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Harding confirms O’Ward, Herta in two-car effort for Sonoma

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Harding Racing confirmed on Friday that Patricio O’Ward and Colton Herta, who battled for this year’s Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship, will make their Verizon IndyCar Series debuts with the team at the season-ending INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma.

O’Ward, the newly crowned Indy Lights champion, will pilot the No. 8 Chevrolet, while Herta will take over the team’s usual No. 88 entry.

Both O’Ward and Herta have tested with the team previously – Herta back in July, while O’Ward tested with them at Sonoma Raceway earlier this week.

“We’re really happy with how Patricio did in the car at Sonoma. Coupling that with the excellent job that Colton did in Portland earlier in August, Harding Racing is really excited about being able to provide their Verizon IndyCar Series race day debuts next week at Sonoma,” said team president Brian Barnhart.

Both Herta and O’Ward are equally as excited to make their IndyCar debuts.

“I’m super happy to get my start in IndyCar next weekend for the Sonoma Grand Prix,” said Herta, who won four Indy Lights races, including the Freedom 100, in 2018. “Mike Harding and Brian Barnhart have been very supportive in this effort and I can’t think of a better place to get my start in IndyCar. There are too many people to thank for this opportunity, but I’m very thankful for Harding Racing.”

O’Ward highlighted that the differences between the Indy Lights Dallara IL-15 and the DW-12 IndyCar definitely got his attention during the aforementioned test, but he also emphasized that he adapted quickly and was quite happy with how things went.

“Really happy how the (test) ended. We were very quick, and the car felt very good,” O’Ward explained.

He added, “The differences between the Lights and these cars are insanely different. The amount of grip and the amount of power that these cars have is just something different, I’ve never driven something is fast. Around Sonoma the difference in this aero makes the car so much heavier and the braking capabilities of these type of brakes are amazing. They’re very strong. The car is extremely difficult, so I’m going to have to go to the gym. I’m just super happy with how the day ended and I honestly could not have imagined the car being better. It is a monster. It is a beast. I’m really looking forward to the race weekend, I know we’re going to be pretty strong.”

O’Ward and Herta finished first and second in the Indy Lights championship, and will be the third and fourth drivers to compete with Harding in 2018. Gabby Chaves competed in 13 races for the team in 2018 – he was also the team’s driver in the three races they contested in 2017 – with Conor Daly taking over for three races between July and August.

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IMSA results, points, stats package after Sunday at Road America

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Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor delivered Team Penske’s first victory this season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, winning at Road America from the pole position Sunday and moving up to sixth in points after finishing no better than seventh in the first three races this season.

The Team Penske No. 7 Acura DPi led a race-high 48  of 63 laps, including the final four after Castroneves seized a restart to take first from Renger van der Zande, who finished second with Ryan Briscoe in the No. 10 Cadillac DPi.

Other class winners at the Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, road course were the No. 81 ORECA LMP2 07 of Henrik Hedman and Ben Hanley in LMP2, the No. 3 Corvette C8.R of Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor in GTLM and the No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3 of Townsend Bell and Frankie Montecalvo in GTD.

RAIN-SOAKED RELIEF: Castroneves delivers Penske’s first win with late pass

Here are the race stats, points and results from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Road America:


RESULTS: Click here for the overall finishing order and here for the class breakdown.

POINTS: In the DPi standings, the No. 10 Cadillac of Briscoe and van der Zande leads by six points (124-118) over the No. 5 Cadillac of Joao Barbosa and Sebastien Bourdais.

The No. 3 Corvette of Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor leads the GTLM standings with 130 points, 10 more than the No. 912 Porsche of Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor.

In GTD, the No. 12 Lexus of Bell and Montecalvo moved into the lead by four points (121-117) over AIM Vasser Sullivan teammates Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz in the No. 14 Lexus.

The No. 38 of Performance Tech Motorsport leads in LMP2.

Click here for the points standings for drivers and teams after Road America.

STATS PACKAGE FOR ROAD AMERICA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Leader sequence

Lap chart

Race analysis by lap

NEXT: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT classes will race Aug. 21-22 at Virginia International Raceway.