IMSA: The first P/GTD gathering occurs this weekend in Detroit

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After consecutive Prototype and GT Le Mans caution-free races in Long Beach and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship heads to Belle Isle Park for a P and GT Daytona round, with more than 30 cars planning to take the streets of Detroit.

A few news and notes ahead of the weekend:

  • The top three pairs in P class points standings are separated by only three points. Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi have 127 for Action Express Racing, while the Chip Ganassi Racing (Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas) and Wayne Taylor Racing (brothers Jordan and Ricky) have 124 apiece. Monterey winners Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek, in the Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b P2-spec chassis, are fourth in points on 113.
  • The 11 P-class cars are the same as in Monterey about a month ago, with the only change Olivier Pla back in to replace Alex Brundle in the No. 42 OAK Racing Morgan Nissan. The DeltaWing drops off, but was not planning to run Detroit anyway.
  • In GTD, Magnus Racing (John Potter/Andy Lally) and AIM Autosport (Bill Sweedler/Townsend Bell) enter tied for the class points lead on 87 points. Flying Lizard’s pair of Spencer Pumpelly and Nelson Canache are tied on 83, with Alex Job’s Leh Keen and Cooper MacNeil next on 82.
  • GTD entry changes: Sebastian Asch and Tomy Drissi will be in the No. 18 Muehlner Motorsports America Porsche 911 GT America, Brett Sandberg fills in for Patrick Dempsey’s Dempsey Racing No. 27 Porsche, Chris Cumming steps into the No. 64 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 alongside Kyle Marcelli, and Ben Barker is in the No. 81 GB Autosport Porsche alongside Damien Faulkner.

The 100-minute race is Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET.

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.