Kirkwood’s tempo is “no shock” to Andretti Autosport
After the team changed into unable to gain a home for its 2021 Indy Lights champion in its four-automobile line-up in ’22, Kirkwood spent his rookie IndyCar season at AJ Foyt Racing. Even supposing exhibiting masses of skill, the rookie changed into all in favour of too many incidents, something he admitted earlier than the originate of this Twelve months changed into a results of over-utilizing. He then regarded highly spectacular in preseason testing at Thermal Membership for Michael Andretti’s team as the replacement for Alexander Rossi, and talked about that he’s savoring the handling traits of his level-headed automobile.
Whereas Kirkwood’s weekend in the outlet round of the 2023 season at St. Petersburg would perhaps well be ideally suited remembered for his soar over the afflicted vehicles of Rinus VeeKay and Jack Harvey, the truth that he beat two Penskes and three Ganassi vehicles to ranking into the Firestone Hasty Six in qualifying confirmed his latent skill. Sadly, a shatter in the Hasty Six segment confined his efforts, but Edwards isn’t taken aback to compare the 2021 Indy Lights champ’s neatly-liked tempo.
“Kyle did these couple of IndyCar assessments on the pause of 2021 as a reward for winning the Indy Lights championship for us,” says Edwards, “so even supposing he changed into utilizing a clear automobile closing season, he had that in the aid of his tips. And while we would perhaps no longer ranking the be aware time on this level in time that we feeble to ranking, he and Jeremy Milless [race engineer] had been normally in the DIL simulator to work thru that and ranking everyone on the same page. And proper from the take a look at at Thermal Membership and the take a look at at Sebring, Kyle has performed every thing we knew he would perhaps perform and anticipated him to aid out.
“The error on Saturday [at St. Petersburg] manner we need to work harder to abet him build away with these sorts of errors. Final Twelve months [at AJ Foyt Racing] we saw incidents and other folks talked about, ‘We didn’t judge Kyle made these sorts of mistakes,’ but he changed into in cases the put he felt he changed into having to over-drive, so we would be working out of that. Now he doesn’t need to aid out that.
“In phrases of his speed and his contribution to the team, we couldn’t be happier with him, and he’s latched on to [teammates] Romain [Grosjean] and Colton [Herta] to safe the whole team up.
“Kyle is amazingly ragged for his age, the different of steps he’s thinking forward. Even after we ran him in Indy Lights we would perhaps compare him working with all his teammates to hiss, ‘Hiya, how perform we collectively fortify what we’re doing here?’”
“So sure, we’re very fully overjoyed to occupy him relief and we request gigantic things from Kyle.”
This weekend will compare Kirkwood reprise his IMSA persistence driver position in the 12 Hours of Sebring, teaming with Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat in Vasser Sullivan’s #14 Lexus RC F in GTD Pro.