With four wins and eight Formula 2 podiums to his credit, Marcus Armstrong is ready to take the next step in his open-wheel career. If his plans come to fruition, he’ll be on the NTT IndyCar Series grid next season as a contender for Rookie of the Year honors.
Coming off a successful first IndyCar test last week in Sebring with the Dale Coyne Racing team, the 22-year-old hopes to make a permanent racing home in North America.
“Certainly, IndyCar is the thing I want to do,” Armstrong told RACER. “There’s no secret. I’ve always been attracted to the championships from a young age because I am a Kiwi and I’ve been watching Scott Dixon kick ass since I was about two years old. I’ve always been really attracted to the championship. I’d love to come, and there’s obviously nothing official, but it’s certainly my first choice. I’m working towards it.”
The new-driver evaluation test at Sebring ended with Armstrong posting the fourth-fastest lap among the five drivers in attendance. Afterwards, it was noted by the DCR team that it might have been the only outfit to adhere to its engine supplier’s request to run without using the push-to-pass button that adds approximately 40hp to the engine output. With P2P factored in, the team is confident Armstrong would have been right behind Meyer Shank Racing’s Tom Blomqvist, who led the day.
“That was a lot of fun,” Armstrong said of the test. “Coming into the day I was aware of how intense IndyCar (is), and certainly the identity of an IndyCar is different to every category with the reactiveness of the steering wheel and the kick-back and how hard you need to drive it. So I was I was aware of that coming into the day and it certainly lived up to its expectations just in the sense that you do have to drive it hard.
“Funnily enough, it’s quite easy to feel the car as opposed to Formula 2. Discussing it with my engineers, we were speaking about the size of the sidewall on these Firestone tires, which helps me to feel the car moving around quite well in comparison to the 18-inch Pirelli [F2 tires] that I’m used to. So that’s quite cool.
“The weight distribution is quite a lot of different and it just seemed very powerful out of corners, and then obviously, corner entries, it’s got quite a lot of grip compared to what I’m used to. And it was a lot of fun because you can push hard and not suffer any consequences on a corner exit. So from my point of view, it’s a lot of fun to drive.”