Vautier returns to his sports car drive, ends seventh overall in Paul Ricard

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For as much as we’ve chronicled Tristan Vautier and his exploits this year, the one things we haven’t done is actually chronicle when he has been in a sports car for Team AKKA-ASP.

Vautier, who missed the previous Blancpain Endurance Series round at Silverstone due to his last-minute call-up in the Indianapolis 500, was in the team’s Pro class entry with Morgan Moullin-Traffort and Alessandro Pier Guidi, the No. 20 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 in Paul Ricard for the six-hour race.

Despite an 18th place grid position and multiple punctures during the race, the No. 20 car ended a respectable seventh overall, and sixth in the Pro class.

Vautier is expected back in the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda next week at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., for the 11th round of the Verizon IndyCar Series season.

The Nissan trio of Wolfgang Reip, Alex Buncombe and Katsumasa Chiyo, in the Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, won the race overall. Chiyo, Reip and Florian Strauss won earlier this year in the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12-Hour.

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

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
James Gilbert/Getty Images
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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.