Road to Indy front-runner Hunter McElrea has signed with defending Indy Lights champions Andretti Autosport to drive the No. 27 Dallara IL15-AER. The California-born, New Zealand-raised driver comes to the Andretti team after spending three seasons with Pabst Racing, starting with a run to second in the 2019 USF2000 championship, and consecutive years with Pabst in Indy Pro 2000 where the 21-year-old placed fifth in 2020 and third in the 2021 standings.
With Pabst, McElrea amassed eight wins and 25 podiums since 2019, and steps into the No. 27 Andretti Indy Lights entry driven by Kyle Kirkwood to win the most recent title.
“It is a dream come true for me to join a team like Andretti Autosport,” said McElrea, who took part in the recent Chris Griffis Memorial test on the IMS road course. “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, along with fellow 2022 Andretti Indy Lights signee Sting Ray Robb, will have big shoes to fill as they — and other teammates awaiting confirmation — follow Andretti stars in Kirkwood, 2019 champion Oliver Askew, plus 2018 champion Pato O’Ward and runner-up Colton Herta.
“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Hunter to our 2022 Indy Lights program,” said Andretti Autosport president J-F Thormann. “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.”