Photo courtesy Velocity News

Taylor Harte hopes to follow fellow New Zealander Scott Dixon in IndyCar someday

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The next Scott Dixon – or at least the next IndyCar driver from New Zealand – may be on the horizon.

Of course, everyone is familiar with Dixon, who captured his fifth IndyCar championship Sept. 16 at Sonoma Raceway.

Now, if things go well for young New Zealander Taylor Harte, he potentially may follow in Dixon’s IndyCar footsteps in a few years.

Harte, who was born in the U.S. before growing up in New Zealand, is back on this side of the pond, pursuing a USF2000 ride for 2019, the first step on the Road to Indy route.

According to New Zealand’s Velocity News, Harte began racing go-karts at the age of six and has gone on to record considerable success in the ground huggers, including the KartSport New Zealand National Sprint Championship for KF3 in 2013 and the North Island Championship in DD2 in 2017.

And, Velocity News noted, Harte has made podium appearances in the last 52 races he’s taken part in.

Harte is spending much of his time currently serving as a mechanic for Swam Motorsport, which competes in both the USF2000 and Pro Mazda series. He recently had a chance to test a USF2000 ride and showed strong promise.

“I went into the USF2000 car straight out of go karting, which is a big step up, but I ended the day just half a second off the top guys and they were on new tires,” Harte told Velocity News. “I have done a lot of work in a simulator with Darren Manning, an ex-IndyCar driver to improve myself as much as I can.

“I adapted really well, but I still have a lot to learn.”

Harte hopes to have a ride in USF2000 in 2019, but finances are still a question mark. Still, he’s not giving up on his dream of conquering USF2000, then progress up the development ladder in Pro Mazda, Indy Lights and the pinnacle, IndyCar.

“That’s the plan for us,” Harte said.

Harte is the son of Dane Harte, who was a crew chief in both CART and the Indy Racing League for Dick Simon Racing and Cheever Racing in the 1980s and 1990s, including being part of the 1998 Indianapolis 500-winning team with Eddie Cheever behind the wheel. Dane Harte also served as a crewman for Lyn St. James at Indy.

“I’ve got a lot of teams calling me and wanting to do stuff,” Taylor Harte told Velocity News. “It’s just a matter of getting my name out there and getting the funding.”

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Nasser Al-Attiyah, Toby Price win Dakar Rally

Dakar.com, Frederic le Floc'h / DPPI
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Driving a safe final stage that placed him 12th across the line, Nasser Al-Attiyah claimed his third Dakar Rally victory on Thursday. Toby Price claimed his second Dakar win in motorcycles after winning the final stage.

Al-Attiyah could afford to play it safe since he entered the stage with a 51-minute advantage over the field. Price barely had a minute to spare and was forced to push hard through the short 112-kilometer course.

Price’s victory was all the more dramatic in light of his riding the entire rally with a pin in his wrist from a broken scaphoid bone.

In the Quads class, Nicolas Cavigliasso showed his dominance by winning nine of the 10 stages.

Here are some of the other highlights:

In the cars class, Last year’s overall class winner, Carlos Sainz finally earned a stage win, but it was too little, too late. … Sebastien Loeb challenged for the class win throughout the stage and finished less than one minute back. … Cyril Despres rounded out the top three. … Nani Roma finished sixth, four minutes behind the leader, but less than five minutes ahead of Nasser Al-Attiyah.

Class Leaders: Al-Attiyah won his third Dakar by a margin of 46:42 over Roma and one hour, 54:18 over Loeb.

In motorcycles, Toby Price saved the best for last. He won his first stage of the rally and secured the class win. … His victory came with a margin of 2:21 over Jose Florima. … Matthias Walkner enter entered the stage with an opportunity to take the overall lead. His third-place finish was not bad, but it came with his principal rival finishing first. … Pablo Quintanilla took a fall early in the stage and injured his foot. Riding hurt, he finished the stage 22nd – nearly 20 minutes off the pace. … American Andrew Short finished seventh for his eighth top 10 of the rally.

Class Leaders: Price ended the rally with the biggest advantage of the year. He beat Walkner by 9:13. Sam Sunderland finished third, 13:34 behind the leader.

In side by sides, Reinaldo Varela won his second consecutive stage and third overall. … He had a comfortable margin of 3:39 over Cristian Baumgart and 6:10 over Francisco Lopez Contardo.

Class Leaders: Contardo’s third-place finish in the stage was more than enough to secure the class victory over Gerard Farres Guell, who finished one hour, 2:35. Varela finished one hour, 5:19 behind in third.

In quads, In a show of utter dominance, Nicolas Cavigliasso won his ninth stage of the year. … Alexandre Giroud stood on the podium for the fourth time this year. While he didn’t win a stage, he never finished worse than sixth. … Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli rounded out the top three.

Class Leaders: Cavigliasso won by an advantage of one hour, 55:37 over Ferioli and two hours, 11:38 over Gustavo Gallego

In trucks, Ton Van Genugton rebounded from a poor Stage 9 in which he finished 12th to win his second stage of the rally. … Ales Loprais scored his first podium of the rally; his previous best finish was fourth in Stage 9. … Dmitry Sotnikov stood on the final rung of the podium.

Class Leaders: Eduard Nikolaev finished sixth in the stage, but won with an advantage of 25:36 over Sotnikov and one hour, 34:44 over Gerard de Rooy

Stage Wins

Motorcycles
Sam Sunderland [2] (Stage 5 and 7), Matthias Walkner [2] (Stage 2 and 8), Joan Barreda [1] (Stage 1), Xavier de Soultrait [1] (Stage 3), Ricky Brabec [1] (Stage 4), Pablo Quintanilla [1] (Stage 6), Michael Metge [1] (Stage 9) and Toby Price [1] (Stage 10)

Quads
Nicolas Cavigliasso [9] (Stage 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10) and Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli [1] (Stage 3)

Cars
Sebastien Loeb [4] (Stage 2, 5, 6 and 8), Nasser Al-Attiyah [3] (Stage 1, 4 and 9), Stephane Peterhansel [2] (Stage 3 and 7) and [1] Carlos Sainz

Side-by-sides
Francisco Lopez Contardo [4] (Stage 2, 6, 7 and 8), Reinaldo Varela [3] (Stage 1, 9 and 10), Gerard Farres Guell [1] (Stage 3), Sergei Kariakin [1] (Stage 4) and Rodrigo Piazzoli [1] (Stage 5)

Trucks
Eduard Nikolaev [3] (Stage 1, 2, and 9), Andrey Karginov [2] (Stage 3 and 4), Ton Van Genugton [2] (Stage 5 and 10), Dmitry Sotnikov [2] (Stage 6 and 8), and Gerard de Rooy [1] (Stage 7)

For more watch the daily highlight show on NBCSN. Click here for the complete schedule.

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