The 2014 IndyCar rookie class will grow by one, although not with the name many expected to take the reins of the No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport Honda.
Jack Hawksworth will join Carlos Munoz and Mikhail Aleshin as IndyCar freshmen in 2014, with the news the Englishman has been appointed by Herta to drive the team’s BBM/The Collection Auto Group/Castrol Honda-powered entry in 2014.
“I am absolutely delighted to be racing for Bryan Herta Autosport in the 2014 IndyCar Series,” said Hawksworth. “It has been a dream of mine for many years and I can’t wait to get started.”
Hawksworth has already completed three IndyCar tests at Sebring since September, one apiece with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Dale Coyne Racing and a third just a couple weeks ago with BHA. The Sebring test impressed team co-owner Herta.
“Quite frankly, Jack really impressed us with a very strong test in Sebring last month,” Herta said. “He has had success at every level he has competed in to date and we believe he has the skills to maintain that going into the IndyCar series. Jack is well aware of the level of competition he is stepping into and we look forward to the season ahead.”
Hawksworth finished fourth in the 2013 Indy Lights championship, with three wins at the St. Petersburg, Toronto and Baltimore street circuits.
Meanwhile, Italian Luca Filippi had been the favorite all winter, and while proverbially “close” to a deal, nothing was completed for the driver who impressed in four starts for BHA last year.
He had this to tweet immediately after the announcement came out:
So,here we are. As usual the winter never brings me much luck. It normally never comes to me with too many surprises. But,it is what it is.
— Luca Filippi (@LucaFilippiLF) March 5, 2014