There are a lot of new race cars featured in this week’s Motorsport Series news that span the spectrum from sports cars and touring cars to rally racers. I also look at developments from the ACO that were announced at Le Mans and more.
- In the run up to this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, the ACO made various announcements concerning LMP2 and their new for 2024 GT3 class. While LMP2 plans are still in flux, they will include an “AoP” process. “The goal of the AoP is to serve as a framework for ensuring equal competition between teams running cars from different constructors. Details of how the AoP process will work are limited at this stage.”
- As for the new GT3 category, the ACO has confirmed that they will be adding a single Pro-Am GT3-based class for 2024. “Among the items announced during the ACO press conference include a kit for GT3 cars called ‘GT3 Premium’ and the utilization of commercial tires for the class. According to FIA Endurance Commission President Richard Mille, the kit, which is targeted to provide a “special look” to each GT3 model, will be cost capped to between €50,000-100,000 ($53,000-106,000 USD) and be strictly aero changes only. The kits, which will be mandatory for each GT3 manufacturer wishing to be represented in the class, will be easily reversible, allowing teams to jump between FIA GT3 specification and ACO trim.” Porsche is not impressed and has asked the question, do we really need it? “Head of Porsche Motorsport Thomas Laudenbach has personally questioned the FIA and ACO’s plans for a ‘Premium GT3 Kit’ for its new GT class in 2024, asking if a specific aero package for the World Endurance Championship is necessary for already-premium cars. “You’ve got to modify it in some way which costs money, but only just for a few cars, and that makes it difficult,” Laudenbach told Sportscar365.””
- Cadillac has unveiled their ‘artful yet functional’ GTP design scheduled to run in 2023. Daily Sportscar has a great review of the car and how GM got there. “It’s exciting to start a new chapter,” said Chris Mikalauskas, Cadillac’s lead exterior creative designer. “We’ve proven ourselves in IMSA and we want to continue to prove ourselves, but we really just want to prove ourselves now on an even higher level of vehicle.”
- With Cadillac having finally released a full view of its Project GTP Hypercar LMDh racer, Professional Motorsport World caught up with Laura Wontrop Klauser, GM’s manager for sportscar racing projects, at Le Mans, to find out how the project is progressing.
- BMW Motorsport have officially unveiled the second generation BMW M4 GT4 last week at VIRginia International Raceway. The G82-generation M4 GT4 will begin production in October 2022, at a price of €187,000 EUR. Once in production, the new M4 is set to make its full-scale customer racing debut in the 2023 season. Full details are available at Daily Sportscar.
- Toyota GR has been busy as they have indicated that they will be producing a new GT3 car based on the above concept photo. “I’m excited to announce that the GT3 Concept car we showed at the Tokyo Auto Salon has advanced to the development stage.” Koji Sato, President of both Lexus and Toyota Gazoo Racing
- Toyota has also provided more details of their GR86 race car that I have mentioned in a previous Motorsport Series News column. “All the GR86s will start as complete production-line vehicles before TGR engineers in North Carolina transform them into what are touted as reliable, high-performance race cars. Modifications to the production cars include the addition of Bosch engine management, a bespoke Borla exhaust, Sadev 6-speed sequential transmission, Alcon brakes, JRI adjustable shocks, OMP safety equipment, a 100-liter fuel cell, TGRNA (Toyota Gazoo Racing North America)-designed MacPherson strut suspension and an aero kit developed by TGRNA and Stratasys, which will feature additive manufactured parts.”
- Finally, Lamborghini and Ligier have revived their partnership for their upcoming LMDh WEC program. “Lamborghini motorsport chief Giorgio Sanna said: “As in Lamborghini Squadra Corse we have found in Magny-Cours [Ligier’s base] a team of young, competent and motivated people. We already feel as one team and we look forward for the next challenges in front of us.””
- Honda Performance Development have announced that its 2022 Civic Si race car will be made available to customers later this fall, starting at only $55,000 USD. Power comes from a turbocharged, 1.5-liter L15CA engine backed by a “strengthened” six-speed manual transmission. Grassroots Motorsports has all the specs and MotorTrend has more details. You can enjoy Honda’s sizzle reel below to get you pumped.
- The FIA ETCR will have a 14-car entry and a new manufacturer in 2023, according to Marcello Lotti, the president of the WSC Group. “I can confirm that next year there will be one new manufacturer,” Lotti told TouringCarTimes. “These will be two new cars, apart from the ones we have currently involved.”
- Škoda is looking to build on their customer rally success with new Fabia RS Rally2. According to PMW: “Based on the latest production version of the Fabia, which uses VW’s MQB-A0 platform, the Rally2 also features a newly developed 1.6-liter engine, built around VW’s ubiquitous EA888 2.0-liter unit. The new chassis enabled Škoda’s engineers to further optimize the rally car’s driving characteristics. It benefits from the longer wheelbase of the fourth-generation Fabia, apparently making the car quieter while ensuring a more stable rear. Compared to the outgoing model, the fuel tank has been repositioned and the additional space in the engine compartment has been used to accommodate a larger intercooler.”