Wehrlein takes lead of DTM championship in Austria

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Mercedes junior driver Pascal Wehrlein moved into the lead of the DTM championship on Saturday by finishing on the podium at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

Wehrlein is one of Mercedes’ brightest junior talents, and currently balances his racing commitments in Germany’s premier touring car series with a reserve role at Force India.

The 20-year-old has made a strong start to the 2015 DTM season, winning at the Norisring in June to vault himself into the title battle.

At the Red Bull Ring on Saturday, Wehrlein finished second to move into the lead of the drivers’ championship after previous leader Jamie Green failed to finish.

Racing for Audi, Green had been in control of the championship after the opening two rounds of the season after winning three of the four races.

However, since finishing seventh at the Norisring, the Briton has failed to score and is now running fourth in the standings.

Wehrlein finished the race 1.7 seconds behind winner Edoardo Mortara, and was followed onto the podium by ex-F1 driver Paul di Resta.

Should the driver market free up a seat at a Mercedes-powered team such as Force India, Wehrlein could be set to step up into a full-time role in F1 for 2016.

The German driver is highly rated by Mercedes, being entrusted with testing duties for the defending constructors’ championship over the past 12 months.

However, Wehrlein will be focusing on making good on his early season form in DTM and remain in the running for the title come the end of the season.

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.