At just 16, Josh Pierson is on the fast track to the NTT IndyCar Series.
Ed Carpenter Racing on Tuesday announced that it has added Pierson to its stable as part of a new driver development program with an eye on putting Pierson in an Indy car by 2025. Team owner Carpenter plans to take Pierson under his wing and personally mentor the racing prodigy.
Pierson is fresh from a LMP2 podium finish in the WEC season final at Bahrain. In LMP2, American Pierson teamed with Alex Lynn and Oliver Jarvis of United Autosports to finish second in class in Bahrain. Pierson and Jarvis finished third in the season driving championship in the class.
"It’s been a very eventful year and it’s gone by so fast," Pierson said. "Great to start the year in Sebring with a win, but we’ve been plagued with unfortunate scenarios which set us back when it came to scoring more podiums and wins. We definitely had a crew that was capable of it—we’ve had really fast pit stops today and good driver changes too. It was nice to end the season with a podium even if it wasn’t on the top step—a nice segway into next year.”
Pierson will begin testing one of ECR’s Chevrolet-powered Indy cars in 2023.
“I’m honored by the confidence Ed Carpenter has placed in me and so incredibly grateful to have a path to IndyCar with Ed Carpenter Racing,” said Pierson. “I’ve been dreaming about racing in the NTT IndyCar Series for as long as I can remember.”
Pierson began racing open-wheel cars at 13. At ages 14 and 15, he was the youngest driver on the grid in the Road to Indy’s USF2000. In early 2022, he became the youngest driver to participate in IMSA’s Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Just two months later, he earned the title of the youngest race winner in the FIA’s World Endurance Championship with a victory at the 1000 Miles of Sebring. As of June of 2022, he is the youngest starter in the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and finished 10th overall.
The Oregon native raced for Mathiasen Motorsports in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Series this season.
ECR has announced a measured path to IndyCar for Pierson. For the next two years, Pierson will focus on the Indy NXT series, formerly known as Indy Lights. The plan calls for a partial season in Indy NXT in 2023 with HMD Motorsports and a full-time run at the series championship in 2024.
Ultimately, Carpenter hopes to have Pierson in the IndyCar Series by 2025. Pierson will turn 19 in February of that year.
“I have truly enjoyed getting to know Josh Pierson and his family," Carpenter said. "For such a young man, he has already accomplished so much in his racing career. Along with that, he is such a well-spoken and professional person. I am confident with the plan that we have in place that he will develop into a complete racing driver. We very much look forward to working with him as we finalize his path to the NTT IndyCar Series starting in 2025.”
Pierson plans to also race in the WEC next season with United Autosports.
Pierson made his Indy NXT testing debut in October at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with HMD Motorsports.