While this week’s Ferrari news was dominated by the 499P, arguably the bigger news for GT3 racers is the fact that Ferrari is experiencing strong demand for their 296 GT3 race car. This is just a sample of the news that you will find in this week’s Motorsport Series News Roundup.
Not to be outdone, Lamborghini has high expectations for their GT3 racer, the Huracán GT3 EVO2. I also feature news on LMDh homologation, opportunities for young drivers racing sports cars, new Toyota, and Nissan GT4 race cars, the cancellation of Indian FRIC and F4 and more.
- Ferrari have officially launched their 499P Le Mans Hypercar for WEC competition in 2023. According to Autosport, “the 499P nomenclature follows a naming tradition that dates back to the earliest Ferraris: 499 is the capacity in cubic centimetres of one cylinder of the car’s three-litre V6 twin-turbo powerplant, while the ‘P’ stands for prototype.”
- You can watch the 499P debut at Imola in the video above and read Racer‘s tech dive analysis. “At the heart is a 120-degree twin-turbocharged V6 with the turbos nesting inside the V. Based on the engine from the 296 GTB and GTS road cars, the architecture is similar, but the construction is different as required by the additional role the engine plays, as it does in most prototype race cars. In the road cars, the engine is mounted to a subframe; but in the 499P, it is load bearing and part of the structure of the car.”
- As IMSA touts the debut of the new for 2023 Ferrari 296 GT3, Daily Sportscar is reporting that the new GT3 racer is set to break into new sales territory for the manufacturer in GT3. “An informed source at Ferrari suggests that the overall production total for the outgoing 488 GT3 was around the 160 car mark – with a significantly smaller number of GTE versions also produced. Note that some cars at least have competed in both GTE and GT3 trim with the cars able to be converted between the two.”
- It is not just Ferrari that IMSA is looking to welcome to their grids but another Italian manufacturer as well. The Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2 will be debuting and IMSA explains how the manufacturer has high expectations for the new model. “We have great expectations about the Huracán GT3 EVO2 debut,” Giorgio Sanna, head of Lamborghini Motorsport said. “The previous generation leaves an important heritage and we are truly motivated to get more trophies and successes with the new model.”
- IMSA and the ACO have stated that they are targeting mid-November for the finalized LMDh homologations. “We’re hoping to have that all wrapped up in the middle of November with time to be able to get the cars in their final specification for the December sanctioned test that’s planned with IMSA. These cars are very complex. There’s a lot of detail that have to be captured.” If you are curious about the homologation process, RACER explains how the process works. “It’s a joint homologation process between IMSA and the ACO,” explains Matt Kurdock, IMSA’s technical director. “LMDh is homologated by IMSA and ACO. This process started much earlier this year with manufacturers sending us various bits of draft materials, including CAD, and detailed documentation of their chassis and suspension and cooling systems and powertrains. We go through a process of reviewing that material and providing feedback and asking questions, so that the manufacturers have some time to make adjustments where necessary.”
- The VP Racing SportsCar Challenge is set to debut in 2023 and IMSA believes that the series offers young up and coming drivers the chance to hone their skills in sportscars. “It gives the Bronze or the Silver the opportunity to set the car up for themselves and to develop more as an overall driver, as opposed to just getting in whatever the pro sets the car up for,” Geoff Carter, IMSA’s senior director of Series Platforms explained. “It really does turn into a developmental challenge series and hopefully it’s a rung on the way up the ladder and not necessarily a destination.”
- Toyota has officially launched its Supra GT4 EVO ahead of its 2023 debut. According to Sportscar365, “the Japanese manufacturer says that the new car will provide drivers with enhanced braking, handling and engine performance which have been implemented as the result of “constructive customer feedback” and “detailed evaluations.”
- Nissan has officially unveiled their Z GT4 race car. For the Nissan Z GT4’s inaugural 2023 season, Nissan/NISMO will provide cars to pilot customer teams in the US and Japan for the SRO Pirelli GT4 America series and Super Taikyu Series, respectively. NISMO will also offer technical support. Vehicles are scheduled to be supplied from 2024, with orders being accepted from mid-2023.
- Radical Motorsport and BTCC Series Organiser TOCA have announced one-make championship, the Hagerty Radical Cup UK, will be joining the support package for the British Touring Car Championship for two events during the 2023 campaign. In addition to the Radicals, Legends and Caterhams will also be on the BTCC support ticket in 2023.
- Ginetta Cars are collaborating with the British Endurance Championship by offering a Ginetta Supercup Class within the Championship. Mike Simpson Motorsport Director: “Ginetta have nearly 20 years racing relationship with Britcar and we are elated to find a new home for our G55 and G56 Supercup GT4 cars. This year marks our 500th GT chassis milestone in 15 years and with thanks to Britcar we can still see many more years of good value, yet very competitive competition for our customers in one of the UKs longstanding GT Endurance Championships.”
- Also on the Ginetta front, ATL Ltd will be returning as the upcoming Ginetta Junior Winter Series headline sponsor. “The Michelin Ginetta Junior Winter Series in association with ATL Ltd will take place over the weekend of 12/13 November at Brands Hatch, bringing the Ginetta race season to an end with an exciting glimpse at some of the potential young stars of the 2023 campaign.”
- The British Racing & Sports Car Club has announced the introduction of the BRSCC Evolution Trophy race series. This purpose-made development program has been devised specifically to provide a home for new and developing race series that don’t yet have the numbers to commercially justify stand-alone grids, and to give them the best opportunity to grow and develop. For 2023, Evolution Trophy will become the new home for four race series, these being:
- Classic VW Cup
- Cooksport Renault Cup
- BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Mk4 Trophy
- BRSCC BMW 1 Series SuperCup
- Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia will return from a three-year hiatus in 2023, with a six-event schedule kicking off at Sepang International Circuit in May. To date, 254 drivers across 30 nations have participated in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia championship since its inception a decade ago. A total of 96 races have been held on 18 circuits. The 2023 season is also expected to boast the largest ever Super Trofeo Asia grid.
- More track time and racing will be added to the Australian national motorsport calendar in 2023 with the introduction of the Motorsport Australia Trophy Series. The new Trophy Series will provide further opportunities for a number of national categories to compete on Australia’s best circuits at events run and organized by Motorsport Australia.
- F1 Feeder Series has revealed that Indian F4 and Formula Regional Indian Championship (FRIC) will not take place in 2022. “F1 Feeder Series has learned the promoters seem to have underestimated the cost of organising two brand new championships. The Tatuus T318 and T421 cars never arrived in India and it is likely that there will be no official statement about the cancellation of the 2022 season. Moreover, given the silence of the championship promoters, it also seems that FRIC and Indian F4 will simply never happen. At least not in the near future.”
- The British Racing & Sports Car Club has announced that next season’s BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship campaign will be forming an integral part of the 2023 TCR UK touring car event support program. “By agreeing this 2023 TCR UK support programme, Fiesta Junior racing will hopefully benefit from even higher levels of exposure. We understand fully that junior drivers must find funding and sponsorship to allow them to compete, and by offering them a means to increase market visibility, this funding will hopefully be a little bit easier to come by. The reality is that sponsors and contributors to junior racing want to see value for their investments, and this new agreement with TCR UK will help deliver just that.”
- The BRSCC has also confirmed that, following the recent announcement that TCR UK events will be hosted by the Club from 2023, it has also reached an agreement with Maximum Motorsport to host the Milltek Sport Civic Cup in its formulae portfolio for 2023 and beyond. “The Civic Cup will feature on five of the designated seven race weekends for TCR UK next season, with the other two seeing the championship racing alongside a host of both new and pre-existing BRSCC championships and series, allowing it to continue to grow and thrive alongside some of the best content that the Club has to offer as part of its ever developing and expanding portfolio.”
2022 FIA Motorsport Games
- Last week the 2022 edition of the FIA Motorsport Games took place and Team Italy emerged victorious with a total of three gold medals in Rally4, Historic Rally and KCMG Formula 4. A successful second edition of the multidisciplinary event brought 42,000 spectators to Circuit Paul Ricard across four packed days of action. They witnessed a diverse line-up that ranged from high-powered GT cars and spectacular drift machinery to the technical challenge of slalom, while off-road events ran in the surrounding region. This year, there were 72 competing nations.
- Autosport looks at how the returning Motorsport Games is aiming to make their mark.
- “One day the Motorsport Games will become a must-do event,” says organizer Stephane Ratel. “Its profile will grow and it will become an important date on the international motorsport calendar every two years. Everyone will want to do it and will want to represent their country.”
- “We want these Games to create a legacy for the ASNs [the national sporting authorities who put together the teams],” says the FIA’s director of Formula E and innovative sport. “The exposure they will get by making their country proud just by participating is part of the legacy we want them to take home, so they can start programmes for the next edition. That’s really what we expect.”
- Valencia has been chosen to host third Motorsport Games in 2024. “The Valencian autonomous community, along with the Spanish motorsport federation, has put its support behind hosting duties and the permanent Ricardo Tormo circuit that sits 13 miles west of the city of Valencia will be the main venue. SRO chief Stephane Ratel told Formula Scout that the idea is for F4 to remain the only single-seater category in the Motorsport Games when the next edition takes place in two years’ time.”