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Robert Kubica withdraws before FIA WEC season

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Robert Kubica will not, in fact, take part in the forthcoming FIA World Endurance Championship season with the ByKolles team, as he’d planned to.

The Polish driver was looking set for his return to circuit racing after several years away since his accident in a rally in 2011.

While he’s made several rally returns since, a high-profile entry into the FIA WEC was going to be a jolt in the lone privateer LMP1 entry, the ByKolles ENSO CLM P1/01 NISMO chassis.

He and Oliver Webb were the two confirmed drivers announced in February, with a third still yet to be determined for the Boris Bermes-directed operation.

Instead, Kubica has called off the return, in a statement he made via his Facebook page.

“After the Prologue, I have decided to interrupt my racing program with the ByKolles team in LMP1,” Kubica wrote.

“Therefore, I will not take part in the upcoming WEC Silverstone opening round and in the other WEC races. It has been a hard decision to step down and so lose the opportunity to join such a challenging and competitive Championship, but I hope this will not be a definitive goodbye.”

The 6 Hours of Silverstone takes place this weekend with a 27-car grid, the ByKolles car as noted one of only five in LMP1 alongside the pair of Porsche 919 Hybrids and Toyota TS050 Hybrids. Toyota’s third car doesn’t come online until the second round at Spa-Francorchamps.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”