Albon to race with Ferrari in DTM - Motorsport news round-up of the week

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Red Bull has confirmed that its Thai test driver Alex Albon will race in the 2021 season of DTM, driving a Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo race car at the AF Corse team.

Following an up-and-down season and a half, Red Bull decided to demote Alexander Albon to a test driver role and replace the Thai driver with Sergio Perez. The London-born driver will have some active racing in Red Bull-affiliated colours in 2021 as the energy drink company decided to partner with AF Corse which will be fielding a pair of Ferrari 488 GT3 Evos in DTM.

Albon will be joined by Liam Lawson and Nick Cassidy. The former F3 driver will drive the Red Bull liveried car while Albon and Cassidy will share driving duties in the AlphaTauri livery.

“DTM is a great series with highly talented drivers in the field and exciting racing,” said Albon. “I’ve only driven a ‘tin top’ once… and they’re really different to single seaters. There’s a lot less downforce and the tyres are very different, so it requires a different kind of driving style.

“It will take a bit of time to get used to, but I'm looking forward to a new racing challenge when I’m available outside of my existing F1 commitments.”

Eight-round schedule for DTM

The calendar for the 2021 season consists of eight race weekends in Germany and nearby foreign countries. The season will kick off at Monza on June 18-20, followed by two German rounds that will take place at the Norisring and the Lausitzring on July 2-4 and 23-25 respectively.

Zolder will play host to Round 4 on August 6-8 before the field makes the trip back to Germany. Nürburgring is poised to host the race meeting on August 20-22, followed by the race meeting at the Red Bull Ring (September 3-5). Round 7 will see the field travel to Assen on September 17-19 before the season will be brought to an end at Hockenheimring on October 1-3.

The championship hopes that the late midyear season start will increase the chance to be able to admit spectators on-site again. Two test sessions will be held ahead of the season with Hockenheim and Lausitzring playing host to the preparation for 2021.

Pure ETCR reveals its 2021 calendar

PURE ETCR, the world’s first all-electric, multi-brand touring car championship has revealed the schedule for its inaugural season in 2021.

The five-round will get underway in Europe in June and end in Asia in October. The action will kick-start at Italy’s Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi on 20 June before the field heads to Belgium where Circuit Zolder will host Round 2 of the season on 4 July.

The field will then make the trip to MotorLand Aragón, Spain, the following weekend to create a festival of touring car racing with the WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup.

The battle for glory continues in Denmark on August 8 as part of the Copenhagen Historic Grand Prix. The season will then conclude on the Inje Speedium in South Korea that will play host to another common race meeting with WTCR on October 15-17.

WTCR switches to biofuel

The FIA World Touring Car Cup has revealed that it signed an agreement with P1 Racing Fuels which will see the WTCR grid use advanced biofuel.

Berlin-based P1 Racing Fuels has been confirmed as the WTCR’s Official Fuel Supplier by the FIA World Motor Sport Council after it was successful in developing a bespoke racing biofuel product for the WTCR during a rigorous tender process overseen by the FIA Technical Department.

The new biofuel formulation will feature 15 per cent renewable components. These non-fossil fuel-based components have been derived from bioethanol produced from cellulose and ligneous biomass, as well as bio-synthetic (fully renewable) fuel.

Commenting on the announcement, Martin Poplika, Chief Executive Officer, P1 Racing Fuels, said: “As a pioneer in our field, P1 Racing Fuels has always focused on delivering cutting-edge innovation in our products, using new processes, components and technical know-how to formulate sustainable, high-performing biofuels produced and delivered cost-efficiently. We believe that the future of racing is fossil fuel-free, and we are very pleased to support the WTCR in taking this important step towards a more sustainable future for the sport.”

François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, WTCR promoter, said: “Switching the WTCR to biofuel from P1 Racing Fuels further demonstrates Eurosport Events’ objective to promote more sustainable motorsport. The move also completely aligns the WTCR with the FIA’s #PurposeDriven movement environment pillar.”

Honda extends its commitment in MotoGP

Honda has announced that it has signed an agreement with Dorna Sports S.L. which will see the Japanese manufacturer compete in the MotoGP Championship for the next five years. The extension of its existing contract will guarantee Honda’s place on the grid until 2026.

Commenting on the announcement, Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports, said: "This important announcement brings great pride to MotoGP because Honda is one of the first names that comes to our mind when we think about motorcycling racing.

„The Japanese manufacturer has been such an important part of the past, present and future of the FIM MotoGP World Championship and this renewal reinforces, even more, the commitment between both parties."

Honda’s journey in motorsport began in 1954 when Honda’s founder, Soichiro Honda, declared entry into the Isle of Man TT, the premier motorcycle racing event of the era, with the aim of becoming the best in the world. In MotoGP, Honda has claimed 850 podiums and 25 Rider World Championships, more than any other brand in history. A total of 800 wins have been scored by Honda riders across all categories and a total of 100 different riders have won on Honda machines.

Correa to return to racing

Juan Manuel Correa announced that he would return to racing in the Formula 3 championship after recovering from his horrific crash that happened two years ago.

The Ecuadorian-American driver sustained leg injuries in the feature race of the 2019 Spa Formula 2 round in which Anthoine Hubert died. The Frenchman lost his life after he crashed and his stanionary car was hit by Correa.

“Announcing my return to the race tracks is one of the proudest moments in my professional career. My dream is still to reach F1 and this is the first step in my comeback,” said Correa.