Jack Hawksworth looks to boost IndyCar hopes at Sebring

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Indy Lights prospect Jack Hawksworth will continue his bid to elevate himself into the IndyCar Series for 2014 when he tests for Dale Coyne Racing this week at Sebring International Raceway.

DCR will be part of a two-day Honda manufacturer test that begins on Wednesday at the Florida road course.

“The Honda manufacturer test is a massive shop window and an exciting opportunity to measure myself against the leading IndyCar drivers and really prove my potential at the highest level,” Hawksworth said in a release about the Coyne test.

“There will be some championship-winning teams and drivers there, and if I do a good job, hopefully my performance will keep my name in the frame for next year.”

Hawksworth was in the hunt for the Indy Lights championship this past season before finishing fourth in the standings with three victories and seven Top-5 finishes. During that campaign, he tested an IndyCar for the first time at Sebring but for another team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

The Englishman believes that his confidence has grown as a result of the RLL test and that he’ll be able to have a better handle on things as he tests this week.

“[The RLL test] gives me a good footing to start from, and I also feel a lot more prepared returning to Sebring now as I’ll know more what to expect and will be able to treat it more like a normal test day,” he said.

“I’ve got a much better idea of what I’ll want from the car, I know the track well, I’m generally just a lot more sure of myself and that should all stand me in solid stead to go out there and turn it up a notch. It’s a big chance to make an impression and really spark some interest.”

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.