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Uncommon Patience, Maturity Drive Growth for Teen Pierson

via INDYCAR.com

INDY NXT by Firestone serves as a development series leading into the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, a place where young talent can grow. And none of the drivers during the 2024 season is as young as 18-year-old Josh Pierson.

Ed Carpenter Racing development driver Pierson competes for HMD Motorsports in INDY NXT by Firestone. This is his second season in INDY NXT, as he debuted in a partial season last year with HMD in between sports car racing commitments in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

If you gave most 18-year-olds an opportunity to be one step below a professional sporting league like the NBA, NFL, NHL or MLB, a touch of youthful arrogance could creep in.

Pierson is the opposite. He’s in no rush, and he has a level-headed approach that belies his young age. That’s why Pierson’s 13th-place finish in the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg isn’t detrimental to his growth. He is cognizant his youth gives him time to take the necessary steps, no matter how long it takes, to reach the pinnacle of major open-wheel racing.

“I want to go to (the) INDYCAR SERIES,” Pierson said. “It’s been my dream since I was very little. It’s something that I’m excited about. I want to go there. I want to improve, but I think that for me, I haven’t really struggled with understanding that you have to build your way there. You can’t just jump in and be immediately good. And I haven’t been racing cars all that long.

“I’m very young. I understand that there’s lots to improve and lots to build upon. So right now, it’s more about focusing on what I’m doing and focusing on myself and I know that as long as I’m improving and as long as I’m making the necessary steps, then I can find a future in INDYCAR eventually. I’ve got time. Let’s make sure that when I’m going to go that I’m ready.”

That maturity beyond his years is something Pierson attributes to situations that he was put in as a child.

His father, a successful businessman, was bold enough to let his young son travel by himself as a 9- and 10-year-old child. The younger Pierson was forced to grow up fast. At times, he spoke at conferences in front of a large audiences.

“I became very comfortable with public speaking very comfortable being in front of important figures,” Pierson said. “That, I think, is part of it. You have to mature a little bit quicker. I think I had to learn and adapt quicker and I was just in a unique situation, unique environment.”

Public speaking is something that raises the blood pressure of most humans. It came naturally to Pierson.

“I never was nervous for school projects or presentations,” Pierson said. “That was never my concern. And even now, I’ve been speaking in front of people. I really kind of enjoy this thing. This is where I’m comfortable and I’m happy in these situations.”

Pierson said his natural aptitude for public speaking has helped him find success inside of a race car.

When driving, he said he must compartmentalize a lot of information at a quick rate. Everything is going so fast, so a driver must slow their brain to retain the influx of information.

“You need to be able to take in the information you need to be able to get it fast and efficiently,” Pierson said. “And I think that maybe the public speaking helps me have a little bit more awareness of what’s going on and be able to kind of block out the other things and just focus what’s the car doing. What does it feel like? How can I approach this corner?”

The 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone season resumes Sunday, April 28 at Barber Motorsports Park (11:05 a.m. ET, Peacock, INDYCAR Radio Network).

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Nolan Siegel Wins 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone Season Opener for HMD Motorsports

The INDY NXT by Firestone 2024 season started off strong on the streets of Downtown St. Petersburg this past weekend. In an uncharacteristic start of the season that saw a long run of green flag action to kick off the campaign, it was 2023’s Rookie of the Year and HMD Motorsports driver Nolan Siegel, who turned his first INDY NXT by Firestone career pole position into a race winning celebration on the top step of the podium.

Participating in two practice sessions before qualifying, HMD drivers Caio Collet, Nolan Siegel, Josh Pierson, Myles Rowe, and Reece Gold broke out top-ten speeds heading into the single qualifying session Saturday afternoon. With a new system in place, the first qualifying session of the year featured the grid split into two 12-minute groups, after which the order would be determined based on fastest lap time with the fastest group securing the inside lane for the start of race one with the slower of the two groups forced to the outside. In group one, Nolan Siegel topped the charts with a new INDY NXT by Firestone track record, securing his place in history with a 104.57 second lap. After group two times were recorded, the charts showed rookie Myles Rowe second quickest in his group while Gold was third quick as they would like up third and sixth respectively on the grid. INDY NXT rookie Caio Collet would start seventh, Josh Pierson ninth, and Jonathan Browne rounding out the top-ten in the tenth position. Christian Bogle would roll off the grid in P12 ahead of Nolan Allaer in 17th, Callum Hedge who had a massive qualifying crash and was forced to start well down the running order in 18th, and Niels Koolen in P19.

After a nail-biting 45-lap race with only two short cautions, Siegel turned his pole position into his first win of the season and his third career INDY NXT by Firestone victory leading flag-to-flag. Reece Gold scored the fastest lap of the race as he was forced to overcome an early race penalty and drove from outside the top-ten to finish fifth. Jonathan Browne kept his nose clean in his first career INDY NXT start after only two test days with the team to put three HMD Motorsports drivers in the top-six in sixth while Caio Collet recovered from a mid-race spin that saw him drop down the order before driving back forward to finish seventh.

2023 USF Pro 2000 Champion and INDY NXT rookie Myles Rowe was the best of the rookies in qualifying and battled hard at the front of the field, holding several much more experienced drivers behind him, before falling to eighth when the checkered flag flew. Christian Bogle managed to claim his first top-ten of the season, battling up two spots from his 12th place starting position while Callum Hedge won the Josten’s Biggest Mover award powering his completely rebuilt machine from 18th to 11th after the HMD Motorsports crew put in nearly ten hours of work on his #17 entry. Hometown favorite and rookie Nolan Allaer had a strong performance moving from 17th to 14th while improving his pace throughout the weekend and running top-ten times in the race while an unfortunate mechanical issue ended Niels Koolen’s debut on the on the 12th lap, much earlier than he would have liked.

“HMD Motorsports did a fantastic job today; the car was perfect. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season,” explained Nolan Siegel post-race. “Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen.”

“The goal was to continue where we left off 2023, and we did just that,” added Team President Mike Maurini. “A victory, the points lead, six drivers in the top-ten, the fastest lap of the race, and our 15th race with at least one driver on the podium. It is going to be a hard-fought season and one race does not define our championship so we will all keep pushing hard.”

Maurini continued, “It was a long off season for us with expansion, growth, and a new shop, and a win in the first race is great for the team morale. From each mechanic to every engineer to the HMD Motorsports ownership, a huge thank you for all of the hard work to continue our winning ways.”

You can catch HMD Motorsports at their next race on the 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone schedule in Leeds, Alabama at the famous Barber Motorsports Park April 26-28.

Photo Credit: RTD Media

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HMD Motorsports Heads to St. Petersburg as the Largest Team in the INDY NXT by Firestone Series

The much-anticipated INDY NXT by Firestone season opener has arrived. This year, the series begins its 2024 campaign in a familiar location, the temporary circuit on the streets of Downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. The 1.8-mile, 14-turn circuit is a fan and competitor favorite and incorporates streets of downtown St. Petersburg and a section of the Albert Whitted Airport runway.

HMD Motorsports, the reigning two-time series champions, will debut a record-setting ten-car lineup in the season opener comprised of four veterans: 2023 INDY NXT Rookie of the Year Nolan Siegel, 2023 race winner Reece Gold, Christian Bogle, Josh Pierson, and six rookies including the 2023 USF Pro 2000 series champion Myles Rowe, Niels Koolen, Jonathan Browne, Nolan Allaer, 2023 FR Americas Champion Callum Hedge, and multi-time FIA F3 race winner Caio Collet.

“It has been a busy off-season, but we are anxious to get going,” explained HMD Motorsports President Mike Maurini. “Everyone at the shop from the mechanics, to engineering, to management has worked very hard through the winter to ensure that we are ready to start the season. The excitement for the first race of the season is here, but also for when the team comes home as we will return to our new 80,000 square foot race shop.”

The series opener with feature two practice sessions followed by a single, new format for qualifying that will see the cars split into two groups on Saturday before taking to the track for the first wheel-to-wheel action in 2024 on Sunday, just before the NTT INDYCAR SERIIES opening round. You can find the full weekend schedule below. You can live stream the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg INDY NXT by Firestone race via Peacock TV or INDYCAR LIVE.  Audio commentary is also available via the INDYCAR Radio Network.

Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (all times Eastern)
Friday, March 8th
1:35 PM – 2:20 PM // Practice One

Saturday, March 9th
8:25 AM – 9:10 AM // Practice Two
1:05 PM – 1:35 PM // Qualifying

Sunday, March 10th
10:00 AM – 11:15 AM // Race

Photo Credit: RTD Media

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Caio Collet Completes HMD Motorsports INDY NXT by Firestone Driver Lineup for 2024

Racing in the United States for the first time since graduating from karting, Caio Collet will pilot the #18 entry for HMD Motorsports in the 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone season. With six years of formula racing experience, Collet expects to quickly adapt to the series though every track will be new to him.

“The NTT INDYCAR SERIES is a goal of mine for the future but right now, I am 100% focused on INDY NXT with HMD Motorsports,” explained Caio Collet. “I have a lot to learn, and I am thankful for the opportunity. I will put my best foot forward at achieving race wins, podium results, and the championship for both HMD Motorsports and myself.”

Driving an INDY NXT car for the first time in October, Collet drove for HMD Motorsports at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the annual Chris Griffis Memorial Test. Ending the day in fifth, Collet finished behind three series veterans and the reigning USF Pro 2000 Champion. In November, Collet returned with the team for a series test at Barber Motorsports Park where he finished the day in second, quickly adapting to the Dallara IL-15.

“It has been a long process to officially confirm Caio as an HMD Motorsports driver in 2024,” explained HMD Team President Mike Maurini. “While he will also have the title of Reserve and Sim Driver for Nissan in Formula E, Caio’s main focus will be INDY NXT with us in 2024.”

Working with the two-time championship-defending team, Collet will work with nine other HMD Motorsports drivers and be under the watchful eye of Race Engineer Mike Reggio.

For the past three years, the 21-year-old Brazilian driver has competed in FIA Formula 3 where he has earned three wins and 11 podiums. Collet’s best finish in the championship was eighth in 2022.

Before he ran in F3, Collet finished fifth and second in the 2019 and 2020 seasons of the Formula Renault Eurocup in 2018 scoring seven wins and 11 podiums. Prior to that, Collet earned the Championship in French F4.

The 2024 season will begin in the second weekend of March for a street race in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida.

Photo Credit: Penske Entertainment

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HMD Motorsports Adds Nolan Allaer to the 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone Driver Lineup

Driving for HMD Motorsports at the most recent INDY NXT by Firestone test at the Sebring International Raceway, Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan’s Nolan Allaer will now join the multi-time championship-winning program full-time in 2024. After a pair of upcoming test days at the WeatherTech Raceway in Laguna Seca, Allaer will make his official INDY NXT by Firestone debut on the Streets of St. Petersburg, March 8-10.

“It’s a surreal experience for me to make the move to INDY NXT,” explained Allaer, the third-generation racer who recently earned a pair of SCCA Runoffs National Championships in 2023. “The whole idea came from a phone call from a friend who said you should look at the United States ladder program. I reached out to Mike Maurini via Direct Message on Instagram and the rest is history. The team has been so welcoming and the knowledge and experience that they bring to the table will help fast-track my learning.”

A three-time SCCA National Runoffs Champion, Allaer competed in the Formula Race Promotions F1600 Championship Series in 2022 with Team Pelfrey, tallying two wins and nine podiums as the top rookie in the series. 2023 saw a move overseas to the UK where Allaer raced for Ammonite Motorsports in the British Racing and Sports Car Club (BRSCC) series. In the world-renowned Formula Ford Festival at the iconic Brands Hatch circuit, Allaer finished off his overseas season by winning his heat race – something only four Americans have ever accomplished at the historic event.

Allaer, who is currently a junior at Miami University in Ohio and studying mechanical engineering added, “Sometimes things just line up, and plans work out. After contacting HMD Motorsports and learning that they had a car available, the choice was easy. The timing just happened to be pure luck for us, but we were immediately on the phone with partners and were able to put together a program for 2024. I have already completed two days of testing in mixed conditions, but I learned so much with a wet, drying, and dry racetrack at Sebring. The car is incredible, and I can’t wait for more.”

“The jump from Formula 1600 to INDY NXT is big, but what most people don’t know is that Nolan was testing other vehicles as he prepared for INDY NXT,” explained HMD Motorsports General Manager Mike Maurini. “Despite the conditions at Sebring, Nolan learned a lot, and while two days of dry running would have been great to see where he stacked up, he was able to experience a lot of conditions and scenarios in just two days all while not running any new tires to better prepare himself for our upcoming Laguna Seca test.”

Born in Detroit, but moving to St. Petersburg at the age of three, Allaer spent 13 years living in the Sunshine State before eventually returning to Detroit. Lucky enough to have the opportunity to race in both cities, it will be dual hometown events for Allaer in March and June.

Allaer continued, “It is an absolute honor to take my passion to the streets of my two ‘hometowns’ and contend in these iconic events.”

Before the start of the season, INDY NXT by Firestone competitors, including HMD Motorsports and Nolan Allaer, will have two additional test days at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California February 5-6 before series Content Days take place in Indianapolis on February 8-9. The 2024 season will begin in the second weekend of March on the Streets of St. Petersburg.

For more information on Nolan Allaer, please visit him online at www.NolanAllaer.com or track his 2024 campaign and his future motorsports career by following him on his social media channels by searching @NolanAllaer.

Photo Credit: RTD Media

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Niels Koolen is Set for the 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone Season with HMD Motorsports

After beginning his formula racing career just two seasons ago, Niels Koolen will continue to build his resume this upcoming season in the 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone championship with HMD Motorsports. The 22-year-old Dutch driver, managed by A-14 Management, will drive the #33 entry and is the eighth confirmed driver for the team.

While still relatively new to open-wheel racing, Koolen has competed in four separate championships in the past two years, including select races in the Italian F4 Championship and the F4 Spanish Championship in 2022. Last season, Koolen raced in all but one round of the Formula Regional Middle East Championship and the entire season of the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine (FRECA).

“Last year I practiced and tested a lot at various circuits with different cars,” explained Koolen. “Starting in the INDY NXT series in March will be an exciting experience as racing in the United States will be different than racing in Europe where we don’t have ovals. The entire HMD Motorsports program is very knowledgeable and experienced, and the team has a lot of drivers so we can compare a lot of data which will help me with unfamiliar circuits. I’m grateful to all the people supporting me.”

As 2023 was Koolen’s first full season since moving up from the international karting scene, he will be coming into INDY NXT by Firestone eager to learn and continue advancing his career. Joining the back-to-back championship team of HMD Motorsports, Koolen will have abundant data, a knowledgeable crew, and experienced teammates.

“Niels is taking a different approach than many drivers,” explained HMD Motorsports’ General Manager Mike Maurini. “He has tested in a lot of cars at a variety of different courses this past year to build his experience. We look forward to working with Niels and A-14 Management in 2024.”

Koolen will make his INDY NXT by Firestone debut on the Streets of St. Petersburg but will continue his intense offseason test program on January 15 and 16 in Sebring, Florida. Koolen will join returning series drivers Christian Bogle, Nolan Siegel, Josh Pierson, and Reece Gold, as well as reigning USF Pro 2000 Champion Myles Rowe and team newcomers Jonathan Browne and Callum Hedge.

Photo Credit: Penske Entertainment

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Jonathan Browne Joins HMD Motorsports for the 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone Season

Coming off back-to-back seasons in the USF Pro 2000 Championship, Jonathan Browne will move up the ladder to compete in INDY NXT by Firestone with the two-time defending championship-winning team, HMD Motorsports. Browne will drive the #23 entry for the 2024 season and make his team debut at the upcoming Sebring International Raceway test on January 15-16.

Not yet having tested with HMD Motorsports, Browne does have some experience in an INDY NXT by Firestone Dallara IL-15, having tested at both the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in October and Barber Motorsports Park earlier this month. The seventh driver announced for the HMD Motorsports outfit, Browne will join fellow USF Pro 2000 graduate Myles Rowe, newcomer and FR Americas champion Callum Hedge, and returning drivers including 2023 INDY NXT Rookie of the Year Nolan Siegel, Josh Pierson, Christian Bogle, and 2023 Detroit Grand Prix race winner Reece Gold.

“I spoke to Jonathan a few times throughout the 2023 season,” explained General Manager Mike Maurini. “We recently re-engaged in conversations and finalized plans for the 2024 season rather quickly and just before the Thanksgiving holiday. Jonathan comes with a lot of experience in many forms of motorsports, and I am confident that he will fit in well with our strong driver lineup and provide another powerful piece to our growing puzzle.”

During the past two USF Pro 2000 seasons, Browne has 21 top-ten finishes in 36 races. With a best finish of fifth in his rookie year, Browne showed great improvement in his sophomore season, earning a pair of podium results, six top-five finishes, and finishing eighth in the series championship. Prior to making his debut in North America, Browne competed in GB3 in 2021 where he earned a podium finish at Silverstone Circuit in his debut after winning the Champion of Brands Hatch title in 2020 and the illustrious Formula Ford Festival in 2019.

“I am excited to get started with HMD Motorsports,” added Browne. “They are a very professional outfit with a winning program. I very much look forward to being part of this team as I take the next step on the ladder. INDY NXT by Firestone will be a learning curve for me, but I am up for the challenge and ready to work hard and add to HMD’s continued success.”

Jonathan Browne and HMD Motorsports will return to the track for the next INDY NXT by Firestone Test at the Sebring International Raceway on January 15-16.

Photo Credit: Penske Entertainment

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Newly Minted FR Americas Champion Callum Hedge Joins HMD Motorsports for INDY NXT Campaign

Fresh off his dominating Formula Regional Americas campaign, Callum Hedge will transition to INDY NXT by Firestone for the 2024 season in the #17 entry with HMD Motorsports. The soon-to-be 20-year-old driver from New Zealand began driving formula cars just a couple of years ago and has quickly worked his way through the ranks. Doubling up and competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia in 2023, Hedge’s two-continent race program has been highlighted by race wins, podium results, and championship honors as he now shifts his focus to INDY NXT in 2024.

“I have had a taste of the INDY NXT machinery and am ready for the challenge that 2024 will bring,” explains Hedge. “I am thankful for the opportunity to join a championship-winning program in HMD Motorsports and for my partners who continue to make my motorsports dream a reality.”

This past year, Hedge ran a packed schedule, competing in three separate series, and finding success in all of them. In FR Americas, Hedge won 13 of 18 wheel-to-wheel races and finished on the podium in all but two races on his way to claiming the Championship with a 105-point lead. Hedge also ran in the Pro Class of the 2023 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Championship and was leading the championship before missing the sixth round due to a clash in scheduling with FR Americas, but currently sits second overall with one event remaining. At the beginning of the year, Hedge ran the Formula Regional Oceania Championship where he earned three wins and finished second in the championship.

While Hedge ran the recent Chris Griffis Memorial Test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last month with a different program, the young talent will make his debut with HMD Motorsports in the new year when the series heads to Sebring International Raceway for a two-day test in January before crossing the country to the famed Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca in early February. The 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone season will kick off at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March.

“We have a lot of time for Callum and are confident that he will have success in INDY NXT,” adds HMD Motorsports General Manager Mike Maurini. “He is stepping into a program that has ascended rapidly and has been winning along the way. He is another piece to the growing puzzle and will be a threat for the top step of the podium all season. While the North American ovals and temporary courses will be new to him, he has a strong support system of drivers and engineers around him that will assist in making the transition seamless.”

“With his dominating performance this year in Honda-powered Formula Regional Americas competition, Callum is certainly a deserving champion and HPD scholarship winner,” said David Salters, president of Honda Performance Development. “We very much look forward to following Callum’s progress in INDY NXT in 2024, as follows in the path successfully used by previous FRA champions and now Honda-powered INDYCAR drivers Kyle Kirkwood and Linus Lundqvist.”

Hedge continues, “I am anxious to get situated with the team and get going. The first test is two months away, but you can trust I will be taking in everything I can between now and January to ensure I am up to speed and ready to go.”

For the 2024 season, Callum continues to receive substantial support from long-time New Zealand partners; The Tony Quinn Foundation, The Giltrap Group, and Tasman Motorsports Group.

Photo Credit: Penske Entertainment and M2 Competition Management

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Josh Pierson to Continue with HMD Motorsports in 2024

Returning for his second season, Josh Pierson will continue with HMD Motorsports in INDY NXT by Firestone for the entire upcoming season. Pierson first joined HMD Motorsports in 2023 in a multi-year campaign as he began setting his sights on the NTT INDYCAR SERIES as an Ed Carpenter Racing Junior driver.

Having already made prior commitments to race in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), Pierson committed to a partial season in his first year of INDY NXT by Firestone competition. Entering nine races, Pierson amassed five top-ten finishes in 2023 and gained experience on permanent road courses, temporary street circuits and ovals.

“It was a learning year for me,” explained Pierson. “I wanted to gain as much experience as possible and feel like we did just that. With the lack of testing before the 2023 season, we will be in a much better place entering our 2024 campaign.”

At just 17-years-old, the American driver from Portland, Oregon has earned many accomplishments outside of open-wheel racing, including being the youngest driver to participate in both the IMSA Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Pierson is also the youngest race winner in the FIA’s World Endurance Championship, with a victory at the 1000 Miles of Sebring.

In 2024, Pierson will focus on a full-season effort as he returns with HMD Motorsports. With a season of experience under his belt, Pierson’s focus will be on consistent top-five and podium finishes as he continues to work on climbing to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.

“Josh is young and has a bright future ahead of him in 2024,” explained HMD Motorsports General Manager Mike Maurini. “As a team and with his focus on the INDY NXT campaign in 2024, we have made some changes in his program that I think will be beneficial both on and off the track. We are looking forward to helping not only his progress but success as well.”

With the Chris Griffis Memorial Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway complete, Pierson and HMD Motorsports will now shift their focus to the November 13th test at Barber Motorsports Park.

Stay tuned as HMD Motorsports continues to round out their 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone lineup of drivers.

Photo Credit: RTD Media

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Nine Drivers for HMD Motorsports at 2023 Annual Chris Griffis Memorial Test

Since the close of the 2023 season, HMD Motorsports has been preparing for the upcoming INDY NXT by Firestone season. Taking to the track later this week at the annual Chris Griffis Memorial Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, HMD Motorsports will begin their off-season test program. Bringing nine competitors, culminating of both new and returning drivers, HMD Motorsports quest for three championships in a row begins now.

Continuing to build from a successful 2023 season, HMD Motorsports will bring nine drivers to the test this Friday. With four drivers confirmed so far for the upcoming season, Christian Bogle, Reece Gold, and Nolan Siegel will all be returning to the team and present at the test. Myles Rowe will also be making his series debut with the team as the fourth confirmed driver.

Five other drivers will join the team, though they have yet to be confirmed for the forthcoming season. After driving for HMD Motorsports in a partial season in 2023, Josh Pierson will once again test with the team. Moving up from the USF Pro 2000 Championship, Michael d’Orlando will drive the #4 entry. d’Orlando comes to the series with four wins and six podiums this past season in his rookie year of USF Pro 2000.

With previous experience in the Formula Regional Middle East Championship and the Formula Regional European Championship, Niels Koolen will come to North America to expand on his open-wheel racing experience after moving up from karting just two years ago. Kaylen Frederick will return to the United States for the first time since competing in USF Pro 2000 in 2018. For the past three seasons, Frederick has competed in FIA Formula 3 after claiming the 2020 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship in 2020. Rounding out the team for the test will be Caio Collet. Also competing in FIA Formula 3 for the past three seasons, Collet earned three wins and 11 podiums and was the 2018 French Formula 4 Champion and one of the top drivers from Brazil, having his eyes set on the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.

While the start of the 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone season is still a way out, HMD Motorsports is focused on quickly finalizing their drivers and begin focusing their attention on an off-season training and testing program.

Testing will begin on Friday morning, and drivers will have six hours of track time over the day. Live timing will be available on racecontrol.indycar.com.

Photo Credit: RTD Media

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2023 INDY NXT Rookie of the Year Nolan Siegel Returning to HMD Motorsports for 2024

While the 2024 grid begins to take shape, 2023 Rookie of the Year Nolan Siegel will return to HMD Motorsports for the upcoming INDY NXT by Firestone season. After finishing third in the 2023 Championship and claiming two victories, five podium results, six top-five finishes, leading 67 laps, and earning Rookie of the Year honors, Siegel will return to the series with a focus on adding to those results and fighting for the 2024 Championship.

Prior to his rookie season, Siegel competed in the final two races of the 2022 season with HMD Motorsports to begin preparing for the 2023 season. With a pair of top-ten finishes in 2022, Siegel knew he would be competitive the following year and able to compete for wins and podiums. Kickstarting the 2023 season, Siegel earned his first podium in the opening race of the season on the Streets of St. Petersburg and followed that up with a podium finish at Barber Motorsports Park. Leading the championship point standings early in the year, Siegel earned victories at Detroit and Road America before finding his way back to the podium as the season neared completion at the Portland International Raceway.

“I am anxious and excited to get back to work with HMD Motorsports,” explains Siegel. “My rookie year was a good one, and we set out to do what we wanted to do but now I am fully focused on the championship. I will have the same engineer and same crew this season providing consistency that will hopefully help in a championship run.”

“Nolan is a great talent and has a bright future in motorsports,” adds HMD Motorsports General Manager Mike Maurini. “He has proven this by not only winning in INDY NXT but topping the podium in different racing platforms around the world. We look forward to watching his continued growth and helping him reach his goals of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.”

With a year of experience under his belt, Siegel will now be looking to follow in the footsteps of HMD Motorsports alumni who are now full-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES competitors: David Malukas, Benjamin Pedersen, Linus Lundqvist, and Kyffin Simpson. At just 18 years of age (19 in November), Siegel will focus on gaining another year of experience and maturity before looking at his ultimate goal of advancing to the upper echelon of open-wheel racing in North America, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.

Siegel continues, “There were a few shortfalls this past season, and I have learned from those mistakes and issues. I am laser focused on the future, and we will reset all the season goals prior to the first green flag of the 2024 season. Now it is time to focus on testing.”

Photo Credit: Penske Entertainment

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Christian Bogle Rejoins HMD Motorsports for the 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone Season

As the 2024 INDT NXT by Firestone grid is taking shape, HMD Motorsports announces their third driver confirmation for the returning veteran Christian Bogle. Set for the entire 2024 schedule, Bogle will pilot the familiar #7 Pelican Energy Consultants branded entry in his fourth season in the series as he looks to build upon his improvement year-after-year.

“I’m excited to be returning to the INDY NXT by Firestone series with HMD Motorsports in 2024,” expresses Bogle. “With still many years of experience less than my competition, I will continue my development and improvement to try and close the gap to my rivals. Finishing 11th in the 2023 title chase, we have reset goals for the upcoming 2024 season and will get to work during our first test later this month.”

Christian’s best accomplishment this past year was a solid fourth-place finish in the INDY NXT by Firestone Grand Prix of Portland, matching his best result from a year prior on Belle Isle. Earlier in the 2023 season, Christian also completed four Asian Le Mans Cup races in the LMP2 class, claiming a win, two pole positions, and valuable seat time, which he carried over into the INDY NXT series.

Bogle added, “I have taken a better angle on my training, conditioning, and getting to where I need to be as a driver, which showed the last half of the season. I still have a way to go and will continue to push hard to ensure success. I am thankful for the opportunity to be back with HMD Motorsports as they have proven they are the team to beat.”

“We are happy to have Christian back on the roster for the 2024 season,” explains HMD Motorsports General Manager Mike Maurini. “We will push Christian hard in 2024 with a different engineering effort and focused coaching program. He is doing big things for his lack of experience compared to those around him. We will work to reset goals for 2024 and achieve them.”

Christian Bogle will look to follow in the footsteps of former HMD Motorsports teammate Linus Lundqvist, eventually leveling to the big leagues with fellow HMD alumni David Malukas, Benjamin Pedersen and Kyffin Simpson.

Photo Credit: Penske Entertainment

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Reece Gold Returns to HMD Motorsports for the 2024 Season

After competing for a partial season with HMD Motorsports, Reece Gold will return to the team for the full 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone season.

This past season, Gold completed just two rounds and earned a best finish of eighth before determining that he needed the support and equipment that HMD Motorsports was able to offer. After joining, Gold went on to earn his first win in INDY NXT by Firestone in his second weekend with the team in the first race of the Detroit double-header weekend. Throughout the remainder of the season, Gold earned one additional podium at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in August, two additional top-five finishes, and four more top-ten results.

For the 2024 season, Gold will return to the #10 entry with continued backing and support from The Ticket Clinic. When he entered INDY NXT by Firestone at the start of the 2023 season, Gold always intended on returning to the series for a second year as he continued to gain knowledge and experience. Now settled in with the team and familiar with the car on each circuit, Gold will return in hopes of challenging for wins and podiums. In USF Pro 2000, Gold earned one win and seven podiums in 2021 before going on to claim four wins and seven podiums the following year to finish second in the championship. Looking to mimic his USF Pro 2000 trajectory, Gold hopes to be a championship contender in his second year of INDY NXT by Firestone.

“HMD Motorsports is an incredible program, and I feel very at home with the team,” explained Reece Gold. “I have a great support team around me, and they have helped me elevate my game to the next level. I look forward to the 2024 season and to being able to challenge for more podiums, race wins, and the INDY NXT championship.”

“Reece really came into his own as the season went on,” explained HMD Motorsports General Manager Mike Maurini. “I have known him from the early years of karting, and he is a young talent capable of winning at every level. We look forward to sharing success with Reece again in 2024.”

A recent high school graduate, the 19-year-old Floridian will focus on advancing his racing career while also taking on undergraduate courses and continuing his academic education.

While the team is still finalizing its lineup for next season, Gold will return as a second-year driver alongside Myles Rowe, who was announced to be joining the team a few weeks ago.

Photo Credit: RTD Media

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HMD Motorsports Wins Back-To-Back Championships in INDY NXT by Firestone

Closing out the 2023 INDY NXT by Firestone season, HMD Motorsports wrapped up a dominant season this past weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for a double-header event weekend. With two championships on the line, both were decided in the final race of the year with Christian Rasmussen being named Champion and Nolan Siegel taking home the Rookie of the Year.

Lined up for the first race of the weekend, Rasmussen started in second alongside his championship rival on the front row. Nolan Siegel entered the weekend in third but in a tight battle with another competitor for Rookie of the Year. While most drivers held their positions through the entirety of the race, Ernie Francis, Jr. drove up through the field and gained nine positions to finish seventh. Returning to the podium for back-to-back races, Danial Frost finished the race in third while Christian Rasmussen crossed the line second all but confirming the title was his. Finishing the race in 16th, the gap for Rookie of the Year closed as Nolan Siegel led by just four points after a difficult qualifying session and challenging first race.

Heading into the final race of the season, Christian Rasmussen started on pole and as he took the green flag, he officially clinched the Championship title. Fighting to the end, Rasmussen claimed his fifth and final win of the season in dominating fashion, taking the final checkers by 17.8 seconds. In the Rookie of the Year fight, Siegel started the race in 12th while his rival started from P3. While his counterpart struggled once the wheel-to-wheel race began, Siegel moved up five positions and finished the season just five points ahead to earn the title of Rookie of the Year.

Race 1 Results:

2          Rasmussen

3          Frost

4          Simpson

7          Francis

10        Gold

11        Bogle

16        Siegel

Race 2 Results:

1          Rasmussen

6          Frost

7          Siegel

8          Francis

14        Gold

16        Bogle

17        Simpson

In just their third full season of INDY NXT by Firestone competition, HMD Motorsports brought home nine of 14 possible wins with five wins from Christian Rasmussen, two wins from Nolan Siegel and one win each from Danial Frost and Reece Gold. HMD Motorsports also claimed half of the available podium results with Kyffin Simpson, Ernie Francis, Jr. and Toby Sowery all contributing alongside Rasmussen, Siegel, Frost and Gold. While not on the podium, Christian Bogle showed major improvement throughout the season, matching his career-best finish of fourth at the Portland International Raceway. In the championship, HMD Motorsports finished out the year with six drivers finishing inside the top-ten and seven in the top-11 in one of the largest INDY NXT by Firestone fields to date.

Since establishing as a team, HMD Motorsports has grown from fielding just two entries with less than ten employees to nine entries and over 50 employees. In just three years, the team has claimed three title championships including the 2021 Team Championship and back-to-back Driver Championships with Linus Lundqvist in 2022 and Christian Rasmussen in 2023. Continuing to help advance drivers up into the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Rasmussen will look to join the group of HMD Motorsports alumni that includes David Malukas, Linus Lundqvist and Benjamin Pedersen competing in the top level of North American open-wheel racing.

With no signs of slowing down, continue to follow HMD Motorsports throughout the off-season and into the 2024 season as the ever-growing team continues to bring in top-talent and establish their place in the paddock.

Photo Credit: RTD Media / Penske Entertainment

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USF Pro 2000 Champion Myles Rowe Joins HMD Motorsports for the 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone Season with Force Indy

Newly crowned champion of the 2023 USF Pro 2000 Championship with Cooper Tires, Myles Rowe will move up the ranks and join HMD Motorsports for the 2024 INDY NXT by Firestone season as he continues his journey to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. Making history during the 2023 season, Rowe was the first African American to win a race in the USF Pro 2000 Championship’s history and the first African American driver to win a North American open-wheel championship.

Rowe will drive the No. 99 Force Indy entry with continued support from Penske Entertainment’s Race for Equality & Change initiative, an ongoing effort to support, grow and sustain diverse representation in motorsports. Race for Equality & Change was launched in summer of 2020 with a focus on generating impactful programming and opportunities across both the INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway ecosystems. Next season will be Rowe’s fourth as part of the Force Indy program and the second year Force Indy has partnered with HMD Motorsports in INDY NXT by Firestone.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with Force Indy and have Myles as part of the HMD Motorsports program in 2024,” said General Manager Mike Maurini. “He has been a treat to follow through the ladder programs, and we are anxious to help him continue his goals to ascend to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.”

Moving up through the ranks over the past three seasons, Rowe quickly became a standout talent in the junior series. In the 2023 season, Rowe earned an impressive five wins and four additional podium results on his way to a commanding championship win in the USF Pro 2000 Championship in his rookie season. In 2022, Rowe just missed out on the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship by six points after garnering five wins and five additional podium results.

“Force Indy is really looking forward to continuing the relationship with HMD Motorsports,” said Force Indy’s Rod Reid. “We have a season working together under our belt, and our goals in and out of the pits align.”

“I’m super excited to announce my next step to HMD Motorsports with Force Indy and be part of their family,” Rowe said. “I am extremely excited to grow and progress with them as a team and fight for many more race wins.”

As a data-driven driver with the raw talent to apply it, Rowe will benefit greatly from HMD Motorsports’ expansive field of drivers and the abundance of data the team provides. With just three seasons of INDY NXT by Firestone competition since the team’s inception, HMD Motorsports has accumulated 25 wins and earned back-to-back Team Championships and the 2023 Driver Championship. This weekend, the team will look to continue its championship streak as the season concludes at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca as Christian Rasmussen enters the doubleheader with a 65-point lead while teammate Nolan Siegel leads the Rookie of the Year standings.

Maurini said, “Myles is a great talent, and we have had our eye on him for quite some time and are confident that he will have success not only in 2024 but for years to come.”

Photo: Penske Entertainment