Andretti notes: Miami updates on IndyCar, Indy Lights, FE, GRC programs


MIAMI – Michael Andretti (shown right with son Marco at the previous FE race in Argentina) might be the busiest individual in motorsports at the moment, certainly over the rest of the month of March.

This weekend sees his Andretti Sports Marketing company promote the Miami ePrix, the first U.S. race for the FIA Formula E Championship.

Miami joins its current Verizon IndyCar Series races, Milwaukee and New Orleans, the Red Bull Global Rallycross event in Washington, D.C., and the past street course race in Baltimore as Andretti-promoted events.

This one presents what would, in theory, be a major logistical challenge. But even despite the tight timeframe of a one-day event, it’s not an impossible task for the Andretti Sports Marketing staff.

“It’s really the same amount of politics; the logistics here is just amazing,” Andretti told MotorSportsTalk. “Every city has its own challenge. I guess the other thing is, our people did amazing to get to this point. Everything is running really smooth.”

Series CEO Alejandro Agag confirmed during his Friday press conference that it took a full 163 permits to make this race happen.

As for the Andretti Autosport team side, here are some nuggets of note, across several series:

  • Andretti Autosport’s fourth car in the IndyCar remains one of the hottest seats in motorsports. Simona de Silvestro is confirmed for St. Petersburg only. Justin Wilson, Conor Daly and Zach Veach are known to be in play for further races, and Jean-Eric Vergne, one of Andretti’s Formula E drivers, told MotorSportsTalk Friday he and the team “have had some discussions” about an IndyCar opportunity. Watch this space.
  • The Andretti IndyCar team is currently at Sebring on Friday, with a further test expected at New Orleans before IndyCar’s spring training session at Barber Motorsports Park next Monday and Tuesday.
  • Andretti is also close to finalizing a second car for the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship. He said he expects to have two cars at the season-opening St. Petersburg race. Right now, only Shelby Blackstock is confirmed to that lineup.
  • Scott Speed, who makes his FIA Formula E race debut this weekend, is only confirmed for this race at the moment. “I’m an Andretti guy; I go where I can help,” Speed told MotorSportsTalk. The Andretti FE lineup has had at least one driver change for each of the five ePrixs to date. Speed will test for the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team in the months to come before its season opens in Tampa/St. Petersburg on May 31.