Reigning Formula Regional Americas champion and Indy Lights racer Kyffin Simpson has been signed by IndyCar team Chip Ganassi Racing as a development driver on a multi-year deal.
The 17-year-old is a driver in Honda Performance Development’s GT3 academy programme and won a scholarship from HPD last year to race in Super Formula for 2022 off the back of his FRegional crown but turned it down to go to Indy Lights.
He currently sits seventh in the standings in his rookie season there, finishing 11th and fifth in the first two races with the debuting TJ Speed team, and last weekend was part of the Haas Formula 1 team at the Miami Grand Prix.
“This is a dream come true,” said Simpson. “I’m incredibly grateful for the support from Chip, Mike Hull and the whole CGR team. This is a huge opportunity and I’m going to make the most of it. My ambition has always been to race with a championship-winning IndyCar team, and I’m now taking a major step towards that goal.”
If Simpson wins the Lights title, he would recieve a scholarship that would get him entries in three IndyCar races next year including the Indianapolis 500. CGR currently runs four full-time cars and one part-time entry in IndyCar.
“We are always interested in bringing in talented individuals who can contribute to the success of our team,” said Mike Hull, CGR’s managing director.
“Kyffin has impressed us with his driving abilities, especially at such a young age, and we wanted to find a path toward bringing him into the Ganassi family.”
CGR is the third IndyCar team to be currently supporting young drivers. The late Dan Wheldon’s sons Sebastian and Oliver are on the roster of Andretti Autosport’s driver development programme while they move up the karting ranks in America, and Meyer Shank Racing supports Indy Pro 2000 driver Braden Eves.
Dale Coyne Racing has formed an alliance with Indy Lights team HMD Motorsports for 2022 following up on a co-entry between the two in IndyCar, McLaren Schmidt Peterson’s sister F1 team has British Formula 4 racer Ugo Ugochukwu as its only current junior, and Roger Penske has helped fund Indy Lights team Force Indy through his series-owning Penske Entertainment Corporation while keeping his own race operation Team Penske seperate.