Joel Granfors powers to instant podium on oval debut


// Swede backs up first win with new rostrum visit in USF Pro 2000   
// Rookie defies inexperience to climb to second in championship standings

Joel Granfors overcame a lack of experience to break immediately onto the podium in the first oval race of his career this weekend, as the Swede continues to make headway in the USF Pro 2000 standings.

After claiming his first victory in U.S. single-seater racing last time out, Granfors continued to feature among the frontrunners as the USF Pro 2000 field regrouped at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Raceway for the only oval event of the year.

17-year-old Granfors raised eyebrows in the paddock with a committed run to P2 – a mere 0.03 seconds adrift of pole position – as he tackled the two-lap oval qualifying system for the very first time, lining up on the front row for Friday night’s sole race of the weekend.

Once in the race, Granfors initially dropped to fourth at the start, but patiently bided his time to recover position later in the race.

The Swedish rookie efficiently picked off lapped traffic – an inevitable feature around the short, 20-second lap of Lucas Oil Raceway – and entered the final ten laps right on the tail of leading Exclusive Autosport team-mate Salvador de Alba (Mexico).

A late incident further down the field eventually saw the race finish under caution, disarming a potential victory charge from Granfors, but second place still marked a very solid start to life as an oval racer.

“That was an intense race! I’m really happy with P2 in my first oval race,” says Joel Granfors. “I wanted to get the lead at the start but dropped down too low, which opened up the high line. A bit of a rookie mistake on my part, but I’ll learn from that. Once we settled in, the pace was great and I managed to get back up to second. I always race to win and we were a bit unfortunate it ended under yellow, but obviously we’re super thrilled with this performance.

It marks the second straight 1-2 victory for Exclusive Autosport, with the roles reversed after Granfors led home de Alba to win in the previous race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway two weeks ago.

As the sole oval round of the season, this weekend’s race awarded extra championship points, making the success yet more important for Granfors – who now climbs to second in the overall standings.

It has been a great experience racing on the oval this week and we’re making steady progress in the championship, so things are really looking on the up, Joel Granfors concludesBig thanks to all the guys at Exclusive Autosport for giving us such a strong package here.

The next USF Pro 2000 round is scheduled for June 16-18 at Road America and will mark the halfway point of the championship.


USF Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires
Rd. 4 // Lucas Oil Raceway (USA)

1: Salvador de Alba (MEX), 90 laps
2: Joel Granfors (SWE), +0.517s
3: Jack William Miller (USA), +1.047s
4: Francesco Pizzi (ITA), +1.947s
5: Myles Rowe (USA), +4.311s

Full Results


USF Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires
// After 4/9 rounds 

1: Myles Rowe (USA), 165 p.
2: Joel Granfors (SWE), 133 p.
3: Francesco Pizzi (ITA), 128 p.
4: Salvador de Alba (MEX), 124 p.
5: Kiko Porto (BRA), 117 p.

Full standings