Photo courtesy of IMSA

Shank captures Petit Le Mans as IMSA crowns its 2016 champs

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BRASELTON, Ga. – A dominant performance from Michael Shank Racing spoil the party for the Daytona Prototypes’ final start, as the former DP team took its newer LMP2-spec machinery to the win in Saturday’s Petit Le Mans.

The trio of Olivier Pla, Ozz Negri and John Pew controlled the majority of the race in their No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda en route to the team’s second win of the year.

Other class winners in the final race of the year were:

  • PC: Tom Kimber-Smith, Robert Alon, Jose Gutierrez, No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca FLM09
  • GTLM: Toni Vilander, Giancarlo Fisichella, James Calado, No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE
  • GTD: Jeroen Bleekemolen, Ben Keating, Marc Miller, No. 33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R*

Andy Lally, John Potter and Marco Seefried in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS won on the road, but was later moved to the back of the field in class as Potter did not complete his minimum drive time to pair his time with Lally.

Silver-rated Seefried did complete the minimum time; but he was not the designated, paired driver. IMSA reviewed it and made the decision at the checkered flag.

Champions have also been crowned for the season, with Action Express Racing winning its third consecutive championship in the form of Dane Cameron and Eric Curran in the No. 31 Corvette DP.

Other season-long class champs are Renger van der Zande and Alex Popow (No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Oreca FLM09) in PC, Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner (No. 4 Corvette C7.R) in GTLM, and Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan (No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3) in GTD).

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.