IMSA: Former PC champ Guasch returning to full-time competition in 2015

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The last time Michael Guasch competed in a full season, he became the last Prototype Challenge driver’s champion in the American Le Mans Series.

Guasch will certainly be hoping for another title in his return to full-time action this season, which was announced today by the team he won the 2013 ALMS PC crown with, PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports.

He will co-drive the team’s No. 52 ORECA FLM09 through the entire 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship alongside newcomer Andrew Novich, who finished second in last year’s Prototype Lites standings.

Guasch is looking forward to working with Novich and knocking any rust off that he may have.

“All of the recent changes to the PC class should make for close competition and the schedule is better than ever,” he said in a team release. “It’ll be great to drive with Andrew all year as well. Both of us are [Northern California] guys and I’m hoping we can spend a lot of time training together and even hitting up the kart track at Sonoma throughout the year.

“We had a great test earlier this year [at Buttonwillow Raceway Park], my fitness is at an all time high, and PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports always engineers one of the fastest cars in the class.  We are looking to have everything we’ll need to repeat and expand upon our 2013 successes.”

Novich comes off an interesting 2014 season that saw him excel despite having to transition to higher-downforce machines with the Lites cars.

He believes that it’s given him a solid baseline for 2015 and working with the ORECA in the TUDOR Championship.

“My first year in Lites was eye opening, just getting used to the horsepower ratio and high downforce levels,” Novich recalled. “They were a blast to drive, making my transition to the PC car much easier. In all honesty, the PC car is a dream to drive, but it definitely keeps you on the edge during the high speed corners.”

The PC category is also undergoing a series of technical changes ahead of the new year as well, adding to the challenge. Nonetheless, team owner Bobby Oergel expects the Guasch-Novich combo to be contenders.

“The technical package includes changes to the ride height, pulling out the air restrictor, revised engine camshafts, and increases to the downforce package at certain tracks,” Oergel explained in his own thoughts. “It’ll be key to get a handle on these changes as soon as possible and the find those precious tenths needed to run up front in this highly competitive spec category.

“One thing that hasn’t changed is the team’s commitment and dedication to win, so I know we’ll once again be challenging for wins and championships.”

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.