The 2018 Indy Lights title rivals won five IndyCar races between them last season, with the former remaining in title contention until the final round at Long Beach where his Arrow McLaren SP entry was an early retirement.
The pair will team up with Herta’s 2022 Andretti Autosport IndyCar team-mate Devlin DeFrancesco and sportscar stalwart Eric Lux for the IMSA curtain-raiser, which doesn’t count for points towards the LMP2 championship.
Elton Julian’s DragonSpeed squad, who will enter 2019 IMSA champion Juan Pablo Montoya and Henrik Hedman for the remainder of the season, has twice won the LMP2 class at Daytona in 2019 and 2020.
It ran Indy Lights graduate DeFrancesco and bronze driver Lux to third in 2021 race, partnered with GT3 regulars Fabian Schiller and Christopher Mies.
“I can’t help but think it’s too bad we couldn’t secure a DPi for this race, as this line-up clearly deserves one!” said Julian.
“Most of our LMP2 rivals are capable of delivering a fast, efficient, and reliable run. We aim to do the same and give our all-stars – all with plenty of Daytona experience – the platform they need to make the difference.”
Patricio O’Ward, McLaren MCL35M
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
Herta has a GTLM Daytona class win under his belt with BMW Team RLL from his first attempt at the event in 2019, but has never previously raced a prototype.
“I’m pretty comfortable at Daytona, but I’ve never driven a prototype before so I’ll be focused on getting to grips with that,” said the 21-year-old.
“The fact that DragonSpeed have consistently delivered a great car at Daytona is a confidence boost, and I can’t wait to get stuck in with Devlin and Pato.”
O’Ward, who tested a McLaren Formula 1 car in Abu Dhabi last week (pictured above), has plenty of sportscar racing experience having won the LMPC class in 2017 with Performance Tech Motorsports.
The 22-year-old Mexican, who also won his class at Daytona that year, added: “I think it’s a great lineup which gives us a real shot at winning.
“We’re all part of the same generation, so coming together for this race makes a very cool reunion. It’s a long few days in Daytona and it helps to be able to enjoy the experience with your team-mates.”
www.autosport.com 2021-12-20 17:01:54