Cape Motorsports has signed the first of two drivers for its 2023 Indy Lights program, as Jagger Jones graduates up the Road to Indy ladder with the team from its championship-winning Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship effort.
Jones, 20, is the grandson of 1963 Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones.
“We’re happy to head back to Indy Lights with Jagger,” said brothers Dominic and Nicholas Cape. “He’s fast, and he’s shown what a solid driver he is with his performance in USF2000 this year. He learned the tracks and the car so quickly, and we don’t expect next year to be any different.
“Continuity is so important for our team, and bringing Jagger along makes much of this quite seamless. He gets along with the entire team and fits in so well. We’re ready to get started on 2023.”
Arizona native Jones captured USF2000 Rookie of the Year honors with a victory at Barber Motorsports Park, three pole positions and five podium finishes. Jones, a dean’s list student at High Point University in North Carolina, eagerly anticipates the challenge as he aims toward his ultimate goal: the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.
“I’m super happy to continue progressing in my Road to Indy career,” Jones said. “This is a great opportunity to move up to Indy Lights with Cape Motorsports. I’ve had such a good year learning from everyone on the USF2000 team, so once Cape announced they were moving to Indy Lights, I knew it was my chance to continue my development with them.
“Dominic and Nicholas are completely committed to winning at every level. It will be a new challenge for me and for Cape, but I know with our dedication, we’ll be fighting for podiums and wins next year. I can’t thank all those who have made this happen enough – TotalSim US, Apex Motor Club, Simcraft and so many others for trusting me.”
Jones has plenty of racing experience to draw upon as he jumps from the 175-horsepower USF2000 car to a 450-horsepower Indy Lights car. He spent several years racing 650-horsepower stock cars and late models, finishing second in the 2019 NASCAR Menards Series West.
The adaptation to open-wheel cars was rapid for Jones. He was the quickest driver in the Road to Indy Chris Griffis Memorial Test last fall at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“I think everyone’s path is different,” Jones said. “I started open wheel a little later in my racing career. I’ve done a great deal of stock car racing, with really big horsepower, so while that is quite different from driving the Indy Lights car, I have experience driving other cars. Yes, it is a big jump, but I’m ready for the challenge, and I have the background to help me learn quickly.”
Cape Motorsports first contested Indy Lights in 2007, 2008 and 2010. In 2007 and 2008, the Cape brothers managed the RLR Andersen Racing team (a partnership between Dan Andersen and Rahal Letterman Racing) with a driver lineup that included future series champion JR Hildebrand, with whom they had captured the USF2000 title in 2006. The 2010 effort was formed in partnership with Wayne Taylor Racing, with Gustavo Yacamán behind the wheel.
The team expects to take delivery of the first of its pair of Dallara IL-15s later this month, with the announcement of its second driver coming within the next several weeks. Testing is scheduled to start in November at Sebring International Raceway.