These Are Some Of Racing's Biggest Announcements Of 2021

These Are Some Of Racing's Biggest Announcements Of 2021

Everything to look forward to from MotoGP's new docuseries to Audi's electric Dakar prototype

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Image for article titled These Are Some Of Racing's Biggest Announcements Of 2021
Photo: Lars Baron (Getty Images)

2021 has been a very long year, especially for motorsport fans. From IMSA’s Rolex 24 at Daytona in January to this past weekend’s controversial conclusion to the Formula 1 season in Abu Dhabi, it has been a hectic twelve months of competition.

That said, it would be completely understandable if you are failing to remember the sport’s most significant announcements for the upcoming new year and beyond. Let me remind you of some of them.

Advertisement

2 / 11

Mercedes Withdraws From Formula E

Mercedes Withdraws From Formula E

Image for article titled These Are Some Of Racing's Biggest Announcements Of 2021
Photo: Formula E

Within a week of winning both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships for the first time, Mercedes announced their withdrawal from the ABB FIA Formula E Championship after the 2021-22 season. The German manufacturer stated that it intends to shift resources towards their Formula 1 program and the development of production electric vehicles.

Both drivers Stoffel Vandoorne and World Champion Nyck de Vries will return for the factory team’s final season. The team itself is searching for ways to continue beyond 2022 without Mercedes.

Advertisement

3 / 11

Mercedes Signs George Russell

Mercedes Signs George Russell

Image for article titled These Are Some Of Racing's Biggest Announcements Of 2021
Photo: Andrej Isakovic - Pool (Getty Images)

Speaking of the Mercedes Formula 1 program, the team has signed a new driver to take the grid alongside Lewis Hamilton. After three seasons, George Russell will leave Williams to join Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team. The move was highly-anticipated since Russell’s championship-winning season in Formula 2 and subsequent arrival at Williams.

Hamilton’s current teammate Valtteri Bottas will move to Alfa Romeo next season after signing a multi-year contract to replace the retiring Kimi Räikkönen.

Advertisement

4 / 11

Audi Reveals Electric Dakar Challenger

Audi Reveals Electric Dakar Challenger

Image for article titled These Are Some Of Racing's Biggest Announcements Of 2021
Photo: Audi Communications Motorsport / Michael Kunkel

Predating Mercedes’ decision, Audi announced its intentions to leave Formula E and compete in the Dakar Rally. This year, Audi revealed the RS Q E-Tron  as its vehicle to contest the 2022 Dakar Rally.

The electric rally-raid monster will be powered by two of the electric motors used in Audi’s Formula E cars. The motors independently mounted to the front and rear axles will collectively produce 670 horsepower. The RS Q E-Tron will use a third electric motor and the manufacturer’s inline-four-cylinder DTM engine as an energy converter to keep the vehicle’s battery charged over the Dakar’s long stages.

Advertisement

5 / 11

Manufacturers Flock To New Sports Prototype Categories

Manufacturers Flock To New Sports Prototype Categories

Image for article titled These Are Some Of Racing's Biggest Announcements Of 2021
Illustration: Cadillac

2021 saw a half-dozen manufacturers declare their plans to enter the top category of international sports car racing in the coming years. Acura, Alpine, BMW and Cadillac will enter prototypes into the IMSA-created LMDh category, following the leads of Audi and Porsche. Ferrari and Peugeot committed to the ACO-created Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) class.

LMDh and LMH vehicles will be eligible to enter both the ACO-operated FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The armada of newly-created racing cars will begin competing circuits worldwide in 2023.

Advertisement

6 / 11

IMSA And WEC Replaces GTE With GT3

IMSA And WEC Replaces GTE With GT3

Image for article titled These Are Some Of Racing's Biggest Announcements Of 2021
Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos (Getty Images)

While the top category is receiving tremendous manufacturer support, the Grand Touring Endurance (GTLM in IMSA) category will be discontinued by both major sports car championships due to declining participation. The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship will introduce GT3 classes to replace GTE/GTLM in 2023 and 2024, respectively.

Advertisement

7 / 11

NASCAR Moves The Clash To The LA Coliseum

NASCAR Moves The Clash To The LA Coliseum

Image for article titled These Are Some Of Racing's Biggest Announcements Of 2021
Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea (Getty Images)

It might be over a year until the start of the WEC and IMSA’s reinvigoration, but NASCAR will start its 2022 season with seismic changes. The new generation of Cup Series stock cars will make its competitive debut at the traditional season-opening exhibition event, the Busch Clash. The Clash will also move away from Daytona International Speedway to a quarter-mile paved short track inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Advertisement

8 / 11

Brad Keselowski Becomes A NASCAR Cup Team Owner

Brad Keselowski Becomes A NASCAR Cup Team Owner

Image for article titled These Are Some Of Racing's Biggest Announcements Of 2021
Photo: Grant Halverson (Getty Images)

A new team owner will be behind the wheel of a NASCAR Cup Series stock car in Los Angeles, the 2012 champion Brad Keselowski. Keselowski left Team Penske to purchase a stake in Roush Fenway Racing. The new part-owner will drive the #6 Ford Mustang for the two-car outfit rebranded as Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing.

Advertisement

9 / 11

Valentino Rossi Enters His Own Team Into MotoGP

Valentino Rossi Enters His Own Team Into MotoGP

Image for article titled These Are Some Of Racing's Biggest Announcements Of 2021
Photo: Jose Jordan/AFP (Getty Images)

Another former champion will also become the owner of his own racing team. Nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi retired from MotoGP at the end of the 2021 season. During his final season as a rider, Rossi’s VR46 Racing Team reached an agreement with the series promoter to enter the MotoGP World Championship. The team’s title sponsor was initially reported as Saudi Aramco, but the deal was never completed. Marco Bezzecchi and Rossi’s half-brother Luca Marini will ride for the new team.

Advertisement

10 / 11

MotoGP Announces Docuseries With Amazon

MotoGP Announces Docuseries With Amazon

Image for article titled These Are Some Of Racing's Biggest Announcements Of 2021
Photo: Mirco Lazzari gp (Getty Images)

The two-wheeled grand prix world championship is set to follow its four-wheeled counterpart into the world of online streaming docuseries. Dorna Sports, MotoGP’s commercial rights holder, announced that the MotoGP World Championship would be the subject of an upcoming Amazon Exclusive docuseries.

The series will have access to behind the closed doors of motorcycle racing’s pinnacle in a similar vein to Netflix’s Formula 1: Drive To Survive. The yet-to-be-titled docuseries will consist of eight 50-minute episodes. The series will premiere on Amazon Prime Video sometime in 2022. 

Advertisement

11 / 11