Marcus Armstrong says consistent points-scoring was key to winning IndyCar’s Rookie of the Year title despite missing five of the 17 rounds.
Armstrong also out-scored his fellow rookies who contested full seasons. “To win the Rookie of the Year championship, I’m extremely pleased to finally lock that down,” he said. “Obviously we didn’t do five races, so it was going to be a tough ask, for sure.”
He peaked with seventh place at Toronto and finished eighth on three occasions, including yesterday’s season finale at Laguna Seca.
“We finished every race, we were consistent, we had some good results,” he reflected. “Sometimes I think we could have done a lot better. [But] we were consistent and fast enough to win it without the ovals.”
The former Ferrari Driver Academy member has already been signed up for a full year in IndyCar next season. He found life in America “quite different to racing in Europe.”
“There is certainly a family culture that is embedded inside the team, which is not common in high-performing racing teams,” said Armstrong. “There’s always a mix between professionalism and a social environment within this team, which I think I like a lot more than what I’ve experienced previously. I feel like they have brought me into their family and really taught me everything. ”
Among those he’s enjoyed the benefit of learning at Ganassi is from six-times IndyCar champion – and fellow New Zealander – Scott Dixon.
“Everyone’s been open,” said Armstrong. “I’ve asked Scott a million and one questions, so I’m very annoying. Everyone else, as well. They’ve all answered truthfully – as far as I know! It’s been great.”
While IndyCar’s rookie drivers have had less time to practice at some events compared to previous years, Armstrong said he’s had better preparation for races than he was used to in recent seasons.
“I would say I get more track time than in other series that I’ve done,” he said. “Like in F2 last year we were really, really tight on push laps. That’s for another reason that’s because the tyre just can’t do so many push laps. Here I actually think I’ve done quite a decent amount of laps in the race weekends.”
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