Andretti, Bryan Herta extend IndyCar partnership into 2017 season

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Andretti Autosport has announced an extension of its partnership with Bryan Herta Autosport into the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

The two parties teamed up to run the no. 98 Andretti-Herta Autosport entry in 2016 with Alexander Rossi, going on to win the 100th Indianapolis 500 and finish with Rookie of the Year honors.

In a statement issued by Andretti Autosport on Friday, it was confirmed that the partnership would extend into 2017, albeit without confirming who would be driving the Andretti-Herta car.

Here is the statement in full.

INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 30, 2016) – Andretti Autosport announced today that the team has extended its Indianapolis 500 race-winning partnership with Bryan Herta Autosport through the 2017 season.

“We’re happy to have Bryan back with the team for 2017,” expressed owner of Andretti Autosport, Michael Andretti. “His team fits well into our family and we are excited to see continued growth and success with the partnership. Bryan is a long time friend and a true asset to our organization. We are eager to see what next season has in store.”

The partnership which formed late February 2016, proved to be a successful formula at the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 where the Andretti – Herta entry, piloted by Alexander Rossi, was crowned triumphant under the strategy calls of Bryan Herta. With a jump-start on the 2017 campaign, Herta will remain actively involved with overall Andretti team strategy.

“I am super thrilled to continue our partnership with Andretti Autosport,” said Bryan Herta. “We have a lot of exciting plans for the team throughout the off-season that I know can only make us more competitive for the 2017 season. Last year came together quite late, but this year we’ve committed early and that can only help better prepare us for next season.

“On a personal note – I would like to thank Michael [Andretti] and JF [Thormann] and the entire Andretti Autosport organization for welcoming our team into the family. I am 100-percent committed to helping the entire team in every way possible in order to see Andretti Autosport in Winner’s Circle many times next year.”

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

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Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.