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FIM RAISES AGE LIMIT FOR JUNIOR CATEGORIES
Written by Andrew Lwanga Edited by Harshi Vashee
Following a series of fatalities the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) which oversees Motorcycle racing has decided to raise the minimum age limit in a number of junior racing series.
Over the past 12 months, there have been three deaths in junior racing categories, all in series sanctioned by the FIM. In response a task force within Dorna Sports (the commercial rights holder for World Superbikes and MotoGP) was formed.
After much discourse between Dorna and the FIM it was announced on Friday that the minimum age limit for all junior championships will be raised. In addition to this, the grid sizes, which can at times field as many as 40 motorbikes, will also be significantly reduced. These changes will start to take shape minimally in 2022 and more substantially in 2023.
Starting from the next racing season, all Talent Cup Series will have a lower age limit of 13 with a maximum grid size of 30 riders. Red Bull Rookies Cup will raise its lower age limit from 13 to 14.
Meanwhile, the Moto 3 Championship, will raise its minimum age requirement by a year from 14 to 15 and cap it’s grid size at 32 bikes. The same grid size restrictions will be employed by the World Supersport 300, a support series of the World Superbike series. The minimum age will also be set at 16.
In 2023 age limits will be increased again and with the addition of an entry age of 14 for all Grand Prix type circuits including those graded B and C by the FIM.
MotoGP Championships including Moto 3 and Moto 2 will also have a new lower limit with the required age of entry being 18.
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Formula E Set up to revamp their qualifying format
Written by Andrew Lwanga, Edited by Harshi Vashee
Formula E is finally set to change its qualifying format. The format which has been subject of criticism mostly from the drivers since its introduction is expected to be entirely scrapped for a new system to be employed next season.
Since it’s fifth season, which ran from 2018 to 19, Formula E used a group qualifying system. Drivers were divided into groups of 6 arranged in descending Championship order, with the six highest placed drivers hitting the track first. With less rubber on the racing line of what is often termed a “green track”, thus meaning more often than not, the first group composed of the drivers leading the Championship would have the worst track conditions of all.
Although it aims to act as a success ballast, in effect this system punishes drivers for being good. However it was very successful in keeping the Championship fight alive as was seen in the most recent 2020-21 season where more than half the grid were still in title contention come the last race. Though entertaining to the fans, this sentiment wasn’t shared by the drivers with eventual Champion Nyck De Vries calling the title fight “manufactured”.
Whether successful or not Formula E now aims to completely revamp the format in favour of a tournament style format which Formula E co-founder Alberto Longo hopes will be much easier for fans to understand.
The new system will divide the grid into two groups with the four fastest from each progressing to a one on one knockout round.
Speaking at a press conference in Mexico, Longo explained that the new format aims to simplify Formula E’s race format
“We’ve gone back to basics, but we also like to be innovative. This format is very understandable because everyone understands a tennis tournament finals draw. Visually it is very attractive and on television we will offer something spectacular.”
“The key is in the first two groups of 11 drivers each, the drivers will have the opportunity to do several fast laps during the 12 minutes that qualifying will last. After that we will define the four fastest in each group.”
“In the quarter-final round, the fastest from group one will face off against the fourth placed driver from group two and so on.”
“From there, we will move on to the semi-final and the two finalists. Whoever wins that duel will be the pole sitter.”
Longo further disclosed that the advice for the new format came to him from driver Sam Bird.
The new format expects to be ratified when the FIA World Motorsport Council meets later this week on the 15th of October.
The USA has a long and rich history in motorsports. Formula One is set to have 2 races in the US in 2022 following the addition of the Miami Grand Prix. They’ve had the most circuits in F1 history, they host one of the 3 motorsport ‘triple crown events’ in the Indianapolis 500, and have some of the most prestigious race tracks in the world. But why don’t we see any American drivers in F1, despite the huge amount of racers they have?
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