This week in Motorsport Series News, Lamborghini announces their new Hypercar program, the WEC and WTCR both have plans to expand their calendars while IMSA is thinking about it, the success behind the FFSA Academy, news on the new ERA Championship and more.
- Confirming months of speculation, Lamborghini have confirmed that they will join the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA SportsCar Championship in 2024 with a new LMDh prototype. For 2024 the car will be run by a single team and the program will not affect their commitments to GT3 or Super Trofeo. Autoweek looks at why they decided to enter the Hypercar fray.
- IMSA is looking at “all schedule options” for the 2023 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season according to series president John Doonan, who has not ruled out the addition of an endurance race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Speaking to Sportscar 365 he said, “Adding more hours — no matter what facility it’s at — adds more expense. We’re trying to be smart and remain cost-effective.”
- The FIA World Endurance Championship is targeting a return to its traditional eight-round calendar by as early as 2024 with series boss Frederic Lequien indicating that adding one race for next year would be a “good” step amid continued global logistical issues. Speaking to Sportscar365 during last weekend’s TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa, “Lequien indicated they are hoping for conservative growth although stressed outside factors including increased shipping costs and reliability, Brexit and the war in Ukraine that could impact plans.”
- New WTCR director Jean-Baptiste Ley is working for the series to return to a global calendar as soon as the current travel situation allows it. “Our plan is to move back as soon as possible to a worldwide calendar, with a 50-50 between Europe and other continents. That would be the plan but we have to see how the situation develops.”
- Chevrolet have confirmed to Racer.com that the Camaro GT4 customer racing program will cease at the end of 2023 when the current car’s FIA homologation expires.
- In last week’s The Business of Being a Race Driver I talked about the costs of racing in the French Formula 4 Championship and how the series is “half the price of Germany.” In FFSA Academy and the French F4 success story: “Results speak for themselves”, F1 Feeder Series looks at how the French series is structured and why it has been so successful. “The French federal system to form young drivers has proven to be one of the bests in the whole world. In the last decade, the FFSA Academy and the French F4 championship have revealed several world-class drivers (Gasly, Vandoorne and Hubert, to name a few) and future champions (Pourchaire, Iwasa, A. Leclerc, Collet, Martins and Hadjar). How has the FFSA Academy managed to become one of the most eminent motorsport institutions? F1 Feeder Series went behind the scenes of the FFSA Academy headquarters in Le Mans.”
- Formula Scout has a comprehensive look at the new all-electric junior development series the ERA Championship in The first look at ERA: electric racing’s junior single-seater arrival. “The races will last 20-25 minutes and will have grids set by the results of the two qualifyings, where pole awards three points. The standard FIA single-seater points system is then used. There are two driver announcements coming in the next two weeks, and an ongoing search for more drivers who have €120,000 to hand to contest the full season.” Unfortunately, the first round of the championship has been postponed due to track homologation issues.
- Speedcafe reports that a decision has been reached by Motorsport Australia’s board to suspend all Targa tarmac rallies, effective immediately. It follows another tragic death at the recent Targa Tasmania event, which was quickly downgraded to tour status.