Pappas with Graham Rahal in 2013. Photo: INDYCAR

Bill Pappas set to replace Will Phillips at INDYCAR

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INDYCAR has made a key change in its competition department, with Bill Pappas set to replace Will Phillips within the organization.

Pappas, who worked well with the late Justin Wilson and was most recently with KVSH Racing, will start as Vice President of Competition, Race Engineering.

The full release is below:

INDYCAR announced that veteran racing engineer Bill Pappas has been named Vice President of Competition, Race Engineering. Pappas brings more than 30 years of motorsports experience to the position and has cultivated strong relationships throughout the racing community.

“We are very pleased to have someone with Bill’s vision and experience join our team at INDYCAR,” said Jay Frye, INDYCAR President of Competition and Operations. “His deep engineering expertise and long history of accomplishments in Indy car racing have earned him the respect of team owners and drivers alike. We look forward to the immediate impact and advancements Bill will bring in strengthening our safety initiatives while also enhancing our racing.”

Pappas will be responsible for all engineering and technical operations, including chassis and engine development, safety enhancements and aerodynamic initiatives. In addition, he will manage relationships with chassis and engine suppliers.

Pappas has worked with some of the most respected teams in the INDYCAR paddock, including Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Dale Coyne Racing and, most recently, served as technical director for KV Racing Technology. Pappas, who earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., helped guide Juan Pablo Montoya to his first Indianapolis 500 Mile Race win in 2000 with Ganassi.

“Being able to join the INDYCAR team is a great opportunity,” said Pappas. “I hope my racing experience and perspective can be utilized to enhance an already great level of competition.”

Pappas is replacing Will Phillips, INDYCAR Vice President of Technology, who will be leaving INDYCAR in March.

“Will has contributed a great deal to the series during his tenure,” Frye said. “We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

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.