Report: Sebastien Bourdais signs two-year deal with KV

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Four-time Champ Car World Series champion Sebastien Bourdais is on his way to KV Racing Technology according to a report from The Associated Press, replacing reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan.

“I want to thank Kevin Kalkhoven, Jimmy Vasser and [James] ‘Sulli’ [Sullivan] for this opportunity,” Bourdais said according to the AP. “The fact that I have an agreement with KVSH Racing so early, and that I have a two-year contract, shows the team’s commitment to their new era in the IndyCar Series.

“I am looking forward to meeting the crew and getting started with testing as soon as possible.”

Per the AP, Bourdais has inked a two-year deal with KV, which currently fields a two-car program for Kanaan and Simona de Silvestro. Kanaan, however, is heading for Chip Ganassi Racing to drive a fourth, NTT Data-backed entry starting next season alongside Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti and Charlie Kimball.

Andretti Autosport’s James Hinchcliffe had been offered a contract to join the KV camp, but while the deal stipulated that he would not have to bring sponsorship, the Canadian driver was given a short deadline to accept it. He decided to pass and remains a free agent for 2014 – at least, for the time being.

Hinchcliffe’s decision caused KV to target Bourdais, who has collected three podium finishes this season for Dragon Racing – two of which came in the Toronto doubleheader back in July. His first podium of the Toronto weekend was his first such result since his win in the 2007 CCWS season finale at Mexico City.

Bourdais, who has claimed 31 wins in his American open-wheel career, is being counted on to provide a jolt to KVSH’s road and street course program and elevate the team to contender status in the IndyCar Series alongside the triumvirate of Andretti, Team Penske and Target Chip Ganassi Racing.

“I have raced against him and can say without a doubt that he is an exceptional driver and a true champion,” Vasser, the 1996 CART champion said to the AP. “We look forward to winning a lot of races with him.”

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.