Wade Cunningham

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Wade Cunningham
Nationality New Zealand New Zealander
Born (1984-08-19) 19 August 1984 (age 30)
Auckland
Related to Mitch Cunningham (brother)
Firestone Indy Lights Series
Years active 2005-2010
Teams Brian Stewart Racing
AFS Racing
Alliance Motorsports
Sam Schmidt Motorsports
Starts 64
Wins 8
Poles 9
Best champ.
finish
1st in 2005
Previous series
2004 Formula Ford Zetec USA
Championship titles
2001
2003
2005
Asia-Pacific Championship
World Karting Championship
Indy Lights Series

Wade Cunningham (born 19 August 1984) is a racing driver from Auckland, New Zealand who competed in the Firestone Indy Lights Series.

Cunningham driving his Indy Lights car on the Streets of St. Petersburg in 2005

Cunningham's professional career began when he won the Karting World Championship in 2003.

The following year he moved to the United States and competed in the Cooper Tires Formula Ford Zetec Championship in which he finished 5th after winning four consecutive poles and seven podium finishes. He won the 2005 Indy Lights Series championship in his rookie season for Brian Stewart Racing despite only winning a single race.

He continued with the team in 2006 and won 3 more races, including the Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (becoming the first driver from New Zealand to do so) and placed third in championship points despite missing two races due to an emergency appendectomy. While missing out on the drivers title the team was still able to claim their second consecutive entrants championship because they were able to replace Wade with a reserve driver for those events. He narrowly missed the title by 11 points and would have easily clinched his second drivers championship had he started either of those events.

He drove in the A1 Grand Prix series as practice driver for A1 Team New Zealand in the round in Taupo, New Zealand and also China [1] and returned to the Indy Lights Series in 2007 for AGR-AFS Racing where he finished 3rd.

Cunningham (inside) racing in Indy Lights in 2008

In December 2007 Cunningham tested an IndyCar Series machine for the first time at Sebring as a reward for his results with their satellite team in the Indy Lights Series, driving the Andretti Green Racing IndyCar normally driven by Marco Andretti.[2]

Wade's brother Mitch made his Firestone Indy Lights Series debut (formerly the Indy Pro Series) in 2008 for Brian Stewart Racing, the same team with whom Wade had his initial success. Wade made a handful of starts in the series in 2008, both for Brian Stewart and in the Mid-Ohio double-header for the new Alliance Motorsports team.

He signed on to return to the series full-time in 2009 driving for Sam Schmidt Motorsports. Upon joining the team, he became the first driver to win a second Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Cunningham won again that race in 2010 in a one-race deal for the Schmidt team, becoming the only three-time winner of the Freedom 100.

Sam Schmidt announced 11 February that former Firestone Indy Lights Champion Wade Cunningham will make his Izod IndyCar Series debut in 2011 with Sam Schmidt Motorsports in a three race deal. He qualified 8th on debut at Texas Motor Speedway for the Firestone Texas Twin 275s and posted a season and career best IndyCar finish at the Indy Kentucky 300 when he finished 7th a mere 0.702 seconds from the lead.

Racing record[edit]

Complete A1 Grand Prix results[edit]

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 DC Points
2006–07 A1 Team New Zealand NED
SPR

NED
FEA

CZE
SPR

CZE
FEA

BEI
SPR

BEI
FEA

MYS
SPR

MYS
FEA

IDN
SPR

IDN
FEA

NZL
SPR

PO
NZL
FEA

PO
AUS
SPR

AUS
FEA

RSA
SPR

RSA
FEA

MEX
SPR

MEX
FEA

SHA
SPR

PO
SHA
FEA

PO
GBR
SPR

GBR
SPR

2nd 93

American open–wheel racing results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Indy Lights[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Rank Points
2005 Brian Stewart Racing United States
HMS
4
United States
PHX
3
United States
STP
2
United States
INDY
2
United States
TXS
2
United States
IMS
2
United States
NSH
4
United States
MIL
2
United States
KTY
2
United States
PPIR
5
United States
SNM
2
United States
CHI
10
United States
WGL
3
United States
FON
1
1st 504
2006 Brian Stewart Racing United States
HMS
10
United States
STP1
United States
STP2
United States
INDY
1
United States
WGL
2
United States
IMS
16
United States
NSH
5
United States
MIL
2
United States
KTY
3
United States
SNM1
1
United States
SNM2
4
United States
CHI
1
3rd 379
2007 AGR-AFS Racing United States
HMS
24
United States
STP1
9
United States
STP2
2
United States
INDY
23
United States
MIL
12
United States
IMS1
4
United States
IMS2
21
United States
IOW
2
United States
WGL1
1
United States
WGL2
2
United States
NSH
4
United States
MDO
2
United States
KTY
3
United States
SNM1
16
United States
SNM2
11
United States
CHI
17
3rd 423
2008 Brian Stewart Racing United States
HMS
9
United States
STP1
United States
STP2
United States
KAN
5
United States
INDY
3
United States
MIL
12
United States
IOW
United States
WGL1
United States
WGL2
United States
NSH
19th 169
Alliance Motorsports United States
MDO1
12
United States
MDO2
2
United States
KTY
United States
SNM1
United States
SNM2
Integra Motorsports w/ CGRT United States
CHI
24
2009 Sam Schmidt Motorsports United States
STP1
16
United States
STP2
11
United States
LBH
20
United States
KAN
2
United States
INDY
1
United States
MIL
6
United States
IOW
2
United States
WGL
19
Canada
TOR
7
Canada
EDM
6
United States
KTY
1
United States
MDO
14
United States
SNM
12
United States
CHI
4
United States
HMS
6
4th 416
2010 Sam Schmidt Motorsports United States
STP
United States
ALA
United States
LBH
United States
INDY
1
United States
IOW
United States
WGL
Canada
TOR
Canada
EDM
United States
MDO
United States
SNM
United States
CHI
United States
KTY
United States
HMS
3
15th 87

IndyCar Series[edit]

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Rank Points
2011 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara Honda STP ALA LBH SAO INDY TXS1
29
TXS2
20
MIL IOW TOR EDM MDO NHM SNM BAL MOT KTY
7
LVS
C
37th 36
2012 A. J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara DW12 Honda STP ALA LBH SAO INDY
31
DET TXS MIL IOW TOR EDM MDO SNM BAL FON
14
28th 29

References[edit]

  1. ^ SuperPoints A1GP Taupo, New Zealand: Driver sign-on, A1GP.com, 18 January 2007
  2. ^ "Cunningham tests with Andretti Green". autosport.com. 21 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-22. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Thiago Medeiros
Infiniti Pro Series Champion
2005
Succeeded by
Jay Howard