Carpenter: Let’s send Walker off with some Indy victory milk

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Ed Carpenter Racing might not have got off the ground without Derrick Walker’s support, and the eponymous team owner/driver made sure to note that Monday when it was confirmed Walker would leave the team after this year’s Indianapolis 500.

Carpenter enters Indianapolis as the winner of IndyCar’s most recent oval and 500-mile race, in last year’s season finale at Auto Club Speedway.

“While we will miss Derrick being a part of Ed Carpenter Racing, we are excited about his new opportunity to join the leadership team at IndyCar,” said Carpenter. “Derrick has done a phenomenal job for ECR. He really was the architect of our team, and helped us establish a very strong foundation that will continue to lead to future successes.

“I am confident that he will do an outstanding job at IndyCar.  He will be an asset there that will also help the race teams within the series.

“Although we wish him well, we will enjoy our last month working together, and if all goes according to plan, we will drink milk together at the end of the month before he moves on to his new responsibilities.”

Carpenter’s other drinking-related commitments – supporting sponsor Fuzzy’s Vodka – will occur in part on Monday evening when a special Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Limited Edition “Checkered Flag” bottle is unveiled at IMS at 6:20 p.m. local time.

Rebellion confirms LMP1 return, all-star line-up for WEC super season

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Rebellion Racing has confirmed it will return to the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2018/19 ‘super season’ with an all-star line-up featuring Le Mans winners Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer.

Rebellion raced in LMP1 as a privateer between 2009 and 2016 before stepping down to LMP2 for the most recent season, capturing the class titles at the first attempt.

Following a push from the WEC and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to make LMP1 more appealing to privateer teams, Rebellion announced on Wednesday it would return to the premier class for the 2018/19 season with a two-car effort.

WEC LMP2 champion Bruno Senna will return with Rebellion next year, as will Mathias Beche, with the pair set to be joined by four new faces.

The most notable arrivals are Porsche factory drivers Lotterer and Jani, both of whom were left without an LMP1 drive following the closure of the German manufacturer’s program at the end of the season.

American racer Gustavo Menezes will also join Rebellion, stepping up after two years in LMP2, while outstanding 2017 rookie Thomas Laurent completes the Swiss team’s line-up.

“I am looking forward to coming back where my endurance career started nine years ago,” said Jani.

“Rebellion Racing played a huge role in my career and also helped me become a factory driver for Porsche. When Porsche stopped in LMP1, it was clear for me that I wanted to race again for Rebellion.

“With the new regulations, I hope we can reach the overall podium at Le Mans and with a bit of luck, maybe we can even grab some wins during the super season of WEC.”

“I am very happy to join the champion Rebellion team,” added three-time Le Mans winner Lotterer.

“The LMP1 project is very exciting and to be able to go on with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA WEC challenge is something I did not want to miss.

“I am motivated and looking forward to have a great time with great people there.”