Tires Championship, Parker Thompson is focused on making a big impact. The Road to Indy veteran started the season in the best possible way, winning the opening two races with rookie team Abel Motorsports. Thompson has since become familiar with adversity. With Abel Motorsports, he has placed on the podium in six of twelve races, but struggles in other races put the team on its back foot entering the Oval Challenge of St. Louis this weekend.  A strong finish was critical to maintaining Thompson’s contention for the overall championship.
 
After a near miss in qualifying, the young Canadian started the race from ninth position. He would work his way up to sixth place before the checkered flag fell, but failed to gain any ground on other top Championship contenders. With four races remaining, and a 64-point deficit to the leader, Lindh, Thompson knows that there is little room for error.

Parker Thompson
“On these oval tracks where there is a short 2-lap qualifying stint, we’ve got a small window to earn a good starting position. Unfortunately, I had a near miss with the wall on one of my laps that cost us a lot of time. After starting near the back of the field, we are satisfied to at least move up to sixth. That said, with two events remaining, you can bet that we are looking for a strong finish to the season. Our team knows that we can run at the front of the field on the road courses. We are not going to let the season end without a big fight.”

INDY PRO 2000 by Cooper Tires Oval Challenge of St. Louis – Round 12

 

NEXT EVENTS

August 30-31 – IP2000 Round 13 & 14 – Portland International Raceway, OR
September 20-22 – IP2000 Round 15 & 16 – WeatherTech Laguna Seca, CA
September 27-29 – GT3CAN Round 9 & 10 – Circuit Mont-Tremblant, QC