Patricio O’Ward is slated to join returning drivers Colton Herta, Dalton Kellett and Ryan Norman in Andretti Autosport’s stable to contest his first full season of Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires competition.
At 18 years old, O’Ward teamed with James French in Performance Tech Motorsports’ Prototype Challenge entry to dominate the class during the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, going undefeated through seven races before finishing third at the 10-hour Petit Le Mans season finale.
Before shifting his focus fully towards the remarkable season in PC, O’Ward completed the first four Indy Lights races of 2017 (a pair each on the streets of St. Petersburg and at Barber Motorsports Park) with Team Pelfrey to make his debut in the top level of the Mazda Road to Indy.
His entrance to Indy Lights was predated by two full Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires seasons with Pelfrey, the second of which featured five poles and nine podiums, seven of which were race wins.
“Pato had a strong, successful Pro Mazda season in 2016 and has been working hard to make the jump to Indy Lights,” team owner Michael Andretti said. “I’m confident his talent will blend well with Colton, Dalton and Ryan and I’m looking forward to seeing our drivers on the podium this season.”
Nico Jamin spent his rookie Indy Lights season driving Andretti’s No. 27 car last year. The French driver tested with Belardi Auto Racing at October’s Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test.
The four Andretti drivers plus the remainder of the Indy Lights field will embark on their 2018 seasons with the Verizon IndyCar Series at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 9–11.