This week’s edition of the Motorsport Series News Roundup is dominated by the 2022 Motorsport Games. Taking place in France from 26-30 October, I have included previews of the F4 Cup, the GT Cup and GT Sprint and the Touring Car Cup.
I also bring you additional sports car series news including details of the long-rumored Isotta Fraschini Hypercar, a new 4-hour race in Dubai and more.
Finally, I have Indy Lights news as part of my single-seater series coverage, WTCR paddock reaction to the new TCR World Tour, some pavement super late model racing news from the United States and NASCAR Euro Series hitting the ice!
Dig in and enjoy!
- Classic Italian carmaker Isotta Fraschini has presented a hybrid-powered LMH car built by Michelotto that it plans to enter into next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. “The Milan-based company, which was founded in 1900 and famed for building early racing and luxury cars, plans to unveil the car in February before entering the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship season at Spa-Francorchamps in late April. The four-wheel-drive prototype will be powered by a 3-liter turbocharged V6 engine connected to a front-axle electric motor. The hybrid system is completed by a 900-volt lithium-ion battery. According to Isotta Fraschini, the in-house developed engine has a maximum output of 520 kW (around 700 horsepower).”
- Corvette Racing has announced that it will continue with its split strategy of fielding one factory entry in IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the FIA’s World Endurance Championship. “We learned a great deal this year about running dual programs in both IMSA and the FIA WEC – all of which will benefit the Corvette brand going forward,” said GM Sports Car Racing Program Manager Laura Wontrop Klauser. “In IMSA, we will return to GTD Pro against a very competitive group of manufacturers while laying the groundwork for the Corvette Z06 GT3.R. Similarly, Corvette Racing’s FIA WEC program allows us the opportunity to continue growing the global presence of Corvette in a world Championship.”
- Bronze-rated drivers will be required to qualify their LMP2 cars in the European Le Mans Series next season, Sportscar365 understands. “Multiple sources have indicated that non-professional drivers in the top class, which has its own Pro-Am subdivision for crews that include a Bronze, will be responsible for taking part in the 10-minute timed sessions that determine the grids for ELMS races. ELMS CEO Frederic Lequien said that while no official announcement has been made, mandatory Bronze driver qualifying is the “right direction” for the series to take.”
- The promoter of the Gulf 12 Hours has launched a four-hour race at Dubai Autodrome that will be held one week after the established enduro at nearby Yas Marina Circuit. The event will incorporate categories for different vehicle types including GT3, GT4 and single-make cars from platforms such as Porsche Cup and Lamborghini Super Trofeo. The event will be run independently of SRO Motorsports Group and according to Event director Andrea Ficarelli, “GT3 cars will be allowed, but we really hope there is an opportunity to restart our conversations with teams that have GT4 cars or different kinds of Cup cars.”
- Radical Motorsport, has announced a new partnership with Hagerty International. “As a part of the agreement, the popular Radical Challenge championship will become known from 2023 as the Hagerty Radical Cup which also includes Hagerty branding on the podium backdrop, on winners trophies and throughout track hospitality areas. Hagerty branding will also appear on all cars participating within the UK championship and will also feature on Radical support vehicles. As the season develops, Hagerty will campaign a guest driver to compete in a selected UK race meeting, driving a factory-supported Radical SR3, and will launch an exciting range of competitions which will include the chance for a competition winner to race a Radical in an official round of racing.”
- Master Class of Racing has announced a partnership with Hankook Motorsports. Hankook will be the required spec tire for their series. The Hankook F200 Slick and Z207 wet have been selected for use in MCoR competition. Along with this distribution agreement Hankook will be on site at every event providing full tire services. “MCOR is providing a platform for racers who like endurance and want to take the next step up from the currently available endurance programs. This is a perfect fit for us because we already have a strong hold in the endurance segment in the US with our 200 treadwear RS4 tires, but we have been looking for an endurance series here that is competitive enough for our F200 slick tires. Hankook has been the official tire supplier for the global 24 Hour Series with our F200 slicks since 2014 and we already have a reputation worldwide of being the tire of choice for endurance racing. We are excited to have a US endurance series to add to our portfolio and are very much looking forward to supporting the MCOR series.” said Danny van Dongen with Hankook Motorsports.
- For this year’s edition of the Motorsport Games taking place this week in France, a pair of GT categories will form part of the significantly expanded program. The two-driver GT Cup format remains unchanged, while the new GT Sprint discipline will cater for single-driver entries. A total of 17 nations will be represented across the GT disciplines, with nine competing in both. Among the drivers, there will be 35 hopefuls representing their homelands, four of whom will pull double duty by lining up on the GT Sprint and GT Cup grids.
- The SCCA has posted a recap of the President’s October Address. “As most of SCCA’s 49,777 annual members have seen in their daily lives, the cost of goods and services has been on the rise. Unfortunately, SCCA is not immune to this development. Costs associated with SCCA operations and event execution, which includes everything from track rentals to insurance coverage, have gone up. Consequently, Cobb noted some changes in membership dues and sanctioning fees will be required to keep pace.”
- Staged in Marseille from October 26-30, KCMG Formula 4 is one of 16 disciplines to be contested in the south of France as part of the 2022 edition of the Motorsport Games. A total of 24 young racers will compete aboard the unique hybrid-equipped KC MG 01 Formula 4 chassis, developed by Hong Kong-based motorsport organization, KCMG. The full list of drivers and detailed car specs can be found here.
- Jacob Abel has become the latest driver to confirm his participation in the 2023 Indy Lights season for Abel Motorsports as the driver count reaches 13 drivers for 2023. “Next year the team plans to run two cars full-time in Indy Lights, and in the recent post-season test day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway it ran USFP2000 podium finisher Jack William Miller and former FRegional Americas driver Nicky Hays.”
- With all the changes announced to the WTCR after the conclusion of the 2022 season, Marcello Lotti explains his vision for World Touring Cars’ future with the TCR World Tour. “We decided to base this event around existing events, so nothing to do new, and also to have more interaction with the national championships, national teams, regional teams, together with more professional teams – and drivers. So we discussed with Discovery to see why not just one World Cup will become the final,” said Lotti.
- Meanwhile, the TCR Europe paddock has been reacting to the World Tour news. “Some teams were more cautious about the concept, with Target Competition’s team principal Andreas Gummerer saying “for me, then it’s not a world championship anymore” in relation to the World Tour concept being built around awarding points from existing events in various TCR series across the globe.”
- Speaking of the TCR World Tour, part of the 2023 TCR Australia calendar will be included in the new TCR World Tour next year. “WSC can confirm that the global calendar for TCR World Tour will be released shortly and that Australia will form a key part of that calendar,” said Marcello Lotti, president of WSC, the TCR rights holders. “The TCR World Tour will race in Australia which will see the manufacturer customer racing TCR World Tour teams race in Australia with the TCR Australia teams and series.
- An 18-car field will compete for Touring Car glory at the 2022 FIA Motorsport Games. One of the founding disciplines featured at the inaugural event in 2019, the tin-top category remains a crucial part of the program for the 2022 edition. Drivers will contest a qualifying race of 25 minutes + 1 lap and a main race of 30 minutes + 1 lap, the latter deciding who takes home the medals. A quartet of different TCR-spec cars will make up the grid at Circuit Paul Ricard: Audi, with its popular R8 RS3 LMS model; Spanish marque Cupra and its León Competición; Honda, courtesy of its Civic Type R FK7; and Peugeot, which will fly the French flag on home soil with its successful 308 TCR.
- FEL Motorsports has announced the addition of the Subaru BRZ and the Toyota GR86 to the TCA class of the Sports Car Championship Canada. “Subaru and Toyota officially joins Honda, Hyundai and Mini in fighting for the top step of the podium in the TCA class. The Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86 TCA cars are built under license by TechSport Racing in Virginia, USA. The TCA class will make homologated racing in Canada more attainable for many teams and drivers and will be a much needed rung in the ladder of Canadian Motorsports. The TCA class cars run in the $50,000 to $70,000 USD price range as “ready-to-go” homologated cars. The cars will be homologated for several years making this new class very attractive. The running costs will be significantly less than TCR or GT4 cars.”
- The BRSCC has announced the new Cooksport Renault Cup Series for 2023. “For the 2023 season, the Cooksport Renault Cup will see a selection of racing Clios and Meganes coming together to form an exciting new racing series to be hosted by the British Racing & Sports Car Club. Cooksport and the BRSCC already enjoy a commercial partnership with the recently introduced Mk7 Fiesta Junior car having been developed by the company, and with all control parts also supplied by Cooksport. To find out more, please visit the Cooksport Renault Cup web page here: https://www.cooksport.co.uk/brscc-cooksport-renault-cup. Please also visit the BRSCC’s Cooksport Renault Cup formulae page here: https://brscc.co.uk/formulae/cooksport-renault-cup/“
Stock & Dirt
- The STARS National Series has been announced by Track Enterprises. “In January of 2022, Track Enterprises announced the acquisition of the Champion Racing Association, including the ARCA / CRA Super Series, JEGS All-Stars Tour plus Late Model Sportsman and Street Stock Tours. In June, the company also reached an agreement to acquire the ARCA Midwest Tour, effective January 1, 2023. Finally, in September, Track Enterprises revealed it had reached a partnership with the Southern Super Series to operate the series under the CRA banner as of January, 2023. Sargent’s vision behind this strategy for Track Enterprises – to stabilize and enhance the regional tours and organize a series of national events for pavement super late model racing.”
- The 2023 NASCAR Euro Series schedule is the first that will include an ice race. The 2023 season will unofficially kick off March 4-5 in Finland, in the breath-taking scenery of frozen lakes, where for the first time in history NASCAR cars will race on ice in the new NASCAR Arctic Ice Race.