Motorsport News Round-up

By Richard Geary

This weekend saw plenty of changes and ground-breaking announcements through the world of Motorsport. Here’s a quick round-up of what’s gone on:

F1

Legendary Formula One driver Michael Schumacher may be left in a permanent vegetative state according to a top German doctor, as the racing driver is slowly being awoken from his artificial coma.

Seven-time F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher - Supplied by Mark McArdle

Seven-time F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher – Supplied by Mark McArdle

Schumacher suffered a near-fatal skiing accident on December 29th last year, and was plunged into an artificial coma in order to try and heal damages caused to the German drivers brain. However, the seven-time F1 World Champion has reportedly responded positively to tests, and responded to instructions, as he is slowly being brought out of his coma.

Bernie Eccleston has announced that Sebastian Vettel’s dominance in Formula One has had a negative impact on television viewing figures, with the sport losing approximately 50 million viewers.

Vettel has been a dominant force in F1 - Image supplied by Gil Abrantes

Vettel has been a dominant force in F1 – Image supplied by Gil Abrantes

Last season saw the German driver pick up his fourth consecutive World title, after the Red Bull racer picked up nine successive grands prix victories to win the Driver’s Championship with three races to spare.

BTCC

Touring car legend Alain Menu is set to return to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship after a 14 year hiatus. The Swiss driver last raced in the BTCC in 2000, where he won the championship for the second time, with his first win coming in 1997.

Menu is set to race with Team BMR, driving an NGTC Volkswagen Passat CC, alongside Aron Smith for the 2014 season.

 

Menu racing in his Renault Laguna in 1998 - Image supplied by Tony Harrison

Menu racing in his Renault Laguna in 1998 – Image supplied by Tony Harrison

Rally

Rising Finnish star Esapekka Lappi claimed his second victory in the European Rally Championship, with a convincing win in Latvia’s Rally Liepaja. The Skoda driver finished the weekend with a final victory margin of 34.7 seconds.

Rallycross

Hyundai have unveiled their World Rallycross car for the upcoming 2014 season. European Rallycross event winner Frode Holte revealed his new Hyundai i20 at the Sorlandets Motorsport Show in Mandal, Norway. 

Peugeot meanwhile are set to enter the 2014 season, and have teamed up with Hansen Motorsport, which will now be renamed Peugeot-Hansen, and will field a Peugeot 208 T16.

LeMans

Lucas di Grassi will take over Allan McNish’s seat at Audi for the 2014 World Endurance Championship. The Brazilian will join Loic Duval and nine-time LeMans winner Tom Kristensen.

NASCAR

This years NASCAR Sprint Cup will be decided by a winner-takes-all styled finale, as the Chase for the Championship is completely revamped. The new rules will see 16 drivers progress to the Chase based on how many races drivers have won, rather than on points totals. The 16th place will be reserved for the points leader if that drivers hasn’t earned a win.

From there, four drivers will be eliminated every three races until just four drivers remain in contention for the final race.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup is undergoing major changes - Image supplied by Michieliosios

The NASCAR Sprint Cup is undergoing major changes – Image supplied by Michieliosios

Prior to this a more conventional points system was used, in which the top 12 drivers on points would be entered into the Chase for the Championship, where points would then be reset for the final 10 races.

Sub-edited by Vincenzo Ferrara

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