There are a number of new race cars testing (and winning) before they make their competitive debuts in 2023 and in this week’s Motorsport Series News Roundup I look at a few of them.
I also feature developments related to touring cars in the UK, Supercars in Australia, and changes to driver classifications from both the FIA and SRO.
All this and more in this week’s Motorsport Series News Roundup.
- Porsche’s new 992-based 911 GT3 R model is nearing the end of its testing cycle ahead of global distribution for use in IMSA’s WeatherTech Sportscar Championship and other series featuring cars built to GT3 regulations. “All in all, we experienced a very successful race premiere with our new Porsche,” said Porsche project manager Sebastian Golz. “ I’m proud of everyone who has worked on this project. [Last weekend’s] test laps on the Nordschleife and [the] race show that the basis of the vehicle is correct.” Deliveries of the new model are expected to take place in late October and early November.
- Sportscar 365 reports that the first two Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli rounds of the 2023 season will not permit new or updated GT3 cars, with SRO Motorsports Group set to utilize its current Balance of Performance tables for the two enduros. “SRO founder and CEO Stephane Ratel confirmed that the Ferrari 296 GT3 and new Porsche 911 GT3 R, plus Lamborghini’s Huracan GT3 Evo2, will not be eligible for either the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour or Kyalami 9 Hour because the cars will have not completed SRO’s Balance of Performance tests before the races.”
- Sportscar 365 also reports that SRO Motorsports Group has a “long-term” commitment to Indianapolis Motor Speedway according to SRO America President and CEO Greg Gill, who along with Stephane Ratel, are adamant that the arrival of an IMSA endurance race in 2024 will not have an impact on the Indianapolis 8 Hour race.
- RACER reports that Corvette Racing is expected to continue with single entries of its C8.R model in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship next season. “Confirmation of the immensely successful manufacturer’s plans for 2023 are said to be imminent, and among them, RACER understands a change to Corvette Racing’s traditional two-car effort at the 24 Hours of Le Mans could be coming with a reduction to a single entry.”
- Speaking of Corvette, RACER reports that the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R is scheduled to make its debut at the 2024 Rolex 24 at Daytona has taken its first steps into the world, with a shakedown at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds and a first test at Mid-Ohio completed recently. “You’ll see it in everything we do, developing this program. We want the car to be friendly for an amateur driver. With the C8 mid-engine platform and the center of gravity of the car, it makes it a really great and predictable car to drive, which is awesome. It’s come up in the conversations and making sure the car is easy for customer teams to work on. It’s come up in terms of…using this really great 5.5-liter LT6 engine architecture — and we have that in the GTE car — and we’ve tried to bring in even more production content for the GT3 race car, which enables a lower cost for our customers and then also a longer service life for our customers. So everything we’re doing as we develop this program is really heavily customer-focused, which is a different mindset from the factory racing that we’ve done in the past,” Bagne explained.
- The management team of TCR UK and the British Racing & Sports Car Club have announced a multi-year agreement that will see “the UK’s fastest-growing manufacturer-supported touring car championship join the Club’s racing portfolio from 2023“. Commenting on the new agreement being confirmed, TCR UK Championship Promoter Stewart Lines said, “Our goal was always to position TCR UK where it deserves to be in the UK racing community, and this is another important and significant step in the further development of TCR UK as one of the largest and most competitive touring car campaigns there is.”
- More than 70 different nations and 500 competitors are scheduled to compete at the 2023 FIA Motorsport Games, which will feature a broad cross-section of motorsport disciplines from karting to Formula 4, GT racing and drifting to different classes of rallying, and slalom competitions in both cars and karts.
- An IMSA-sanctioned test session for the new Grand Touring Prototype class was conducted at the Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta race circuit on Monday, October 3. First to hit the 2.54-mile-long track for three days of testing were the Cadillac V-LMDh and the BMW M Hybrid V8. “During the test program, teams were aiming to ensure the reliability of their vehicles prior to entering the 2023 season with its new regulations. Despite this, lap times were recorded for comparison against rival manufacturer’s teams.”
- The provisional list of FIA driver rankings for 2023 has been published with some 137 ratings provisionally altered (subject to appeal) and a further 37 currently under review. Daily Sportscar has all the details.
- SRO Motorsports Group is discussing with the teams as it works on the process of defining driver lineup requirements for next year’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS classes, amid an overhaul of the driver ratings system. “If I wanted to please everybody, I think we would need six or seven classes! It’s true that initially we said Gold Cup [is] for Gold drivers, but there is a transition period. There are still many more Silvers than Golds. We need to see how we can structure that, simply.”
- Australian touring car racing series the Supercars Championship is looking to add a North American race to its calendar. “The focus for the last few months has been getting the Gen3 cars out and getting our main events done at the end of the year,” Supercars chairman Barclay Nettlefold told . “But we are certainly looking at being a category support for F1 at some events in the future.”
- Ferrari factory driver Alessandro Pier Guidi feels that development of the manufacturer’s LMH car is “going in the right direction” as its track testing program moves along. “We are going in the right direction,” said Pier Guidi. “We have more or less improved every time since the beginning [and] we have improved quite quickly. Every test is better, and this is very important for us because time is short. The car will race in March. We also have to consider that everything will be shipped before, because it’s in the U.S.”
- Lamborghini expects “at least five” examples of its new Huracan GT3 EVO2 to be on the grid for the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, including one GT Daytona Pro entry. Lamborghini’s Head of Motorsport Giorgio Sanna told Sportscar365 that the Italian manufacturer is targeting a substantial cohort of cars for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener on Jan. 28-29.