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Mazda Road to Indy

Colton Herta to Compete in Indy Lights in 2017

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Another second generation racer is set to enter the Mazda Road to Indy ranks in 2017 as Colton Herta will compete in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, behind the wheel of the No. 98 Mazda.

“I’m very pleased to be coming back to race in the States,” Herta said. “IndyCar is my goal, so competing in Indy Lights this year will bring me one step closer. I know I have a good team behind me in Andretti Steinbrenner Racing and we should be fighting for wins right away.”

Herta enters Indy Lights after a successful EuroFormula Open season, which saw him score three wins and four poles, to go along with one win in British Formula 3. The 16-year-old won the Pacific F1600 Championship in 2013, and finished third overall in the 2015 MSA Formula Championship with four victories.

Herta is son of Bryan Herta, who co-owns the No. 98 Verizon IndyCar Series with Michael Andretti; Alexander Rossi is set to drive for Herta and Andretti once again after winning the Indianapolis 500 last season.

“Colton set out at a young age to create his own path in racing, and I’m really pleased to see that path bring him here to Andretti Autosport,” Michael Andretti said. “Through our Indy Lights program, we are dedicated to developing future IndyCar drivers, and Colton has shown that he is both determined and talented enough to reach the Verizon IndyCar Series – We’re excited to be a part of his continued development.”

The opportunity comes about through a partnership between Steinbrenner Racing and Andretti Autosport.

“Partnering with a name as iconic as Steinbrenner is really something I’m looking forward to,” said Andretti Autosport CEO Michael Andretti. “George Michael (Steinbrenner IV) has a great vision for his race team, just as his grandfather had for the Yankees. We are looking forward to having George Michael join us in our Indianapolis office in a very hands-on role with the team. I think together the partnership can continue to grow in motorsport, and it is only fitting that we begin by entering a car into the Mazda Road to Indy [Presented by Cooper Tires] program with Indy Lights.”

While the Andretti family has a rich history in open-wheel racing, this marks the first venture for the Steinbrenners, who have been known in sports since George Michael Steinbrenner III purchased the New York Yankees in 1973.

“I have been around Indy car racing for nearly half of my young life as a fan and enthusiast,” said Steinbrenner Racing team principal George Michael Steinbrenner IV. “Andretti Autosport always seemed to have a prestige in how they operate and present themselves that mirrors that of the Yankees. The legacy of the Andretti name and the success and wide reach of the Andretti brand is as impressive as you will find in the world of motor racing.”

The announcement of Herta completes the four car line-up for AA this year in Indy Lights, which will feature Dalton Kellett, Noco Jamin and Ryan Norman. Kellett finished 10th in points last season in his rookie campaign. Andretti’s highest finisher in points last year was Dean Stoneman, who finished fifth after winning the Freedom 100.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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Ashley McCubbin

Currently the Executive Editor for Popular Speed, Ashley McCubbin also runs Short Track Musings, while handling media relations for OSCAAR. Currently living in Bradford, Ontario, she spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area taking photos.