New Zealand native Hunter McElrea will climb to Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires with Andretti Autosport in the 2022 season, team officials announced today.
McElrea, 21, joins the title-winning Andretti team after finishing third in the 2021 Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, the middle rung of the Road To Indy developmental ladder.
“It is a dream come true for me to join a team like Andretti Autosport,” McElrea said. “After my first days in an Indy Lights car and working with the team, it’s clear to me why they are one of the world’s most successful race teams. I cannot thank my sponsors, backers and investors enough for making this possible for me and, of course, everyone at Andretti Autosport for welcoming me. This is the biggest opportunity I have ever gotten in my racing career to date, and I plan on making the most of it.”
McElrea first entered the Road to Indy in 2019 after winning the Road to Indy $200k Shootout that granted him a scholarship to join the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship. In his rookie campaign, McElrea captured four victories, five pole positions and stood on the podium 12 times finishing only five points away from winning the 2019 USF2000 title.
As he moved up the Road to Indy ladder, McElrea joined the Indy Pro 2000 Championship collecting four wins, 13 podiums and starting from the pole position five times in his two seasons. Prior to joining the Road to Indy, McElrea competed in Formula Ford Championships across Australia and won the Australian Formula Ford Championship in 2018.
“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Hunter to our 2022 Indy Lights program,” said J-F Thormann, president, Andretti Autosport. “Hunter has been very competitive in his Road to Indy career, and we have high hopes that he can continue that pattern next year for us in Indy Lights.”
For the 2022 season, McElrea will drive the No. 27 Dallara joining previously announced teammate, Sting Ray Robb in the No. 2 Dallara.