Wade Cunningham

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

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 and returned to the Indy Lights Series in 2007 for AGR-AFS Racing where he finished 3rd.

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.

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.

Other articles related to "wade cunningham, cunningham":

Firestone Freedom 100 - Event Records
... Year Driver Fastest Race 2006 Wade Cunningham Time 3229.3233 Speed 184.679 mph 100 Miles 40 Laps Fastest Qualification Run 2009 Wade Cunningham Time 0134.6485 Speed 190.177 mph 5 Miles 2 Laps Fastest ...
2009 Indy Lights Season - Race Summaries - Kansas Lottery 100
... Kansas City, Kansas Race weather 72 °F, Cloudy and Windy Pole position winner #11 Wade Cunningham, 58.3812 sec, 187.458 mph (301.684 km/h) (2-lap) Race Summary Due to the prospect of ... lap 9 restart Sebastian Saavedra was able to pass polesitter Wade Cunningham for the lead ... Saavedra was able to hold off the challenges of Cunningham until on lap 59, Dillon Battistini spun and collected Pippa Mann, who pierced Battistini's radiator, leaving a large amount of fluid on the track and ...

Famous quotes containing the words cunningham and/or wade:

    While the hollow oak our palace is,
    Our heritage the sea.
    —Allan Cunningham (1784–1842)

    I am in blood
    Stepped in so far, that should I wade no more,
    Returning were as tedious as go o’er.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)