The Harding Steinbrenner Racing team announced on Thursday that they have entered into a partnership with Honda Performance Development who will supply their engines for the 2019 season.
Speaking about the news, Harding Steinbrenner Racing President Brian Barnhart said:
First of all, Harding Steinbrenner Racing is very appreciative of our relationship with Chevrolet in 2017 and 2018. However, our direction as a race team closely aligns with Honda for the near future. Therefore, we will be making a change to Honda and Honda Performance Development engines. We’re excited about their emphasis on the development of young talent and with our announcement of Colton Herta and Patricio O’Ward joining our team next year, it’s a natural fit for Harding Steinbrenner Racing and Honda to align in 2019.”
Honda had a great year in 2018 winning both the drivers championship with Scott Dixon and the manufacturers championship.
President of Honda Performance Development Art St Cyr commented on the announcement saying:
We are delighted to have Harding Steinbrenner Racing join Honda’s IndyCar Series effort for 2019.,” said Art St. Cyr, President, Honda Performance Development. “At Honda Performance Development, we are always looking to the future, as seen with our development series: quarter midgets, karting, Formula F, US F4 and F3 Americas. We are excited to welcome a team with enthusiastic ownership that also believes developing drivers solidifies our lineup today, and into the future. With a pair of young North American drivers, Harding Steinbrenner Racing strengthens our overall racing effort and represents the future of our sport. We warmly welcome the team to the HPD family and look forward to working with them this season.”
Team co-owner Mike Harding thanked Chevrolet for the work with the team over the past two years saying:
Thank you to Chevrolet for being a great partner in 2017 and 2018 for Harding Racing,” said Mike Harding. “As we move towards the 2019 IndyCar Series season with two rookie drivers, I’m glad to know Honda is as committed as I am to develop this young talent.”
Team co-owner George Michael Steinbrenner IV commented on the announcement saying:
“I’m excited to move forward as a new owner in the series and to be joining the Honda INDYCAR family. “Honda has meant a lot to the IndyCar Series for as long as I can remember, and I’m excited to have such a prestigious name in INDYCAR join us for the 2019 season. Over the past few seasons, Honda Performance Development has shown its ability to win races and that’s what we’re here to do as well.
Harding Racing Executive Consultant Al Unser Jr commented on the news saying:
Chevrolet has been a great partner with Harding Racing. “They have been with the team since its start in 2017 and all through 2018. It’s been a wonderful partnership for everyone involved. I’m excited to now have Honda on board to help us develop our two new young drivers, Colton and Patricio.
Colton Herta who makes his full-time IndyCar Series debut in 2019 commented on the news saying:
I’m super excited to join Honda. “I grew up and live in Santa Clarita (California), where they build the engines five minutes away from my house. I go cycling with a lot of the guys that work there, so to join the Honda family is really cool. They have a great platform and have proven to be able to win races on all types of circuits. I hope to add wins to my name while working with Honda!”
Patricio O’Ward who also makes his full-time debut next year commented on the news saying:
I am really excited to be joining the Honda family. “I wasn’t in the IndyCar Series this past season (except for the finale), but I got to see a lot of great performances by all the Honda teams. Honda was a big powerhouse within the paddock this year, obviously, they ended up winning the championship. I am very happy to be a part of the team and I’m looking forward to delivering the results that they deserve. I think that we are going to have a strong package for next year and I can’t wait to get started with Honda and Harding Steinbrenner Racing in St. Petersburg.”