Photo: RealTime Racing

It’s a “Team ATL” reunion at RealTime Acura as Pumpelly joins team

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If you pay even the remotest bit of attention to sports car racing on social media, you’ll know Ryan Eversley and Spencer Pumpelly are part of “Team ATL” – the Atlanta-based group of drivers whose fun activities are excellent intermediaries on off weekends when they aren’t racing.

Now they’re on the same team in the Pirelli World Challenge, with Spencer Pumpelly joining for the next two World Challenge race weekends (Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Utah Motorsports Complex) in the second RealTime Racing Acura TLX-GT usually driven by team principal and driver Peter “PD” Cunningham, alongside Eversley.

Cunningham’s selflessness has been shown on multiple occasions this year because he allowed Eversley his chassis at Lime Rock Park after Eversley’s car was damaged too much to repair a week earlier at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Then Eversley led a 1-2 finish for the team at Road America on the Saturday there, before delivering a second win on Sunday.

Now, Cunningham will focus on testing of the new Acura NSX GT3 in the interim, while Pumpelly steps in. Cunningham is also fresh off of just opening the new RealTime Collection Hall in Wisconsin.

“To be a part of this progression of the NSX GT3 is a tremendous opportunity. Having been the test driver in North America for the first generation NSX race car, I feel a deep connection to this project,” said Cunningham, who won 14 races for RealTime with the first iteration of the NSX. “With the new NSX coming on line, it is a very important program for Acura and I’m honored to be able to contribute. As I focus my energies on the NSX, we knew that we needed to find a top-notch driver for the TLX to bring Acura the best possible result.”

“I am thrilled to be joining RealTime Racing this weekend in Ohio and excited to become part of the Acura family,” Pumpelly enthused. “The team and brand have achieved tremendous success in the series and it’s an honor to be able to work with all the people involved. The Acura TLX is an amazing car which should do well around the tight turns of Mid-Ohio. The team has been a huge help in getting me comfortable in the car and I’m eager to get on track with it.”

It’s the Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio presented by Honda Racing weekend and will see the new NSX GT3 make its U.S. public test debut, with Peter Kox driving.

A number of photos and tweets are below.

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.