New driver horizon for ‘Ziggy’ Harcus as Sato heads to RLL
It’ll be another new driver for Andretti Autosport race strategist Paul “Ziggy” Harcus to work with in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
After just one year working with Takuma Sato during the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season, he will not follow Sato to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in 2018. Sato, who signed with RLL earlier in the year, won the 2017 Indianapolis 500 and contested his best year in IndyCar to date with Harcus on top of the pit stand this year.
The Andretti crew was on site with Sato at last week’s face unveil on the Borg-Warner Trophy in Indianapolis.
Harcus, who is staying at Andretti Autosport, did not indicate which of the team’s four drivers he’ll be working with next year. However, with Zach Veach taking the spot vacated by Sato, Harcus being assigned to mentor the young driver and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires race winner is a strong possibility.
“We don’t like to change to make a change, but we’ll see with the mechanics, and engineering,” Harcus told NBC Sports about any potential shakeups in the Andretti crew.
“Just because Zach’s new doesn’t mean he will get worst of the lot. He could be our next generation. You never know. There’s a good possibility I might be with Zach. If they move it around, I go with it.”
Harcus also added that Veach has made a good first impression and if he is assigned to work with him, he is confident that they’ll work well together.
And in spite of Veach’s small frame, Harcus emphasized he could still find success, using Sato - who at 5'5" is just barely taller than Veach - as a reference point.
“Here’s another tiny little guy, just like Taku… and I’m not exactly a giant!” Harcus quipped. “But I’ve always liked (Zach). Nice guy to work with. Pleasant, polite, knows how to win.
“You doubt if he’s the size to win the Indy 500 but look (at Sato) right herein front of you – here’s the proof.”
Andretti Autosport won’t be able to test until the new year, when team testing opens up for 2018 after the manufacturer testing concludes.