July 29, 2021

Marco Andretti considering IMSA LMP3 outings with cousin

Jarett Andretti and Tristan Herbert will race the #18 Andretti Autosport Ligier JS P320 in IMSA’s Prototype Challenge in 2021, and with PC being the exclusive preserve of Silver- and Bronze-rated drivers, an IndyCar veteran would be ineligible to participate. However, with LMP3 cars now also competing in the WeatherTech series, the team is considering a few forays into IMSA’s top championship – and Marco is willing to be part of the lineup.

“Right now, they’re looking at The Glen and Road America,” he said. “I may jump in for another test before then, but that’s what they’re looking at. I don’t know if they’ve made a final decision on it yet, but I’m kind of letting Jarett run the reins on it.

“If he calls me up and I’m free, I’ll go drive.”

Andretti’s experience in sportscars has been sparse, his most recent outing being for Starworks Motorsport in the 2012 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. However, he impressed for both Rebellion Racing at Le Mans in 2010 and the 2008 American Le Mans Series endurance races in which he joined what was then called Andretti Green Racing to race an Acura LMP2 car.

Describing the technique required in LMP3 cars, Andretti said: “It’s almost about slowing myself down a little bit and driving to the limit of them. You kind of find yourself right at the limit pretty quick in those things so I was able to be pretty quick relative to the others.

“[They have] a little less grip than the Acura that I drove but they are super underpowered, so the biggest difference from IndyCar is they’re even more of a momentum car. It’s all about keeping the minimum speeds up and keeping the momentum up. 

“That’s where I was able to find a decent chunk of my time. In the high-speed corners, it still takes a lot of commitment.”

Jarett Andretti, whose highly versatile father John died of cancer last year, has told Marco that he wants him to co-drive, and Marco suggests the emotional tie means he wouldn’t need any persuading, should the team elect to enter the WeatherTech series.

“It meant a lot to me when [Jarett] said, ‘We’ve got to make these races happen because it’s the closest thing I’m going to get to driving with my dad. I was humbled to hear that. It would be my pleasure to co-drive with him.”

Since announcing his withdrawal from the full IndyCar season  Andretti’s only declared commitments for 2021 so far are driving a fifth Andretti Autosport-Honda in the Indianapolis 500, and competing in the new SRX Series.

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