Jul 26, 2013
Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing will expand to a two-car team for the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 25 with the addition of five-time American Le Mans Series champion Lucas Luhr in the No. 97 Honda-powered IndyCar. He'll join second-year driver Josef Newgarden on the road course.
Luhr, who marked his 34th birthday on July 22, will test an IndyCar on Aug. 13 at Sonoma Raceway.
Luhr most recently co-drove with Klaus Graf to an America Le Mans Series victory at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (formerly Mosport) on July 21. His next sports car race is Aug. 11 at Road America, and the series joins the IZOD IndyCar Series on the streets of Baltimore on Labor Day weekend.
Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing's partnership with RW Motorsports led to the opportunity.
"Bringing RW Motorsports to the top level of open-wheel racing has long been a dream of mine, and through our partnership with SFHR it has always been the intention to see that idea come to fruition," RW Motorsports owner Steve Weirich said. "Lucas has great strengths as well and I am looking forward to bringing a driver of his caliber to the IZOD IndyCar Series.
"Sonoma is a great venue for us as well as IndyCar and we know the synergy of this entry will produce a great result."
Luhr is the only ALMS driver to have won championships in three categories. This season, the native of Germany is driving an HPD ARX-03a in the P1 class for the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing, making him familiar with Honda-powered cars.
"I am very excited about driving for RW/SFHR in Sonoma," Luhr said. "I have wanted to drive an IndyCar for quite some time and when this opportunity came up I was very happy to say yes straight away. I would like to thank Steve Weirich, RW, Sarah and Mr. Hartman, as well as Honda HPD for introducing us.
"I'd also like to give a very big thank you to my team owner Greg Pickett at Muscle Milk for allowing me to accept this challenge in the middle of the season."
At the test day, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing will be joined by A.J. Foyt Racing (Takuma Sato), Andretti Autosport (Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, E.J. Viso), Panther Racing (driver TBA), Ed Carpenter Racing (Ed Carpenter), Dragon Racing (Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastian Saavedra), Rahal Letterman Racing (James Jakes and Graham Rahal) and Dale Coyne Racing (Justin Wilson).
An IZOD IndyCar Series Open Test at Sonoma is scheduled for Aug. 21 ahead of practice on Aug. 23.
"I know I have a lot to learn in a very short time," Luhr added. "It's not going to be easy, but it's a great challenge. I know Sonoma, having raced there in the past, and I am looking forward to working with everyone at RW/SFHR and preparing for the race."
Newgarden, the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights champion, heads into the Aug. 4 Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio with an 11th-place finish in Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto. He'll participate in an Open Test on July 31 on the road course.
"As we continue to raise the bar at SFHR, we are always looking for the next level to stay ahead of the curve," team co-owner Wink Hartman said. "Adding Lucas to the Sonoma event for us is not only exciting, knowing his championship abilities, but will give us a sounding board toward two-car efforts in the future. We know that's where we would like to be as a team, and this is one step toward our exploration of that ability."