Colton’s Mission

Colton Herta's RLL BMW ride at Daytona. [Jack Webster Photo]

Colton Herta’s RLL BMW ride at Daytona. [Jack Webster Photo]

By Jack Webster & Eddie LePine

Colton Herta is back to defend his GTLM win last year. [Eddie LePine Photo]

Colton Herta is back to defend his GTLM win last year. [Eddie LePine Photo]

The 2020 running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona is going to be an opportunity for a young man, whose career we have followed closely, to perhaps add another Rolex watch to his wrist after last year’s outstanding victory in the GTLM class for BMW. We are of course talking about Colton Herta, who not only won his first time driving in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, but also won two IndyCar races in his full-time gig with Harding Steinbrenner Racing.

Quite an amazing accomplishment for such young man. Born March 30, 2000 (is he really that young?), he is well on his way in his professional career. After just his first full season of IndyCar racing he has already snatched three pole positions and two victories.

He became the youngest ever winner of an IndyCar race with his first win in March 2019 at the Circuit of the Americas and finished the NTT IndyCar season in fine style with his win at Laguna Seca to conclude his excellent first full season.

Colton Herta is back to defend his GTLM win last year. [Eddie LePine Photo]

Colton Herta is back to defend his GTLM win last year. [Eddie LePine Photo]

We had a chance to talk with Colton in the BMW garage at Daytona as he and his team were preparing for the 24-hour race. Colton will be sharing the #25 BMW Team RRL M8 GTE with Connor De Phillippi, Philipp Eng and Bruno Spengler during the race. Eng qualified the car 5th in the GTLM class, just .73 seconds off the pace of the pole winning Porsche. Two Porsches and two Corvettes will start ahead of Colton’s BMW.

Colton reflected on last year’s success. “It was like a dream come true – winning the Rolex 24 and then going on to win my first IndyCar race at COTA a short time later. And then to win again at Laguna – all in what was really my first year as a professional race driver.”

Winning means job security at this level of the sport, and the success Colton has had so far has given him breathing room. Not one to rest on his laurels, Colton is looking to quickly add to the success he enjoyed last season.

“I’ve solidified by career for the next couple of years, so I have a couple of years to add to the results I have achieved so far.”

We are looking for many more successes this year for Colton Herta, who has a great work ethic and true appreciation for what it takes to be a successful professional racer.

As he told us as we departed the BMW garage: “I’m hoping for a second Rolex this weekend.”

Whether he gets that second one this weekend or not, it seems likely that he has many more victories in his future (both in sports cars and IndyCar).

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