The Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires is replete with accomplished teams on all three levels of the highly acclaimed open-wheel driver development ladder. The likes of Andretti Autosport, Juncos Hollinger Racing and Cape Motorsports, for example, have become regular contenders at the front of the field. All have claimed multiple race wins and championships in either Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires or the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship over the course of the past decade or more.
Turn 3 Motorsport is relatively new to the scene, but has already made its mark and seems destined to adds its name to the roster of powerhouse teams.
Based in the leafy northern Chicago suburb of Mundelein, Ill., Turn 3 Motorsport is the brainchild of former racer Peter Dempsey. Dempsey’s primary claim to fame came in 2013 when he edged Gabby Chaves by just 0.0026s in a thrilling Freedom 100 Indy Lights race. It remains the closest finish in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history. Incidentally, Sage Karam and Carlos Munoz also were within a scant 0.0443s on that memorable occasion when Dempsey took advantage of the draft to slingshot his way from the back of a four-car pack in Turn 3 to take the checkered flag for the biggest win of his career.
Dempsey cut his own racing teeth in his native Ireland, following in the footsteps of his father, Cliff, who went on to establish what became one of the most successful Formula Ford teams in Ireland and the UK. After moving to the United States in 2008, the younger Dempsey continued to pursue his dream of becoming a professional driver. He finished third in the Indy Pro 2000 (formerly known as Star Mazda) title chase as a rookie, and the following year came agonizingly close to securing the championship before ultimately having to settle for second place. His tally of nine wins and seven poles was unmatched in those two seasons.
Dempsey went on to claim eight podium finishes in Indy Lights during a three-year span, including that sensational win at Indianapolis, despite competing on a minuscule budget that resulted in him driving for a total of five different teams.
To make ends meet, Dempsey worked with several Road to Indy teams as an engineer, driver coach and team manager, earning high praise and paving the way toward establishing Turn 3 Motorsport in 2016. The team grew rapidly, earning a clean sweep of the 1340cc, 1500cc and overall championships in the hotly contested Radical Cup North America sports car series in 2019 while also claiming the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, leading 638 out of 672 laps and becoming the first team to achieve the overall win with a car powered by an under two-liter engine.
That same year, Turn 3 embarked on a parallel partial campaign on the Road to Indy for the first time. Fittingly, given his previous success in the category, Dempsey chose the Indy Pro 2000 championship for his team’s graduation.
Singapore’s Danial Frost achieved the team’s first victory, at Road America, in the opening round of the 2020 season. Coincidentally, it, too, came in a photo-finish, with Frost sneaking ahead of Canadian Devlin DeFrancesco by just 0.0556s after taking advantage of the draft on the final lap.
Irishman James Roe secured win number two at the 2021 season finale, compounding the team’s joy after New Yorker Josh Green had capped the team’s first foray into the USF2000 series with his – and the team’s – maiden victory just a couple of hours earlier.
That momentum was maintained this February when Green celebrated his graduation onto the next rung on the Road to Indy ladder by winning again on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla (pictured, top). The result marked Green as an early championship favorite.
Turn 3 Motorsport also is fielding a second new Tatuus PM-22 this year for another Irishman, Jonathan Browne, a former winner of the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch, for his rookie season in North America. In addition, highly rated American youngsters Spike Kohlbecker, from St. Louis, Mo., and Christian Weir, from Naperville, Ill., spearhead the teams attack on the USF2000 championship.
To learn more about Turn 3 Motorsport, click here and by following its social media channels on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.