Spike Kohlbecker of St. Louis, Missouri will join race winning team Turn 3 Motorsport for both his and the team’s second season in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship in 2022. Named the 2021 Hyperco Rookie of the Year, 19-year-old Kohlbecker finished seventh in last year’s USF2000 Championship with a podium finish and top-ten results in 13 out of 18 total races.
Kohlbecker will once again partner with Ignite Autosport, an extension of St. Louis-based karting program Margay Racing, to form Turn 3 Motorsport with Ignite Autosport for the 2022 season. Kohlbecker got his start with Margay Racing as a young racer and has continued to represent the program as a factory driver throughout the progression of his racing career.
“It feels great to say ‘I’m back!’,” said Kohlbecker. “I wouldn’t be able to say that without the support of my sponsors, supporters, and friends that have been on this journey with me. It’s awesome to be back in the USF2000 Series with Turn 3 Motorsport. The Turn 3 team is filled with many familiar names and faces for me, so it feels like home, and racing for the Dempsey family again is a real honor. I’m excited to be a part of the Turn 3 team momentum. You can count on us working hard again this year, and I know that together we will have an amazing season.”
“It’s clear that racing in the USA is on the minds of top drivers around the world,” continued Kohlbecker. “Just look at the talent that the Road to Indy has attracted from near and far. I’m really looking forward to the start of the 2022 season and want to thank all of my sponsors for their support – Ignite Autosport, Ruckus Racing, Margay Racing, Fort Family Foundation, TierPoint, RSolution, Central Institute for Human Performance, True Title, PSL, MessmerCares, Cfx, Lake Charles Park, Clark & Carol Amos, Team Schuster, Alvear Crowdfunded Ventures, and Gar & Elise Lippincott. See you at the track!”
“Racing is all about winning, and winning at any level of motorsport is all about teamwork,” said Margay Racing President and Ignite Autosport Team Manager Keith Freber. “Peter and his team at Turn 3 Motorsport have shown that they have the right people in the right places to contend for wins and championships in the Road to Indy Series. We’re confident that Spike is now well positioned to do just that. As he has done throughout his almost 15 year career with Margay Racing and Ignite Autosport, we expect Spike to rise to the challenge and get the job done in 2022.”
Prior to joining the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, Kohlbecker raced F1600 cars in Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, earning the title of Vice Champion in the 2019 Avon Tyres UK National Championship. In 2020, Kohlbecker Competed in the Castrol Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand, scoring a best finish of fifth and earning the “Most Improved Driver” award. That same year, he finished third in the F4 United States Championship powered by Honda with two wins, six additional podium finishes and three pole positions.
Having achieved race wins and recognition in each step of his racing career thus far, Kohlbecker is ready to challenge for regular podiums in the 2022 USF2000 Championship with Turn 3 Motorsport.
“It’s great to have Spike and Ignite Autosport join us to complete our 2022 lineup,” said Turn 3 Motorsport Team Owner Peter Dempsey. “We’ve been working on this deal over the past few months and feel it will be a great fit for our team. Spike has conducted one test with us so far at Sebring International Raceway, and we are looking forward to using that as a foundation to build him up into a championship contender for the 2022 season. Spike has proven his competitiveness in every season he’s ran over the past couple of years,” continued Dempsey. “I feel with the relationship we’ve started, we will be able to give him the tools he will need both inside and outside of the car to extract the most out of himself for the 2022 season.”
Kohlbecker will pilot the #33 Turn 3 Motorsport with Ignite Autosport USF2000 car in 2022. With the introduction of a new chassis for both the USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000 series in 2022, Turn 3 Motorsport has been hard at work building and testing the upgraded cars in preparation for the start of the season. The Tatuus IP-22 and USF-22 will include a new, wider monocoque with the addition of a Halo device as well as new sidepods, underfloors, engine covers, air ducts, damper covers and fuel cells.
The team will head to Homestead-Miami Speedway next week for Road to Indy Spring Training followed by the first race event of the season on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida from February 24-27, 2022.