1995/96 Bryan Herta Signed Ganassi / Rahal Bell Vortex IndyCar / CART Helmet
Bell Vortex CART/IndyCar helmet worn by Bryan Herta during the 1995 season while driving for Chip Ganassi Racing, and again in 1996 while driving for Team Rahal.
Bryan Herta is an American former driver who currently runs his own team, Bryan Herta Autosport, and also owns the number 98 Andretti Autosport IndyCar in the NTT IndyCar Series. He became a winning Indy 500 team owner after victories in the 2011 Indianapolis 500 with driver Dan Wheldon and the 2016 Indianapolis 500 with driver Alexander Rossi. He is also the father of IndyCar Series rising young star Colton Herta.
Herta won the 1993 Indy Lights Championship and graduated to IndyCar racing in 1994 with A. J. Foyt Racing, where he had several promising races before suffering a season-ending injury at the Toronto Indy. He also finished a respectable 9th and 13th in his first two Indy 500 starts of 1994 and ’95 before the series split in 1996. During the next few years, Herta developed a reputation for his prowess on road courses, especially at Laguna Seca Raceway. In 1996, he was the leader until the last lap, when Alex Zanardi made the spectacular pass through the “Corkscrew” chicane and took the victory. Herta, who rarely qualified below the first row at Laguna Seca, finally won two events on the twisty road course in 1998 and 1999. At the height of Herta’s career, fan interest in the Shell-sponsored driver was dubbed by team owner David Letterman as “Hertamania.”
From 2000 to 2003, Herta drove for a variety of Champ Car teams including Forsythe Championship Racing, Mo Nunn Racing, and PK Racing, In 2002 Herta drove an F1 car for the first time, piloting a Minardi at the “Thunder in the Park” event held at Donington Park.
After dabbling in sports cars, he revitalized his open-wheel racing career by substituting for an injured Dario Franchitti halfway through the 2003 IRL season. In just his third IRL start, Herta picked up his first IndyCar Series win at Kansas Speedway for Andretti Green Racing. He was retained in an expanded four-car squad in 2004, usually running development engines. On July 31, 2005, Herta took his second IndyCar Series win, defeating AGR teammate Dan Wheldon in a close finish in the Firestone Indy 400 at the Michigan International Speedway. For the next few years he was part of “The Super Team” which saw many championships and race wins for the 4 Andretti drivers, Dan Wheldon, Tony Kanaan, Dario Franchitti and Herta. A move to ALMS in Sportscars gave Herta some more podiums and a class win at Sebring before he hung up his helmet for good in 2008.
The helmet comes from Herta’s personal collection and is hand-signed by him.
The helmet comes with a Certificate Of Authenticity.