Colton Herta quits Europe to race Indy Lights in 2017
Herta, who finished third in last year’s EuroFormula Open series, will race in America in 2017 under the banner of Steinbrenner Racing, as the New York Yankees-owning family partners with Andretti Autosport to form a four-car Indy Lights team.
George Michael Steinbrenner IV, whose father purchased the New York Yankees in 1973, will serve as Andretti Steinbrenner Racing team principal, overseen by Andretti Autosport co-owner Michael Andretti, whose other three Indy Lights cars will be piloted by Nico Jamin, Dalton Kellett and Ryan Norman.
Herta, son of Bryan Herta who runs the #98 IndyCar of Alexander Rossi, will also run #98 on his Indy Lights car. He has already tested an AA Dallara-Mazda IL15 at Sebring and Gateway MSP's oval.
The Pacific F1600 champion finished third overall in both the 2015 MSA Formula championship and the 2016 EuroFormula Open series, and also earned one win and three podiums in just two British Formula 3 events last season.
He said: "I'm very pleased to be coming back to race in the States. IndyCar is my goal, so competing in Indy Lights this year will bring me one step closer.
“I know I have a good team behind me in Andretti Steinbrenner Racing and we should be fighting for wins right away.”
Said Andretti: “Colton set out at a young age to create his own path in racing, and I’m really pleased to see that path bring him here to Andretti Autosport.
“Through our Indy Lights program, we are dedicated to developing future IndyCar drivers, and Colton has shown that he is both determined and talented enough to reach the Verizon IndyCar Series. We’re excited to be a part of his continued development.”
He added: “Partnering with a name as iconic as Steinbrenner is really something I’m looking forward to. “George Michael [Steinbrenner IV] has a great vision for his race team, just as his grandfather had for the Yankees. We are looking forward to having him join us in our Indianapolis office in a very hands-on role with the team.
“I think together the partnership can continue to grow in motorsport, and it is only fitting that we begin by entering a car into the Mazda Road To Indy program with Indy Lights.”
Steinbrenner IV, declared: “I have been around Indy car racing for nearly half of my young life as a fan and enthusiast. Andretti Autosport always seemed to have a prestige in how they operate and present themselves that mirrors that of the Yankees.
“The legacy of the Andretti name and the success and wide reach of the Andretti brand is as impressive as you will find in the world of motor racing.”
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