Callum Hedge will get behind the wheel of an Indy NXT car on Friday on the Indianapolis Road Course, joining the Andretti squad for a test program.
The opportunity comes off the back of a breakthrough campaign that sees the Kiwi leading the Formula Regional Americas Championship and the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia, despite missing the latest round at Bathurst to focus on his open-wheel campaign.
“It’s the big next test for him,” his manager, Steve Horne, told Velocity News. “This kid is something special, in my opinion.”
A US$600,000 scholarship to use towards a 2024 Super Formula campaign for winning the FR Americas Championship sits points away from Hedge, who can secure the title by scoring 24 points over three races in the final round at Circuit of the Americas on October 31-November 3.
“When this opportunity came up to test an NXT car, we said it was a good way for him to get a ride in a vehicle that’s got a lot more horsepower than what he has got right now, so we jumped at it,” said Horne.
He has already secured a spot at the Porsche Global Shootout for leading the Carrera Cup after the Sandown round, and will head to Europe later this year to compete against top junior drivers from global Porsche one-make championships, with the winner claiming a prize to contest the Porsche 1 Supercup Championship in 2024.
“He’s got a hell of a schedule in front of him at the moment,” says Horne. “He’s up at Indy at the moment and back next Tuesday and straight up to the Gold Coast for the Carrera Cup, where he’s in a dog fight for the championship.
“Straight after that, he’s back on the plane to Austin for the final round of the Formula Regional Americas Championship, where he has got a bit of a stranglehold on the championship, but it still isn’t done. Then he’s off to Europe for the Porsche Scholarship Shootout.”
“None of this could happen without the support of the Giltrap Group and the Tony Quinn Foundation, who consistently support these young Kiwis worldwide.
“I get these calls from the USA, say ‘what the hell is going on down there, where are all these guys coming from?’ and it’s because of the Giltrap Group, Quinn Foundation and others that have supported these kids.
“He’s got so many doors looking at him in the face right now, and they’re all really exciting.”
Hedge’s Indy NXT test results can be found on the Indy NXT website on Saturday (NZ Time).