Report: Juan Pablo Montoya will not join Andretti Autosport

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Juan Pablo Montoya’s plans for 2014 have yet to be determined, but they won’t include an IZOD IndyCar Series drive with Andretti Autosport.

Montoya, who has been a free agent since being told by Earnhardt Ganassi Racing that he would not return to their Sprint Cup team next season, had been linked to a possible return to open-wheel racing with Michael Andretti’s team. However, per Marshall Pruett of RACER Magazine, the 1999 CART champion and 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner has informed AA that he will not be joining them.

With Ryan Newman set to jump to Richard Childress Racing next season, the No. 78 Chevrolet of Furniture Row Racing remains in play this “Silly Season,” as Kurt Busch, its current driver, will be off to Stewart-Haas Racing at that time.

FRR and Montoya have held discussions about joining forces, and last weekend at Richmond International Raceway, FRR general manager Joe Garone seemed to indicate that a decision from their camp was near.

“It’s just a process,” he explained at the time to Bob Pockrass of the Sporting News. “Part of it is you just identify where you want to go – do you want to stay with a veteran or do you want to go with a younger rookie and bring a kid up?

“We’re just trying to get through that decision. You’ve got to take Juan seriously. He’s been around a while and obviously can win races.”

Montoya has turned up the wick performance-wise since he learned of EGR’s decision to cut him loose at season’s end. He’s netted a pair of Top-10s in the last three races and will start on the inside of Row 2 for Sunday’s Chase-opening GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Kyle Larson will be replacing Montoya in Earnhardt Ganassi’s No. 42 machine next season.

IndyCar’s Vasser-Sullivan expand into IMSA for 2019

James Sullivan and Jimmy Vasser. Photo IndyCar
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Not even one year after returning to the IndyCar ranks, Vasser-Sullivan Racing is taking AIM at the IMSA world, you might say.

While team co-owners Jimmy Vasser and James “Sulli” Sullivan will continue to partner with Dale Coyne Racing on the IndyCar side, they expanded their holdings Tuesday, announcing a partnership with AIM Autosport to campaign a new two-car Lexus-backed RC F GT3 effort in IMSA’s GT Daytona class.

The new team – named AIM Vasser-Sullivan – will replace 3GT Racing, which was part of Lexus’ sports car program launch in 2016. It will announce its two drivers in the coming weeks, the team said.

“Sulli and I are excited and looking forward to entering a new chapter in our racing careers,” Vasser said in a media release. “I have driven sports cars before, but my career was pretty much limited to the 24 Hours of Daytona, including a ‘class’ win in 1992 and second overall in 2008.

“The AIM Vasser Sullivan team, with the support of Lexus and our sponsors, has the tools to get the job done and we are looking forward to this new challenge.”

Lexus has made significant progress in its first two seasons in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition, having earned a combined two race wins, five poles and finished third in the 2018 GTD Manufacturer point standings.

Vasser and Sullivan were part of the ownership group of KVSH Racing in IndyCar from 2011 through 2016 before the organization folded.

They also owned Tony Kanaan’s 2013 Indianapolis 500-winning car.

After sitting out the 2017 season, Vasser, a former CART champion, and Sullivan rejoined forces this past February, just before the start of the 2018 IndyCar season, partnering with Coyne to form a satellite team led by driver Sebastien Bourdais, who previously drove for KVSH.

Bourdais kicked off the new team’s effort with a win in the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. He finished seventh in the overall season standings.

AIM Vasser Sullivan will have two home bases for its IMSA program: AIM’s current facility in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada, as well as a new U.S. shop in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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