Marco Andretti is making a long-term investment in his career and future.
Andretti Autosport, the team for which Andretti has driven his entire 13-year Verizon IndyCar Series career, announced Thursday that he has become a partner in the No. 98 U.S. Concrete Honda that he will drive in 2019.
The car will be entered by Andretti Herta Autosport w/ Marco Andretti & Curb-Agajanian throughout the 17-race season. Marco’s father, Indy car great Michael Andretti, is the owner of Andretti Autosport, while retired racer Bryan Herta is a part owner of the entry. Herta also serves as Marco Andretti’s race strategist.
“I’m happy and proud to invest back into the team that I have been with for 13 seasons and counting,” Marco Andretti said. “I truly believe this is the best team out there and I’m looking forward to a fun, competitive future with the U.S. Concrete No. 98 family.”
Marco Andretti is a third-generation Indy car driver following in the family footsteps. Grandfather Mario is second all time in Indy car wins with 52, including the 1969 Indianapolis 500. Father Michael ranks fourth all time with 42 wins. Michael became a team owner in 2003 in what was then Andretti Green Racing. It has been Andretti Autosport since 2010 and will again field four entries in IndyCar Series competition in 2019 for drivers Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi and Zach Veach.
“I’m proud to see Marco looking beyond the racing seat and taking a vested interest in not just his car entry, but the future of motorsport that can one day take him beyond his driving career,” Michael Andretti said. “Marco has many driving years ahead of him and many victories yet to come, but is continuing to see the big picture of racing and that will in turn make him a stronger competitor all around.”
The 2019 season begins with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 10.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan names Phillips team president
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced Thursday that Piers Phillips has been named team president and will oversee operations for the team’s involvement in the Verizon IndyCar Series, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Series.
Phillips spent the past three seasons at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports as general manager. The Briton brings more than 25 years of racing experience to the team co-owned by Bobby Rahal, David Letterman and Michael Lanigan.
“Mike, Dave and I are pleased that Piers is joining the team as its first-ever president,” Rahal said. “His past successes speak volumes of his ability in all facets of racing, and I look forward to working closely with Piers to take the team to the next level.”
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has won six races in the past four Verizon IndyCar Series seasons. Drivers Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato return for the 2019 season after finishing eighth and 12th, respectively, in this year’s championship standings. Sato collected the team’s lone victory this season, at the Grand Prix of Portland in September.
RLL’s sports car team picked up two GTE class wins in the 2018 season. It’s two-car eTROPHY team will debut in December.
“I was incredibly honored to be approached by Bobby about this opportunity, given his experience, success and stature,” Phillips said. “From the moment I sat down with him to discuss this role, I just fell in love with his passion, drive and enthusiasm to continue the already-impressive accomplishments that RLL has achieved, as well as his desire to take the team even further in the future. He is an infectious character that I think I will thoroughly enjoy working with.
“I also spent some time with Mike Lanigan in Chicago and was equally impressed with his attitude and approach,” Phillips added. “To be involved at this level with not only the Indy car program, but also the sports car program and eTROPHY was a very easy decision for me, and one that I know I will thoroughly enjoy.”
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to host garage sale
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports is hosting its first-ever garage sale at the team’s Indianapolis facility on Saturday, with proceeds benefiting Conquer Paralysis Now, the nonprofit founded by team co-owner Sam Schmidt.
Among the items available will be car parts including bodywork, gears, springs and wheels, as well as team firesuits. Some items have been autographed by SPM driver James Hinchcliffe.
The sale runs from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. ET. Those attending are asked to bring non-perishable food items – such as coffee, pasta, oatmeal, cereal, canned fruit and vegetables, sugar, salt and pepper – that will be donated to a local food bank. The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports shop is located at 6803 Coffman Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46268.