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Kirkwood’s tempo is “no shock” to Andretti Autosport

After the team was unable to find a space for its 2021 Indy Lights champion in its four-car line-up in ’22, Kirkwood spent his rookie IndyCar season at AJ Foyt Racing. Although showing plenty of potential, the rookie was involved in too many incidents, something he admitted before the start of this year was a

Kirkwood’s tempo is “no shock” to Andretti Autosport

After the staff was unable to discover a house for its 2021 Indy Lights champion in its four-car line-up in ’22, Kirkwood spent his rookie IndyCar season at AJ Foyt Racing. Though displaying loads of potential, the rookie was concerned in too many incidents, something he admitted before the start of this year was a results of over-driving. He then regarded extremely spectacular in preseason testing at Thermal Membership for Michael Andretti’s staff because the substitute for Alexander Rossi, and acknowledged that he is savoring the handling characteristics of his new car.

Whereas Kirkwood’s weekend within the opening spherical of the 2023 season at St. Petersburg could also be finest remembered for his leap over the stricken vehicles of Rinus VeeKay and Jack Harvey, the truth that he beat two Penskes and three Ganassi vehicles to get into the Firestone Quick Six in qualifying confirmed his latent potential. Sadly, a crash within the Quick Six phase confined his efforts, however Edwards isn’t stunned to see the 2021 Indy Lights champ’s fundamental tempo.

“Kyle did these couple of IndyCar assessments on the finish of 2021 as a reward for profitable the Indy Lights championship for us,” says Edwards, “so regardless that he was driving a distinct automotive final season, he had that at the back of his thoughts. And whereas we could not get the monitor time today that we used to get, he and Jeremy Milless [race engineer] had been usually within the DIL simulator to work by that and get everybody on the identical web page. And proper from the take a look at at Thermal Membership and the take a look at at Sebring, Kyle has carried out every part we knew he might do and anticipated him to do.

“The error on Saturday [at St. Petersburg] means we have to work more durable to assist him get rid of these sorts of errors. Final 12 months [at AJ Foyt Racing] we noticed incidents and other people stated, ‘We didn’t assume Kyle made these types of errors,’ however he was in circumstances the place he felt he was having to over-drive, so we may very well be understanding of that. Now he doesn’t want to do this.

“By way of his velocity and his contribution to the staff, we couldn’t be happier with him, and he’s latched on to [teammates] Romain [Grosjean] and Colton [Herta] to raise the entire staff up.

“Kyle could be very mature for his age, the variety of steps he’s pondering forward. Even after we ran him in Indy Lights we might see him working with all his teammates to say, ‘Hey, how can we collectively enhance what we’re doing right here?’”

“So sure, we’re very completely satisfied to have him again and we anticipate nice issues from Kyle.”

This weekend will see Kirkwood reprise his IMSA endurance driver position within the 12 Hours of Sebring, teaming with Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat in Vasser Sullivan’s #14 Lexus RC F in GTD Professional.

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