This week’s Motorsport Series News Roundup is packed with a lot of new developments in the world of global motorsport, most of it good, some of it not so much. While the prize fund for the Mazda MX-5 Cup is increasing, the advancement fund in Indy Lights is actually being reduced. I also bring news of Ginetta’s big change, affordable racing in Spec E46 and the Ma7da Championship, a new Touring Car series in South America and much more.
- Mazda has expanded the MX-5 Cup prize money to over $1 million USD for 2023. “In all 14 races of the 2023 Mazda MX-5 Cup Championship, a total of $27,000 will be up for grabs amongst the top 10 finishers. Each race win will net $6,000 to go along with the champagne-stained trophy, with $5,000 going to the runner-up, and $4,000 for third. Just like the year-end prizes, the payouts cover the full top 10 finishers, with $3,000 on offer for fourth, $2,000 for fifth and $1,000 going to sixth through 10th place. Additionally, as long as at least two females start the race, the highest placed female driver will receive $2,000. The championship purse will remain unchanged, with $250,000 going to the winner, $80,000 to the Rookie of the Year and payouts continuing through 10th place. Also unchanged are the prizes awarded in the Mazda MX-5 Cup Shootout, where the winner receives a scholarship to compete in the series valued at $110,000, plus two more scholarships valued at $75,000, including one set aside for the top female driver.”
- After its recent unveiling in its racing colors in Los Angeles, in the video above, designer Michael Scully goes inside the BMW M Hybrid V8.
- The Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland will remain as a support series to the ADAC GT Masters next season. The one-make cup and the German GT championship have extended their partnership, which started in 2018. “We’re delighted to continue our successful alliance with the ADAC GT Masters. As one of the most attractive GT3 series in international motorsport, its professional environment makes it a perfect fit for the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland. By extending the contract, we can give our teams planning security early on,” says Bastian Schramm, Director Marketing Porsche Deutschland GmbH. This year, the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland and the ADAC have also extended their partnership in supporting talented youngsters: the automobile club is new partner of the Talent Pool, the one-make cup’s support initiative for promising young drivers.”
- Ginetta is to enter a new three-year partnership with SRO Motorsports Group to run three championships on the support bill at Intelligent Money British GT Championship rounds from the 2023 season. In addition, Ginetta will also commit to a number of GT4 entries in British GT from next season, meaning customers who own G56 GT4 cars will have the opportunity to compete in the series. According to Daily Sportscar, “multiple paddock sources have confirmed to DSC that the move was prompted in no small part by significant increases in entry and other fees suggested by TOCA for 2023 including a very significant hike in the fees for ITV coverage going forward.”
- Autosport goes on the track with the 750 Motor Club‘s newest and fastest-growing series for club drivers, the Ma7da Championship. “Created in 2019, when it began life sharing grids alongside the Sport Specials, the category was granted championship status in 2021 and is growing from strength to strength. A total of 28 drivers took part in at least one meeting last season, with a high of 22 for Brands Hatch, while 24 have already competed this year. One round remains, at Snetterton in October. An off-shoot of the popular Locost Championship, the Ma7da cars are predominantly an upgrade, with a larger engine – a 1.8-litre VVT Mazda MX-5 – and Yokohama tyres offering much more grip.”
- The S5000 Tasman Series round at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International has been cancelled due to a pending risk management review. “A statement from the category reads, in part, “S5000 will now feature at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International in a high-speed demonstration capacity, replacing the previously announced second round of the S5000 Tasman Series. Motorsport Australia approved S5000 to race at Mount Panorama in 2021. The cars ran at a reduced power level to suit the FIAs [sic] then-designated power-to-weight ratio requirements appropriate for Mount Panorama’s circuit license.”
- Maintaining or enhancing the safety standards within Formula 2 is a key focus as the category looks to develop a new car for 2024. “We are extremely, extremely careful about that, and we reinforced the monocoque when we have to reinforce the monocoque,” category CEO Bruno Michel told Speedcafe.com.
- The Global Racing Team has officially announced its intent to enter the 2023 F1600 Championship following a dominating 2022 season in the F2000 class. With considerable investments being made back at home base, Global intends to rally with the same effort and determination with which it conquered the 2.0 litre class. “Team Coordinator Sean Hallissey expanded on the effort, saying, “Global has already run the F1600 class in previous years; this won’t be our first time. But this year, we are retooling to attack the class from the standpoint of the championship. The increased level of competition, higher driver entries, and the attention the class is gaining on the national competitive stage has motivated us to pivot our efforts. We are no longer simply ‘the 2.0 litre team.’”
- While Roger Penske is proud of what he and his team after their first year of Indy Lights stewardship, the changes to the series advancement fund has had many teams and drivers talking less positively. In what came as a surprise to many, Racer reports that the Indy Lights champions advancement prize has been slashed. “From a year-to-year basis, the reduced Indy Lights graduation package represents a 58 percent cut in support for the new champion. As well, with the price of one-off Indy 500 rides climbing to $800,000 or more last May, the $500,000 would not be enough on its own for Lundqvist or any future champion to participate in IndyCar’s marquee event. The step backwards comes at an awkward time as the series is set to go racing next season with its largest field of entries in more than a decade. The $1 million-plus scholarship and guarantees of racing at Indy and other rounds has been a significant draw to date.” F1 Feeder Series conducts an analysis and argues that Indy Lights growth could be under threat following the scholarship reduction. The Race argues that this is something that needs fixing quickly as it will be difficult to attract underfunded drivers who previously would have used the much needed money to strengthen their budgets for a shot at Indycar.
- The promoter of TCR South America announced that the category will expand from 2023, with the launch of three parallel series. TCR Brazil and TCR South America Endurance will add to TCR South America Sprint, each series awarding its own titles with events in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. The TCR South America Sprint will be run on eight events, three in Argentina, one in Uruguay and four in Brazil, each one of them featuring two races.
- Månz Thalin has become the youngest driver to join the inaugural NXT Gen Cup season in 2023, the world’s first fully electric junior touring car championship. “The car features a 30kWh battery with an electric, liquid cooled motor which produces 230hp pending circuit – including push-to-pass functionality. The front-wheel drive cars can run 20-minute races at full pace thanks to comprehensive development by NXT Gen Cup in a wide array of conditions.” Junior drivers can apply interest to take part in the 2023 NXT Gen Cup here.
- If you are interested in racing touring cars and you are based in the United States, The Drive has an excellent article for you. Touring Cars Fresh off the Lot: Which Automakers Sell Turnkey Racers looks at turnkey race cars that you can purchase. “There’s still a way to directly place an order with several companies, and they will deliver a factory-fresh race car to your door or local dealership. These performance vehicles aren’t cheap to buy, race, and maintain by most people’s standards, but when compared to other pro-level offerings like the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car, they all offer a lot of value. Let’s take a look at what a few automakers, including Honda, Audi, Hyundai, Toyota, Subaru, Mini, BMW, and Mazda, have available at the moment in the United States.”
- Grassroots Motorsports looks at the surge in interest in Spec E46 racing and why you may want to get involved. Spec E46 is a road racing class based on BMW’s E46 chassis that emphasizes high performance, vehicle consistency, reasonable cost, and ease of entry in order to provide a highly competitive on-track racing experience between a large field of cars. “This abundance also helps keep down parts costs, including one of the biggest expenses of most cars: the engine. The powerplant used here was built from 2000 to 2006 and fit into a wide variety of BMWs: the 330i, 530i, 730i, X3, X5 and Z4. “They’re under $1000 for a good junkyard motor.”
Miscellaneous Race Series-Related News
- Daily Sportscar reports that the first stage of the 2023 FIA Driver Rankings process is live with the current published list now showing 194 drivers who are under review for a variety of reasons. “Whilst some are being reviewed on the basis of racing performance, others are either contract-related (ie those who now are retained as a factory driver), whilst others still are age-related with the regulations specifying that drivers rankings are reduced upon reaching certain ages.”
- You may think that the new, 24 race Formula One calendar does not affect the series you are racing in but is that in fact the case. Daily SportsCar asks the question, is this One Sport Or Two? “There has long been a reality that in many circles there are two sports in operation – Motorsport, and Formula One, the latter operating almost exclusively in its own interests and caring little, if at all, about the interests of the wider sport. The recent debacle around super licences is the pointy sharp tip of an iceberg that could sink rather more than the Titanic!“