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Red Bull GRC: Whitten set for Supercars debut in LA

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Tanner Whitten will step up from Red Bull Global Rallycross’ GRC Lites division into Supercars for the season finale at the Port of LA this week.

See the release below for more information.

SH Rallycross/DRR announced today that Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites driver Tanner Whitten will be promoted to drive in the RBGRC Supercar division this weekend for both season-ending events at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, CA.

Whitten, 23, will fill-in for Nelson Piquet Jr. and pilot the #07 WIX Filters Ford Fiesta ST for SH Rallycross/DRR on October 8, and the #07 MetRX Ford Fiesta ST on October 9. A native of Illinois, Whitten will become the first GRC Lites driver to be promoted to a full-time Supercar team in the same season that he ran in Lites.

“We are pleased to announce that Tanner will be driving the SH Rallycross/DRR car in Los Angeles,” said Dennis Reinbold, co-owner of SH Rallycross/DRR. “The opportunity presented itself with Nelson having a Formula E conflict, and we felt this was the perfect opportunity to promote a young, deserving driver up to Super Cars. We look forward to a successful weekend for both the team and our sponsors, WIX Filters and MET-Rx.”

One of the inaugural Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites test drivers in 2012, Whitten has had an impressive Lites career. He made his RBGRC Lites debut in 2015 making 12 starts finishing on the podium three times with one win and five heat race victories and a top-five spot in the standings. For 2016, he responded by earning three more podiums including a win, seven heat race victories and three straight poles. During his Lites career, Whitten has made a total of 16 starts with six podium performances including two finals wins and 12 heat victories.

“I want to thank everyone in the SH Rallycross/DRR organization for this opportunity,” said Whitten. “It is an honor to be working with the team for the season finale. Los Angeles is an amazing location to make my Supercar debut and I feel humbled to be competing at the highest level of the sport.”

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.