( ENSPIRE Sports ) Indy Race Car Driver Ernie Francis Jr. Joins the Ranks of Force Indy as They Head Towards Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Championship
ENSPIRE Contributor: Keith Alexander Lee
Force Indy parts way with driver Myles Rowe as Rowe wishes to compete in another season of USF2000. Force Indy could find much success in the team’s first season with a talented driver. Despite his departure, Rowe will continue to offer mentorship for the team. Force Indy now takes a step towards 2022 Indy Lights with Ernie Francis Jr. dawning the team’s No. 99 uniform. The team is in for another amazing season with Francis Jr. as their newest addition.
Rising star Ernie Francis Jr. has been behind the wheel since the age of four racing in go-karts. At Age 13, He has already progressed to racing sports cars. The young driver derived his love for car racing from his father, Ernie Francis Sr. As a former racer, Francis Sr. was extremely supportive of his son’s pursuit for professional racing. Francis Jr. is extremely grateful and attributes much of his motivation and success to his father.
Ernie Francis Jr. has now signed on as Force Indy’s newest Indy race car driver. The Haitian American driver boasts a very impressive record at the young age of 24. Francis Jr. is a seven-time class champion in the Trans Am Series from 2014 to 2020. He has amassed 47 victories, setting the record within the Trans Am Series. The young driver is very excited about the opportunity to move onto the new category.
Ernie’s Thoughts on Joining Force Indy:
We are very fortunate to have Francis Jr. comment on his decision on joining forces with Force Indy. “Joining the Force Indy team and the Race for Equality and Change were obvious choices for me as the next step in my career. Racing in the INDYCAR Series has always been a dream, so to be one step closer than well as being part of such an incredible initiative is only positive. The Force Indy team has been very welcoming, and we all share the same goals to perform at the highest level.” The driver shares his thoughts about his transition from Trans-Am series to Indy Car races. “The transition has been a change for me as the cars drive so differently. I am a believer in if you can drive one car fast, you can drive any car fast. It’s just four tires and a steering wheel and I will adapt to it with every lap we complete.”
About the Team:
Former racing team manager Rod Reid founded Force Indy in December 2020. As an African American business leader, Reid hopes to create new opportunities with a racing team of his own. This new team would not only be made of a strong roaster, but it will be one built with diversity. Reid focuses on hiring men and women of color across the entire team, ranging from staff to drivers.
Reid shared his thoughts on expanding to other racing categories. He stated that while they do have a USF2000 car they would use; they are more focused on developing talents. He hopes to solidify the team both in and out of the cockpit rather than just matching cars to drivers. The team principal sees that there is more than just money within this field that he is so passionate about.
Reid’s Thoughts on Force Indy’s Future:
When asked about the future holds for the team, here is what Reid has to say. “As a part of Force Indy’s mission, we encourage and seek opportunities in motorsports for people of color, particularly African Americans. It’s my plan for Force Indy to be a pipeline for those individuals who want to come into our sport. We need to fill all positions in the racing business including drivers, mechanics, engineers, marketers, promoters, public relations, accountants, attorneys, medical & healthcare professionals, and so on. Starting with our hiring strategy, we hope to influence other teams and racing-related employers to consider a more inclusive workforce.”
It is inspiring and exciting to see the team brings about more opportunity for people of color in the field. With Ernie joining alongside Reid’s leadership, the team is no doubt going to thrive in the 2022 Indy Lights series. Be sure to stay tuned with the team’s development and success. And learn how you can support them in the links below!
Learn more about the Force Indy Team on Their website.
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