Agag: Paris Formula E race a “landmark” for series

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Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag made no secret of his delight after announcing that Paris would be hosting an ePrix in the championship’s second season.

Following the meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Mexico City this week, the calendar for the 2015/2016 season was confirmed.

Paris is the only new race to be announced for season two, although a “TBD” race is planned for March 19. This is thought to be in Mexico City, which would also be an inaugural event.

The Paris ePrix is set to be held on a circuit around the architectural complex of Les Invalides, one of the most historic parts of the city.

Speaking following the announcement of the race, Agag was delighted to have secured a place for Paris on the calendar in season two and has high expectations for the race.

“Staging a Formula E race in the heart of Paris is undoubtedly a landmark in the development of our series,” Agag said.

“I am particularly pleased that a city that is so involved in energy transition and sustainable development will organize a round of the championship.

“The splendid setting of Les Invalides will deliver a unique and futuristic spectacle in an historic venue, making this French leg a real highlight of the championship.”

The race also has the blessing of the French government, with Paris minister for young people and sport Patrick Kanner explaining how organizers have worked in tandem with local authorities in planning the race.

“On a daily basis, we are working with Thierry Braillard, the Secretary of State for Sport, to ensure that France is seen as a fitting venue for major international sporting events,” Kanner said.

“But these events have to match our values, be sustainable through public financing, respect the environment and appeal to the French public. That is why the government is actively supporting this event.”

2015/2016 FIA Formula E Championship calendar

1. Beijing ePrix – October 17
2. Putrajaya ePrix – November 7
3. Punta del Este ePrix – December 19
4. Buenos Aires ePrix – February 6
5. TBD – March 19
6. Long Beach ePrix – April 2
7. Paris ePrix – April 23
8. Berlin ePrix – May 21
9. Moscow ePrix – June 4
10. London ePrix – date TBC

As in season one, the London ePrix will be a double-header.

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.