TUSC: Dempsey Racing announces Davis, Konrad partnership

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Patrick Dempsey’s team has announced most of its driver plans for this year’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship on Thursday.

Dempsey’s full-season co-driver will be Andrew Davis, who co-drove the team’s second car for a handful of events in 2013. Dempsey’s longtime business partner and teammate Joe Foster, and a to-be-announced fourth driver, will round out the No. 27 Porsche 911 GT America in the GT Daytona class.

“Driving the full season with Andrew as my teammate is fantastic,” said Dempsey, the popular Hollywood actor who is also a lead driver and owner of Dempsey Racing. “He is truly one of the good guys in the paddock and we learned working with him last year that he is also one of the fastest on the track too, and very experienced in Porsches.  We are heading into this season with high expectations.”

Davis replaces Andy Lally, who drove alongside Dempsey in 2013 but will stick with Magnus Racing for 2014.

The second car, the No. 28 Porsche, will feature a partnership with veteran European outfit Konrad Motorsport. Christian Engelhart, Rolf Ineichen, Lance Willsey, Klaus Bachler and team owner Franz Konrad will drive at Daytona and full-season drivers will be announced at a later date.

Dempsey Racing competed in the American Le Mans Series only in 2013 with two GTC class Porsches, and also ran a 2012-spec Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in partnership with Proton Competition at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Dempsey, Foster and Porsche factory shoe Patrick Long finished fourth in the GTE Am class. The team also premiered a documentary on the Velocity channel – Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans – to critical acclaim.

Prior to that, Dempsey ran a joint effort in the ALMS and GRAND-AM Rolex Series, the latter with a Mazda RX-8 chassis in the Rolex Series’ GT class. The team finished third in class at the 2011 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

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.