Colton Herta won the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach in September, 2021 after starting 14th (due to a crash in qualifying) and having contact early on in the race. He came back to the 2022 version and promptly dominated every qualifying session by turning times well under the track record. The race was going well until he pushed too hard and made contact with the wall exiting Turn 9 ending his race 30 laps too soon. We spoke with him on the Thursday prior to the event and he re-capped how he was able to win the race last year after contact and you can see how calm, cool and collected he is. Enjoy!
NOTE: Herta has signed a contract extension with Andretti Autosport during the off-season that will keep him with the team through 2027.
By Larry Mason
Copyright © 2022 Larry Mason
The pole-sitter with a new track qualifying record, Colton Herta, waves to the fans just prior to the start of the 2022 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Colton Herta sits in the cockpit on pit lane with a cooling fan mounted to the top of the aeroscreen to provide a little relief from the record high temperatures on Friday of race weekend.
Colton Herta makes his car a blur to everyone else at Long Beach and is shown here on his way to pole position. After he set his time, he waved to all of the Honda/HPD/Acura employees in the Turn 10 grandstand as a gesture of gratitude.
At the conclusion of lap one, Herta has already left his competition way behind. It looked like he would sail to another victory on the mean streets of Long Beach.
What’s Herta’s secret to going fast? He pushes to the limit of himself and his car. Notice how he’s climbing the curb to extract the maximum speed through the fountain corner.
Herta lost track position during a pit stop (to eventual winner Josef Newgarden) but was like a shark smelling blood chasing his prey.
Unfortunately, Herta’s race came to a premature end after contact with the Turn 9 wall ended his charge.
Interview and photos Copyright © by Larry Mason