Flying Kiwi tipped for IndyCar switch

IndyCar could soon have another flying Kiwi if rumors come to fruition.

Former Ferrari junior driver Marcus Armstrong has been tipped to leave the FIA ​​Formula 2 Championship after three seasons.

A move to the United States is said to be on the cards, with AJ Foyt Racing thought to be the most likely destination.

Stan Sport is the only place to watch the 2022 IndyCar Series. Continue August 20-21 with round 15 in St Louis with all the action streaming ad-free, live and on demand

There are already two New Zealanders flying the flag, led by six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske upstart Scott McLaughlin.

In recent years, a handful of Formula 2 drivers have curved their Formula 1 ambitions and made the switch to IndyCar.

Santino Ferrucci, Callum Ilott and Christian Lundgaard have all come from Formula 2 and had varying levels of IndyCar success.

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Armstrong isn’t the only Formula 2 driver thought to be in the mix to make a move.

Current points leader Felipe Drugovich has also said to be sniffing around for a seat.

Lundgaard, who is in his maiden IndyCar campaign with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, believes Armstrong and Drugovich would go well in the United States.

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However, it wouldn’t be without its challenges, the Dane explained.

“I think looking at Felipe, he’s done an extremely good job this year, had a very, very good start to the season, which has put him in this position to be able to get points and still keep the lead in the championship,” said Lundgaard.

“I was teammates with Marcus in 2020 in F2. I know he had a very tough year that year, but I know Marcus is a good driver. I know he can hustle a car as well.

“I don’t know that much about Felipe overall, but I think Marcus for sure would be able to be fast. The thing about IndyCar is you need to be fast every single time, and that’s tough. I think the transition into ovals is tough.”

This week, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced a multi-year contract extension with Lundgaard.

It comes with three races to go in what has been a solid debut season for the 21-year-old that has thus far included one podium finish.

Asked why the transition to IndyCar had been so smooth for him and Ilott, Lundgaard attributed the lion’s share to their understanding of tire conservation.

“I think coming from Pirelli tires into Firestone tires was a big benefit for both Callum and I because I think we have the experience of proper saving tires and looking after tires because the Pirelli tires are tough,” Lundgaard explained.

“They’re very difficult to understand, and from track to track, it’s also different. Here, I feel the Firestones can take a lot more, so you can actually push the tires.

“At the same time, we know how to be fast, but now we also know how to save the tires. I think for us as a racing driver, we’ve shown ourselves to be able to do a good job, be fast, but now I think it’s helped our race craft a lot more.

“I think the cars don’t drive dramatically different. I think the IndyCar is able to hustle more. It’s got a gentle slide to it. The biggest difference for me, I think would be from the tires, but the car handles pretty much the same. It’s a little different, but it’s not dramatically different.”

The IndyCar Series continues in St Louis on Sunday at 8am (AEST) with a 260-lap race at Gateway, live, ad-free and exclusively on Stan Sport.

Team Penske’s Will Power leads the standings by just six points over Dixon.

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