With the new partnership between Mike Harding and George Steinbrenner IV under the Harding Steinbrenner banner, the team that completed the 2018 season will be fundamentally different when it returns next year.
As Harding Racing, the team made its IndyCar Series debut in 2017 and fielded a single entry for Gabby Chaves through Toronto in July. Although multiple drivers followed the Colombian-American in Harding’s Chevy-powered seat, it’s believed the Harding-only entry has been parked in favor of the two new Harding Steinbrenner Racing entries.
As a result, only Colton Herta and Patricio O’Ward are expected to compete for the team in 2019. Chaves, who is under contract through 2019 with Harding, was unavailable for comment.
With the end of Harding Racing and its rebirth as Harding Steinbrenner Racing, a heavy influx of Andretti Autosport personnel and technology is also expected. Positioned as the ‘Andretti Junior Team,’ the pairing of O’Ward and Herta showed great promise last weekend at Sonoma Raceway.
Utilizing a number of the same Andretti Autosport Indy Lights crew members that propelled the teenagers to a 1-2 in the top Road To Indy series, along with some veteran Andretti IndyCar mechanics, O’Ward starred after qualifying fifth and finishing ninth on his IndyCar debut. Herta’s first race was more low-key, but the Lights runner-up delivered a mature performance on the way to finishing 20th.