HMD Motorsports has been very active during this year’s Indy Lights off season. So far, they’ve named Danial Frost, Christian Bogle, Josh Green and Nolan Siegel to the team including the latest one (Siegel) just this past week. Now on Thursday, they’ve named their 5th driver.
A championship-winning driver in the Road to Indy, Christian Rasmussen will be returning to the Indy Lights program for the second season in 2023 – this time with the championship-winning team, HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing in the No. 6 entry. Rasmussen will be one of eight drivers entered by the team.
“I am excited to get a new year of Indy Lights racing going and look forward to joining HMD Motorsports,” expressed Christian Rasmussen via a team release. “I learned a lot last year in my rookie season and was able to score a pair of victories. I am excited to work with everyone at HMD including my new engineer Yancy (Diotalevi) as we aim to hit the ground running on our first two test days later this month.”
Last season, Rasmussen entered his first Indy Lights season where he finished sixth in the championship after claiming two wins and three additional podiums. Ending the 2022 season strong, Rasmussen carries momentum into 2023 as the most recent race winner claiming the pole position and finishing on the podium’s top step in the season’s finale race at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
A day after finishing 2nd in the penultimate race of the 2022 season, he led all 35 laps for his 5th podium and 8th top 5 in 14 races run during his rookie season. 6 of those 8 top 5’s occurred in the final 8 races. It was a fitting ending because he needed some help funding wise to return to his seat in 2023 and this young driver made his mark when it counted the most.
“It was awesome to end the season like this,” Rasmussen said last month. “It’s been a tough one for us. We started out at St. Pete running out of fuel from a win. It’s been a tough season. To end it like this on a high note, with second place in race one and first place in race two, is awesome.
“We’re looking to come back next year. Hopefully we can continue on what we ended on here and hopefully compete for a championship next year.”
That never materialized to return to Andretti but driving for HMD makes him a championship front runner for 2023.
Prior to competing in Indy Lights, Rasmussen successfully worked his way up the Road to Indy ladder. Completing two years of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship in 2019 and 2020, Rasmussen won a combined 12 races before winning the championship in 2020. He then moved up to Indy Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires and again claimed the championship with seven wins and five additional podium results.
With a combined total of 21 wins, 13 additional podiums, and eight pole positions throughout his tenure in the Road to Indy, Rasmussen is sure to be a championship contender in the upcoming Indy Lights season and will bring an additional year of experience to the team.
“I am confident that Christian will be a championship contender in one of our cars,” explained HMD General Manager Mike Maurini. “Coming off a pair of wins in 2022, showing speed at several races, and now with a year’s worth of experience, we have very high hopes for Christian.”
Andretti Autosport has Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster already named as drivers. Jagger Jones will be 1 of Cape Motorsports’ drivers.
We know HMD has 8 cars, Andretti should return with 4 and now JHR has 2. Legacy Autosport and Cape Motorsports will join the series as both will each have a pair of drivers themselves.
That brings the car count up to 18 already.
Then you can see a return of Force Indy and Abel Motorsports may stay too. Whether that’s 1 or 2 cars for Abel remains to be seen but that’s at least 20 cars there. What about TJ Speed? They had 2 cars in 2022?