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Palmer, Wehrlein set for Race of Champions appearance

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A pair of Formula 1 reserve drivers, Lotus’ Jolyon Palmer and Mercedes’ Pascal Wehrlein, are the latest two drivers to be added to the Race of Champions field for the Nov. 20-21 race in London.

Both drivers made their debuts with Team Young Stars last year and will reprise their roles on this go-around.

“I’m delighted to be back at the Race Of Champions this year,” Palmer said, via the RoC website. “It was such a great event last year but as a Brit, being in London makes it even more special for me. It’s always a fun event, with some good competition of course and I really hope the fans enjoy it… I’m sure they will!”

Added Wehrlein, “I’m really looking forward to coming back for my second Race Of Champions. I enjoyed it so much last year in Barbados and I nearly made it all the way. Now I’ll try to win it this year after my fantastic season winning the DTM title.”

The field thus far includes:

  • Sebastian VETTEL, four-time Formula 1 World Champion
  • Nico HÜLKENBERG, F1 star and 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours winner
  • Tom KRISTENSEN, nine-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner
  • Petter SOLBERG, World Rallycross Champion 2014, World Rally Champion 2003
  • Daniel RICCIARDO, three-time Formula 1 grand prix winner
  • Mick DOOHAN, five-time 500cc MotoGP World Champion
  • Felipe MASSA, 11-time Formula 1 grand prix winner
  • Nelson PIQUET Jr, reigning FIA Formula E Champion
  • David COULTHARD, reigning ROC Champion of Champions
  • Susie WOLFF, Williams Martini Racing Official Test Driver
  • Jason PLATO, double British Touring Car Champion
  • Jorge LORENZO, triple MotoGP World Champion
  • Romain GROSJEAN, ten F1 podiums, 2012 ROC Champion of Champions
  • Ryan HUNTER-REAY, 2014 Indy 500 winner, 2012 IndyCar Champion
  • Alex BUNCOMBE, 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series Champion
  • Jenson BUTTON, 2009 Formula 1 World Champion
  • Pascal WEHRLEIN, 2015 DTM Champion
  • Jolyon PALMER, 2014 GP2 Champion

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.