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Derrick Walker named new president of SCCA Pro Racing

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Derrick Walker’s next move, post-his exodus after resigning as INDYCAR’s president of competition and operations, and after his Team Falken Tire program came to its end in October, has finally been revealed.

Walker has been named Wednesday as the new president of SCCA Pro Racing, replacing Robert Clarke, who will continue with the company as SCCA vice president, business development while serving as SCCA Pro Racing chairman.

“I have always been impressed by the work that SCCA Pro Racing has done over the years, and know that racing in the United States would not be where it is without it,” Walker said in a news release. “I’m looking forward to joining SCCA Pro Racing at a great time, to make a difference for Pro Racing and the motorsports industry.”

From the release, Walker will inherit a healthy company that sanctions and works closely with Pirelli World Challenge, Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup, and Trans-Am, and is poised to launch the FIA-certified Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda in 2016.

“This is an exciting time for SCCA Pro Racing, with large fields in Pirelli World Challenge and Trans Am, the global MX-5 configuration beginning, and the launch of Formula 4 in the United States, which has the potential to be a game changer for young drivers,” Clarke said. “We’re proud to be able to hand those tools to Derrick Walker, and use his experience and wisdom to grow these series and add to our business.”

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.