Motorsports Racing News & Blog Articles

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“Overtake!” anime set for 1 October premiere

Overtake!, an anime covering a fictionalised F4 Japanese Championship and Super GT, will air its first episode on 1 October. The pilot was screened at the Super GT round at Suzuka Circuit on 26 August.

The anime was revealed in January, the product of a collaboration between Kadokawa Corporation, studio TROYCA, and the GT Association that oversees both championships. Directed by Ei Aoki, it will be TROYCA’s first sports series with much of the staff from its debut work Aldnoah.Zero returning.

Anan Furuya and Katsuyuki Konishi respectively portray the two main characters Haruka Asahina and Kōya Madoka. Additional cast members were announced in March, followed by Kenta Sasa (Toru Komaki) and Masayuki Katō (Michinori Shosei) in August. Sasa has mainly voiced supporting characters in series such as Interviews with Monster Girls, GATE, and Aldnoah.Zero, while Katō’s most prominent role is as Demiurge in Overlord.

Kanae, a Virtual YouTuber for the NIJISANJI Project, performs the opening theme “Tailwind”. A trailer featuring the song, along with a new visual (see featured image) was released in late August.

The new trailer provides additional paddock chatter between the aforementioned cast along with shots of an F4 race at Mobility Resort Motegi (formerly and better known as Twin Ring Motegi), which hosts the season finales for F4 and Super GT. Motegi is the second track featured after Fuji Speedway was shown in the initial teaser in January. 

Shinji Kazama eyes Dakar Rally return in 2026

In 1982, 31-year-old Shinji Kazama became the first Japanese person to compete at the Paris–Dakar Rally when he finished eighteenth overall among bikes and sixth in the 500cc class. In 2026, over two decades after a massive accident in the 2004 Dakar Rally virtually ended his bike racing career, he hopes to make his return to the legendary event as a 75-year-old competing in the T4 category.

Kazama had intended to race the 2017 or 2018 Dakar Rallies alongside his son Shinnosuke “Shaun” Kazama, but his injuries prevented him from taking part; he hoped to try again in 2020 in a car before going on a bike the next year, though those plans were upended by COVID-19 and said debilitations. Shinji followed along anyway as team manager, though he admitted in an interview with Motor-Fan that not taking part as a racer filled him “with frustration in my heart. However, when I calm down and think about my age, physical strength, and the condition of my legs, I have no choice but to admit that it would be difficult to aim for participating on two wheels.”

At the 2004 edition, shortly after beginning Stage #4, Kazama was hit by a truck competing in that class, resulting in severe leg injuries that hospitalised him for fourteen months and nearly resulted in amputation of his left leg. Unable to resume racing competitively on motorcycles, he became an ambassador for musculoskeletal injury awareness by leading cross-continental expeditions. For example, he rode a scooter across Eurasia in 2008 followed by driving across the longitude of Africa in a Subaru a year later.

Such philanthropy continued to fulfill Kazama’s adventurous nature that he has possessed for much of his life. As a child in Japan, he frequently biked up mountains near his hometown. Following his maiden Dakar, he went on to set world records in elevation ascents on a motorcycle when he successfully reached the summits of Mount Fuji, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, and Mount Everest twice. In 1990, he was the second Japanese to climb Vinson Massif in Antarctica after Yuichiro Miura.

In 1987, Kazama reached the North Pole on a Yamaha TW200. Five years later, he repeated the feat with the South Pole, becoming the first person to arrive on both with a motorcycle. He did another pole adventure in 2010 when he travelled from the southernmost point of Chile to the top of Sweden.

‘Disappointed’ Lawson Pinpoints Poor Start for Missing out on Italian Grand Prix Points

Liam Lawson’s second Grand Prix outing saw him just miss out on the top ten in eleventh, but the New Zealander put up a good show at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

The Scuderia AlphaTauri driver, standing in for the injured Daniel Ricciardo, made it into Q2 for the first time in his very short FIA Formula 1 World Championship career on Saturday, and was less than two-tenths of a second of making the top ten shootout.

Lawson said he was using his practice sessions to further build his confidence behind the wheel of the AT04 having only stepped into the car for the first time in final practice for the Dutch Grand Prix, and he was happy to get as close to the top ten as he did.

“Overall, we’ve been progressing over the sessions, building up my confidence,” said Lawson after Saturday’s Qualifying session.  “You can feel the limit, but it’s also about knowing the step up in grip between the different compounds, if you make changes what it’s going to do to the car, and that just takes some time.

“With both cars being so close to Q3, we definitely had the potential to make it, but unfortunately, [Fernando] Alonso went off the track right in front of me, so there was some gravel on my line. However, it would’ve been tight regardless.

Monza Point ‘Good Reward’ for Alfa Romeo after Monza Weekend Turnaround – Bottas

Valtteri Bottas secured a well-earned point for the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake outfit in the Italian Grand Prix, with the Finn using the hard-medium tyre strategy to good use at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

Bottas started fourteenth on the grid and made it to lap twenty-five on a used set of hard tyres before making his pit stop, and he used his medium compound to make up a number of positions, passing the likes of Liam Lawson and Logan Sargeant on his way into the top ten.

The Finn said the target was to end the European segment of the season with a top ten finish at Alfa Romeo’s home event, with the point a good reward for the hard work the team have been putting in developing the C43-Ferrari.

“Points were the target today, and we achieved that: it’s nice to be back in the top ten as it had been a while, despite all our hard work, and this point is for everyone at Alfa Romeo,” said Bottas.  “It may be just one point, but it is a good reward for the job done to turn our weekend around, and for the support of our home team from the grandstands.

“It’s been a clean race from our side: our pace had slightly improved from qualifying, and we nailed our strategy, which helped us have some clean air and keep out of trouble.

Shirley Muldowney

Shirley Muldowney, whose full name is Shirley Ann Roque Muldowney, is a pioneering figure in the world of drag racing, specifically in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). She is often referred to as "The First Lady of Drag Racing" and is known for breaking gender barriers in a male-dominated sport. Here's some key information about Shirley Muldowney:

  1. Early Life and Career: Shirley Muldowney was born on June 19, 1940, in Schenectady, New York, USA. She developed an interest in drag racing at an early age and began racing competitively in the 1950s.

  2. Breaking Barriers: Shirley Muldowney's career is notable for breaking gender barriers in NHRA drag racing. At a time when female racers were rare, she proved that women could compete at the highest levels of the sport.

  3. Top Fuel Champion: Muldowney is best known for her success in the NHRA's Top Fuel category, where she won three NHRA Top Fuel championships in her career (1977, 1980, and 1982). Her 1977 championship victory made her the first woman to win an NHRA pro category championship.

  4. Accomplishments: Throughout her career, Shirley Muldowney achieved numerous race victories and records, becoming one of the most successful and respected drag racers in history.

Wounded Ukrainian troops to race SKARLATs at Rally TT Cuenca

Vadim Pritulyak, the first and only Ukrainian to complete the Dakar Rally on a bike, will bring a pair of wounded Ukrainian soldiers to Spain to race the Rally TT Cuenca, the final round of the Spanish Cross-Country Rally Championship on 20/21 October. The soldiers will be co-drivers on two SKARLAT XTRM buggies, with Pritulyak piloting one of them.

SKARLAT is a Ukrainian UTV brand with a base in the United Arab Emirates, where Pritulyak resides; he is also a spokesman for the marque. Their centrepiece Raptor 1000 is a rebadged Massimo Warrior 1000 MXD Crew, sporting a four-stroke V-twin engine capable of 80 horsepower. Measuring at roughly 154.5 inches (392.43 cm) long by 74.8 in (190 cm) wide and weighing at 2,530 pounds when dry (1,147.59 kg), the four-seater can tow 1,763 pounds (800 kg) which makes it capable of rapid cargo transport and evacuating wounded personnel from battle. A racing-spec version called the XTRM underwent three weeks of testing in desert environments led by in May. He hopes to unveil the SKARLAT at the Rally TT Cuenca and raise interest from outside investors.

XTRM is the name of Pritulyak’s sportswear brand, and his team also competes under the SKARLAT-XTRM banner. Autolife Ukraine, an auto repair shop specialising in restoring vehicles like the Toyota Land Cruiser, will support the team at the Rally TT Cuenca.

In August, the Real Federación Española de Automovilismo‘s inclusivity committee invited the Automobile Federation of Ukraine to bring troops wounded in combat to the Rally TT Cuenca, where they can become navigators for cars competing in the ParaBaja category. The class is organised by ParaBaja Step by Step, an organisation dedicated to providing opportunities in racing for people with reduced mobility. ParaBaja entrants are not timed nor are they included in race results as the programme’s mission is simply to celebrate them taking part.

Vitaliy Yevtyekhov, a Ukrainian co-driver with Dakar Rally experience, applauded the offer and described it as an important step in helping soldiers recovering from the traumas of war. Yevtyekhov also envisioned similar programmes being established for multiple motorsport disciplines across Ukraine and potentially a crew of exclusively injured Ukrainian troops competing at Dakar; the latter is reminiscent of Race2Recovery, a team of British and American troops wounded in Afghanistan, that ran the 2013 and 2014 Dakar Rallies.

Janus van Kasteren, Michiel Becx return to Team de Rooy for Dakar 2024

Janus van Kasteren will try to become the first non-Russian to win the Dakar Rally‘s truck category in consecutive years since Karel Loprais in 1998 and 1999 when he rejoins Team de Rooy for the 2024 edition. He will once again pilot an IVECO PowerStar as part of the team’s three-truck effort, joined by Michiel Becx and Anja van Loon.

Although the absences of powerhouses KAMAZ-master and MAZ-SPORTauto led to a weaker T5 field than usual, van Kasteren still faced stiff competition in 2023 from Aleš Loprais and fellow IVECO driver Martin Macík Jr. After Loprais withdrew from the second half of the rally due to a fatal accident, van Kasteren and Macík traded blows before the latter suffered a late brake failure that enabled van Kasteren to pull away. Van Kasteren finished over an hour ahead of Macík with three stage wins.

Becx rejoins Team de Rooy after finishing seventeenth in class with them at the 2020 race. He made his début in a car in 2019, then took a year off in 2021 before entering the 2022 Rally in T3. Driving for Arcane Racing, he finished twenty-third in the category. Due to his friend and navigator Edwin Kuijpers overseeing business matters at his company AluShutter, Becx did not race the 2023 event.

Van Loon finished fourteenth in T3 at the 2023 Rally before beginning a transition to trucks, placing fifth among trucks at the Morocco Desert Challenge in April. She will lead an all-female crew alongside Floor Maten and Suzanne Peek, the first such trio for a truck team since Véronique Jacquot, Géraldine Brucy, and Uta Baier in 2004.

The three trucks will enter the Rallye du Maroc on 13–18 October as a final dress rehearsal before the 2024 Dakar Rally begins on 5 January. While the trucks are only appearing at two rounds in 2023, van Kasteren can secure the World Rally-Raid Championship in T5 at Morocco; he currently leads Macík by eleven points. 2023 is expected to be the final year of the T5 championship before being discontinued due to a lack of entries outside of Dakar and Morocco.

Lando Norris on eighth place in Monza: “I think it was the best we could have done”

McLaren F1 Team’s Lando Norris was satisfied with the pace of his MCL60 at Autodromo Nazionale Monza, finishing off his weekend with an eighth place result at the Italian Grand Prix. 

After battling with the Alex Albon throughout the race, Norris commended the Williams Racing driver for his strong performance, having held off the McLarens through to the end. 

“A good race. I think the pace was strong today. It was just very difficult to overtake, as usual, but when we didn’t have to overtake, the pace was good.

“We could pressure Alex the whole race, but he did a very good job, so hats off to him and Williams, they were quick this weekend and managed to stay ahead.”

Norris said that eighth place was all the team could have asked for in Monza, and thanked the team back at headquarters for putting together such a strong upgrade after losing some ground to other teams in Spa. 

Two Points ‘Little Consolation’ for Aston Martin amid Tricky Monza Weekend – Krack

The Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team scored only two points during the Italian Grand Prix weekend, but Team Principal Mike Krack says it was little consolation in what was a difficult weekend for the Silverstone-based outfit.

Fernando Alonso finished ninth at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, whilst Lance Stroll struggled home in sixteenth as Aston Martin’s AMR23 car struggled in its low downforce configuration. 

Neither driver was able to make any real progress from their starting positions, Alonso only gaining from an enforced pit stop for a new front wing Oscar Piastri, while Stroll finished ahead only of the two MoneyGram Haas F1 Team drivers having started twentieth and last on the grid.

Krack said they knew that the Italian Grand Prix was going to be difficult for Aston Martin, and he says they will take what they learned from the weekend into the design of the 2024 AMR24 car. 

However, he hopes the team can come back fighting in Singapore in two weeks time as they bid to reclaim third place in the Constructors’ Championship, having lost the spot to Scuderia Ferrari at Monza.

Italian Grand Prix ‘Very Difficult’ and ‘Most Physically Challenging’ Race of the Year – Alonso

Fernando Alonso could only finish ninth in the Italian Grand Prix, with the veteran Spaniard admitting it was a difficult and physically challenging race at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

The Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team driver was unable to show the same kind of pace he has been able to at other points during the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, and he was left to battle for the minor points placings rather than the podium.

Alonso had hoped to gain a place thanks to a time penalty for Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s Lewis Hamilton, but once the Briton had overtaken Williams Racing’s Alexander Albon, that chance of eighth place had gone.

“It was a very difficult race today and it was one of the most physically challenging of the year,” said Alonso.  “We will take many lessons from this weekend and look to be better next time.

“I had some hope we might be able to catch Lewis [Hamilton] when he had the penalty, but as soon as he passed Alex [Albon] I knew it would be difficult.”

John Hunter Nemechek joining Legacy Motor Club in 2024

In 2020, John Hunter Nemechek ran the full NASCAR Cup Series season for Front Row Motorsports before departing for the Truck Series and the Toyota family. Four years later, his decision has brought him back into the top level of stock car racing.

On Wednesday, Legacy Motor Club announced he will drive the #42 Toyota Camry for the 2024 Cup season as the team switches from Chevrolet to Toyota.

“To be able to announce my plans for next season so early and officially say I will be competing full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series relieves a lot of pressure,” said Nemechek. “There is so much to be done for next year, and this gives us the opportunity to get the news out there and move forward. Also, driving for Maury (Gallagher), Jimmie (Johnson), and Richard Petty is a dream come true for me.”

Nemechek first appeared in the Cup Series in late 2019 as a substitute driver for Matt Tifft at Front Row Motorsports while competing full-time in the Xfinity Series. He graduated to the top level the following year, finishing twenty-seventh in points with three top tens.

However, he elected to move back down to the Truck Series for 2021 and signed with Toyota. He quickly made an impact as he won that year’s regular season championship for Kyle Busch Motorsports. After seven wins with KBM, he returned to Xfinity with Joe Gibbs Racing. Nemechek currently leads the standings with five victories.

2013 Ukrainian Trophy Raid champion Oleksii Reznikov dismissed as Defence Minister

After nearly two years in office and being one of his country’s lead figures in the face of Russian invasion, Oleksii Reznikov formally stepped down from his position as Ukraine’s Minister of Defence on Tuesday. State Property Fund head Rustem Umerov has been named his successor.

Doubt about Reznikov’s future was cast amid an ongoing federal anti-corruption investigation. While the now-former minister has not received any specific accusations himself, various scandals concerning military equipment procurement have overshadowed the ministry’s operations, prompting President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to begin making changes to further ensure corruption in the government is stamped out. Ukraine has long struggled with corruption, which Zelenskyy pledged to overturn when he was elected in 2019 while actions to do so have become stronger since Russia’s full-scale invasion began last year. With his dismissal imminent, Reznikov tendered his resignation to the Verkhovna Rada.

Despite his departure, Reznikov has become a popular individual domestically and overseas as arguably the second largest spokesperson for Ukrainian defence behind the President. Since his appointment to the post in 2021 and especially after the invasion, he has frequently met his opposite defence ministers and other major leaders from supporting countries and spearheaded the Armed Forces of Ukraine’s development into a more Western-style military. Some outlets have suggested Reznikov could remain in politics as Ukraine’s ambassador to London, though he nor the Zelenskyy administration have confirmed his future plans.

“Today I completed my tenure as the Minister of Defense of Ukraine,” he wrote on Tuesday. “I’m grateful to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who proposed my candidacy for this office, and to our Parliament, Verkhovna Rada which confirmed it 22 months ago. I’m grateful to my colleagues in the Government of Ukraine and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. I appreciate the support from the defense ministers of our partner states, as well from as my colleagues in the EU and NATO. I want to thank the team at the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine for our joint achievements. I’m proud to have worked with Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi. It was an honor to work for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which are defending all of us.”

In a follow-up post on Wednesday, he issued his “heartfelt congratulations to my colleague Rustem Umerov on his appointment as the Minister of Defense of Ukraine. I’ve known Rustem for a long time and I believe he is a great fit for this position. The challenges are many, but such are the times in which we live. Through our strength and determination we will win this war. Unity is the key to our victory. Glory to Ukraine!”

Car of the Day - Subaru WRX

The Subaru Impreza WRX, often simply referred to as the Subaru WRX, is a high-performance compact car known for its rally-inspired design and impressive all-wheel-drive capabilities. Here are some key features and facts about the Subaru Impreza WRX:


  • The Subaru WRX made its debut in 1992 as a high-performance variant of the Subaru Impreza compact car.
  • It gained fame in the world of motorsport, particularly in the World Rally Championship (WRC), where it achieved multiple championships.

All-Wheel Drive (AWD):

  • One of the standout features of the WRX is its symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, which provides excellent traction and handling in various road conditions, including snow and gravel.
  • The AWD system is a key reason for the car's success in rally racing.

Turbocharged Engines:

  • The WRX is known for its turbocharged engines that deliver impressive power and acceleration. Over the years, various engine configurations and power outputs have been offered.
  • The WRX STI (Subaru Tecnica International) is the high-performance variant of the WRX, featuring an even more powerful engine and performance-tuned suspension.

Rally Heritage:

Stephen Mallozzi, Outback Steakhouse join forces for Bristol

Drivers with backing from companies with whom they’re affiliated is not a new phenomenon, as showcased with the so-called “pay driver”. While Stephen Mallozzi‘s #22 AM Racing Ford F-150 will be sponsored by his employer Outback Steakhouse for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on 14 September, it is far from the same scenario and is actually quite a unique case. If anything, being a pay driver would have meant he didn’t need to make the sacrifices that he has to get to this point in his career.

Mallozzi is not a higher-up at Outback nor does his family have any involvement with it. Instead, he is a rank-and-file employee like any of his colleagues, working as a server at various locations to earn a living when he isn’t racing. While motorsport is obviously an expensive endeavour, Mallozzi still lacks the funding that his peers typically have, even reaching the point where he had to sell his personal car to afford racing at Gateway in June.

After the Martinsville Truck event in April, he drew attention on social media for a post highlighting how he arrived at the track in the morning, competed in the race, then returned home early the next day for his shift. An Outback executive eventually reached out to Mallozzi to arrange a sponsorship deal for Bristol.

“To have worked for a company that supports its employees like this is pretty awesome,” said Mallozzi. “I’ve always had a great relationship with all of my bosses, and to finally get a deal done is an incredible feeling. I’m also very excited to return to AM Racing because I expect us to keep improving our relationship. I can’t thank all the guys at AM Racing, Outback Steakhouse, and Josh Reaume enough for putting this opportunity together for me.”

Bristol will be his third start for AM Racing after Martinsville and Pocono. He raced for Reaume Brothers Racing at Gateway, and made his Truck Series début with them at Mid-Ohio in 2022 where he scored his best finish to date of twenty-second. AM and RBR are technical allies.

Carson Kvapil to make Truck debut at Bristol

Twenty years after Travis Kvapil won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship, his son Carson will make his series début. Spire Motorsports announced Tuesday that he will drive the #7 Chevrolet Silverado RST at Bristol Motor Speedway on 14 September.

The younger Kvapil races for JR Motorsports in the CARS Late Model Stock Tour, where he leads the standings and is the only driver with multiple wins at five. He won the championship in 2022, a year after claiming the CARS Super Late Model Tour title.

“Bono (Manion), (Mike) Greci, and all the guys are awesome to work with and I can’t wait to work with them at the track,” said Kvapil. “Fortunately, I am getting some simulator time in with Bono and Andrew (Overstreet) to get ready for the race. Huge thanks to Jeff (Dickerson), T.J. (Puchyr), Mr. (Rick) Hendrick and everyone who helped me get to this point. I’m ready to hit the track for my first start in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.”

Other successes include winning the Racetrack Revival at the newly reopened North Wilkesboro Speedway in 2022, and even on dirt at the 2021 Carolina Micro Showdown.

Spire’s #7 truck races part-time with most of its drivers doing one-offs including Marco Andretti, Alex Bowman, Jonathan Davenport, Austin Hill, Derek Kraus, Corey LaJoie, and Kyle Larson; Larson won at North Wilkesboro in May. Layne Riggs, a CARS colleague of Kvapil and a fellow second-generation driver, has also piloted it.