Jacob Douglas confirms Road to Indy USF2000 season with Exclusive Autosport
Young Kiwi driver Jacob Douglas has confirmed that he will compete in the 2022 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship in the United States. The 16-year old left for the US before Christmas to test with Exclusive Autosport and has now confirmed his season participation with the opening round at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida on February 25-27, running alongside the NTT INDYCAR Series.
“I feel really pleased about joining Exclusive Autosport in 2022,” said Douglas. “Throughout all our testing so far, the team has been very welcoming and very professional. I look forward to the upcoming season with them and strongly hope to continue with them in years to come.
“I appreciate that in 2022 I have a steep learning curve to adapt to racing the USF2000 cars and the Road to Indy program, but I am excited to get going. It has been a big journey already just to get on the grid so I would like to thank all of my partners back in New Zealand that made this happen and I hope to see some of them over at my races this year.”
Backed by JDM Properties, Douglas got his start in karting at the age of eight, practicing and racing locally before traveling throughout New Zealand and around the world at major events. By the age of 15, he was a four-time New Zealand karting champion and was the first-ever NZ karting driver to be selected by the FIA CIK Karting World Academy Championship.
He then moved into single seaters competing in both the New Zealand Formula Ford and the South Island Formula 1600 Championships’. He finished sixth overall and top rookie driver in the national championship.
“Everything is going very well over here so far,” commented Douglas. “I’m enjoying it all very much. I would say the key challenge is definitely learning the tracks. Because I am a rookie, I don’t know many of the those that we will compete on, so I think learning them quickly before qualifying will be very important, especially as we have very limited practice time on race weekends. I have a great engineer who helps me understand the car very well, so I’d say one big thing I’ve also learned is the mechanical side of driving.”
Since heading over to the US, Douglas has been extensively testing with Exclusive Autosport during the off-season and has already built a solid connection with the crew. He’ll drive the team’s #90 Tatuus USF-22.
“Jacob is an exciting talent,” enthused Michael Duncalfe, Team Principal. “I have to give him a lot of credit, being 16-year-old, and coming over to the United States on his own to work towards a career in IndyCar. He has done a fantastic job in our initial team tests and has acclimated very well to the USF22 race car. We are thrilled to have Jacob part of the Exclusive Autosport team, and we look forward to the season and strong performances from him.”
The official Road to Indy Spring Training event at Homestead-Miami Speedway gets underway 14-15 February 2022 with the first two of 18 season-long races underway in Florida February 25-27, running alongside the NTT INDYCAR Series.