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Hong Kong chasing date change for 2017 Formula E race

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The organizers of the Hong Kong Formula E race want a later date slot for the 2017 event after a successful inaugural running last month.

Hong Kong’s Central district hosted the opening round of Formula E’s third season on October 9, welcoming a bumper crowd that was treated to an enthralling race.

Despite the success of the race, officials from Hong Kong are looking to hold the race later in the year in 2017 while still being the season opener.

“We were greatly concerned about the weather conditions this year when we staged the event in October because of the approach of a typhoon,” Formula Electric Hong Kong Racing CEO Alan Fang told the South China Morning Post.

“Fortunately it did not affect the race but it had given us a lot of worries.

“We are now planning to start the 2017 event in late November when we discuss it with the government as we will use probably the same venue in the Central Harbourfront next year.

“The teams need probably three months to reset the car and test the new technology for the new season and therefore we may still be leading out the fourth season even if we start the event at a later date next year.

“Formula E racing is extremely happy with the Hong Kong race, which has achieved the best viewing figures of the event so far. We are confident they would give us some priorities to start the fourth season.”

Formula E’s third season will end in Montreal on July 30 2017, with the off-season break and pre-season testing period meaning that the new campaign would be unlikely to start until late October at the earliest.

Additional Asian rounds are expected to join the Formula E calendar for season four, which may feature during the traditional winter break for other championships.

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.