Verizon ups role with Penske, will sponsor Juan Pablo Montoya for 8 races

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Verizon Wireless has confirmed it will serve as primary sponsor Juan Pablo Montoya for eight IndyCar races, which marks the first bit of primary sponsor news for the Colombian in his return to the series.

Verizon will continue for a full year on Will Power’s No. 12 Chevrolet; additionally, the wireless giant will serve as primary sponsor for all three Team Penske cars (Montoya, Power, Helio Castroneves) at the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 10.

“Verizon has been a terrific partner for Team Penske and we are excited to continue to grow our relationship with them in 2014 and beyond,” team boss Roger Penske said in a release. “Verizon’s technology and marketing activation has meant so much to Team Penske and the sport of IndyCar racing and we look forward to building on this special partnership in the future.”

The remaining 10 races on Montoya’s car are still to be determined. Verizon first partnered with Penske in 2009, with Power’s then-part-time third car and also with the team’s GRAND-AM Rolex Series’ Porsche Riley Daytona Prototype.

Here’s the car, via @PaddockInsider.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”