Photo: Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Theodore Racing returns to IndyCar with RLL Racing

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LONG BEACH, Calif. – An iconic name in motorsports returns to the arena starting this weekend at Long Beach, as Theodore Racing – founded by Teddy Yip – will partner with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

The team’s release is below, with a formal unveil of the car to follow later today at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach:

Theodore Racing returns to the Verizon IndyCar Series to contest three rounds of the 2016 season; Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach; Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the 100th running of the iconic Indianapolis 500.

Teddy Yip’s Theodore Racing will make its return to the IndyCar Series, America’s premier motor racing category, at Long Beach. Following a 31-year absence, the team will partner Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing to support full-time driver Graham Rahal who will be joined at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and Indy 500 by teammate, Spencer Pigot.

The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, held on April 17th, is a race Teddy Yip Sr. was instrumental in creating and one where he felt most at home. Teddy Sr. held one of his most flamboyant events at Long Beach harbour, launching his 1981 Formula One and Indy car challengers aboard the Queen Mary ahead of the Grand Prix.

Theodore Racing’s three-race campaign continues for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 14 before peaking at the Indy 500 on May 29 where Graham Rahal’s No. 15 Honda will be entered under ‘Rahal Letterman Lanigan with Theodore Racing.’ Graham, who finished as top Honda driver in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series and is considered a contender for the 2016 Indy 500 victory, will display the Theodore Racing logo on both his car and race overalls in homage to the team’s entries of the 1970s and 1980s.

Teddy Sr. entered or sponsored Indy car teams and drivers between 1977 and 1984, achieving an Indy 500 victory with Tom Sneva in 1983. The decision for Theodore Racing’s return to America was taken by Yip’s son Teddy Jr., who has ambitions for his late father’s team to become a permanent fixture in the IndyCar Series paddock. Teddy Jr. revived the Theodore Racing name in 2013 when the team made a victorious return to the Macau F3 Grand Prix, an event the marque has now won a record eight times. 

Teddy Jr., who has also enjoyed success in the A1GP World Cup, Formula One feeder series’ GP2 and GP3 and the Le Mans 24 Hours, commented, “Indy car and American racing was extremely important to my father and in many ways it was his second home. This year’s Indy 500 marks an important anniversary, and it’s fitting that the Theodore name is an active part of the celebrations.

“Partnering with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing makes perfect sense. Bobby knew my father and much like myself, Graham is part of a new generation hoping to continue a legacy and make his own mark in the history books. The IndyCar Series is certainly on the up and many European teams and drivers are now looking across the pond to the series. We’ve achieved some success in Asia and Europe so I’m very excited to be America’s latest import and work with such a professional team and talented driver.”

RLL team founder Bobby Rahal, who celebrates the 30th anniversary of his 1986 Indy 500 victory this year, said “What an honor it is to have Theodore Racing back in Indy car racing and with us at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. We are so appreciative to Teddy Yip Jr. and his staff for entrusting the historic legacy of the Theodore name with our team. I knew his father and while I never actually drove for him, many of the greatest drivers that went on to Formula One, Formula 5000 and other categories, did drive for Teddy Yip Sr. and Theodore Racing.  We are really thrilled to have Teddy Jr. bring Theodore Racing back to North America, and especially for them to have selected our team to do it with.”

THEODORE RACING FACTS

  • Teddy Yip Sr. founded Theodore Racing in 1973, he went on to run 4 x future F1 World Champions – Ayrton Senna, Keke Rosberg, Mika Hakkinen, Alan Jones
  • Theodore Racing sponsored and entered cars in a myriad of championships including Formula 1, IndyCar, Formula 3, Formula Atlantic and Formula 5000
  • Theodore Racing last competed in an IndyCar race at Portland in 1985
  • Teddy Sr. was instrumental in securing the inaugural Long Beach GP with organizer Chris Pook
  • Teddy Yip Sr. loved American racing and formed close friendships with Bobby Unser and many other legendary drivers. Bobby wrote the foreword in Teddy’s biography ‘From Macau to the World and back’
  • Teddy invited IndyCar drivers including Bobby Rahal to drive in the 1989 Macau Race of Champions
  • Teddy Yip Jr. revived Theodore Racing in 2013, winning on his Macau F3 return and achieving a record eighth victory in 2015 with Felix Rosenqvist
  • Teddy Jr. is passionate about Theodore Racing’s return to IndyCar and intends to grow his partnerships in the coming years
  • Teddy Yip Sr. was not present at Teddy Jr’s birth as he was at the 1982 Indy 500!

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.