Junior Strous has signed to race with the ASR-Nelan team in the 2009 Firestone Indy Lights season, spearheading what is expected to be an influx of drivers from the Atlantic Championship.
The 22-year old Dutchman, who raced both of the last two seasons in Atlantics, will drive the #18 car for co-owners Jon Lewis and Rick Nelan as he attempts to move up the racing ladder.
"I am very happy to race in the Firestone Indy Lights series in 2009," Strous said, "I love to race in America. The fans are close, and to race on the Indy Brickyard is one of my dreams. My aim is to race in the [IndyCar Series] in the future, and insiders advised me to compete one year in Indy Lights to gain experience on the oval tracks. "
Strous finished fifth in Atlantics in 2008 after leading the championship for most of the season. He won the race at Mont Tremblant from the pole and recorded three podium finishes, leading to him securing the Gilles Villeneuve Award nomination at the end of the season. He previously raced in Formula Renault in Europe and won the US Formula Renault 2000 Winter Invitational in 2004.
“Junior brings a wealth of driver talent to our team,” noted Lewis, who previously ran his team under the American Spirit Racing banner, “He's a proven winner and dedicated to being the best. We are looking forward to the 2009 season with Junior on board, and we're going to give him everything we have to help him win the championship.”
For the second consecutive year, the ASR-Nelan team will be fielded in partnership with Paul Diatlovich, whose PDM Racing will be the operational partner of the programme. Veteran engineer Tim Wardrop will act as chief engineer for the team.