Andretti Global’s performances at the NTT IndyCar Series’ three-day test at Miami-Homestead Speedway were everything the team could hope for as Andretti Technologies client Meyer Shank Racing was fastest on Monday with Felix Rosenqvist, fastest again on Tuesday with its own Colton Herta, and quickest to close the visit to southern Florida with home state prodigy Kyle Kirkwood.
Kirkwood’s top lap of 1m11.277s in the No. 98 Honda also represented three straight days of the Honda Racing Corporation US-built motors leading the running on Homestead’s roval. Behind Kirkwood it was MSR’s Tom Blomqvist in the No. 60 Honda (1m11.475s), and Chip Ganassi Racing rookie Linus Lundqvist in the No. 8 Honda (1m11.640s) was third.
“With me being in on the third day, I probably had the easiest of the job of the three Andretti drivers because I just built off what they had already done,” Kirkwood told RACER, referencing Marcus Ericsson’s Monday outing and Herta’s the day after. “And honestly, the car that we just started with right away that Marcus drove and then Colton drove is what we built on top of. I was happy with the car right away.”
Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay was fourth in the No. 21 Chevy (1m11.715s) and had Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Christian Lundgaard close behind in fifth with the No. 45 Honda (1m11.835s). The nicest surprise of the test was Indy NXT race winner and pre-season NXT title favorite Nolan Siegel, who made his IndyCar testing debut with Dale Coyne Racing and clocked the sixth-fastest lap with the No. 18 Honda (1m11.842s). Siegel was a pinch faster than fellow Californian Alexander Rossi, who was seventh in the No. 5 Chevy (1m11.894s).
Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin was eighth in the No. 12 Chevy (1m12.015s) and had Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Romain Grosjean — making his first appearance for his new team — in ninth with the No. 77 Chevy (1m12.221s). A.J. Foyt Racing’s Santino Ferrucci rounded out the list in 10th with the No. 14 Chevy (1m12.319s).
Kirkwood isn’t ready to make any proclamations about Andretti’s upcoming season, but being consistently fast while facing all of the series’ full-time teams isn’t a bad place to start 2024.
“There’s a lot of development that went in over the offseason, more than what the team has seen in recent years,” he said. “So that was put to use of over the past few days and hopefully that’s a positive. And hopefully, that’s going to show what our year’s going to look like. I think the past three days have been some of the smoothest the team has seen.
“Just the camaraderie and the connection that us drivers and all the team members have, and the confidence we have going into the season, helps all that. That’s a good mindset.”