ROOKIE COLTON HERTA CLAIMS VICTORY AT ST. PETE
Photographer: LAT USA
Rookie Captures First Career Win on the Streets of St. Petersburg
Starting from the pole position, Colton Herta scored his first Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires victory at today's 45-lap race on the streets of St. Pertersburg, driving the No. 98 Deltro Energy Mazda for Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing. The American rookie and son of reitred open-wheel standout Bryan Herta, earns the team its first win of the season.
“It’s amazing to come back from Europe and into the Indy Lights paddock and be winning right away," said Herta. "It’s a good start and we’re going to keep it rolling. (Urruita) is probably the toughest person out here right now because most of us are rookies, and he knows the tires, he knows the car when it’s all cold. For sure it was hard to hold him off, but we ended up doing it and had a gap at the end. I was pushing hard, harder than I did in qualifying. My heart rate is up right now!”
Herta joins the newly-formed Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing for the 2017 season, After making his formula car debut in 2014’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda series, Herta moved to the UK-based MSA Formula series in 2015 as the youngest driver and only American. He snagged his first win at Snetterton Circuit while helping the United States to a Nations Cup win. Competing in the EuroFormula Open series in 2016, Herta earned one win and three podiums in two British Formula 3 events last season.
Today’s win is the 31st win for the Andretti Autosport Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Program. Since 2005, Andretti Autosport has earned two series titles (‘08/Matos and ’09/Hildebrand) and one Freedom 100 win ('16/Stoneman).
Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing fields one full-time entry in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires with Herta. Andretti Autosport fields three other full-time entries in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires with Nico Jamin (No. 27 Synova Mazda), Dalton Kellett (No. 28 K-Line Insulators USA Mazda) and Ryan Norman (No. 48 Flip Side Mazda).