Hulkenberg looking forward to working with Porsche teammates

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As concerns about the future of Force India continue to grow, Nico Hulkenberg’s other racing interest has taken a turn for the better following the announcement of his Porsche teammates on Thursday.

In a raft of announcements ahead of the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship, Porsche confirmed its line-up for the third 919 Hybrid that will race at the 6 Hours of Spa and the 24 Hours of Le Mans later this year.

Hulkenberg will be joined in the car by 2014 Porsche Supercup champion Earl Bamber and experienced GT driver Nick Tandy, with the latter racing for the German marque in the GTE Pro class at three WEC rounds in 2014 including Le Mans.

Taking to Twitter, Hulkenberg said that he was looking forward to racing alongside his new teammates, and the German appears to be relishing the season ahead.

There was a possibility of two-time F1 world champion Fernando Alonso joining Hulkenberg in the third Porsche, with the Spaniard making his aspirations to race at Le Mans clear to NBCSN last year.

However, according to reports in the German press, his plans were scuppered by Honda, who insisted that he focus on his commitments with McLaren in 2015.

Nevertheless, Porsche LMP1 team principal Andreas Seidl is pleased with the line-up and the opportunity to enter a third car for two of the WEC rounds in 2015.

“We are very happy to be allowed to enter a third car in what is only our second season,” Seidl said. “This shows once more how strongly the company backs the LMP1 programme.

“At the same time, we face the operational side and need to be respectful of what it takes when entering three of those complex prototypes and handling nine drivers at Spa and at Le Mans. In this regard, it was also important to leave the proven driver combinations from last year untouched.

“In 2014, the entire team was a newcomer. Now we can build on lessons learned and our targets are more ambitious. Le Mans will be new territory for Nico Hülkenberg, as well as for Earl Bamber, and we will give our outmost to support them.”

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.