IMSA: Team Sahlen, Stevenson confirm Continental Tire series programs

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Team Sahlen may not be racing in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, but will stick around the IMSA paddock as members of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series.

The Sahlen camp, a former member of GRAND-AM’s Rolex Series, will field the No. 42 and No. 43 Porsche Caymans in the CTSCC’s Sport Tuner class for drivers Joe Nonnamaker, Will Nonnamaker, Wayne Nonnamaker and Joe Sahlen. The team actually got its start in the ST class all the way back in 1984 when it fielded a Volkswagen Golf.

Through its history, Team Sahlen has fielded Porsches on numerous occasions but in the CTSCC’s Grand Sport class and the Rolex Series’ GT class, not in ST.

“Having been away from racing Porsches for so long and the Cayman being so different from a 911, I didn’t think much of our knowledge base would transfer to these new cars,” Wayne Nonnamaker said. “But I have been pleasantly surprised at what pieces of past information has been useful in the build process.

“I can’t wait to drive the Cayman. With its mid-engine layout vs. the rear engine of the 911, the racer should be a pure joy to drive.”

Last year, Team Sahlen competed in the Rolex Series’ Daytona Prototype class (pictured) and had initially announced that it would do so again in the 2014 inaugural season of the TUSC. However, those plans were cancelled last month.

Also confirming plans to race in the CTSCC is Stevenson Motorsports, who won GRAND-AM’s North American Endurance Championship in the GT class last year.

Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell will drive the No. 6 Stevenson Camaro, while Andy Lally and Matt Bell take over the sister car, the No. 9.

“This is an outstanding driver line up, really one of the best groups I’ve ever had the chance to work with,” team manager Mike Johnson said in a team release. “These four guys not only have great speed and smarts in the car, but they also have a long history with Stevenson.

“The Continental Tire championship is one of the toughest categories in racing and we know how important it is to have a strong group of guys, all working in the same direction. Hopefully with this line-up, we can deliver results and come out on top at the end of the year.”

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.