Ed Carpenter Racing announced Nov. 15 a new driver development program featuring 16-year-old Josh Pierson, with the intent of competing in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES starting in 2025 with ECR.
Oregon native Pierson will compete in INDY NXT by Firestone in 2023 and 2024, with a partial season in 2023 with HMD Motorsports and a full season in 2024. He will receive guidance and support from ECR team members and mentoring by team owner Ed Carpenter in the team’s first driver development deal, with plans to begin testing one of ECR’s Chevrolet-powered NTT INDYCAR SERIES cars next year.
“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,” Pierson said. “I’ve been dreaming about racing in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES for as long as I can remember.”
Pierson competed in karting from age 2, earning numerous titles and championships for a decade before beginning to race open-wheel cars at 13. He was the youngest driver on the USF2000 grid at age 13 and 14 and in January 2022 became the youngest driver to race in the Rolex 24 At Daytona IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship marquee event.
He also made more sports car history in March 2022 by becoming the youngest race winner in FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) history as part of the winning LMP2 class team at the 1000 Miles of Sebring and the youngest starter in 24 Hours of Le Mans history in June, finishing 10th overall in the world’s most prestigious sports car race.
Pierson finished the 2022 WEC season with third place in the LMP2 championship standings and was the top rookie.
“I have truly enjoyed getting to know Josh Pierson and his family,” team owner 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.”
Besides racing in INDY NXT in a partial-season campaign in 2023 with HMD, Pierson also will continue in sports car endurance racing with United Autosports in WEC.
Pierson made his INDY NXT testing debut Oct. 21 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with HMD Motorsports during the Chris Griffis Memorial Test.