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.”