Louis Foster enters this weekend’s Indy Pro 2000 finale with the chance to win a championship in his first year racing in America.
Despite the new challenges like racing on an oval and street course for the first time - both of which he has now won on - 19-year-old Foster holds a 77 point lead heading into the last round, and knows a score of 23 points in total over three races will guarantee him the championship win. On offer for the championship winner is a scholarship which contributes to a programme racing in Indy Lights in 2023, the next step on the Road to Indy ladder and one rung under the top level, IndyCar. Foster isn’t thinking about the spoils of a championship just yet, though.
“I’m only human and it would be a lie to say we hadn’t thought about winning the championship at some point,” says Foster, who is backed by Copart, a global leader in online auto auctions, and Florida-based luxury Italian garden umbrella brand Poggesi.
“But we’re not going to win the championship with a sudden change of approach. Every race this year, myself and my Exclusive Autosport team have just tried to take the best result available to us, not forcing it or trying too hard because that’s where mistakes creep in.
“Because of this approach, I’m really relaxed because how we enter this weekend is the same as any other.
“As always, my Exclusive Autosport team have worked so hard on even the tiniest of details to make sure we are prepared for the weekend, and Portland looks like a fun track. I’m excited to see what we can do.”
There are hundreds of championship permutations because there are bonus points on offer and the number of cars that start each race affects how many points are available. Foster will be hoping to finish second (or third with a bonus point) in race one to wrap up the championship regardless of what his rivals achieve, but there will be an almost immediate chance to try again if that’s not the case because there are two Indy Pro 2000 races on Friday alone.
“I’ve learned so much in my first year racing and living in America, and I’ve certainly become a better driver because of it,” adds Foster.
“I don’t think the American junior championships get the credit they deserve. Not only is the standard high but it rewards you if you win the championship by helping you to the next level with a scholarship. It’s a really great system that helps talented drivers to progress.
“This has certainly been the toughest year of racing in my career so far, with so many new challenges. But with the help of Exclusive Autosport and all my backers, we’ve managed to adapt quite quickly.
“I’m looking forward to the Portland weekend and hopefully ending the season on a high.”
Portland schedule - Pacific Daylight Time (BST-8)
Thursday Practice 1 1445-1530 (2245-2330) Friday Qualifying 1 0955-1025 (1755-1825) Race 1 1220-1310 (2020-2110) Race 2 1700-1750 (0100-0150)