This week in Motorsport Series News I have a selection of developments from around the globe covering both sportscars and single-series. In addition to teaser images of the new Ferrari GT3 car I have news of the new Mercedes AMG GT4, LMP2, LMDh and GTP regulation news, the new Pagid Racing Trophy in Germany, the return of F3 to Macau and more.
Ferrari releases first images of new 296 GT3 car
- Ferrari has unveiled the first images of the 296 GT3, which is currently in development ahead of its race debut next year as the replacement for the 488 GT3. The 296 GT3, already being assembled at the Oreca di Signes plants, will mark the return to the track of a Ferrari equipped with a 6-cylinder engine, even though – in compliance with technical regulations – it will not be equipped with the electric unit. It is scheduled to debut in 2023. Cetilar Racing has plans to bring the first Ferrari 296 GT3 to America for a full season in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD according to RACER.
- According to Sportscar365 the introduction of new LMP2 regulations have been delayed until 2025, the FIA confirmed during Saturday’s World Motor Sport Council meeting in Bahrain. The delay, which has been widely speculated within the industry, has been made in order to allow “enough time for a thorough revision of technical conditions, ensure cost control targets are reached” and “allow for a stable transition from the current generation of LMP2 cars” according to a statement from the FIA.
- The WEC and the Le Mans GTE Pro class will need a minimum of four cars and two manufacturers in 2023 ahead of the switch to GT3 regulations in 2024. “We need at least two brands, and a minimum of four cars from the two brands,” said Pierre Fillon, president of WEC promoter and Le Mans organizer Automobile Club l’Ouest in Autosport.
- Meanwhile IMSA has outlined the LMDh homologation and sanctioned testing timeline for the 2023 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season and its new GTP class. According to Sportscar365, a three-day test has been scheduled for October 3-5 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta following its season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans, while an additional test is confirmed on December 6-7 at Daytona International Speedway, which will be mandatory for any LMDh or LMH manufacturer wanting to compete in the 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
- V8 Touring Cars will be eligible for this year’s Bathurst 12Hours. The additional eligibility is understood to be made in an effort to boost the grid for this year’s postponed May 13-15 enduro, which has been struggling for GT3 entries according to Sportscar365.
- Daily Sportscar reports that a new-for-2022 ‘PAGID Racing Trophy’ for Gentlemen drivers in the NLS is being introduced. While Gentlemen drivers have always been an important part of the Nordschleife championship there has never been a points table dedicated to their efforts. That changes this year.
- Registration for the very first SCCA Enduro National Tour event, set for May 20-22 at Nelson Ledges Road Course in Ohio, is now open. Entry is limited to only 40 cars/teams. For more info go to the SCCA website here.
- A record-breaking 43 cars kicked off the Porsche Carrera Cup North America season opener at Sebring. This season will see all drivers lining up in the identical Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars (Type 992), with a near even split of entrants across three classes, Pro, Pro-Am, and Am.
- If you were looking to follow the Trans Am Series a bit closer this year, and well you should, Autoweek has published a great 2022 Trans Am Series Spotter’s Guide: How to Tell the Classes Apart
- Speed Cafe has an excellent explanation of what changes Supercars has made to Gen3.
- As I mentioned in last week’s Sustainable Motorsport Round-Up, Mercedes AMG has introduced their revised AMG GT4 for the 2022 season and it includes some interesting sustainability enhancements. According to Mercedes AMG “a front apron made of natural fibre reinforced material replaces its predecessor reinforced by carbon fibre. During the production of the new front bumper of natural fibre reinforced material, the CO2 emission is lower than to date. As a result, the production process is environmentally friendlier.” Full details on all its technical features can be found from Mercedes Customer Racing here.
- Finally, Touring Car Times reports that ROJA Motorsport will become the official parts sales agent for Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing for the 2022 TCR Germany season.
NASCAR Is Going to Le Mans
- Over the Sebring weekend, NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports announced plans for a 2023 Le Mans entry with a modified Next Gen car. “In partnering with Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet and Goodyear, we have the winningest team, manufacturer and tire in NASCAR history. We look forward to showcasing the technology in the Next Gen car and putting forward a competitive entry in the historic race.” As Kelly Crandall in RACER explains, NASCAR is scratching a 50-year itch.
- Not only is Hendrick Motorsports going to Le Mans but team owner Rick Hendrick says he could envision an expanded effort in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
- Finally on the NASCAR front, the series has discussed the possibility of both a street race in Chicago as well as an electric series. “We’re definitely continuing to consider all options from a scheduling standpoint,” Ben Kennedy said. “Chicago has been one of them. Nothing to confirm at this point. We’re still looking at a handful of different options, not only thinking about 2023 but 2024 and beyond.”
- The World Motor Sport Council has announced that the FIA Formula 3 World Cup will return this year and be held in Macau. The date for the 2022 FIA Formula 3 World Cup held in Macau is confirmed as 17-20 November.
The W Series has revealed their 2022 driver line-up. Among the 17 confirmed drivers are five – Tereza Babickova (CZE, 18), Bianca Bustamante (PHI, 17), Chloe Chambers (USA, 17), Emely De Heus (NED, 19), and Juju Noda (JPN, 16) – who will make their debuts this season, when W Series will stage support races at eight Formula 1 Grand Prix weekends, starting in Miami, USA, in May.