Bryan Herta Autosport is hoping to relaunch its Indy Lights team on a full-time basis next year, joining fellow IndyCar squad Andretti Autosport and Schmidt in running a feeder squad.
BHA ran a car for Zimbabwean Axcil Jeffries at Mid-Ohio last weekend, and team owner Bryan Herta said that the recent takeover of the series by Dan Andersen's Andersen Promotions, which already operates USF2000 and Pro Mazda, mean that the environment is right to increase his commitment to the series.
"We're very excited again about Indy Lights," Herta said. "Dan Andersen has a plan in place, and is communicating that plan to us. We think he is making good decisions for the future of the series."
Andersen recently unveiled plans for a new car to make its debut in 2015, with a selection of updates that will transfer across to the new car to be rolled out for the current chassis for next year in the interim.
Herta believes that next year's upgrades will be significant enough to level a playing field that has recently been dominated by Schmidt and Andretti, and that the broader plans will recharge a series that has been on the wane for several years.
"We're very excited about the new car," he said. "We wish it could be for next year, but we totally understand the timing. But I think the idea of upgrading the current car next year with some updates that can continue onto the new car is a great compromise for next year.
"And it's a reset for everybody. If we had different tires, if we had different shocks, if we had paddle shifters, it's going to change the car substantially enough that everybody is going to have to relearn their setups. That's a good opportunity for us to reboot our program, and I think a good opportunity for all teams to reboot their program and come back to a more level playing field."
Herta also hopes to run two full-time Indy cars next year, but does not believe that his team would be overstretched by adding a full-time Lights operation as well.
"The Lights program suffered a bit when we went ahead with the full-time IndyCar program – that was a big project, and it was a big growth time for us," he said. "But we're under control now with what we've got on our plates, and because we know the Lights series, we know the Lights cars, and we already have all of the equipment, it would be very easy for us to reboot that and really put a serious effort back on track next year."