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Jaguar relishing inaugural Vegas eRace with ‘world’s fastest gamer’ Huttu on-board

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Panasonic Jaguar Racing will venture to next weekend’s inaugural Vegas eRace chasing its first major success since joining the Formula E grid earlier this year.

Jaguar entered the all-electric series for its third season, starting in Hong Kong at the beginning of October, but is yet to pick up its first points.

The British marque has spent the opening two rounds of the campaign getting to grips with life in Formula E, but has shifted attention to the virtual world ahead of the non-championship Vegas eRace on January 7.

The eRace will pit the 20-strong Formula E grid up against 10 sim racers in a battle for a $1 million prize pool, with the winner walking away with $200,000, making the event the most lucrative in eSports racing history.

Jaguar has been joined for the race by sim racer Greger Huttu, a multiple virtual racing world champion who has been dubbed “the world’s fastest gamer” and has even tested a real-life Star Mazda car at Road Atlanta.

“I have raced in eSports for years and have seen how it has grown into a global sport but Formula E’s Road to Vegas has taken it to another level,” Huttu said.

“The qualifying heats to get to the final have been very intense and it’s been cool to see how enthusiastically Formula E fans have supported us.

“The Vegas final promises to be very special with so many spectators cheering us on. I feel like part of the team already and I am proud to race in Panasonic Jaguar Racing colors.”

Huttu will race alongside regular Jaguar drivers Mitch Evans and Adam Carroll in Las Vegas, and has been offering them tips to get to grips with the virtual racing world.

“I won one of the eRaces in Hong Kong but these guys are professional so it will be very tough,” Evans said.

“Adam and I are lucky to have such a good team-mate in Greger, that guy is really on it.

“I’m excited to go racing and soak up what will be a really special event and hopefully the three of us can get our simulated elbows out during the eRace and come away with a strong result.”

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.