INDIANAPOLIS — Andretti Autosport driver Zach Veach is graduating to the Firestone Indy Lights Series this season.
Veach, in his fourth season with the team, started in the USF2000 National Championship and moved up to the Pro Mazda Championship last season. Now, comes the jump to Indy Lights.
“It will be a really special achievement for us,” said Veach. “I’m really proud to be part of the Mazda Road to Indy program, and being able to be starting my fourth season with Andretti Autosport. It has been a real honor to be under their wings and developing as a driver now that’s turned 18 and going to be in the Firestone Indy Lights series.
“But I’ve learned so much from the time I started in 2010 with USF2000 and worked my way up until now, that there’s no way I’d be able to drive a Firestone Indy Lights car at 18, if it wasn’t for the Mazda Road to Indy series.”
Veach acknowledges his goal is the IZOD IndyCar Series, but trusts team owner Michael Andretti regarding the time table for such advancement.
“For me, I really want to be in IndyCar, but Michael’s goal is he never wants to move any of his drivers up too fast,” Veach explained. “So I think it’s best for me and Michael thinks as well that we take our time working our way up to the IndyCar Series. So, yeah, probably two years at least in the Firestone Indy Lights series and just taking our time learning as much as we need to be able to move up to the IndyCar Series.
“So definitely dreaming big, but I’m just focused on this year right now, and we’re going to go for hopefully the championship and see where we are at the end of the year.”
Veach has already tested 10 days in the Indy Lights car and will team with Carlos Munoz with Andretti Autosport.
“I’m very fortunate to have such a strong teammate this year like Carlos,” Veach said. “Like you said, he was very successful last year, and he’s really putting a lot of pressure on me this year and definitely making me drive a lot harder. Throughout testing the past couple of times, we’ve been in tenth or hundredths of Carlos. So I have a feeling that we’ll be really prepared as we go into the season, and I’ll be pushing really hard to get K12 some wins this year.
“Now we’ve just got to take it one race at a time and make sure that we’re learning and improving on the areas that we need to. I’m very confident in my team and my engineer, and I think that we really have a great program at Andretti Autosport for the season.”