The Mazda MX-5 Cup is one of the most successful, single-make development race series on the planet. This week you will find out why it could be your “enabler of dreams.” I also have a bunch of racecraft tips, series news and what is it like to drive the Ligier JS P320 LMP3 race car.
All this and more in this week’s edition of the Racecraft & Race Cars Roundup on Motorsport Prospects.
Racecraft Tips & Techniques
In Grassroots Motorsports, Peter Krause explains how to shorten lap times–one section of track at a time. “Drivers sometimes “send it” in an effort to change something–anything. In the process, they blow past the desired risk-benefit ratio and bad things can happen. It doesn’t have to be that way.”
Ross Bentley of Speed Secrets answers the question, why do drivers seem to always finish in the same positions in races, and if I wanted to improve where I finish over the next two years, what plan should I follow to do so?
Dion von Moltke of Blayze explains the 3 things to know when transitioning from track days to racing. “In this article we asked Blayze pro coaches and grassroots racers who transitioned from HPDE to wheel-to-wheel racing for their advice for those track day drivers looking to make the transition.”
In his monthly column on Motorsport Prospects, Tommy Schröter, founder and CEO Baseline Driver Training, writes about the importance of concentration for the racing driver.
Blayze racing coach Ken Hill discusses how you can create a plan to train while in the offseason. There are dozens of skills and techniques you can use to prepare yourself for the next racing season.
Podium Life looks at the race weekend essentials for Indycar rookie Linus Lundqvist. “Obviously a big part of my recovery and just conditioning in general is my training. I train at PitFit in Indy – they do a great job and it’s a fantastic place. They’ve trained a lot of drivers over the years so it is definitely the best place for me to make sure I’m in the best shape possible for racing.”
Race Car & Series Developments
The TCR World Tour has been granted FIA status and will be known as the Kumho FIA TCR World Tour from 2024. Also confirmed is a nine-race 2024 calendar with rounds in Italy, Morocco, USA, Brazil, Uruguay, China, Australia and Macau.
Meanwhile, organizers of the TCR Europe series have revealed a drastically different calendar for the 2024 season, with just one circuit from 2023 retaining a slot on the schedule.
The new Prototype Winter Series, licensed by Le Mans organizer ACO and running on Michelin tires, will make its debut in Portugal and Spain in January 2024. The PTWS will compete in three classes: LMP3, Class 4, Class N. “LMP3, in which the currently most popular homologated prototypes such as the Ligier JSP320, Ginetta G61 LTP3, Duqueine D08 and Adess 03 Evo will race, will be the most significant,” says Robin Selbach from PTWS promoter Gedlich Racing.
Creventic and Porsche will launch a new, 12-hour race at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps reserved exclusively for Porsche 992 GT3 Cup machinery next year. Run under the ‘Michelin 992 Endurance Cup powered by Porsche Motorsport’ banner, the event date is scheduled for Sept. 6-7. Only customer teams fielding 992-generation 911 GT3 Cup cars will be eligible for entry, with the grid split up into Pro, Pro-Am and Am categories.
Clio Cup Europe has announced their 2024 calendar with a host of changes to build on the series’ past success.
“Always extremely competitive, the internal classifications will also be revamped to offer greater clarity to participants and observers, as there will be three classes with the Juniors Cup, the Challengers Cup and the Gentlemen Cup. The Juniors Cup will be open for drivers born in 2001 or later who have never won a Clio Cup title. At the same time, the Gentlemen Cup will be for competitors born before 1979 who haven’t won in the last ten years or finished in the top three of Clio Cup Europe or a similar discipline. Lastly, the new format of the Challengers Cup will be open to competitors born between 1979 and 2000 who have not achieved convincing success in the Clio Cup or similar categories.”
The French YouTuber and racing driver Valentin Simonet headed to the Grand-Prix track at Nevers Magny-Cours, close to the Ligier Automotive workshops, to test one of the manufacturer’s many models: the Ligier JS P320. Watch the full video above.
With the “New Era 2024/2028” project, the Italian Prototype Championship will complete its relaunch with a new car, the Wolf Raiden GB08, a car which is even more powerful, faster, and selective. In addition to this, the series is now open to fifteen-year-old drivers, for what Vroom Kart calls a faster and cheaper alternative to Formula 4.
“Another very important innovation, on a sporting level, is the opening up to fifteen-year-olds, who will thus be able to make the leap from karting and find a valid alternative to Formula 4. In addition to being on average 4 seconds per lap faster than the latter, the cost of the championship has been set at 99,000 Euros, which becomes 149,000 if you want to keep the car at the end of the season: in practice racing with the Wolf GB08 Raiden will cost exactly ¼ compared to Formula 4, which requires a budget of around 400,000 Euros.”
Racer magazine looks at the Mazda MX-5 Cup, a series they call the enabler of dreams.
“The Scholarships are something that we hold closely to our hearts,” says Mazda Senior Manager of Motorsports Jonathan Applegate. “We consider ourselves an enabler of dreams. The Shootout is right in the middle of it and is really the golden thread that connects our grassroots programs through the MX-5 Cup and beyond. We see this as a pivotal point in a driver’s career,” he adds. “Motorsports is among the most expensive professional sports, which means there’s a high cost of entry barrier. So, we continue to create opportunities that help get aspiring drivers to the next level.”
Spring Mountain Motor Resort & Country Club has doubled the program availability in 2024 for its highly popular Radical Racing Academy. The program already boasted the largest fleet of Radical SR3 racecars in the nation for racing drivers and the general public to sample and hone their craft in.
The combination of Spring Mountain’s facility and Radical equipment is a proven formula, having been instrumental throughout the formative years of a number of drivers including 2023 Le Mans Winner (LMP2 Pro-Am) George Kurtz, four times Le Mans starter and 2017 European Le Mans Champion (LMP3) John Falb, multi-time Radical Cup North America champion and 2023 Radical World Champion (Platinum) Alan Miller as well as 2023 Petit Le Mans winner (GTD), 2022 Radical World Champion (Pro 1340) and Official Lamborghini Young Driver Patrick Liddy.
Spring Mountain will now host multiple 2-Day Radical Racing Academy per month. Tuition starts at $5,495, and enrollment includes clubhouse access with breakfast and lunch prepared by Spring Mountain’s onsite chef. Accommodations in Spring Mountain’s condominiums are available for an additional fee. Call 800-381-6891 or view online at www.radicalracingacademy.com.
Hyundai is trying to open some eyes to the performance potential of its N line, and its cars in general. Of course, five straight championships in IMSA’s Michelin Pilot Challenge int he TCR class with Bryan Herta Autosport goes a long way toward establishing performance cred, but it doesn’t reach everybody. So, Hyundai has launched the Hyundai Driving Experience in the U.S.
“It’s bringing enthusiasm to life, so to speak,” explains Erik Thomas, the director of Experiential and Multicultural Marketing at Hyundai Motor America. “Not as many people as we would like know about Hyundai N and when they do. They understand it’s about performance … but just seeing isn’t believing; you really need to get behind the wheel and have that experience. We’re still finding that sort of surprise and delight, and this is just part of the story of Hyundai’s performance, and it’s integral that people have that experience. It starts with the products, but also a motorsports story that really kind of proved that. And now that the motorsports stories are built out, we’re bringing that experience to consumers to actually have for themselves.”
Hyundai will be reaching out to customers and those who have expressed an interest in its products, particularly the N vehicles, for the next Experience. So if you’re one of those, keep an eye on your inbox.