Three-time SCCA Runoffs National Champion Nolan Allaer will climb to INDY NXT by Firestone in the 2024 season with HMD Motorsports, the team announced Jan. 24.
Allaer, 21, from Grosse Point Woods, Michigan, recently tested with HMD – the defending champions of INDYCAR’s development series – at Sebring International Raceway. Allaer, a third-generation race driver, will test in early February with HMD at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca before making his INDY NXT debut on March 8-10 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.
“It’s a surreal experience for me to make the move to INDY NXT,” Allaer said. “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 (HMD general manager) 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.”
Allaer competed in the Formula Race Promotions F1600 Championship Series in 2022 with Team Pelfrey, scoring two wins and nine podium finishes as the top rookie in the series. He competed in Great Britain in 2023, racing 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 won his heat race – something only four Americans have accomplished at the historic event.
“Sometimes things just line up, and plans work out,” Allaer said. “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.”
Said HMD General Manager Mike Maurini: “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. 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.”
Third-generation race driver Allaer is a junior at Miami University in Ohio, studying mechanical engineering. He was born in Detroit but moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, at age 3 before returning to Detroit in his teens. Allaer will race in both of his “hometowns,” as INDY NXT races in St. Petersburg on March 10 and the streets of Detroit on June 2.