MRTI: Tony Cotman in as race director for Indy Lights

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After a year away from the post, Tony Cotman has re-assumed the role of race director for the Indy Lights series.

Cotman, the former vice president of competition for INDYCAR and Andersen Promotions’ current project manager for the Lights’ new 2015 equipment package, served as race director for the series from 2010 to 2012.

The Andersen group also announced several other new hires as it prepares to operate all three Mazda Road to Indy series this season – Lights, Pro Mazda and U.S. Formula 2000.

“I am extremely pleased with the staff we have assembled to lead an invigorated Mazda Road to Indy,” group owner/CEO Dan Andersen said in a statement. “What excites me is that not only have we been joined by individuals that bring top-flight credentials to the table but also people that are passionate and committed to the sport and find it personally rewarding to see drivers move up the ladder.

“We are on point with our aggressive schedule and ramp-up to make sure we oversee all three series to the best of our ability this season.”

Randy Hembrey, who has served in multiple race directing roles at IMSA, is now on board as the main race director for both Pro Mazda and USF2000. In addition to working as the main director for the Porsche GT3 Cup USA and Canada series and Lamborghini Super Trofeo, he also is an assistant director for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

On the technical side, Butch Winkle has been hired as assistant technical director for Lights and David Caswell will fill the same role for both Pro Mazda and USF2000. Winkle and Caswell will report to main technical director Craig Brooks.

Former American Le Mans Series driver Gerardo Bonilla has returned as primary driver coach for the Andersen group, while TUSC competitor Joel Miller will also serve as a coach when his racing schedule permits. Five-time Indianapolis 500 starter Johnny Unser is back for his fifth year as technical and driver consultant.

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.”