St. Petersburg, Fla. (February 28, 2022) – Josh Green became the first winner of the 2022 Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires season after an exemplary drive from the pole that saw him lead all 25 laps of the opening race to take his maiden victory in the series. The win was the second in a row for Green; he won the last race of the 2021 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship season with Turn 3 Motorsport before graduating to the Indy Pro 2000 series in 2022.
Green set the bar high out of the gate by winning the Cooper Tires Pole Award with the fastest qualifying time on the challenging 1.8-mile street circuit. After an excellent start in Race 1, Green formed a two second gap over the rest of the field by the end of lap two. From there, it was smooth sailing for the driver of the #3 SessionGuardian/Zimperium/Lionfish Tech Advisors car as he came across the start/finish line in first.
Green started sixth for Race 2 of the Andersen Interior Contracting Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and set his focus on achieving another podium finish. Another great start propelled Green up to fourth before a yellow flag came out, halting the race. On the restart, Green made slight contact with the #47 car of Enaam Ahmed while going for positions which called him into the pits for repairs. Green got back out on track, continued to put out quick laps – just missing the fastest lap time of the race by .1 seconds – and finished 11th in Race 2.
All in all, Green collected 42 points in the opening rounds and came out of the weekend third in the championship with just eight points separating him from the leader.
“We started this season off with a bang!” said Josh Green. “I am extremely proud and thankful for everyone under the Turn 3 tent for working so hard to get us here. I was so happy to deliver a pole and win to the squad and begin our momentum for the season. We came out of the gate swinging, and I’m excited to continue pushing in two months’ time at Barber Motorsports Park!”
“I’m extremely proud of Josh and my team for coming out and grabbing the first pole and first win of the season in a dominant fashion,” said Team Owner Peter Dempsey. “Josh has come on a huge amount since he first joined us at the start of the 2021 season, and I feel he’s on his way to proving he’s going to be a fierce competitor throughout the 2022 season.”
Jonathan Browne had a weekend of firsts in St. Petersburg; the Indy Pro 2000 premiere marked the Irishman’s first race in the U.S.A, first race in the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, and first race on a street course.
After only 30 minutes of practice time on the circuit, Browne took on qualifying for the first of two races where he ended up P15 after a shortened session due to a red flag. Browne had a clean start in Race 1 and focused on strong lap times and bringing the #2 car home for his debut race.
Gaining more experience with every session, Browne came back stronger in Race 2, jumping up to 10th from 12th on the opening lap. From there, the rookie set to work on earning a top-ten finish, holding off series veterans while putting out quick lap times. Unfortunately, Browne’s efforts were cut short; after having just put in his fastest lap time, he had contact with the #55 car of Reece Gold that sent him into the wall, resulting in a 14th place finish.
“I am pleased to have my first race under my belt,” said Jonathan Browne. “Although it may not have been what I wanted, I have learned a lot this weekend and look forward to taking this momentum to Barber Motorsports Park. In Race 2, we showed good pace and race craft until I was unfortunately involved in contact out of my control which forced me to retire. A big thanks to the team for making me so comfortable and giving me a good car and support for my American debut. All eyes on the next one!”
“Jonathan did a good job this weekend in his first Indy Pro 2000 event,” said Team Owner Peter Dempsey. “He’s put himself in the deep end with his first race being a street course, but it’s certainly a huge learning experience for him, and it’s given him a good foundation to build on for the next race.”
“A huge amount of hours have gone into our season prep from when the new update kits arrived, and I’m grateful to everyone who has helped the team get here,” concluded Dempsey. “This is the reward for all of our hard work. Now we turn our focus toward Barber to make sure we can keep up our performances at this level.”
The Indy Pro 2000 series will meet up again in March for an official test at Barber Motorsports Park ahead of Rounds 3/4 in April at the 2.38-mile road course in Alabama.