Zach Veach, Frankie Montecalvo to race for Vasser Sullivan

Vasser Sullivan Veach Montecalvo
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Zach Veach and Frankie Montecalvo will race for Vasser Sullivan in the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD class as co-drivers of the No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3.

Montecalvo returns to Vasser Sullivan for a third season in the GTD class. In 2020, he earned his first IMSA victory at Road America and poles at Sebring and Road Atlanta. Montecalvo finished on the podium once more in 2020. He was second in the WaetherTech 240 on the Daytona International Road Course.

“We are excited to announce that we have signed Frankie Montecalvo and Zach Veach to drive the No. 12 for the 2021 IMSA GTD class championship season,” Vasser Sullivan said in a release. “After two seasons with us, Frankie has now become a contender for a pole and/or a win every weekend.  We expect you’ll see more of this from Frankie in the ’21 season.”

Veach is making his first foray into sports car racing. Veach’s best finish in the NTT IndyCar Series was a fourth, which he earned twice. His first fourth-place finish came in his rookie season of 2018 on the Streets of Long Beach. His second and most recent was earned on the Texas Motor Speedway oval racing for Andretti Autosport.

Veach’s next 10 starts with Andretti landed well outside the top 10. Driver and team agreed to part ways with three races remaining.

“The timing with Zach is perfect as he transitions to the next stage of his career in sports cars after a great run in IndyCar,” the team said.

Veach relocated to Charlotte in order to be closer to the team and speed up his transition from open wheel racing to GTD.

During the off season, Vasser Sullivan and AIM Autosport also chose to part ways.

Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz will also return to Vasser Sullivan as full-season co-drivers of the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3.

All four drivers will participate in the ROAR Before the Rolex 24, January 21-24, 2021.

Ryan Hunter-Reay hired as replacement for Conor Daly at Ed Carpenter Racing

Ryan Hunter-Reay Carpenter
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Ryan Hunter-Reay was named to replace Conor Daly in Ed Carpenter Racing’s No. 20 Dallara-Chevrolet, starting in the NTT IndyCar Series event next week at Road America.

Hunter-Reay is the 2012 series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner. He finished 11th for Dreyer & Reinbold last month in the 107th Indy 500, his first start since the 2021 season finale. He drove full time for Andretti Autosport from 2010-21.

“We need to improve our competitiveness and I wanted to add a fresh perspective from a driver like Ryan who has a massive amount of experience and success as well as a reputation as a team leader. I am excited to welcome Ryan to the team,” team owner Ed Carpenter said in a team release. “We have worked together in the past as teammates and he tested for ECR at Barber Motorsports Park in October 2021, where he made an immediate impact as we were able to qualify one of our cars on the pole following that test. I am confident that his experience and technical abilities will be an asset to ECR as we move forward toward our goals as a team.”

Hunter-Reay has 18 IndyCar victories, most recently in 2018. He also is a winner in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, having been a part of winning entries in the 2020 Twelve Hours of Sebring and 2018 Petit Le Mans. Last year, he was an endurance driver for Cadillac Racing while being on standby for Chip Ganassi Racing.

He replaces Daly, whose departure was announced a day earlier in what the driver and team said was a mutual decision.

“I was surprised when I got the call from Ed,” Hunter-Reay said in a team release. “He described how frustrated he was that his team has not been able to realize its potential despite their efforts, investments, as well as technical and personnel changes over the past few years and asked for my help. Ed and I are very close friends and have been for a long time. I’ve worked with the team in the past and they are a very talented group with high expectations and a committed partner in BITNILE.COM.

“This will certainly be a challenge for me as well. It’s a tough situation jumping in a car in the middle of the season without any testing in what I believe to be the most competitive series in the world. Certainly, part of my motivation in saying ‘yes’ to Ed is the great challenge ahead. The last time I turned right driving an NTT IndyCar Series car was in October of 2021 with this team at Barber. However, I remain very confident in both my driving and technical abilities and believe by working with the talented people at ECR and Team Chevy, while representing BITNILE.COM, we will make progress. I am going to do everything I can do to help the team achieve its long-term objectives.”

Said Milton “Todd” Ault, the chairman of sponsor “It is great for to be aligned with an Indy 500 Winner and an NTT IndyCar Series champion. I have followed Ryan’s career for years and I am confident he will challenge the entire ECR team to perform at higher levels. I wish everyone luck at Road America.”