Rubens Barrichello wins Brazilian Stock Car title at Curitiba

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Former Formula 1 driver Rubens Barrichello has today been crowned the 2014 Brazilian Stock Car champion, 23 years after he last won a major title.

Barrichello made his F1 debut in 1993 for Jordan, two years after winning the British Formula 3 championship. He went on to take part in 326 race weekends, making 322 starts. Both stand as records in F1, with his 19-season career coming to an end in 2011.

The popular Brazilian was famously Michael Schumacher’s #2 at Ferrari between 2000 and 2005, finishing second in the drivers’ championship twice. His final shot at the title came in 2009 with Brawn, but he could only end the year in third place behind Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel.

After failing to secure a seat on the grid for 2012, Barrichello moved into IndyCar for one season, recording a best finish at Sonoma. He also took part in three stock car races in his native Brazil before going full-time in the series for 2013.

This year, Barrichello emerged as a championship contender after winning two races and recording three further podium finishes ahead of the final race in Curitiba today, requiring a top-four finish to be crowned champion.

Finishing third, the popular Brazilian celebrated his first championship win since British F3 in 1991, telling Autosport: “Only now Brazil starts to know me, and I am loving being in my country, in front of such an emotional public.”

Barrichello had been poised to make a sensational return to F1 at the Brazilian Grand Prix with Caterham, having agreed a one-race deal with previous team boss Colin Kolles, only for the team to enter administration and miss the race at Interlagos.

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.