The big development in this week’s Motorsport Series News is the debut of the brand-new Porsche 963 prototype that will be raced in both the WEC and IMSA. I also have news of developments in the LMP2 AoP, a new halo for Radical Motorsport cars, a next generation Formula Ford car and more.
- The big news last week was that Porsche have revealed their 963 LMDh car for racing in both IMSA and the WEC. The manufacturer describes their effort with Penske Racing as that of a global quest. “Jonathan Diuguid is the Managing Director of Porsche Penske Motorsport: “Expectations are extremely high,” acknowledges the American. “Not only from the public but also from Porsche and Team Penske, who have written great motorsport chapters together in the past.” Diuguid and Travis Law (Competition Director) will guide the global Porsche Penske Motorsport Team, with direct oversight and management of both the FIA WEC and IMSA programs. Daily operations of the FIA WEC team will be led by Bernhard Demmer (General Manager) and Francis Schammo (Team Manager. Joel Svensson (Team Manager) will be responsible for these roles in the IMSA GTP championship in North America.”
- As part of that “global quest” will be customer racing teams with JOTA entering the WEC with Hertz sponsorship and JDC-Miller leaving Cadillac for a Porsche customer car in IMSA.
- Check out the video above of the 963 public reveal last weekend at Goodwood.
- Jim Glickenhaus sat down with Daily Sportscar recently to discuss their podium at Le Mans, their plans for the rest Of 2023 and beyond. “We have a lot going on in terms of investors, in terms of possible alliances with some very respected and large companies. And we have the reality that we love racing in the WEC and Le Mans. We are very grateful for Richard Mille’s remarks that people have to give us a little slack. And we will absolutely figure out a way to stay involved.”
- In LMP2 news, the newly announced Adjustment of Performance (AoP) is aimed to give the race car manufacturers the same chance to win. “We will make an adjustment twice a year, just to adjust the performance of the car, but it’s not BoP. We will play just with power probably.”
- Speaking of LMP2, Daily Sportscar has a thought provoking opinion piece on the class in It’s Time To Look At What LMP2 Needs To Survive & Thrive In The New Era For Sportscar Racing. “There are challenges looming though, that should have the powers-that-be thinking about whether the class needs a radical rethink rather than a transition to new machinery, as is currently the publicly announced plan, from 2025.”
- SRO boss Stephane Ratel has voiced his support for the newly announced 2024 Le Mans GT bodywork plan. “I’m supportive of it, because it would create something new and novelty is never a bad thing,” Ratel told Autoport.
- DTM boss Gerhard Berger has indicated that he wants manufacturers from the UK, USA and Japan to jpin the series. Asked by Autosport whether he was more concerned with consolidating current grids or seeking more manufacturers to join for 2023, Berger replied: “Add more, simply because still – okay with Lamborghini and Ferrari we have Italian manufacturers, but it would be nice to have an English one, would be nice to have an American one, would be nice to have a Japanese one.”
- Radical Motorsport has announced that a Halo-inspired safety upgrade is now available for their cars. Dubbed the “Cockpit Safety Structure”, the device can now be fitted for brand new customer orders as a cost option on SR3 XX and SR10. “The Cockpit Safety Structure has been developed with the principle purpose of improving occupant safety, and its design also minimises aerodynamic drag whilst maintaining Radical Motorsport’s world-renowned chassis handling attributes. Constructed from T45 high strength stainless steel alloy, the structure also maximises strength with minimal weight increase.”
- The UAE’s premier GT and Touring Car race series has a new promotor, Gulfsport Racing as the newly renamed championship The Gulf ProCar race series was formally announced last month. “Gulfsport is the region’s oldest race team being established by founder Barry Hope in 2006 – his son Martin now holds the reins and together with additional new management will take the new championship to even higher levels -the new championship will attract all GT, Prototype and Touring Cars.”
- IMSA has renewed their GT4 license with the SRO Group. “The decision to incorporate GT4 into the Michelin Pilot Challenge GS class prior to the 2017 season continues to be a sound decision,” said IMSA President John Doonan. “Aside from the fields in some of the single-make series IMSA sanctions, the GS class routinely draws the largest fields at every race. It’s a tremendous customer racing platform that has been embraced by several manufacturers, at a price point that is attractive to many teams and drivers. We are pleased to work with Stephane Ratel and his team at SRO to continue to provide GT4 action to IMSA fans for many seasons to come.”
- Speaking of GT4, the McLaren Artura GT4 was recently publicly unveiled. “The Artura GT4 is the second race car to be built from the ground up by McLaren Automotive’s motorsport division. Based on the revolutionary new McLaren Artura, it represents a significant step up from the outgoing 570S GT4, itself a hugely successful competition car that has achieved many race and championship wins with our customer racing teams,” said Ian Morgan, director of motorsport at McLaren Automotive. “With lighter weight, extremely precise handling characteristics and enhanced durability – as well as the packaging and efficiency advantages and all-round serviceability for mechanics of the new V6 powertrain – the Artura GT4 will set new class standards, as we are already seeing from our extensive test and development program.” PMW has all the details.
- A “next generation” of Formula Ford cars will be coming to Australia in 2024. According to Motorsport Australia, the tubular chassis will feature a number of new safety components, including the halo, front and rear crash structures, side impact crash structure, an extractable seat, driver headrest, sidepods and wheel tethers. It is estimated the new cars will be approximately one second per lap quicker than the current car. More details can be found here.
- The Penske-owned Indy Lights series has confirmed that they will be switching to Firestone tires from Cooper for 2023. “Firestone continues to be a phenomenal partner,” said IndyCar President Jay Frye. “We are proud to see that our relationship is expanding into supplying tires for both of our series. Their attention to detail, safety and performance is unmatched. Supplying their world-class product to the NTT IndyCar Series and Indy Lights reflects Firestone’s commitment to IndyCar’s present and future.” Cooper tires will continue to be used in the Andersen Promotions-owned USF Juniors, USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000 series.
- Finally, in a move that surprised the team owners, it was announced that F2 and F3 would be supporting the Australian Grand Prix in 2023. Autosport Plus looks at what racing in Australia means for the future of F1’s junior series. “The move is proof of the boom in popularity that F2 and F3 have seen in recent years. CEO Bruno Michel says they are in the best shape they have been for some time, drawing a “massive” resurgence in interest in 2022. With their further integration into the F1 pyramid, the series have benefitted from F1’s broadcast partnerships, including F1 TV, and seen a boost in social media engagement.”
- World-class rallying will join the FIA Motorsport Games for the first time this October 26-30, with Rally2, Rally4 and Historic confirmed among the 17 competition categories to be contested across tarmac stages around the Circuit Paul Ricard region, between Marseille and Toulon, France. Rally at the FIA Motorsport Games will mirror the FIA’s Rally Car Pyramid, which simplifies class structure for all FIA Rally Championships from entry level to the top of the sport.