Felipe Ortiz has joined Afterburner Autosport's USF2000 team for the 2016 season.
Ortiz was runner-up in the 2014 Formula 4 Sudamericana season, before moving to Brazil's F3 championship. He contested the secondary Lights class, but recurring technical issues caused seven consecutive retirements and Ortiz left the series at the halfway point.
“I'm very excited to join Afterburner Autosport and I know that we'll have a great season together,” said Ortiz. “It's an awesome team with awesome results in USF2000 and I'm pretty sure we'll be on the podium this year.
"As for competing on the Mazda Road To Indy and in USF2000, it's a dream come true! I’ve been aiming at the series ever since I started racing karts and I'm very happy to be racing in one of the biggest motorsports series on the planet.”
His team Afterburner had two full-time entries two years ago including Victor Franzoni, whom they were set to continue with for another year in 2015. However, Franzoni's mid-season move to Pro Mazda forced the team to put a halt on its program.
Tim Walsh, Afterburner Autosport team principal said: "We’re really excited to get our first driver confirmed for the year. Felipe comes to us with a great pedigree in karting and Brazilian formula car competition and we’re thrilled to get the opportunity to introduce him to the USF2000 program and the Mazda Road To Indy.
"We had incredible success with our last Brazilian driver – Victor Franzoni – and we hope to match that performance with Felipe.
"We have a great teammate lined up for him as well, and we’re hoping to field at least three cars in 2016.”