Jamie Chadwick was recently announced as a driver in the Indy NXT feeder series, joining the illustrious Andretti Autosport in her ongoing quest to advance up the ranks of the racing world.
Chadwick makes the move after nearly running the tables in the first three years of the women-only W Series, where she remains the only person to win a championship to date.
Even though the W Series was designed to allow women drivers to make a name for themselves and garner attention from sponsors and teams alike, the series is not part of any official ladder and does not have a promotion path to a top-level drive.
Facing a continued lack of opportunity in any European-based racing series, Chadwick realized that moving stateside to join the IndyCar ladder was the best way to get out of her deadlocked situation.
“Ultimately, I wanted to progress out of W Series into the next step, which in Europe would have been something like Formula 3, and then ultimately in America is Indy NXT,” said Chadwick.
“Really the opportunity I have here in Indy NXT is far greater than anything I was able to achieve over in Europe with Formula 3.
“You always want to put yourself in the best position with the best team and the best environment, and to be in that environment with the likes of Andretti and Indy NXT, I think it was definitely a huge opportunity that gave me a big, big chance now for the future, whereas unfortunately I didn’t quite have that come together in Europe.
“I think looking at the championship and everything that we’ve got coming ahead of us next year, I think it’s definitely the right move.”
Chadwick was able to sample an Indy NXT car recently at an open test session around the Indianapolis road course in late October. She was nearly as fast as the other drivers on track, many of whom have already had racing experience with the nearly 500 horsepower cars.
The hope is that she will be able to excel in her new discipline as well as she did in the W Series, and will be able to advance to a top-level IndyCar in the next year or two.
“Looking at the opportunities in America with the seat time, the performance, everything, and the teams like something that Indy NXT offers, it seemed like a really obvious choice, somewhere to look. It wasn’t until I actually drove the car that I felt even more strongly about that in terms of how much I’m able to develop learning in a car like that.
“Then of course as well, the commercial opportunities available over in America are significant, especially with the likes of DHL coming in to support me. So there’s a few factors that go into it, but I’ve always seen racing in the States, coming over a few years ago for the USF test, it’s always been something that I’ve looked at and been interested in.”