Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting
Autosport Plus
IndyCar Interview

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

By:

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong junior career and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear

We’ve seen superstar Formula 3 drivers fumble at Formula 2, and F2 champions fail to make a mark in Formula 1, but actually the steps at the very start of a racing career are the ones that can feel like trying to vault over chasms. Some great kart drivers can’t make the transition to cars, while others adapt swiftly to wingless cars such as F1600 and then struggle to feel the limits of a car with aerodynamic downforce. They need more track time that they don’t have because that would require more money that they don’t have.

Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 Indy Lights champion, is very different. He doesn’t just succeed at each level, he excels. He won on his debut in F1600 in 2015. He scored a win and eight other podiums in Formula 4 US the following year to claim third in the championship for Primus Racing, before moving to Cape Motorsports for 2017 and demolishing the opposition – admittedly not deep that year. The same could be said for F3 US in 2018, too, which he conquered from the seat of an Abel Motorsports entry – but while doing that he was simultaneously out-racing the opposition in USF2000 and taking that title, too, for the Cape brothers. Across the two series that year, he won 27 of 31 races entered.

shares
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 21, 2021
How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential Plus

How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential

Romain Grosjean's swashbuckling rookie year in IndyCar captured the imagination of many in 2021. But another ex-Formula 1 driver whose potential was masked by five years of toil in, at best, middling machinery also enjoyed a breakout year in 2021 - winning twice and finishing sixth in points. Here's how Marcus Ericsson finally delivered on his promise

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best Plus

How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best

IndyCar sophomore Alex Palou stunned by overcoming team-mate Scott Dixon and the rest of a white-hot field in 2021. He was consistently fast and crucially showed a level head, rebounding well from setbacks to put himself in a near unassailable position entering the final round

IndyCar
Nov 4, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Plus

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Despite appearing to have an IndyCar job for life with Meyer Shank Racing, Jack Harvey’s departure and move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate. However, Harvey's and RLL's combined strengths could prove to be a winning combination - if they get the balance right

IndyCar
Oct 17, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win Plus

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win

Saturday 16 October marks the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Plus

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong junior career and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star Plus

Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star

Newly-crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou has been lauded as a complete driver and veteran-like in only his second season. The 24-year-old is still in the early days of his career, but the parallels are there for all to see with his six-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate who has been CGR's team leader since 2014

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Plus

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets is now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
Sato to depart Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar squad
Previous article

Sato to depart Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar squad

Next article

McLaughlin didn't want "half-arsed" Bathurst 1000 campaign

McLaughlin didn't want "half-arsed" Bathurst 1000 campaign