Two promising junior open-wheel formula racers will step up to INDY NXT by Firestone this season with Abel Motorsports, as the Indianapolis-based team has signed USF Pro 2000 drivers Yuven Sundaramoorthy and Francesco Pizzi.
Both drivers will have three-race schedules with Abel as they aim to continue their climb toward the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. Both will compete for Abel on Aug. 6 at Nashville and in the season-ending doubleheader Sept. 9-10 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Indian American Sundaramoorthy, 20, also will race Sept. 3 at Portland, with Italian Pizzi, 18, behind the wheel Aug. 11 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Sundaramoorthy will drive the team’s No. 57 entry in his three starts, with Pizzi in the No. 55.
Wisconsin native Sundaramoorthy (photo, left) started this season in USF Pro 2000 for Exclusive Autosport, with five top-10 finishes in his second season in the series. He jumped from karts to cars in 2017, with a breakout season in 2021, when he finished third in the USF2000 championship with four victories, nine podium finishes and 13 top-10 results. He became the fist Indian American to win an INDYCAR-sanctioned race.
“I’m really excited to get the call from Abel Motorsports to drive the No. 57 Dallara in the INDY NXT by Firestone championship,” Sundaramoorthy said. “The team has really been coming on strong lately and showing that they have the pace to compete, so for me this really gives me an opportunity to show what I can do in this series. I know the learning curve is going to be there switching to a bigger car with more power, but I think having the teammates I do with me at Abel Motorsports will help shorten that curve.”
Pizzi (photo, right) is sixth in the USF Pro 2000 standings this season as a rookie, with a best finish of third at Sebring. He also won the pole at St. Petersburg. His season started with a victory in the prestigious Rolex 24 At Daytona endurance sports car race, part of the winning Proton Competition team in the LMP2 class.
“Signing with Abel Motorsports is a great opportunity for myself to partner with a growing team, especially the last few events as a single-car team, they have been able to show that they are able to contend with the big teams for podiums and race wins,” Pizzi said. “I think this will be great for me to be able to learn from the more experienced INDY NXT drivers, like Jacob (Abel) while I prepare for next year.
“These were the only tracks that I had not yet ticked off to learn (Nashville, Laguna Seca) and getting to learn the tracks and a bigger, higher-downforce car will just really help me in preparation for next season. I am really excited to get going and can’t wait to see what we are capable of in Nashville.”
The addition of Sundaramoorthy and Pizzi to the lineup signifies continued growth for Abel Motorsports. Jacob Abel is the team’s full-time driver in INDY NXT by Firestone and is third in the standings, 43 points behind leader Christian Rasmussen. Colin Kaminsky also is running a limited schedule this season with the team.