One notable piece of information missing from Wednesday’s release from Harding Steinbrenner Racing involved naming the engine supplier that will power the cars driven by Patricio O’Ward and Colton Herta.
According to team co-owner George Steinbrenner IV, the choice of Chevy or Honda has not been made for 2019. And despite using Chevy power last weekend at Sonoma Raceway for O’Ward and Herta, he says both brands are in play.
“It’s definitely something we’re still figuring out,” IndyCar’s newest team owner told RACER. “We haven’t started that process; we’ve focused on the announcement in recent weeks, and we need to get going on it because it’s a priority, but we have not concluded our engine supply in any way.”
The Harding Racing team spent 2017 and 2018 representing Chevy, and through its new affiliation with the Honda-powered Andretti Autosport team that will run and staff a significant portion of the revised HSR outfit, significant concerns have been raised in the IndyCar paddock.
With Andretti involved directly with both manufacturers in the same series, and citing fears of performance data being shared across both programs, a number of team owners are known to have asked the series for clarification on whether a dual Chevy/Honda alignment will be allowed in the future.
Despite the pre-existing link to Chevy, RACER has learned Honda Performance Development holds an interest in supporting O’Ward and Herta. Provided HPD and HSR can come to terms on an engine supply agreement, the need to apply heavy firewalls to protect intellectual property from both manufacturers would not be required.