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Nolan Allaer explains logic behind his jump up to Indy Nxt

by Ida Wood

Photo: Chris Jones

Nolan Allaer has explained why he is jumping up the single-seater ladder to Indy Nxt for 2024 rather than a third or fourth-tier series after spending 2023 in Formula 1600.

The 21-year-old came sixth in BRSCC National Formula Ford 1600 (the Ford-powered equivalent to the USA’s Honda-powered category) and 16th in the FFord Festival last year, as will as winning SCCA’s National Runoff in Formula F. He does “have a little bit of experience with downforce” in winged single-seaters, as he also won the 2023 Runoff for Formula Continental.

During the off-season, Allaer did a three-day test in a GB3 car to help prepare him for a series several rungs higher up the ladder.

“The GB3 car is roughly seven or eight seconds a lap slower than the Indy Nxt car. So that is significant,” he explained.

“When you look at the ladder, you’ll see Formula 4, 10 seconds behind a FContinental, which I’ve won two championships in. So I’ve got a lot of seat time in that. GB3 is another eight seconds ahead of that, and Indy Nxt eight seconds ahead of that. Ballpark. So it helped ease me into this. And that’s one of the reasons we did the GB3 running, was to kind of gauge how I’d handle a car at that level.”

So why not race in GB3, or an equivalent junior single-seater series in the USA? Allaer says “of course” he considered series below Indy Nxt.

“There’s things to be said about going along each step of the ladder, and there’s pros and cons to both methods. If you were to go join USF2000, it might take you two years to fight to get to USF Pro 2000, and that’ll take you two years of fighting and scrapping with a chance to get to Indy Nxt. So you’re just going to be learning and acclimating in every series you go to.

“Essentially we believed it would be best for me to go and try to learn as much as possible right now in Indy Nxt and try and acclimate to it. I’m not going to win the championship my first year, I don’t believe, but we might, who knows? But I don’t believe that’s a likely scenario. It’s just a matter of learning as much as I can right now and I believe HMD [Motorsports] is going to provide a great place for me to do that with their experience and the experience of my nine team-mates.”

Allaer will be sponsored by alcoholic drinks brand Martini, which has a long and famous motorsport history.

“They’ve been a sponsor in our family for many, many years,” revealed Allaer. “My grandfather was the one who built the original connection with them. My family are associated with the alcohol distributor in the Great Lakes region. Although we have no direct ties to Martini, we sell their products. And when people in our family start racing, there was kind of a question like ‘oh, would you want to put a sticker on one of our race cars?’.”