This week in Motorsport Series News, I cover the introduction of the new Nissan Z GT4 and Mustang GT3, a new club racing electric single-seater series in the UK, a new youth series for NASCAR, the launch of the all-electric STCC and more.
- Nissan/NISMO have revealed the Nissan Z GT4 which will be ready for the track in 2023. “GT4-spec racing machines are based on production vehicles, modified for severe competition use. To that end, NMC’s NISMO Racing Division took the street version of the new Z – which is receiving acclaim around the world – and tuned the VR30DDTT engine, optimized its chassis and suspension, enhanced its aerodynamics to the limit of regulations and created a cockpit that works for drivers of all types. This created a race car that is a Nissan Z in all aspects – accessible to enthusiast drivers and hard-core professionals.”
- In the run-up to last weekend’s Petit Le Mans, IMSA president Jon Doonan was confident that IMSA’s GTD Pro class will get more manufacturer support in 2023. “There are still specific manufacturers who want a pro driver (paired with a) pro driver opportunity.”
- The new Mustang GT3 is set to be unveiled at ‘Super Sebring’ in 2023 ahead of its 2024 debut. Larry Holt, VP Multimatic Special Vehicles Operations, said: “Ford has made a bold move in staying true to Mustang and continuing to make the iconic high performance car while many others are phasing out their competitive products. I was at the launch and it was a truly exciting event with a never-ending stream of amazing announcements and unveilings. I have to drop a big congratulations to Ed Krenz and his team for creating all that amazing stuff. The new car looks awesome and the Dark Horse for sure appears to be a great replacement for my Gen 6 GT that met with an unfortunate slippery end.”
- The British Racing and Sports Car Club has become the first UK organiser to launch a circuit racing series for electric-powered cars, after revealing its new Formula Foundation-E single-seater category. “There’s nothing currently in the club domain that caters for people who want to race an EV – this is the first of its kind. We see this product and category as a new category that will be attractive to young drivers who are growing up with Formula E as a norm and EVs as the norm. We’re not trying to tap into a marketplace that already exists – it’s a new marketplace we’re trying to make.”
- Juncos Racing is leaving Indy Pro 2000 to move to Indy Lights according to both Formula Scout and F1 Feeder Series. “We are very excited to return to Indy Lights full time with two cars,” said team principal Ricardo Juncos. “We have had great success in the past within the Indy Lights series but made the decision last year to focus on the expansion of our first full-time IndyCar program during 2022, with the plan to rejoin the Indy Lights in 2023. Instead of running in three series and stretching our resources and personnel this year, we knew that we had to take the time to build the basis of our IndyCar before returning to Indy Lights.”
- Australian single-seater series S5000 has announced the introduction of a Pro-Am class to the category. The class will cater for non-professional drivers and will feature in both the two-round S5000 Tasman Series and the 2023 S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship. “Class winners will be recognised along with the overall race and round winners, as ‘S5000 Pro-Am’ in the Tasman Series and ‘Silver Star’ in the Australian Drivers’ Championship.”
- The calendar for the first season of the new-look electric STCC has been revealed, with the previously announced event on the streets of Helsingborg kicking off a seven-event schedule. “We have a strong and intense calendar with good geographical coverage in Sweden, where we mix a brand new city race with classic tracks in a layout that is absolutely right for our electric future,” Micke Bern, CEO of STCC said.
- British Touring Car Championship Chief Executive Alan Gow has expressed his desire to find a ‘significant new junior series’ to join the TOCA package from the 2024 campaign. “We want to introduce a top-level junior series to the TOCA package from 2024 onwards,” he said. “I should note that we are not talking about an already existing series. We are looking for something fresh, new and exciting to bring to the most popular and high-profile motorsport package in the UK.”
- Racer.com looks at the Honda Civic and its role as an entry level car for Touring Car racing. “We’re now on the 11th generation of that car,” Whiteman said. “That is the entry-level car. It’s intended to be highly affordable, highly durable and highly versatile. It’s aimed mostly at the entry level of TCA or SRO, but we’ve developed it with the flexibility to be utilized in other series, whether it’s WRL, or NASA or SCCA, or even track day-type applications.”
- NASCAR has announced that it has partnered with the United States Auto Club to rebrand the USAC.25 Series into the NASCAR Youth Series. The quarter midget championship will run a nine-race schedule in 2023 at tracks that currently host NASCAR national series events. “We are extremely excited about this new venture with USAC,” commented Senior Vice President of NASCAR’s Chief Track Properties Office and Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile. “We feel the NASCAR Youth Series will provide aspiring drivers and their families a platform to both showcase their talents along with providing the entire family memories that will last a lifetime at our facilities. The drivers will not only fiercely compete on the track but will get an opportunity to be a part of NASCAR’s event weekend in a memorable way. Some of today’s NASCAR Cup Series stars cut their teeth in the NASCAR Youth Series and are now battling for the Bill France Cup. The future is bright.”
The World Drag Racing Alliance (WDRA) has announced the creation of the Sportsman Drag Racing Series for bracket racers competing at WDRA member tracks in 2023. Participants that plan to compete at a WDRA member track can register for the Sportsman Drag Racing Series on January 1. Series organizers plan to release more details on racewdra.com in the coming weeks.