By Christopher DeHarde, Staff Writer
Colton Herta has been on an absolute tear in the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires.
The Californian won four races in a row, the first to do so since Alex Lloyd in 2007 and hasn’t finished off the podium at all this season except in the second race in St. Petersburg.
In seeking the Indy Lights championship and with it the Mazdaspeed scholarship to help propel him into the Verizon IndyCar Series, Herta still has aspirations of racing in some of the great open wheel races around the world.
That’s where Trevor Carlin comes in. Herta raced for Carlin in Britain before moving back to the U.S. to race for Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing. Carlin has a massive open wheel racing empire and has had success all around the world, including three wins at one of the most prestigious Formula 3 events in the world.
Takuma Sato (2001) and Antonio Felix da Costa (2012, 2016) won the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix for Carlin while no American has won the race since the Formula 3 era began in 1983. No Mazda Road to Indy drivers have gone over to do Macau and it’s not for lack of talent.
“The guys are good enough, it’s just a question of whether they want to do it or whether they want to do the Road to Indy route,” said Carlin. “It’s difficult to get to Indy, it’s difficult to get to Formula One but it’s great experience racing in Europe.
“Colton could easily be good enough to do Macau and run at the front, he beat Lando [Norris] regularly but Lando’s a world class driver so that means Colton is. I’d be happy to take someone like Colton to Macau, it’d be fun.”
Herta liked hearing Carlin’s words.
“I’ve always wanted to run Macau. As of right now I don’t have anything in line, I guess I should go talk to Trevor,” said Herta. “That’s like the greatest race in the world besides the Indianapolis 500, obviously.
“In single seater junior formula racing that’s the greatest race in the world hands down. I did the Masters of Formula 3 in Zandvoort and that was amazing and yeah, I’d love to run Macau, it’s a cool track.”
Herta would not have a problem handling the Formula 3 car. His normal Indy Lights car has about 200 more horsepower than a current Formula 3 car. Herta’s only problem would be that he has one street circuit win in Indy Lights and two of his three retirements in Indy Lights competition have come on street circuits.
However, if such a partnership does happen, Macau will be certainly interesting to watch.