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Magnussen ahead of IndyCar debut: “Every day is a dream”

Former Formula 1 driver Kevin Magnussen says he’s “super-excited” to make his NTT IndyCar Series debut this weekend, despite the lack of preparation.

Kevin Magnussen, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet

Kevin Magnussen, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet

Barry Cantrell / Motorsport Images

Magnussen, along with Renger van der Zande (above) scored his first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win last Saturday at Detroit, driving the Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R.

The victory came just a few hours after Felix Rosenqvist’s huge shunt in the #7 Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet in Race 1 of IndyCar’s double-header Detroit Grand Prix. Following an overnight stay in hospital, Rosenqvist had to sit out Race 2, and his substitute was Oliver Askew – ironically, the driver he replaced in the #7 for 2021.

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However, for this weekend’s ninth round of the season, at Road America, with Rosenqvist still not cleared to drive, his place will be taken by Magnussen.

His team Arrow McLaren SP tweeted a video of Magnussen getting his seat fitting in the garage at the legendary 4.014-mile venue.

 

“I’ve never driven an IndyCar before,” said Magnussen. “It’s been, I don’t know, eight months since I drove a single-seater. We’re here doing the seat fit.

“Every day I’m a racing driver, I make a living out of racing cars, so every day is a dream. I would say this weekend driving an IndyCar for the first time – and I’ve been fortunate to drive some very, very cool racing cars in my career – it’s going to be great to add this one to it also. It’s going to go right to the top of that list for sure.

“It’s a big challenge, getting thrown straight into it with no testing, no preparation, so it’s going to be very, very fun. I’m super-excited about it really, and just pumped to get going.”

Rosenqvist, who scored his first IndyCar win at Road America last year while driving for the Ganassi team, tweeted: “It really sucks to miss out @roadamerica but I have to focus on getting back 100%.

“Meanwhile it’s great to see @KevinMagnussen getting a shot in @IndyCar.” He added: “Held og lykke!” [‘Good luck!’ in Danish]

 

“Thanks buddy! Wishing you a speedy recovery” responded Magnussen.

Magnussen will thus find himself on the same grid as former Haas Formula 1 teammate Romain Grosjean, who his year has been racing the #51 Dale Coyne Racing with RWR-Honda in the road and street courses. The Frenchman responded, “AWESOME!!!!” at Wednesday’s news that Magnussen would be subbing for Rosenqvist this weekend.

These are not the only driver changes on the IndyCar grid since Detroit. Askew will this weekend be subbing for Rinus VeeKay in the #21 Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevy, because the Dutch sophomore suffered an accident on his training bike on Monday and broke a clavicle.

In addition, Coyne will be running his third car for IndyCar debutant, Cody Ware.

First practice for Sunday’s REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR will be held today at 4.00pm local (Central) time.

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