By Christopher DeHarde, IndyCar & Road to Indy Writer
In an announcement that came out of left field, Colton Herta was announced as Andretti Autosport’s fourth driver in their Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires program alongside Dalton Kellett, Nico Jamin and Ryan Norman today.
Herta’s entry is funded with a partnership between Andretti Autosport and Steinbrenner Racing, which is owned by the same family that purchased the New York Yankees in 1973.
After racing British F4 in 2015 and EuroFormula Open in 2016, the son of current IndyCar team co-owner Bryan Herta returns to race in the United States for the first time since he began racing in the UK at age 14.
That resonated with team owner Michael Andretti.
“What really impressed me about Colton, and also showed me that he’s very committed to this, is when he literally moved to Europe at the age of 14 on his own. To go over there and commit to something like that just shows his love for it. Then what he did to go over there and win in very tough categories, especially Formula 3, not only to win but also qualify on the front row, many poles, is really tough to do. He showed us at that point he’s ready now to come over here and be competitive in the Lights,” Andretti said.
Herta will drive the No. 98 Mazda powered Dallara IL-15. Steinbrenner Racing team principal George Michael Steinbrenner IV laid out the goals for the partnership between his family and the Andretti organization with enthusiasm towards the new partnership.
“Our goal is eventually to grow into an IndyCar program along with the Andretti’s, and have Colton as the driver, and to win championships. That’s the goal.”