Carlos Muñoz, one of North America’s hottest open-wheel racing prospects, has landed himself a full-time seat in next year’s IndyCar Series with the Andretti Autosport squad.
The 21-year-old Colombian will graduate on a full-time basis to the championship, after three impressive outings in this year’s championship, on top of claiming four wins in an Andretti-entered car in the Indy Lights feeder series.
Muñoz secured a sensational front-row qualifying berth on his IndyCar debut at the Indianapolis 500, and then backed that up by finishing runner-up to Tony Kanaan in the race.
He also had a stand-in outing at Panther Racing – substituting for the injured Ryan Briscoe at Toronto – and then one final appearance with Andretti at the season-ending race at Fontana, after EJ Viso withdrew from the event amid allegations that he had defrauded his sponsors.
Muñoz’s appointment completes the team’s four-car line-up, where he will join the team’s regular drivers Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
"I don’t have the words to express how I feel," Muñoz said upon the announcement. "After so many years of racing and all the sacrifices, I’m finally a driver in the maximum category in America.
“I have to thank Andretti Autosport, and especially [team owner] Michael Andretti, for this opportunity.”
Andretti added of his latest signing: “Carlos stepped up this season and showed outstanding potential on-track at Indianapolis and Fontana. We are looking forward to welcoming him as a full time IndyCar driver and seeing what 2014 has in store.”