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Christian Rasmussen to race for Ed Carpenter Racing in 2024

Written by Dan Jones, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Image Credit: Joe Skibinski

Ed Carpenter Racing have announced the signing of 2023 Indy NXT Champion Christian Rasmussen, to race for the team full-time in 2024, lining up alongside Rinus VeeKay, on a part-time program, racing on the road and street courses, as well as the Indianapolis 500 with Ed Carpenter taking over the helm on the ovals.

Rasmussen, 23, will occupy the previously vacated seat in the #20 car, which began 2023 in the hands of Conor Daly, until the Indiana native was dropped for underperformance, a move criticised by many, before 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay took over the wheel until seasons-end, netting a best finish of 10th at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, before announcing his departure from the team.

Rasmussen steps up from the IndyCar feeder series, Indy NXT, where he was crowned champion in 2023, in a starring campaign that included five victories, a further three podiums and five pole positions, wrapping up the title in the season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

“I am very excited to join Ed Carpenter Racing for the 2024 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season!” stated Rasmussen. “It is a dream come true and something I’ve been working towards for a long time now. I want to thank Ed Carpenter and Tim Broyles for the opportunity and I’m ready to get to work and show everyone what we can do!”

Team owner Ed Carpenter continues to be an advocate for young talent with Rasmussen becoming the sixth INDY NXT champion to race an ECR Chevrolet. Carpenter commented, “Christian is a driver that has really stood out during his climb through the Road to Indy program and he showed his ability to be a real closer in the second half of his INDY NXT championship run.”

“He did an excellent job when we tested him at Barber Motorsports Park last month and showed that he is fully ready to take the next step into the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. We are excited to add him to our lineup and we are anticipating a successful 2024 season!” Carpenter continued.

The 2023 title win meant Rasmussen won on all steps of the Road to Indy, having won the 2020 U.S. F2000 Championship and the Indy Pro 2000 Championship the following season, following the likes of Kyle Kirkwood to complete the achievement.

The Danish driver has spent the majority of his career racing in the United States, his two seasons racing in his homeland the only racing appearances he has had outside the United States, in the 2017 Danish F4 Championship, where he raced against current IndyCar driver, and close friend Christian Lundgaard.

Rasmussen is no stranger to winning. Image Credit: Gavin Baker

Today’s announcement signifies the second driver to step up from Indy NXT to IndyCar for the 2024 season, as Rasmussen joins Kyffin Simpson, who will race for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2024 in a fifth car, after he finished 10th in the Indy NXT season. Rasmussen joins a highly prestigious Indy NXT (previously known as Indy Lights) champions calibre, including the likes of Scott Dixon, Josef Newgarden, and in more recent years, Pato O’Ward, Kyle Kirkwood and Linus Lundqvist, and will be hoping to impress, like all the aforementioned drivers.

Looking at the potential Rookie of the Year battle, Rasmussen joins what is looking like a hotly-contested pack. Simpson and Lundqvist will be in the best position possible, racing for Chip Ganassi Racing, who finished in the top two positions in the 2023 championship, in the capable hands of Alex Palou and Scott Dixon, as well as Tom Blomqvist, who will be competing for Meyer Shank Racing. However, this list could only grow, with question marks in the seats of A.J. Foyt Racing, Dale Coyne Racing and Juncos Hollinger Racing.

Rasmussen’s charge for Rookie of the Year will also be curtailed by the fact that he will not be doing the majority of oval races on the calendar, being signed only for the road and street courses next season. However, Rasmussen will be competing in the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500, as the team will be running a third car for the Dane to occupy.

Ed Carpenter Racing struggled in the 2023 season, as shown by Rinus VeeKay’s drop in form. However, VeeKay did pick up his results towards the end of the season, potentially through the guidance of Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Rasmussen will be hoping to continue this trend coming into 2023. Ed Carpenter Racing have previously proved strong at the Indianapolis 500, particularly in the hands of VeeKay. Rasmussen, with his prior oval experience, could be a favourite for the crown, however, he faces stiff opposition from the previously mentioned rookies, as well as the highly-anticipated, Kyle Larson.

So how does Rasmussen affect the driver market? Rasmussen completed an IndyCar test, alongside ex-Arrow McLaren and Indy Lights Champion, Oliver Askew, on September 25th at Barber Motorsports Park. It seemed to be a straight shootout between the two, with rumours suggesting that Rasmussen was quicker on one-lap pace, whilst Askew was superior on the long runs due to his IndyCar experience.

Askew hasn’t driven full-time since his Arrow McLaren stint. Image Credit: Mykal McEldowney/IndyStar

Askew was probably an outsider, given the fact he hasn’t raced an IndyCar in two years, and not full-time for three, with Rasmussen’s more recent experience, and increased funding after his Indy NXT title being significant reasons why the team have opted for him.

However, today’s confirmation, means that previously sponsored DIVEBOMB Driver, Christian Rasmussen, will be making the step up to IndyCar in 2024, with Ed Carpenter Racing, a hugely deserved achievement.


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