Written by Dan Jones, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri
Indy NXT racer Kyffin Simpson will step up to IndyCar full-time in 2024, racing for Chip Ganassi Racing. Simpson has long been a protege of Ganassi, with his father owning Ridgeline Lubricants, a primary sponsor of Marcus Armstrong in 2023, and a company who have also previously sponsored Alex Palou in the past, an instant link to Simpson and the team.
Simpson, who has a dual Cayman-Barbadian nationality (and will be the first driver to represent both countries in IndyCar), has extensive experience in both Formula and Endurance Racing, having won the Formula Regional Americas Championship in 2021. Simpson has spent the last two years primarily racing in Indy NXT, where he has finished 9th and 10th, primarily racing for HMD Motorsports, for whom he picked up a pole and two podiums this season.
As mentioned, Simpson also has experience in Endurance Racing, finishing 3rd in the 2021 Asian Le Mans Series, and is running an impressive 2nd in the 2023 European Le Mans Series standings, with three rounds to go.
Simpson’s addition to the field comes as a surprise, with the 18-year-old expected to do another year of Indy NXT to help aid development to what was thought a 2025 IndyCar Seat. However, Chip Ganassi has elected to step Simpson up a year early into a fifth car, alongside fellow rookie Linus Lundqvist, as well as Scott Dixon and Marcus Armstrong. Alex Palou was unofficially confirmed, after he won the championship in Portland, but today’s announcement only further confirms the inevitability he will be driving for Chip Ganassi in 2025, despite his legal issues with McLaren.
Simpson is the first driver announced to step up from Indy NXT ahead of 2024, and will join the aforementioned Lundqvist in the Rookie of the Year battle, as well as Tom Blomqvist, with both drivers having three IndyCar races apiece under their belt. The expectation is Juri Vips will also join the grid with RLL, with Christian Rasmussen and Danial Frost also expected to step up.
Simpson will become the youngest driver in the 2024 field, aged just 18, and although it might be early, he has plenty of years to refine his skills, just to prove what he is able to do in IndyCar.