// Swedish youngster heads to America in new chapter of burgeoning career
// Joins title-winning squad in transatlantic move to INDY NXT and NTT INDYCAR SERIES support ladder
Joel Granfors will head to the USA to begin an exciting new chapter in his single-seater career in 2023, joining reigning champions Exclusive Autosport in the INDYCAR-supporting USF Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires championship.
The Swede – who finished runner-up in Britain’s GB3 Championship in 2022 – has signed a deal to drive the #92 Corpay Exclusive Autosport car in the 18-race season.
In joining Exclusive Autosport, Granfors slots in at the same team that carried Britain’s Louis Foster to the 2022 USF Pro 2000 title.
“This is a thrilling step in my career, and literally a new challenge in so many ways,” says Joel Granfors. “It’s a new continent, all new tracks, a new car and a new team, but I’ve massively enjoyed all I’ve seen of it so far. The team has really made me feel at home and I couldn’t be prouder to be in the #92 Exclusive Autosport Corpay-branded car. It’s all about picking your opportunities in this sport and, for me, I feel the package is right to make this move and try to chase the American dream.”
USF Pro 2000 is the final step on the USF Pro Championships Presented by Cooper Tires development system ladder, which leads drivers onwards to INDY NXT (previously known as Indy Lights) and, ultimately, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES – the top tier of U.S. single-seater racing.
To aid progression for talented drivers, USF Pro 2000 offers up one of motorsport’s biggest scholarships – valued at $664,500 – for the champion to advance to INDY NXT in 2024.
17-year-old Granfors recently conducted his first test aboard the Tatuus IP-22 used in the series, proving instantly up to speed across two days of running at Sebring International Raceway.
“I am really happy to have Joel join the Exclusive Autosport program for the 2023 season,” says Michael Duncalfe, Team Principal. “Joel has a proven record on track and his skills and experience will lend itself very well to the USF Pro 2000 car. We had a very successful two days of testing at Sebring International Raceway this past week. He adapted very well to all the new variables that were thrown his way and his speed showed immediately out of the gate. With the testing program we have set out for Joel, I am confident he will be a title contender for the 2023 USF Pro 2000 championship.”
Granfors is the third driver signed by Exclusive Autosport for the 2023 USF Pro 2000 campaign, alongside Lindsay Brewer and Yuven Sundaramoorthy. Slotting into the team’s #92 Corpay entry, Granfors will don a raspberry Corpay suit and car livery in the championship this year.
“Absolutely thrilled to have Joel driving in the #92 Corpay Exclusive Autosport USF Pro 2000 car for the 2023 season,” says Frank Mannarino, VP, Head of Channels & Alliances, Corpay Cross-Border Solutions. “As a provider of global payments and a multi-year sponsor to Exclusive Autosport, team Corpay is looking forward to supporting this very talented young driver in his journey as he acclimates to new North American tracks and strong competition. Välkommen Joel!”
Granfors will undertake an extensive testing program in preparation for the opening round of the season in St. Petersburg, Florida, on March 3-5. The 2023 USF Pro 2000 championship consists of 18 races, including an oval event at Lucas Oil Raceway taking place on the same weekend as the Indianapolis 500. The season will wrap up in Portland, Oregon, on September 3.
Race events will be live-streamed and can be accessed by tuning in on the USF Pro Championships App and at usfpro2000.com.