Magnussen: No Rolex 24 entry for 2018 despite talks

Getty Images
0 Comments

Haas Formula 1 driver Kevin Magnussen has confirmed he will not enter the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona despite holding talks with an interested team.

With F1 peers Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll both signed up to enter January’s 24-hour sports car classic, Magnussen had been linked with a drive for the Action Express team.

Despite holding a desire to enter a sports car race in the future, Magnussen confirmed that he would not be entering next month’s race at Daytona International Speedway.

“There have been talks with a team, but for a variety of reasons, there was not a deal,” Magnussen told Danish newspaper BT.

“It would be good another time.”

Magnussen is keen to race at Le Mans in the future alongside his father, Jan Magnussen, who is a long-term Corvette factory driver.

Magnussen Sr. was confirmed as part of Corvette’s line-up for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans earlier this week.

However, Magnussen Jr. confirmed in the same interview with BT that he would not be entering Le Mans next year, even though it does not clash with an F1 race weekend.

AJ Foyt Racing promotes Benjamin Pedersen from Indy Lights to IndyCar for 2023 season

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing
4 Comments

Benjamin Pedersen is the first driver to land a promotion from Indy Lights into IndyCar for next season as AJ Foyt Racing confirmed Wednesday he’ll be part of its 2023 lineup.

Pedersen, a 23-year-old dual citizen of Denmark and the United States, spent last season running the full Indy Lights schedule for HMD Motorsports. Linus Lundqvist, his teammate, won the Lights title, and Pedersen finished fifth in the final standings. Pedersen earned his only win earlier this month when he led every lap from the pole at Portland.

Pedersen also ran four races for HMD in 2021 with back-to-back runner-up finishes in his debut. Pedersen landed on AJ Foyt Racing team president Larry Foyt’s radar through a “trusted colleague” and Pedersen spent most of last season shadowing the IndyCar team.

His promotion to IndyCar comes ahead of all four drivers who finished ahead of him in the Indy Lights standings, including champion Lundqvist.

“We are really looking forward to having Benjamin as part of the team,” Larry Foyt said. “His enthusiasm is infectious, and he is 100 percent committed to IndyCar, AJ Foyt Racing, and doing the best he can to win races.

“It’s been great to have him embedded with the team this past season, and everyone is excited to hit the ground running when testing begins. It is also great to have a multi-year program in place, which will help him and the team grow together.”

Foyt did not announce a car number for Pedersen. Kyle Kirkwood spent his rookie season driving AJ Foyt’s flagship No. 14 but Kirkwood is moving to Andretti Autosport. The team has not yet announced if Dalton Kellett will return for a fourth season, and a third car for Tatiana Calderon was pulled from competition after seven races because of sponsorship non-payment. Shutting down Calderon’s team removed the only semi-regular female driver from the IndyCar field.

Pedersen, however, was signed to an agreement Foyt said “spans multiple seasons as the team plans to develop the young rookie and is aligned to a longer-term plan for AJ Foyt Racing.”

Pedersen was born in Copenhagen but raised in Seattle and currently lives in Indianapolis. He said his time shadowing the IndyCar team has given him a jump on his rookie preparations.

“I’ve spent a lot of time this season with AJ Foyt Racing learning the ins and outs of making the jump to IndyCar and it’s been really nice to do that in conjunction with my Indy Lights season,” Pedersen said. “IndyCar has been my target goal since I started open wheel racing in 2016. The racing, atmosphere, fans, events, tracks, etc. are all awesome.”