This week in Motorsport Series News I look at the Nissan Sentra Cup, the future of Audi customer racing, IMSA GT news, a new Ligier F4 car and more.
Sports Car Series News
- Sharp Magazine took a Nissan Sentra Cup car for a ride and really enjoyed it. “The Sentra Cup promises amazing value to up-and-coming racers, with plenty of doorhandle-to-doorhandle seat time. There is a practice session, qualifying, and two races per weekend, or at least two hours of seat time per weekend, the promoters say.” You can find more information on the Nissan Sentra Cup here.
- Wheels.ca also drove the Nissan Sentra Cup Car and find a race car ready to be taken seriously. “This is the car that competes in the Nissan Sentra Cup, the successor series to the Nissan Micra Cup, which was discontinued at the end of the 2020 season along with the cheap and cheerful little subcompact car from which it took its name. The Nissan Sentra Cup was launched last year and ran for a full season in 2021, although it did so with far less fanfare than usual thanks to pandemic restrictions and a lack of fans in the stands.”
- Head of Audi Sport customer racing Chris Reinke has denied rumors that the German manufacturer’s GT racing division could be wound up, although he admits that its activities may be realigned as Audi’s automotive arm increasingly focuses on electric mobility. “We just launched the second generation RS 3 car, which looking at the volume is for sure our biggest seller,” Reinke told Sportscar365. “We just launched the new Evo II R8 GT3. Usually we run them for at least three years with the homologation period and we are intended and confirmed that we at least will do that. So for me, there is nothing to worry but for sure we have to answer the question eventually. How will we proceed after those three years? But for the moment we are happy how the customers accept the new products and hopefully live through successful days this weekend as well.”
- Racer.com looks at the GT realignment that took place in IMSA for this year and concludes that it is going smoothly. “Participation is up, with an increase in entries across the board. The racing in both GTD and GTD Pro has been intense and competitive, and to date, the theoretically superior teams and all-pro driver line-ups drivers in GTD Pro have shown a clean pair of heels to their GTD counterparts.”
- Racer.com looks into how GRIDLIFE’s Touring Cup changes the game in North American club racing. “GRIDLIFE, whose mission statement is “motorsports inclusivity” has been hosting track days at small tracks like GingerMan Raceway since 2014, offering less expensive, more accessible track time to a younger car enthusiast audience. Since the inception of its single-class, sprint racing wheel-to-wheel series, GRIDLIFE Touring Cup (GLTC) in 2019, the sanctioning body and the entry lists have experienced explosive growth. A typical GLTC field exceeds 30 cars, and often tops 50. This series is different: it’s free to watch on YouTube and Twitch, races are short enough to watch without dedicating an entire afternoon, and the rules (and the cars built under them) create a unique experience that appeals to any motorsport fan.”
- The Asian Le Mans Series will keep its condensed, UAE-based schedule for a third season in 2023, with two races each in Dubai and Abu Dhabi on consecutive February weekends. “Series organizing body Asian Le Mans Endurance Management confirmed on Wednesday that international logistics are continuing to hamper its efforts to return Asian LMS to its original territory.”
- The Motorsport Australia Board has today made the decision to suspend issuing permits for any Targa style tarmac rally event. The Motorsport Australia Board, which met earlier today, has also determined a Targa Review Panel will be appointed to investigate the latest incident and make further recommendations on the future of Targa style tarmac rallies. The Review Panel will be Chaired by Garry Connelly AM, while Matthew Selley and Neal Bates will also be members.
- Coincidentally or not, a new independent tarmac rally association has been formed, with a committee including Tony Quinn as President. The formation of the TRCAA comes just two weeks after Motorsport Australia decided to stop issuing permits for Targa style tarmac rally events due to the deaths of four competitors at Targa Tasmania over the last two years. TRCAA spokesperson Mark Clair explained that the association will help to give competitors a greater say in Australian tarmac rallying.
Single-Seater Series News
- Ligier has unveiled their design for their Gen 2 F4 car that is to be used in America. Ligier has become the fourth manufacturer to commit to making Formula 4 cars for the category’s second generation technical ruleset, and has revealed the design of the chassis it will produce. Somewhat interestingly, the car is set to run the Ligier designed 1.65-litre V4 ‘Storm’ engine. “We’ve put a lot of work into the new Ligier Storm engine, and we’re excited to see it power the FRegional Americas and US F4 hampionships beginning in 2024.”
- New Zealand’s only international single seater championship – the Castrol Toyota Racing Series – has confirmed its dates and venues for its big 2023 return to the international calendar. “We are finalising budgets for 2023 but the focus will remain to provide a world class championship that in single seater terms represents the best value for money out there at around 25% less than comparable championships.”