Motorsports Racing News & Blog Articles

Stay up-to-date with motorsports racing news, products, and trends from around the world.

“Barcelona is a track that holds no secrets” – Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas performed brilliantly at the recent Miami Grand Prix, the Finnish driver is hoping to continue his strong-run of form this weekend, at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Bottas was unfortunate to finish seventh in Miami, after running wide late on from fifth-place, allowing both Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers past.

The Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN driver goes into this weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, hoping for a “flawless weekend”.

“We had a really strong showing in Miami and, with every good result, comes the confidence to push for more. We head to Barcelona knowing we can be in the fight for the front of the midfield again: we’re in the midst of an interesting battle with our direct rivals every weekend and I don’t expect this one to be any different.

“It is crucial we have a flawless weekend, here more than ever: Barcelona is a track that holds no secrets for any team, so there won’t be any silver bullet to find to be ahead of the others, it will be about execution and doing our homework. For sure, we arrive in Barcelona in a much happier state than when we left after winter testing, which is proof of how well this team has bounced back after the difficulties we encountered in February. I want to repay all this great work with a good result.”

Bakkerud and Larsson Join Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for 2023 NRX Campaign

Andreas Bakkerud and Robin Larsson lead Monster Energy RX Cartel as Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and JC Raceteknic join forces to tackle the 2023 NRX season. Bakkerud, the 30-year-old Norwegian, brings a handful of experience to the team as he competed last season in three rounds with Subaru Motorsport USA. Larsson on the other hand comes from the Monster Energy RX Cartel previously driving the Audi S1 with former teammate Liam Doran for a full season of experience back as well.

Bakkerud returns from last season after appearing in just three of the five rounds. “Snackerud”, a nickname for the Norwegian, is coming off a European Rallycross Championship win and multiple appearances in the FIA World Rallycross Championship. His name is well known in the rallycross world and he has a massive fan following to join him at Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.

Robin Larsson should find himself quite comfortable this season as he returns to make another full-time pursuit of the Nitro Rallycross championship. Another European Rallycross Champion, Larsson is set to be one of the fastest drivers on the announced roster so far with his smooth and fast style.

The Scandinavian duo has had their fair share of final appearances, competing in three of the five finals last season. Bakkerud played a vital role in helping Subaru fight for the team and driver championships. Larsson on the other hand managed to fight his way into the final quite often, nabbing solid points throughout the season.

With the new announcement of the duo at DRR, it also shouldn’t come as a shock to see these two top drivers in the premier class, Group E. Additionally, they bring Monster Energy on board to support them in their efforts this season. Now with the electrification of Nitro Rallycross, DRR has committed to having four cars in the Group E category, given that these two are taken into the fold, the question remains as to who could be in for the other seats. Speculation could lead toward the “British Bomb” Liam Doran as no announcements have been made as for his return or moreover, Tanner Foust or Cabot Bigham two former DRR drivers from the 2021 season.

“I think it will be a different race to previous Spanish Grands Prix” – Sebastian Vettel

Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team’s Sebastian Vettel expects that the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix will provide further insight into the nature of the new generation cars.

“Barcelona will showcase a lot of the behaviour inherent in these 2022 cars; the lower-speed corners will be a physical challenge, while the faster sections will be about bravery and trusting in the ground-effect.“

He also predicts that there will be closer racing in comparison to previous events at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, in line with the increased overtaking and battling seen since the beginning of the 2022 season. 

“Passing has usually been tricky here but I think these cars have shown they’re much better at going wheel-to-wheel, so I think it will be a different race to previous Spanish Grands Prix.”

Vettel comes off a DNF at the Miami Grand Prix after his incident with Mick Schumacher, and will likely be looking to get involved in what is expected to be a tight midfield battle in Spain to try and take home points for the team, which currently ranks ninth in the constructors’ standings.

Toyota’s Jari-Matti Latvala: “It’s very important to be competitive on this surface”

Toyota Gazoo Racing is currently leading both the drivers’ championship and the manufacturer’s championship as they are heading for the round four of the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship at Rally de Portugal this weekend, which marks the gravel debut for the new Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 cars.

The team is currently the strongest and the one to beat in the new Rally1 hybrid regulations. The Finnish youngster Kalle Rovanperä has won two out of the three rounds in Sweden and Croatia to the lead the championship by 29 points meanwhile the team heads the manufacturers by 42 points.

The Toyota line-up will be changed for this weekend with the reigning world champion Sébastien Ogier joining in the third car, the eight time champion from France will be joining the Finn Rovanperä and the Britoin Elfyn Evans while the Japanese driver Takamoto Katsuta is entered for the Toyota Gazoo Racing NG team in a fourth GR Yaris Rally1.

Toyota’s team principal Jari-Matti Latvala has managed the team well since his takeover in the role, the former WRC driver who is also the most experienced so far, says it will be interesting to see where they stand against the other two manufacturers on the gravel surface.

Credit: Toyota Gazoo Racing

“So far, we have been very competitive with the GR YARIS Rally1 on asphalt and snow across the first three rallies of the season. Portugal will be the first of three difficult rallies on gravel in just over five weeks and it will be very interesting to see the level of the different teams and cars.” Latvala said.


Sébastien Ogier: “I’m excited to be back competing in Portugal”

The eight-time champion Sébastien Ogier will take his second start of the season for the Toyota Gazoo Racing, replacing Esapekka Lappi in the third Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 machine.

The Frenchman who is joined by co-driver Benjami Veillas, had a very successful Rally1 debut at Rallye Monte-Carlo last time out. Ogier was leading the rally until the penultimate stage where he caught up with a puncture and made so the nine-time world champion Sébastien Loeb took the win.

Both Ogier and Loeb are returning back to Portugal this weekend as they are running a part-time program this season.

The five-time rally winner says he is happy to be back in Portugal and says he will face a new challenge of his rally career as he is starting further back in the order for first time in years.

“I’m excited to be back competing in Portugal. I’ve really enjoyed having some time off and now I feel quite fresh coming back. I’m of course happy to see the team has continued winning in the last couple of rallies, and I’m here not only to enjoy it and get some good results for myself but also to help win another manufacturers’ title.” Ogier said.



Teemu Suninen: “I want our pace to match the level of top guys”

Rally de Portugal will mark the first rally in the 2022 WRC2 campaign for the Hyundai Motorsport and for this season the team will have a great line-up of two experienced drivers in a pair of Hyundai i20 N Rally2 cars fielded by the RedGrey Racing team.

The Finnish duo of Teemu Suninen and Mikko Markkula are returning to the team after their successful debut for the team in the Rally de Espana last year, where they finished the rally as runner-up.

Suninen has competed with a Rally2 car in Portugal last time in 2021 when he took a second place finish driving for the M-Sport team, before Suninen later parted ways to join the Hyundai outfit at the end of the year.

Suninen hopes he can find a good rhythm in the car early on as this will be the first gravel rally in an i20 N Rally2 machine.

“Rally de Portugal is one of most legendary events in calendar. It’s relatively fast, but still quite a technical gravel rally. It is a bit like a sprint: you have to go flat out, but on the second loop it is critical to look after your tyres at the same time, as it can get a bit rough in places.” Suninen said.


Le Castellet Joins 2022 F2 Calender; Replaces Cancelled Sochi Round

The FIA Formula 2 Championship is heading to the hills of southern France where the drivers will take to the Circuit Paul Ricard for the first time since 2019 after the championship’s promoters announced the addition of the circuit to the 2022 calendar.

The addition comes after the cancellation of the 2022 Russian Grand Prix following Russia’s invasion of neighbouring country Ukraine and F2 was set to support the Grand Prix in September.

Regarding the announcement, F2 CEO Bruno Michel told journalists, “Since it was announced that we would drop one event, we have been working on finding a venue to replace it, keeping in mind the costs. Le Castellet came out as the best option, and we are really pleased to return to the Circuit Paul Ricard.”

“With this added round, we go back to fourteen events as announced before the start of the season. This means that the 2022 season calendar is the most sizeable one we have had since the start of the FIA F2 back in 2017.

“It will be a very busy month of July for the teams and the drivers, but a very exciting one for the fans and everyone involved in F2.”

Block reveals the “Hoonipigasus” 1400hp AWD Porsche for Pikes Peak

The legendary American rally and Gymkhana video series star Ken Block has revealed the next car in the line-up of “Hoonicorn” type of cars.

The car which is an all-wheel-drive, 1,400 horsepower Porsche 911 SVRSR, nicknamed “Hoonipigasus” is a purpose built car for the 2022 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb that takes place in Colorado, USA on 26 June.

The event is celebrating its 100th anniversary this season and it will be the first time since 2005 Block will be taking on that challenge. The “Hoonipigasus” is built by his team Hoonigan Racing Division in conjunction with the Porsche specialists at BBi Autosport and the new partnership of Mobil 1.

Credit: Hoonigan Racing Division

The car will feature a pink livery that is paying homage to Porsche’s 1971 24 Hours of Le Mans racer Porsche 917/20 “Pink Pig” and it’s designed by the street artist Trouble Andrew (as known as Guccighost or his real name: Trevor Andrew).

Trouble Andrew has also designed a new livery for Block to be used on the newly acquired Hyundai i20 WRC rally car that is being used in the American Rally Association series.



Thierry Neuville on Rally de Portugal – “The stages are enjoyable yet challenging”

Hyundai Motorsport’s longest serving driver Thierry Neuville says the first gravel rally of the season is a very exciting event to compete at with the stages being enjoyable yet challenging and they will be as the Rally de Portugal event will mark the gravel debut for the new Rally1 hybrid cars.

The Belgian, who is joined by his fellow compariot Martijn Wydaeghe in the co-driver seat for this season in the Hyundai i20 N Rally1 claimed a second consecutive podium finish last time out in Rally Croatia, the duo almost binned it on the final stage of the rally when the car slid in to a bank and almost made a 180 degrees swing but despite that they managed to recover back to keep the third place finish.

The Belgian crew is now aiming to take the maiden win for Hyundai in the new era of the top class. So far they are the only team that haven’t stood on the top step yet this season.

“Rally de Portugal is very exciting event for us competitors; there are always huge crowds of fans and a great atmosphere. The stages are enjoyable yet challenging.” Neuville said.

“This is mainly due to the high temperatures, so tyre wear is important here as well, and it can be quite rough on the second pass of the stage. It’s going to be our first gravel event with the new hybrid cars; we saw in Sweden on the gravel set-up in the snow that the car was fast and we hope that we are going to be strong on this surface.”



Villas-Boas to drive a C3 WRC car in Portugal

Portuguese soccer coach André Villas-Boas will be taking part in some demo runs with an ex Citroën Racing Citroën C3 WRC in Portugal this weekend as part of the FIA World Rally Championship 50th anniversary celebrations that is being held in conjunction with Rally de Portugal.

Villas-Boas is a true rally fan, he has contested the Dakar Rally back in 2018 before taking on his home rally in 2021, driving a Citroën C3 Rally2 in the WRC3 support category for privateer drivers. He entered the Rally de Portugal round to raise awareness for his Race for Good charity.

The former Chelsea manager has now purchased an ex Esapekka Lappi C3 WRC directly from the PSA Group at the end of last year to be part of his private rally collection and he will use that car for the first time this weekend.

Credit: WRC

“I like to collect cars with prestige, I always wanted to own a rally car, so I started investigating. At first, I was in limbo about which rally car to own. I have fortunately a good relationship with the PSA Group, and the first car that came up was actually a [Citroën] C4 from Loeb.” Villas-Boas told WRC.com.

“It was a great car with six wins, but it needed rebuilding. It was actually a car that had been around for a while was sold by Citroën and then was around a few drivers, so the 10 years of its life were very intense.”


2022 Rally Italia Sardegna entry list officially published

The official entry list for the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship round five at Rally Italia Sardegna has been published, featuring 60 crews from 24 nations that will take on the challenging gravel roads of Gallura in Sardinia, Italy on 2-5 June.

The participating drivers could have been more but the organizers were forced to limit registrations to 60 crews, excluding a dozen teams due to logistical and regulatory requirements of the FIA.

In the Rally1 class there are a total of 11 hybrid Rally1 cars entered for the three manufacturers. Toyota Gazoo Racing will field the usual three Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 cars for he current drivers’ championship points leader Kalle Rovanperä from Finland, the Briton Elfyn Evans and the Finn Esapekka Lappi, who is competing in his third rally of the season replacing the eight-time world champion Sébastien Ogier.

Kalle Rovanperä, Credit: Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

Hyundai Motorsport will also be fielding three Hyundai i20 N Rally1 cars for the full-time drivers of Ott Tänak from Estonia and Thierry Neuville from Belgium. The Spaniard Dani Sordo, who has won in Sardinia before will be replacing Oliver Solberg for the second rally in a row, however Solberg will be missing this rally completely as he is also not entered in the support class.

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team are fielding four Ford Puma Rally1 cars for the Irishman Craig Breen, the Frenchman Adrien Fourmaux and the Britoin Gus Greensmith with the Frenchman Pierre-Louis Loubet being entered as an additional car.





“There’s no reason why we can’t have some good results in the upcoming races” – Pierre Gasly

Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, is excited to begin the season’s European-leg with this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, coming off a bittersweet result at the Miami Grand Prix. The team had achieved their best Qualifying result of the season at the brand new venue, but both cars failed to score any points, with Gasly unable to finish the race due to damage related to incidents with Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris. 

“I am looking forward to starting the European part of the season and even if the result in Miami was not what we were looking for, there were some positives to take away from that weekend. We got both cars into Q3, 7th and 9th, making it the best Qualifying so far this season.

“The race was difficult because, from very early on, I had a big hole in the floor, losing quite a bit of downforce, but even so I could fight for seventh or eighth place with the Alpines, which was encouraging. It was going quite well in fact, until my contact with Fernando. That ruined my race, and it was very disappointing, as we’d had a solid weekend up to that point.”

Gasly believed that the performance put on by the team that weekend was worthy of points, if not for the unlucky circumstances he faced. With several positive takeaways, Gasly is confident in AlphaTauri’s ability to bring home points in Barcelona and the races ahead. 

“We deserved some points, so it was a shame, but the performance is clearly there and there’s no reason why we can’t have some good results in the upcoming races.”

“There’s still a lot of the game left to play” – Mercedes’ Toto Wolff

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team go into this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix on the back of a confusing Miami Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell appeared to have plenty of pace on Friday at Miami but struggled during the remainder of the weekend, leaving Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff scratching his head.

Hamilton in the end finished sixth whereas Russell finished fifth after recovering from a twelfth-place starting position. Ahead of this weekend’s event, Wolff analysed the previous round.

“With the third quickest car underneath us, we extracted the maximum points possible in Miami. Considering George’s start position, it was a great recovery drive, helped by when the Safety Car was deployed. But the timing was unfortunate for Lewis who was strong all weekend and on course to score P5 without the neutralisation of the race. I’ve no doubt that over the course of the season, a little luck will eventually go his way.
 
“During Friday practice, the car showed flashes of its true potential. We continued experimenting with set-up, fitted some new components and that’s provided us answers and indications of which direction to go in.”

An advantage for Mercedes this weekend is that the official shakedown test took place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in February, meaning that the team already have plenty of data on how to set-up the car at the venue.
 
“A huge amount of hard work has been going on in the factories to unpick the data from Miami and turn it into improvements for Barcelona. Having run there in winter testing, albeit with a car that has evolved a lot since then, it will be a good place to correlate the information we have on the current car and we’re hopeful that we’ll make another step forward.” continued Wolff.
 
“The track itself is a good all-rounder, so it really puts every aspect of the car to the test. It’s never been a great track for overtaking so it’ll be interesting to see how these new-shape 2022 F1 cars impact the on-track spectacle in Spain.

With the season almost reaching the quarter mark, Wolff is aware that there is still everything to play for as Mercedes continue to get back to the top-step.
 
“In basketball terms, we head to Barcelona at the end of the first quarter of the game. We know that once we translate the learnings we’ve made into track performance, there’s still a lot of the game left to play…”

“We have decided to wait a little bit longer with upgrades” – Haas’ Guenther Steiner

The Haas F1 Team go into this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix on the back of a disappointing Miami Grand Prix, where Kevin Magnussen retired and Mick Schumacher finished at the back of the field.

Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner, was disappointed with the team’s performance at the Miami International Autodrome.

“It was quite disappointing in both qualifying and the race, but we need to keep positive. The positives are the car is good, we just need to get it on the right set-up, getting the tires to work properly and the car is right there. As you could see during the race in Miami, we made up positions until the safety car came out and then we fell back. That’s what you have to focus on – staying confident that we have a good machine and that we will make the points that we want to make.”

This weekend presents the American team an opportunity to race at a track which they’ve already tested this year’s car on. The official shakedown test took place at the Spanish circuit in February, giving at least Schumacher some prior knowledge of the track.

Magnussen didn’t take part in the test as Nikita Mazepin was still with the team at that point. Steiner is hoping the team can start the weekend on the right foot.

Upgrades “to make for an interesting season” – Kevin Magnussen

Kevin Magnussen heads into this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix following a late retirement in Miami last-time out, as the Dane sets himself the target of getting back into the points this weekend.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is one that every driver knows especially well, it’s also the only other track on the calendar where teams and drivers will have data on how the new cars will perform. The official shakedown test took place at the Spanish circuit in February, meaning the Haas F1 Team will have plenty of data at their disposal.

Magnussen is looking forward to the weekend at a circuit which he thinks will suit Haas’ car, he also isn’t letting the fact he didn’t run in the test faze him.

“Barcelona is probably the Formula 1 track I know the best out of all of them. I don’t think it’s going to be such a big disadvantage not having driven there in testing. The car is performing well, it’s been very good at four of the five tracks we’ve been at, so I think it’s going to do well there too.

“Our car is pretty good all-round – it’s been good in wet conditions, dry conditions and intermediate. It’s like always, you need to get the car into the window, and I think we’ve done a decent job of that this year.”


RaceScene.com