Andretti Autosport considering sports car entry (Update)

UPDATE A reader writes, Dear, I just read this rumor and the first thing that came to my mind is that Andretti, being the smart business man that he is, will hedge his bets and venture into the France Family run sports car series in case the Hulman George family runs IndyCar out of business, which appears to be the case given sponsors (and Dragon Racing) are dropping like flies now. TV ratings are key to the ultimate success of any sport, especially one as money dependent as motorsports. I agree with you about the NBC Sport Network ratings killing the series. I would take it so far as to say that if they don't move all races to ABC immediately, the series may be gone in a year or two as more and more sponsors will jump ship. Seeing the writing on the wall, and given he wants to keep his racing business going, I look for Andretti to diversify as early as 2014. Nicky Wang

Dear Nicky, We think your logic has merit. Further to your point, Andretti also announced a Formula E team, so adding sports cars would further diversify his business away from IndyCar. Could it be that the Hulman George family wants to get through the 100th running of the Indy 500 in 2015 and then sell-out to the France Family and get out of racing altogether? That could be why they are only interested in collecting the NBC Sports Network check (that ramps up big time in the last few years of the contract) rather than invest in ensuring the immediate survival of the series by moving all the races to ABC. Hmm….. Mark C.

10/29/13 EJ Viso, who told's Marshall Pruett his absence at Fontana stemmed from eating tainted oysters which led to stomach issues, had been evaluating his option for 2014 prior to the IndyCar season finale. With his manager, former Indy car ace Adrian Fernandez, searching for the best deal available, Viso's modest annual budget led him to consider a switch to the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

The recent announcement of an investigation involving Venezuelan drivers and their state-sponsored motor racing activities has resulted in many questions about their respective futures. It's unclear if Viso, who has carried branding from Venezuelan petroleum company PDVSA and its subsidiary CITGO since joining the IndyCar Series, will be affected by whatever findings are made by his government.

It's too early to tell whether Viso will return to Andretti, but if he does, Lopes says it wouldn't necessarily be in an open-wheel car.

“We had an excellent experience with E.J. this year, he's always welcome back — we'd love to have him back," he noted. “We've been looking at some IndyCar stuff, some sports car stuff, and some other series. We had a very positive experience with E.J. and hope we can continue to work together."

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