After a shortfall on budget, Bryan Herta Autosport has forged an alliance with Andretti Autosport to run the #98 BHA Dallara, but highly rated Gabby Chaves could find himself losing out on the ride he performed so well in 2015.
Michael Andretti’s team did not have enough sponsorship of its own to run a fourth car in 2016 alongside Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Carlos Munoz, but the new partnership will see some of the sponsors of Andretti join those already signed by Bryan Herta’s operation.
“This is going to be great,” said Herta to RACER.com. “I called Mike earlier this week as a friend and told him I was struggling and he said he knew the feeling, so we started talking and I hopped on a plane to Indianapolis. It just kinda all fit together and it all happened in just a couple days.”
“It’s a collaboration, but the great thing is that I get to keep all 12 of my guys and we’re going to be in a competitive situation and a strong position. I’ll still be on the scoring box calling strategy at the races and I’ll still keep my shop for our GRC team but I’m so optimistic about this deal. It’s a great day.”
Despite the optimism of staying in the Verizon IndyCar Series, the team could be forced to look for another driver, despite Herta insisting at the end of 2015 that he would do anything he could to try and retain 2014 Indy Lights champion Chaves, with JR Hildebrand the most likely to be in the seat when the season starts.
“I’m not giving up on Gabby yet,” said Herta. “I feel like we’ve got some unfinished business and he’s a great kid.”