By: Tanner Watkins
February 12, 2019 | 10:30 AM
While the week is only a few days old, the last couple trips around the clock have been eventful for Harding Steinbrenner Racing. After confirming yesterday that 2018 Indy Lights champion Pato O’Ward would not be racing for the team in 2019, Tuesday has brought a new announcement regarding a long-standing rumor.
In a press release published by Andretti Autosport it was revealed that Andretti Technologies, the advanced technology arm of Andretti Autosport, will partner with Harding Steinbrenner Racing and provide “engineering and development support” for the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series campaign.
The confirmed alliance comes after Andretti provided assistance to Harding Racing when they entered both Colton Herta and Pato O’Ward for the 2018 IndyCar Series finale at Sonoma Raceway. In that event, O’Ward finished 9th while Herta placed 20th.
As part of the formal agreement, Andretti Autosport will provide engineers from their own staff to work with Harding Steinbrenner Racing’s lone entry for Herta. Furthermore, HSR will be granted insight on technical and developmental data while also having access to the Andretti Autosport damper program used by their four official full-time entries.
By making the switch from Chevrolet power (used by the team in 2017 and 2018) to Honda, Harding Steinbrenner Racing was allowed to align more closely with Andretti Autosport and the existing relationship that is shared with Colton Herta and George Michael Steinbrenner. The two young guns ran their Indy Lights entry the past two seasons with support from Andretti Autosport.
While O’Ward was a driver for Andretti’s championship-winning Indy Lights program last season, it is unclear whether his departure had any weight in the timing of this announcement.
Header image by Shawn Gritzmacher/INDYCAR.