Harding Steinbrenner Racing switches to Honda power
|Harding Steinbrenner Team dumps Chevy|
Newly formed Harding Steinbrenner Racing is excited to announce a new partnership with Honda Performance Development for the 2019 INDYCAR season.
“First of all, Harding Steinbrenner Racing is very appreciative of our relationship with Chevrolet in 2017 and 2018,” said team president Brian Barnhart. “However, our direction as a race team closely aligns with Honda for the near future. Therefore, we will be making a change to Honda and Honda Performance Development engines. We’re excited about their emphasis on the development of young talent and with our announcement of Colton Herta and Patricio O’Ward joining our team next year, it’s a natural fit for Harding Steinbrenner Racing and Honda to align in 2019.”
The Indianapolis-based team, led by Mike Harding and George Michael Steinbrenner IV, launched in September at the conclusion of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. The team will field two full-time IndyCar Series entrants with 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged, Honda-powered V-6 engines.
“We are delighted to have Harding Steinbrenner Racing join Honda’s IndyCar Series effort for 2019.,” said Art St. Cyr, President, Honda Performance Development. “At Honda Performance Development, we are always looking to the future, as seen with our development series: quarter midgets, karting, Formula F, US F4 and F3 Americas. We are excited to welcome a team with enthusiastic ownership that also believes developing drivers solidifies our lineup today, and into the future. With a pair of young North American drivers, Harding Steinbrenner Racing strengthens our overall racing effort and represents the future of our sport. We warmly welcome the team to the HPD family and look forward to working with them this season.”
Harding Racing competed under the Chevrolet banner beginning with its fruition in the 2017 Indianapolis 500 and throughout the entire 2018 IndyCar season, including qualifying for a Firestone Fast Six and a season-best finish of ninth at Sonoma Raceway.
“Thank you to Chevrolet for being a great partner in 2017 and 2018 for Harding Racing,” said Mike Harding. “As we move towards the 2019 IndyCar Series season with two rookie drivers, I’m glad to know Honda is as committed as I am to develop this young talent.”
“I’m excited to move forward as a new owner in the series and to be joining the Honda INDYCAR family,” said George Michael Steinbrenner IV. “Honda has meant a lot to the IndyCar Series for as long as I can remember, and I’m excited to have such a prestigious name in INDYCAR join us for the 2019 season. Over the past few seasons, Honda Performance Development has shown its ability to win races and that’s what we’re here to do as well.”
Honda has played an integral role in the growth and development of IndyCar Series since joining the series in 2003. This year, Honda Performance Development showcased their ability to win by locking the manufacturer’s championship prior to checkered flag at the Sonoma Raceway season finale.
|Now that the team is Honda powered, the Andretti team can help them much more from a technical standpoint|
“Chevrolet has been a great partner with Harding Racing,” said Harding Steinbrenner Racing executive consultant Al Unser Jr. “They have been with the team since its start in 2017 and all through 2018. It’s been a wonderful partnership for everyone involved. I’m excited to now have Honda on board to help us develop our two new young drivers, Colton and Patricio. “
The 2018 Freedom 100 winner in Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires, Herta will pilot the #88 Harding Steinbrenner Racing Dallara Honda entry and 2018 Indy Lights champion O’Ward will pilot the #8. They enter their rookie season after starting their IndyCar Series careers in September’s 2018 season finale. The 2019 IndyCar Series begins March 10, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Florida.
“I’m super excited to join Honda,” said Herta. “I grew up and live in Santa Clarita (California), where they build the engines five minutes away from my house. I go cycling with a lot of the guys that work there, so to join the Honda family is really cool. They have a great platform and have proven to be able to win races on all types of circuits. I hope to add wins to my name while working with Honda!”
“I am really excited to be joining the Honda family,” said O’Ward. “I wasn’t in the IndyCar Series this past season (except for the finale), but I got to see a lot of great performances by all the Honda teams. Honda was a big powerhouse within the paddock this year, obviously, they ended up winning the championship. I am very happy to be a part of the team and I’m looking forward to delivering the results that they deserve. I think that we are going to have a strong package for next year and I can’t wait to get started with Honda and Harding Steinbrenner Racing in St. Petersburg.”
About Harding Steinbrenner Racing
Indianapolis based Harding Steinbrenner Racing is led by Indianapolis businessman Mike Harding and George Michael Steinbrenner IV. Brian Barnhart is team president and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. serves the team as executive consultant. Harding Steinbrenner will compete on a full-time basis in the 2019 IndyCar Series with two pilots, Colton Herta and Patricio O’Ward.
About Colton Herta
Colton Herta began racing at the age of 4. At 12, he turned to cars and promptly won the Pacific F1600 Series championship and finished second in the Skip Barber Summer Series. The Valencia, California native then moved to Europe to test his talents internationally. He finished third in the British Formula 4 championship in 2015 and third in the Euroformula Open championship in 2016. After returning to the United States, the American quickly impressed by winning the second race of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires 2017 season. That year he also led the series with seven pole positions, set five new track records and earned Rookie of the Year honors. Most recently, Herta finished second in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship with four wins, three pole positions and 13-podium finishes.
About Pato O’Ward
Patricio O’Ward hails from Monterrey, Mexico. After creating an extremely successful karting resume, O’Ward moved to cars in 2013 competing in the Formula LATAM F2000 Series in Mexico, the Formula Renault 1.6 NEC Junior series in Europe and the Pacific F2000 series in the United States. He entered the Mazda Road to Indy Series in 2015 finished sixth in that year’s Pro Mazda Championship and earning a close second-place finish in 2016. Last year, O’Ward won the Championship Prototype Challenge class in dominant fashion with seven victories in eight races including the Rolex 24 at Daytona. He also competed in the first four Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires races of the season earning a podium finish in the second event of the year. This year, the 19-year-old won the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship by 44 points over teammate Colton Herta. He ended the season with nine wins, 13-podium finishes and set a new series record for pole positions in a season with nine pole positions.