Andretti Autosport president J-F Thormann has been the driving force behind the team’s Indy Lights and Road to Indy programs for as long as the outfit has been involved in junior open-wheel racing. Among all of the future stars who’ve worked their way through their Indy Lights program, few have drawn as much attention as W Series champion Jamie Chadwick, who will conduct her first test for the team on Wednesday in Sebring.
It’s only a test at this stage, but Thormann hopes it leads to something bigger between the Andretti team and the 24-year-old from England.
“It’s very cool, and we’re very happy and proud that that her management chose us to see what the Indy Lights car feels like,” Thormann told RACER. “In a sense, I think they ultimately saw that we’re used to having women drivers on our team. We’ve had Danica [Patrick], Simona [De Silvestro], and Ana Beatriz race for us in IndyCar and that’s part of our culture that we’re proud of.
“I think they realize we could be a fairly decent landing spot for them. And, and we’re looking forward to it. We’ve heard a lot of good about her from the W Series people and some drivers we know who’ve said she’s been fantastic to work with.”
Seat fit ✅@JamieChadwick is one step closer to her @IndyLights test! #AllAndretti pic.twitter.com/ibia86z6WM
— Andretti Autosport / #AllAndretti (@FollowAndretti) September 16, 2022
Thormann says Chadwick’s made a strong impression already during her time with the team in Indianapolis for her seat fitting and preparation for the test. Decisions on where the relationship might head will follow after the run on the outer loop of the famed Floridian road course.
“We want to just see how the test goes, see how she feels about the cars, and go from there,” he said. “They’re a step up from what she’s used to, which is good, because you want to definitely go up, and then there’ll be the whole oval thing, and so on, but I think she’s ready for it. She came in with a brilliant attitude, very sharp, very friendly, saying hi to everybody. And she’s excited about her test. We fell like she’s really prepared.”