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XITE Energy Racing brings new look for Nitro RX ERX

To celebrate their parent company’s products beginning sale in the United States, XITE Energy Racing‘s FC1-X cars will sport a new look for Nitro Rallycross‘ first American round of 2022 at ERX Motor Park on 1/2 October. The scheme was designed by Daniel Crossman.

One car will sport the brand’s pink and green colour combination that has been prominent on the team’s vehicles, while the other is purple and yellow. The former represents XITE Energy’s raspberry and watermelon flavour while the latter is peach and passionfruit. The cars also have a white base rather than black like at the European rounds. Said races saw the two cars maintain the pink and green patterns.

The team’s Extreme E arm also raced with a new livery at this past weekend’s Copper X Prix. After primarily using a paint scheme resembling the Nitro Rallycross cars, the new XE look is half-pink, half-green.

While the introduction of the purple/yellow marks a departure from the longstanding pink/green, XITE has experimented with other colour palettes in the past. For example, team owner Oliver Bennett has used blue and white when competing in the FIA World Rallycross Championship and purple/pink in British Rallycross.

Bennett will drive one of the two FC1-Xs while Jenson Button makes his Nitro RX début in the other. Button was initially scheduled to run the full season but backed out of the European rounds due to scheduling conflicts with his F1 broadcasting duties, which resulted in Kris Meeke racing the first two races at Lydden Hill and Strängnäs.

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Rain concerns prompt withdrawals for Talladega

With rain in the forecast at Talladega Superspeedway as NASCAR approaches, teams that would need to make the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series races on time have decided not to waste their time showing up only to not even get a chance to qualify. As rain will likely result in qualifying being cancelled, three Xfinity teams that are not guaranteed spots in the race have withdrawn their entries, as has one Truck team so far.

On the Xfinity side, the #24 of Sam Hunt Racing, the #53 of Emerling-Gase Motorsports, and the #77 of Bassett Racing have backed out. The three cars are forty-seventh, forty-sixth, and forty-fifth in the owner points, respectively, as part-time entries that have run less than five races in 2022.

The #24, which was set to be driven by Joe Nemechek, had also missed the Daytona August race due to qualifying getting rained out. The car is SHR’s second car and had only attempted the season opener with Jeffrey Earnhardt, who finished fifteenth.

Like the #24, the #53 is EGM’s part-time second vehicle and has only attempted the superspeedway races. Joey Gase finished twenty-sixth at Daytona while Shane Lee was fourteenth at the first Talladega race in April.

Bassett Racing’s #77 was due to be piloted by Ronnie Bassett Jr. as usual. Since the team’s debut in 2021, rainouts had been their kryptonite as they were locked out of their first ten entries—when all but the 2021 Beef 300 did not have qualifying due to COVID-19, and that race’s session had been rained out. The team also failed to qualify for their first five attempts in 2022 before making four of their next five tries with Ronnie and brother Dillon Bassett.

Parker Kligerman joins Big Machine for Talladega Xfinity

The last time Parker Kligerman has not raced at Talladega Superspeedway in a NASCAR Xfinity Series car, the championship was called the Nationwide Series. This will change on Saturday as he enters the Sparks 300 in the #48 Chevrolet Camaro for Big Machine Racing Team.

“I’ve got a big weekend coming up @talladega,” posted Kligerman on social media. “I’ll be doing my second Trucks/NXS double-header of the year. Thanks to [Big Machine Racing] & [Scott Borchetta, team owner] for the opportunity! Felt like the old NASCAR thunder career modes when I got the call after winning Mid-Ohio.

“I’ll be on the Cup broadcast on Sunday as well. Let’s go get a couple trophy’s”.

Kligerman has two career Xfinity starts at Talladega, crashing out and classifying thirty-first in 2010 followed by sixth in 2013. The latter marked his lone full season in the series as he finished ninth in points for Kyle Busch Motorsports, and was the last time he ran an Xfinity superspeedway race.

While his Xfinity Talladega background is limited, he has as many victories there in the Camping World Truck Series as Xfinity starts with wins in 2012 and 2016. He has primarily competed part-time in the Trucks since 2016, including a thirteen-race schedule in 2022 for Henderson Motorsports. Kligerman scored a third Truck victory at Mid-Ohio in July.

Hankook Replace Michelin as Official Formula E Tyre Supplier

Whilst it has been known for a while, it has been officially announced that Hankook will become the new tyre supplier and exclusive technical partner of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, starting from 2023 and the beginning of Gen3 and season nine.

Hankook are replacing Michelin as the all-electric series’ official tyre partner, with an entirely new wheel having been developed for the new Gen3 cars. The tyre in question was recently revealed at The Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Austria, where the Hankook iON was seen by the world for the first time.

Like with previous Formula E tyres, the Hankook iON will be used in all conditions, with thirty-percent of it staggeringly made from sustainable materials. It is yet another impressive step in the sport’s sustainable and environmentally friendly future, with all the used tyres set to be recycled by the supplier.

Sooil Lee, President & CEO of Hankook Tire & Technology is looking forward to merging their goal of an “increasingly sustainable future” with the “spirit and DNA of Formula E”.

“A good three years ago, we at Hankook decided to become official technical partner and tyre supplier of what is arguably the most progressive, modern and sustainable racing series in the world from the 2023 season. The philosophy of the Hankook brand and our strategic orientation towards an increasingly sustainable future also reflect the spirit and DNA of Formula E. Together, we will advance and significantly influence the development of modern motorsport over the coming years.”

2022 Rallye du Maroc entry list revealed

After a six-month wait, the World Rally-Raid Championship resumes on 1–6 October with the twenty-second edition of the Rallye du Maroc. As the penultimate round of the W2RC, many of the teams plan to use the race to test and refine their strategies for the 2023 Dakar Rally, while also vying for the title.

Sébastien Loeb and defending winner Nasser Al-Attiyah, fresh off racing Extreme E in Chile, enter separated by just one point in the T1 standings. Isidre Esteve will race a Toyota Hilux T1+ for the first time for Repsol Rally Team, while Guerlain Chicherit unveils his Prodrive Hunter and Martin Prokop has upgraded his Ford Raptor RS nicknamed “Shrek” courtesy of a new partnership with TechSoft Engineering. CERTT racer Jaume Collelldevall Naspleda will run his first W2RC race with the newly formed JJiM Rally Team.

Nani Roma had hoped to run the Rallye du Maroc as Loeb’s team-mate at Bahrain Raid Xtreme, but shelved those plans as he continues his bladder cancer recovery.

Amy Lerner, who spoke with The Checkered Flag in April, débuts in the T3 category alongside Dakar Classic co-driver Sara Boessert. While the Dakar Classic is a regularity rally unlike the speed-based format of W2RC events, Lerner has experience in the latter courtesy of events like the Mint 400, where she finished third in 2017.

Another newcomer in T3 is Pâmela Bozzano, who recently contested the Sertões International Rally. Molly Taylor will enter the T4 in a Can-Am for South Racing.

Alfa Romeo Still Evaluating Formula 1 Future Despite Imminent Sauber Departure

Despite announcing they would be ending their partnership with the Sauber F1 Team at the end of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, Alfa Romeo have yet to decide their long term future within the sport, and could ultimately remain in some capacity.

Alfa Romeo could remain in Formula 1 if it partners up with another team that runs with the Ferrari power unit, although they are evaluating other motorsport options such as the FIA World Endurance Championship or the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

Jean-Philippe Imparato, the CEO of Alfa Romeo, says there is no rush to make a decision about its future within motorsport, and all avenues will be looked at before they announce their decision.

“I’m totally open to everything,” said Imperato to Motorsport.com. “By the way, it’s a period that gives me the opportunity to study everything with no pressure. That’s what I have.

“And I would say, even if we have to take a decision before the end of this year, we have some weeks, months, to see how is the business, and as well to choose in a kind of serene atmosphere.

Lewis Hamilton the Only Team-mate to Fernando Alonso ‘Better Than Me’ – Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon says it is ‘strange’ that he does not get the recognition he feels he deserves for being as close as he is to Fernando Alonso during their time as team-mates at the BWT Alpine F1 Team.

Ocon currently has more points that Alonso during the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, and he took the team’s one and only victory since returning to the sport after winning the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix.

Looking back into Formula 1 history, the Frenchman feels only Lewis Hamilton has been better than him whilst Alonso’s team-mate, so for him to be perceived in a different way is baffling.

“I don’t read everything that is said about me, but I hope that when I do something good, it is reported as such, and that others can get an idea,” said Ocon to Motorsport.com.

“But it is true that there are some people who say to me ‘ah, I didn’t notice your qualifying at Spa’, or ‘I forgot you won last year’. I admit that I find it a bit strange.

Zhou Guanyu Extends Alfa Romeo Stay for 2023

Zhou Guanyu has extended his stay with Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN after an impressive first year with the team, meaning he will race for them in 2023.

The 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix made history as it saw the first Chinese driver take part in a FIA Formula 1 World Championship race, and Zhou showed has shown his worth by scoring points in his debut race. The Chinese driver has developed a good relationship with much more experienced teammate Valtteri Bottas, with the former mentoring him during his first year in the sport.

Zhou has six points this season, an impressive amount for a rookie and could have had more but he has been unlucky in multiple races throughout the year. On top of that, he is contributing not just on the track but also with his simulator work and general attitude around the Alfa Romeo team.

Despite an impressive first season, Zhou will be pushing for more next season as he looks to consolidate his status in Formula 1.

“I am happy and grateful to Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN for the opportunity to be part of the team for another season. Making it to Formula One was a dream come true and the feeling of competing for the first time in a race will live with me forever: the team has been incredibly supportive, welcoming me from day one and helping me adapt to the most complex series in motorsport.

Mike Harmon returns to NASCAR at Talladega Xfinity

Perennial backmarker but perennial fan favourite Mike Harmon will return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series this weekend as he hopes to make Saturday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway. He will drive the #47 Chevrolet Camaro for his Mike Harmon Racing team.

Owing to factors like his underdog status and girth, Harmon is a bit of a folk hero in the NASCAR community. Jokes frequently surround the Applebee’s restaurant chain stemming from his willingness to fight Michael Annett at one following a practice incident between the two at the 2019 Indianapolis weekend, as well as his walking away from a massive wreck at Bristol in 2002. Harmon and his team have also embraced the reputation and tend to join in the humour.

The 64-year-old has raced in NASCAR since the 1990s, but due to his team’s small stature, he has never recorded a top ten in the Xfinity or Truck Series. In 289 career Xfinity starts, his best finish is sixteenth at Daytona in 2020 while 2015 saw his highest placement in the standings of twenty-fifth. Conversely, he has seen modest success in ARCA with ten top tens and an eighth-place points finish in 2005.

Since 2020, Harmon has scaled back his driving duties to give other drivers opportunities; his lone start in 2021 came at the Martinsville fall race where he finished thirty-ninth. He placed twenty-fifth and seventeenth in the two Talladega races in 2020. While Talladega will be his first start of 2022, he received a seventy-five-point penalty prior to the season for a 2021 testing violation, though an appeal was able to at least erase a fine and crew chief suspension.

The #47 has struggled to make races in 2022, with only ten successful efforts between Brandon Brown, Gray Gaulding, Brennan Poole, and Ryan VargasStanton BarrettDawson CramBobby McCarty, and Tim Viens have also attempted to qualify but failed. The car sits forty-second in owner points with Gaulding holding its best finish of twenty-first at the first Talladega event in April.

Mercedes Trial Use Of Biofuels During European Triple Header

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team recently released the details surrounding a trial of biofuels for European land freight during the recent FIA Formula 1 World Championship triple header.

Mercedes are driving to reduce their CO2 emissions further and achieve a verified status of Net Zero by 2030. A trial was conducted recently, that saw the team use biofuels in their sixteen Mercedes Actros Gigaspace race trucks, the recent trial was organised to give the team and others further understanding of the level of carbon saving and the positive impact that can be achieved by using biofuels.

The trial took place between the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa, the Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort and the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, a distance of approximately fourteen-thousand kilometres. Mercedes’ analysis shows that after the trial has that the use of ‘HVO 100’ biofuel saved 44,091kg CO2 and reduced freight emissions by eighty-nine per cent.

HVO 100 which is short for Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil is a 100% renewable fossil fuel-free product, which is obtained from vegetable oils, waste oils and fats. The use of HVO 100 is shown to significantly reduce CO2 emissions and reduce the impact of freight on local air quality by reducing NOx and particulate emissions.

Biofuels are already being used in motorsport, with Formula 1 introducing the use of E10 biofuels this year as part of the sport’s drive to transition into a 100% sustainable fuel model in F1 cars from 2026.

Preining completes stunning wet win from seventh on the grid to grab his second DTM victory of the season

The Küs Team Bernhard driver, Thomas Preining, completed a masterful wet weather drive to charge through the field to win his home race at the Red Bull Ring in race two of the DTM. Whilst championship leader, Sheldon Van der Linde was unable to recover from a nine-place grid penalty to finish outside the points.

A thrilling qualifying session that unleashed treacherous conditions on the drivers, led to a somewhat mixed-up grid for race two at the Red Bull Ring. Maro Engel came away with pole position for the first time in his DTM career, followed by race one winner Nick Cassidy and Felipe Fraga. Philipp Eng and Maximilian Götz rounded out the top five.

It was uneventful first few corners for the drivers at the front of the grid. But for Sheldon Van der Linde, a disappointing weekend got even worse, as he ran wide into turn three, as soon as his Schubert Motorsport car touched the slippery asphalt outside the track, he was launched into a spin. Dropping him all the way down to the back of the field.

Somebody who was having a much better weekend at his home race was the Austrian Thomas Preining. From the early periods of the race, it was the Preining show. First, he was past Arjun Maini, then Maximilian Götz, before pulling off the move of the day on Philipp Eng. The two were wheel-to-wheel heading into the long turn seven corner, with Preining going all the way around the outside of Eng before turn eight. It truly was a move that showed Preining’s superior confidence compared to everyone else on track at that time.

Preining excels in treacherous wet conditions. Photo: DTM

With the track drying slowly, the field was split on their tyre strategies. Luca Stolz was the first to switch to new wet tyres, whilst other drivers were waiting for the right time to go straight to slick tyres.

Nick Cassidy picks up his second consecutive win in DTM at the Red Bull Ring

The New Zealand, Red Bull AlphaTauri AF Corse driver, was unchallenged on his way to a second win in as many races in DTM’s race one at Spielberg, with René Rast following him home to cut his gap to Championship leader Sheldon Van der Linde dramatically.

Racing got underway with Nick Cassidy starting from pole, after René Rast, who was quickest in qualifying was pushed back three places due to a grid penalty he picked up from fighting Cassidy in the previous race at Spa.

At the start, Cassidy held onto his lead. Whilst Rast showed all his years of DTM racing experience to move up into second by turn three. Taking Nico Müller by surprise around turn one, before similarly overtaking Ricardo Feller into three.

Simultaneously, Feller was involved in another battle as a fast-starting Felipe Fraga tried to take the Swiss driver on the inside. However, it all ended in tears as the two made contact, leaving Fraga with a puncture, which caused him to plummet down the order before eventually retiring.

Nick Cassidy Chatting with Helmut Marko and Gerhard Berger. Photo: DTM

But the main battle of the race came from the flying Küs Team Bernhard driver Thomas Preining and Nico Müller. The two were embroiled in an epic back-and-forth battle that saw them change positions countless times. Only being decided after the pair made contact for the second occasion, and Preining was awarded a 10-second penalty for his involvement. Dropping the Austrian down to tenth place by the checkered flag. While Müller went on to record a fourth-placed finish.

Gabriel Bortoleto joins Trident for the 2023 Formula 3 season


Trident has confirmed that Gabriel Bortoleto will race for the team in the 2023 FIA Formula 3 season as he becomes the first new driver to be announced ahead of the new season.

Bortoleto currently sits sixth in the Formula Regional European championship, picking up one win and three podiums over eight races this season, leaving him one hundred and twenty-six points behind championship leader Dino Beganovic with two races remaining in the season.

The seventeen-year-old recently impressed in Formula 3 post-season testing in Jerez, setting the fastest overall time on day two of the three-day test, which subsequently ended up being the fastest time over the course of the entirety of post-season testing.

“I am extremely delighted for the chance to compete in the 2023 FIA Formula 3 Championship with a high-level team like Trident Motorsport,” Bortoleto commented on his call-up to the Trident team.

“I would like to thank every member of the team for the warm welcome I have been given. I feel ready for a new chapter in my career and to move to a higher series in single-seaters. 

Timo Scheider not returning to XITE for Energy X Prix

Prior to last weekend’s Copper X Prix, XITE Energy Racing announced Timo Scheider and Tamara Molinaro would finish out the 2022 Extreme E season. On Monday, however, Scheider revealed plans have changed on his part as he will not run the season-ending Energy X Prix on 26/27 November as the team has found a new driver whose identity was not immediately revealed.

“I agreed with the Team in case there is a Paydriver turning up I will move,” explained Scheider on social media. “As I am a professional Racer I get payed for driving so I totally understand the case!!

“This means I will be back on Side again as Track Designer and Championship reserve Driver!! Bring on the Final…”

Scheider, a two-time DTM champion and rallycross veteran, has worked as Extreme E’s Championship Driver and advisor since the inaugural season in 2021. In June, he joined XITE for the Island X Prix doubleheader, during which he and Molinaro scored a runner-up finish in the first round’s Final.

In the Copper X Prix, XITE crashed out of their heat and finished third in the Crazy Race to be classified in ninth.

Anastasiya Nifontova declines FIA Russian invasion condemnation, to skip Dakar 2023

With the 2023 Dakar Rally looming but the Russian invasion of Ukraine seemingly continuing to crescendo with the former’s mobilisation, more Russian potential competitors have continued to separate themselves into those able to punch their tickets to the race or letting their loyalties get in the way. In an interview with RBC Sport, Anastasiya Nifontova placed herself into the former camp.

Since April, the FIA has required Russian and Belarusian teams and drivers to sign a declaration denouncing the internationally condemned invasion and standing in solidarity with Ukraine. The terms also state competitors must race under a different nationality, as is the case with Dakar co-driver Konstantin Zhiltsov acquiring an Israeli passport or Formula 3 racer Alexander Smolyar competing under the generic FIA flag. Zhiltsov’s driver Denis Krotov also intends to do the same.

While Zhiltsov and Krotov are well on the path to Dakar, Nifontova refuses to join them.

“I will not race at Dakar, because this is a World Championship for which you need to sign a declaration that I do not support the special operation, that I am not for Russia and that I support Ukraine. I can’t sign it because I don’t agree with it,” said Nifontova. “In this context, participation is impossible, I cannot but support my country.”

Nifontova is the first Russian woman to compete at the Dakar Rally in the Moto category in 2017, where she finished second among female riders. Following the invasion, the two-time FIM Women’s Cross-Country Rallies World Cup has focused on domestic competition in the Russian Rally-Raid Championship, where she pilots an SSV in the T3 class.


RaceScene.com