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Pierson becomes ECR development driver, targets IndyCar in 2025

Teenager Josh Pierson is to become the first driver of Ed Carpenter Racing’s new development program and aims to reach U.S. open-wheel racing’s top level in 2025.

Conor Daly, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

Conor Daly, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

The 16-year-old Oregon native showed strong form in his second year of USF2000 in 2021, driving a Pabst Racing to five podiums and ultimately finishing fourth in the championship. He then jumped off the open-wheel ladder to race in sportscars this past season, competing for United Autosports in the WEC, and representing PR1/Mathiasen MotorSports in IMSA. In the former, he opened his account with a win in the Sebring 1000km and finished the season third in points, while in IMSA he was sixth, with a podium finish at Petit Le Mans.

#11 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca LMP2 07: Josh Pierson

#11 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca LMP2 07: Josh Pierson

Photo by: Jake Galstad

Thus Pierson became the youngest driver to start the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona and the youngest ever race winner in the World Endurance Championship.

On Tuesday IndyCar team Ed Carpenter Racing announced that Pierson “will have the guidance and support of ECR team members as he furthers his career and will be mentored by team owner Ed Carpenter. Additionally, Pierson will begin testing one of ECR’s Chevrolet-powered Indycars in 2023.”

He said: “I’m honored by the confidence Ed Carpenter has placed in me and so incredibly grateful to have a path to IndyCar with Ed Carpenter Racing. I’ve been dreaming about racing in the NTT IndyCar Series for as long as I can remember.”

The development procedure will see Pierson race in Indy NXT [formerly known as Indy Lights] on a part-time basis with HMD Motorsports in 2023 – combining this with a WEC sportscar program with United – before running a full Indy NXT season in 2024.

“I have truly enjoyed getting to know Josh Pierson and his family,” said ECR team owner Ed Carpenter. “For such a young man, he has already accomplished so much in his racing career. Along with that, he is such a well-spoken and professional person.

“I am confident with the plan that we have in place that he will develop into a complete racing driver. We very much look forward to working with him as we finalize his path to the NTT IndyCar Series starting in 2025.”

ECR-Chevrolet’s 2023 IndyCar line-up will look much like it did in 2022, with Rinus VeeKay and Conor Daly as full-timers and Carpenter joining them in a third car for the five oval races.

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