Andretti Autosport starting LMP3 program with Jarett Andretti

Jarrett Andretti
Andretti Autosports
0 Comments

Andretti Autosport announced Wednesday it will enter the 2021 IMSA Prototype Challenge in the LMP3 class with Jarett Andretti as its driver.

Jarrett Andretti is the son of the late John Andretti.

The third-generation driver will drive a Ligier JS P320 after racing a GT4 for Andretti Autosport.

“To say I’m excited to be joining IMSA and the Prototype Challenge for 2021 would be an understatement!” Andretti said in a press release. “In December of last year, Dad and I had many discussions about series we should grow into for 2021 and he felt strongly about the LMP3 cars and that it would be great for my development as well as our sponsors. We set that goal to move to prototype racing and have been lucky to have a great partner, Gallant, join the team this year as an associate and then grow into a primary sponsor for 2021 and beyond.”

The IMSA Prototype Challenge is made up of six races that are one hour, 45 minutes in length.

“We are very happy to have Jarett join the IMSA Prototype Challenge for 2021,” Michael Andretti, the team’s Chairman and CEO, said in a press release. “He has shown impressive talent with the GT4 series and we can’t wait to see what he can do in the LMP3 cars.”

The team’s primary sponsor will be Gallant, which was an associate sponsor of Andretti Autosport’s GT4 program in 2020. Gallant is a UK-based commercial mechanical and plumbing company that specializes in HVAC, plumbing, security systems and data cabling.

Robert Wickens in the Indy 500? Bryan Herta making plans to field a car for next year

Robert Wickens Indy 500
Brett Farmer/LAT Images/IMSA
0 Comments

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Bryan Herta wants to enter Robert Wickens in the Indy 500 as early as 2024 – a year longer than preferred as work continues on the hand controls needed for the paralyzed driver.

Wickens suffered a spinal cord injury in a crash at Pocono Raceway in his 2018 IndyCar rookie season. He’s worked as a driver coach for the Arrow McLaren IndyCar team since, but last year with Bryan Herta Autosport and Hyundai returned to racing in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.

The 33-year-old Canadian won a pair of races (including the season opener at Daytona) driving a Hyundai Elantra N-TCR that is fitted for Wickens to race strictly through hand controls. Herta said Thursday that perfecting that technology for an Indy car in the biggest race in the world has slowed the project he’s determined to do with Wickens.

‘I’M AS HUNGRY AS EVER’: Robert Wickens’ return to racing

“I’d love to take Robbie back to Indy because I know he could do that, and I think that would be a next step for him in his journey,” Herta told The Associated Press. “We’ve spent a lot of time looking at the logistical side of things, hand controls, and I think we have solutions for that.”

Herta said Honda has been supportive of the process, which Herta called “one of the most important things we’ve done in racing” last year.

“We actually looked at doing it this year, but the logistics of it, the timing, it just wasn’t enough,” Herta said. “That’s not something you can rush. There’s some things that we have to work very closely with IndyCar on, and things we just have to get right. It’s a process, but I can see a path to it.”

Wickens, when told his boss was openly discussing the Indy 500, grinned widely. Herta as a team owner won the Indianapolis 500 with Dan Wheldon and Alexander Rossi.

“That’d be fun,” he said of running the Indy 500.

But like Herta, Wickens said the effort has to be both done correctly and be competitive.

“We’d like to do it right. If we started right now, can we get a car ready for the open test in April? Probably,” Wickens told The AP. “But I don’t know where the systems would be and I want to get on proper simulators to make sure its correct.

“We all want to do a proper, professional effort,” he added. “I don’t want to do it for a marketing campaign. I want to do it for a chance to win.”

Wickens later tweeted about the possibility of racing the Indy 500 and said his goal was “always to get back to the top level of motorsport” whether it’s IndyCar or IMSA.

Wickens in 2021 did a demonstration in Canada that marketed advancements for paralyzed drivers and gave him a chance to again drive. His entire life had been upended 14 races into his rookie IndyCar season, just three months after winning top rookie honors at the Indianapolis 500.

Wickens has since married, returned to racing last year and welcomed the birth of his first child, an son named Wesley whom is infatuated with both race cars and the trip to Disney he took this week during the off days at Daytona International Speedway.

Wickens, who uses a wheelchair but can stand with some support, marks a full year back racing on Friday in the season-opening IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race. Despite success last season, Herta made changes to his lineups and Wickens this year will be teamed with Harry Gottsacker.