Enge, Baldwin on Pirelli World Challenge poles for St. Pete

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Tomas Enge and Jack Baldwin have earned the respective GT and GTS poles for today’s season-opening Pirelli World Challenge race on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Enge, who competed on the same 1.8-mile St. Pete street circuit as a member of the Verizon IndyCar Series back in 2005, set a new track record with at time of 1:13.429 (88.248 mph) in the No. 25 Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo FL2.

Joining him on the GT front row will be another former IndyCar driver, Anthony Lazzaro, who qualified second in the No. 61 Remo Ferri Group Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 with a time of 1:13.691.

In GTS, Baldwin and defending class champion Lawson Aschenbach dueled for the pole before the former won out with a time of 1:23.453 in the No. 73 GTSport Porsche Cayman S. Aschenbach, driving the No. 1 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro, settled for P2 in GTS with a time of 1:23.879.

Today’s race – the first of two this weekend in St. Pete – will go off today at 3:10 p.m. ET on World-ChallengeTV.com. NBCSN will broadcast the St. Pete races on Sunday, April 6 at 5:30 p.m. ET.

PIRELLI WORLD CHALLENGE – ST. PETERSBURG, RACE NO. 1
GT/GTS Provisional Grid
(position/class/car number in parentheses/driver/hometown/car/fastest lap time/speed in mph)

1 – GT, (25), Tomas Enge, Liberec, Czech Rep, Lamborghini Gallardo FL2, 1:13.429, 88.248.

2 – GT, (61), Anthony Lazzaro, Atlanta, Ga., Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, 1:13.691, 87.934.

3 – GT, (94), Dane Cameron, Buford, Ga., BMW Z4, 1:13.860, 87.733.

4 – GT, (8), Andy Pilgrim, Boca Raton, Fla., Cadillac CTS-V R, 1:14.621, 86.838.

5 – GT, (3), Johnny O’Connell, Flowery Branch, Ga., Cadillac CTS-V R, 1:14.686, 86.763.

6 – GT, (16), Nick Mancuso(A), Chicago, Ill., Ferrari 458 GT3, 1:14.686, 86.763.

7 – GT, (24), Albert von Thurn und Taxis(A), Regensburg, Germany, Lamborghini Gallardo FL2, 1:14.749, 86.690.

8 – GT, (9), Alex Figge, Denver, Colo., McLaren 12C GT3, 1:14.853, 86.569.

9 – GT, (21), Andrew Palmer(A), Chicago, Ill., Audi R8 R8 Ultra, 1:14.943, 86.465.

10 – GT, (0), Marcelo Hahn(A), Sao Paulo, Brasil, Lamborghini Gallardo FL2, 1:15.114, 86.268.

GTS

1 – GTS, (73), Jack Baldwin, Marietta, Ga., Porsche Cayman, 1:23.453, 77.648.

2 – GTS, (1), Lawson Aschenbach, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Chevrolet Camaro, 1:23.879, 77.254.

3 – GTS, (20), Andy Lee, Colorado Springs, Colo., Chevrolet Camaro, 1:24.526, 76.662.

4 – GTS, (50), Dean Martin, Westland, Mich., Ford Mustang Boss302, 1:24.941, 76.288.

5 – GTS, (33), Tony Buffomante, Naperville, Ill., Ford MustangBoss302, 1:25.402, 75.876.

6 – GTS, (60), Jack Roush Jr, Livonia, Mich., Ford MustangBoss302R, 1:25.722, 75.593.

7 – GTS, (02), Drew Regitz, Denver, Colo., Aston Martin GT4, 1:26.121, 75.243.

8 – GTS, (17), Alec Udell, The Woodlands, Texas, Ford Mustang Boss302, 1:26.205, 75.169.

9 – GTS, (51), Ric Bushey, Virgina Beach, Va., Nissan 370Z, 1:26.543, 74.876.

10 – GTS, (38), Mark Wilkins, Toronto, Ontario, Kia Optima, 1:26.602, 74.825.

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.