It is admittedly difficult to focus on motorsport considering what is happening in the Ukraine but here are some motorsport series developments that occurred over the last week.
- Needless to say, motorsport tends to pale in significance when confronted by the ugly prospect of war but the Russian invasion of Ukraine has begun to directly affect sport in general and motorsport in particular. While I will go into a bit more detail on this on Friday’s Business of Motorsport once things become a bit clearer, as I write this the FIA has just announced that, while the Russian Grand Prix is formally canceled, they have opted against banning Russian drivers and teams. How this will affect these drivers and teams with any Russian sponsorship remains to be seen. The statement in full can be read here.
- As this was published early this morning, Motorsport UK have announced that Russian-licenced drivers and teams are to be banned from competing in motorsport events in the UK.
- Peugeot has decided that the 9X8 is set to make its debut after Le Mans. Explaining the reason for the team’s decision to forgo Le Mans, Peugeot WEC technical director Olivier Jansonnie said: “Quite simply, this will afford us the time we need to achieve the necessary level of reliability. For obvious reasons with regard to Balance Of Performance adjustments, it would not have been possible to enter the Le Mans 24 Hours without first contesting the preceding WEC race – the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 7.”
- The Bathurst 12 Hour will be a Pro-Am event in 2022 with the GT3 Pro class being dropped. “Barring situations outside of our control I was determined that Bathurst would return to the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli calendar in 2022, and this new class structure ensures it can do just that without diminishing the championship or event,” said SRO boss Stephane Ratel.
- Indy Lights has had a rocky last few years but as series director Levi Jones explains to Autoweek, Penske Entertainment has big plans to jump-start the Indy Lights Series.
- GT Celebration hits its stride for 2022 as they announce their 2022 schedule. GT Celebration will have three separate championships for 2022 — East Coast, West Coast and Overall. West Coast events include the opener at Sonoma Raceway the first weekend in March, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and Utah Motorsports Campus. The East Coast races will be held at Road Atlanta (with Formula Drift), Virginia International Raceway and Road America. The season finale at Circuit of The Americas will be for both East and West Coast. In addition to the events with Formula Drift and Porsche Sprint Challenge, GT Celebration will also host Masters Historic Racing, including Endurance Legends and Formula 1, Ultimate Track Days and, at the COTA finale, the Spec MX-5 Challenge championship event.
- The World Racing League has named Hagerty Motorsports as its title sponsor. Citing a “shared goal of making automotive and motorsports dreams a reality,” World Racing League names Hagerty Motorsports as title sponsor. In addition to making use of MotorsportReg for future event registrations, the partnership will also offer benefits from Hagerty Drive Club to WRL participants.
- Finally, the SCCA has released their 2022 Road Rally Schedule. Each of the regular season events lead to the 27th United States Road Rally Challenge, hosted this year by the Detroit Region, Nov. 4-6. That three-day event consists of three different rallies in two different categories – two Tour rallies and one Course Rally (more information on each style of Rally can be found here).