Porsche Motorsport’s plans for 2023 headline this week’s Motorsport Series Roundup where I look at news from the world of sports car racing, single-seaters, touring cars and rally-raid.
Not only do I have news about Porsche Motorsport in IMSA and Supercup competition, but I also have a look under the skin of the new Ferrari 296 GT3, changes in the European single-seater scene and touring car news from Guatemala.
All this and more in this week’s Motorsport Series News Roundup on Motorsport Prospects.
IMSA looks at the new breed of Porsche 911 set to take the track in 2023. “Keeping to the near 60-year 911 tradition, visual similarity to previous generations is a given. But starting with an enlarged 4.2-liter version of the legendary Porsche flat-six, the 992-based GT3 R is a very different proposition to the outgoing 991.2 GT3 R under the skin. That’s why Technical Support Specialists from Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA), along with crew members from several Porsche-affiliated IMSA teams, recently spent three days at the Hockenheim circuit in Germany learning the ins and outs of operating, tuning, servicing, and maintaining their new $567,000 toy.”
The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup will continue as a support series to the FIA Formula One World Championship, as it has done each season without exception since 1993. Both partners have extended the agreement for eight years until 2030. For the 2023 season, the international one-make cup contested with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup will be part of eight European Grand Prix events. The 2023 calendar includes Imola (Italy), Monte Carlo (Monaco), Spielberg (Austria), Silverstone (United Kingdom), Budapest (Hungary), Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), Zandvoort (Netherlands) and Monza (Italy). Furthermore, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and the Porsche Carrera Cup Japan retain their places in the support program of the Formula 1 races in China and Singapore or Japan until 2030.
The Trans Am Series will host a first-of-its-kind two-day test and tune event for all five of its classes on January 25-26 at Sebring International Raceway. The two-day event, which will cost $2,500 per car, per day, offers competitors unprecedented track time to gear up for the 2023 season. At least 30 cars are already expected for the event. The Test Day Schedule can be found here.
The 2022 25 Hours of Thunderhill is all set to run December 2-7, 2022. There are some rule changes for the 2022 event, all of which are outlined in the supplemental rules and the CCR. NASA also has introduced a brand-new registration process for the event, which should make things simpler for all interested teams.
Boasting more than 30 race weekends from January to September and spanning the continental United States, the SCCA has released the provisional 2023 U.S. Majors Tour season schedule.
“The U.S. Majors Tour, part of the Summit Racing Equipment SCCA Road Racing program since 2013, is a series of premium road race events conducted throughout the country. For 2023, more than 30 different U.S. Majors Tour race weekends are anticipated around the United States, spanning 30-plus different venues. The season starts in early January at Homestead-Miami Speedway and comes to close in early September at MSR Houston.”
Racer has a great look at what’s under the skin of the Ferrari 296 GT3.
“Ferrari’s 296 GT3 has some big shoes to fill. The 488 GT3 was a quite successful car in the category, scoring more than 500 victories worldwide. The 296 GT3, based on the 296 GTB road car, seeks to improve on what the 488 achieved – no easy task, but one that Ferrari believes it has achieved for the car that will make its debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.”
Reports are filtering out of Europe that ADAC F4 is on the brink of collapse. This ties in with reports of the possible merger of ADAC GT Masters with DTM and its purchase by ADAC which I mentioned in last week’s Business of Motorsport News Roundup. But apparently, a new series may emerge.
“But while the talent was always of high quality, the fact that the series was, for many drivers in recent years, an addition to an Italian F4 campaign has made it easily replaceable. Italiaracing.net suggested that WSK Promotion and ACI Sport, which jointly oversee Italian F4, would implement a new championship called Euro 4 as an extension of Italian F4 to give drivers additional race weekends in the same series instead of in ADAC F4. Euro 4 would be an international Formula 4 competition with three events throughout the year.”
F1 Feeder Series also has new details on the upcoming Spanish-based Eurocup-3 Championship.
“Eurocup-3 aims to give drivers that are not ready yet for FIA F3 a step forward and a margin by keeping the cost low with an accessible budget. The championship offers a great value for money product. In Spanish F4, the average budget is €300,000. In Eurocup-3, all teams have aligned on a same budget, €400,000. This is one of the main assets of the championship because in other ones, there is a huge difference in budgets between bigger and smaller teams. We don’t want to have that in Eurocup-3, but we also don’t want to be a competitor to other championships. We believe that Eurocup-3 is complementary to them.”
The first three events of the 2023 TCR Europe series, all on Formula 1 circuits, will be part of the TCR World Tour’s inaugural season. The cooperation between the WSC Group and the European series will begin in Portugal at Portimão’s Autódromo do Algarve on April 28/30 where both series will begin, will continue in Belgium at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on May 26/28 and will come to an end at Budapest’s Hungaroring on June 16/18.
Gridlife has announced rules changes and new formats for the 2023 Gridlife Touring Cup (GLTC) and TrackBattle Time Attack series.
“GRIDLIFE, a fast-growing national motorsports sanctioning body, released provisional rules for the upcoming 2023 season this morning. The popular GRIDLIFE Touring Cup series (GLTC) has a variety of changes, with adjustments to ensure fair competition across the range of chassis found in the single-class sprint racing series. TrackBatte Time Attack, GRIDLIFE’s competition against the clock, sees some smaller tweaks to each of its eight car classes, as well as a new competition format for championship events.”
As part of its ongoing efforts to develop motor sport, Automovíl Club de Guatemala (ACG) has launched a Mini Cup series to promote grassroots categories and new drivers for the Auto National Championship. The series was developed as initiative of one of the Mini Cooper Sport Clubs in Guatemala. This cup is designed for Mini Cooper and gives them the chance to compete in a safe and controlled environment. The goals for 2023 include increasing participation, focusing on women, and developing the Cup among Central American Mini Cooper Clubs.
Rally & Raid
When the 2023 Dakar Rally begins on 31 December 2022, 218 vehicles will comprise the five FIA classes. The number is a decrease from the 260 in 2022. Combined with the 144 riders in the Bike and Quad classes and the 91 entries in the Dakar Classic, there are 453 total participants.