Kirkwood’s future is IndyCar, not FE, says Andretti team boss

Roger Griffiths, team boss at the BMW i Andretti Motorsport Team in Formula E, is impressed by Kyle Kirkwood but suspects he’ll pursue an IndyCar career rather than jump to FE.

Kirkwood’s future is IndyCar, not FE, says Andretti team boss

After winning the 2017 Formula 4 U.S. Championship, Kirkwood dominated both the F3 Americas championship and USF2000 championships in 2018, and then won the Indy Pro 2000 title in 2019.

Last year, the Indy Lights championship was dormant due to COVID and poor grid numbers, but restarted this year, with Kirkwood behind the wheel of an Andretti Autosport entry. He has won four of the 10 rounds held so far and so lies second in the championship currently.

Although circumstances forced him to put his U.S. open-wheel career on hold in 2020, Kirkwood not only occasionally raced the Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F, he also tested one of Andretti’s Formula E cars and left team manager Griffiths impressed.

He told Motorsport.com: “He’s having a stellar Indy Lights season, and honestly I think Kyle’s focus is North America. American drivers for the most part are going to be looking to get a good ride in IndyCar.

“Obviously we tested him here in Formula E. He’s older than you would anticipate… I think he was a little bit of a late starter into [car] racing compared with many others. But he’s obviously super-talented.

“We tested him at Marrakesh, he ran really, really well. He ran against Lucas Auer, he was quicker than Lucas, and I think he could have been yet quicker still. We didn’t give him the best opportunity on the day. He could have been further up the time charts.

“He’s definitely more mature than his years would suggest. Certainly from Michael’s perspective, he would like to see an American behind the wheel of the car, and obviously [Kirkwood] would fit that bill. But I think he’s really focused on, first off, winning the Indy Lights championship, and then, what does that mean in terms of a ride in IndyCar? That’s probably his preferred career path.

“Now if neither of those two things were to happen then I think there’s a possibility here – but I would think he’d remain full focused on staying States-side.”

Asked how he rated Kirkwood’s talent, Griffiths replied: “I’d say he’s pretty special. It’s hard to tell in Indy Lights because the depth of the talent is probably not the same as you’d see in Europe, so how would he fare in F3 or F2?

“I don’t know… but I think he’s pretty good, pretty special.”

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