Nissan to Establish New Vehicle Customization and Motorsports Company
Nissan Motor Corp. has announced plans to establish a new company through the integration of two affiliated companies, Autech Japan Inc. (Autech) and Nissan Motorsports International Co. Ltd. (NISMO). The new company—named Nissan Motorsports & Customizing Co. Ltd.—is set to be established on April 1, 2022.
“The integration is aimed to better globally utilize Autech's know-how in developing and manufacturing customized vehicles and NISMO’s brand power built up through motorsports. Positioned as an important strategic subsidiary, the new company is expected to contribute to Nissan’s sustainable growth,” a company release stated.
“Autech, with its wide range of expertise, is a pioneer of customized vehicles. NISMO, through motorsports and enhanced driving pleasure, is a symbol of the spirit of challenge in Nissan cars. We are confident that the integration of these two companies will bring us even closer to the pinnacle of exciting mobility we are aiming for,” Nissan Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta said.
For more information, visit nissanusa.com.
iRacing Acquires Monster Games, Orontes Games
iRacing.com Motorsport Simulations, the provider of the iRacing simulation gaming platform, has announced the acquisition of Orontes Games. Founded by Christian and Thorsten Folkers in 2016, Orontes Games released an Early Access version of the game DRAG in 2020 on the digital game distribution site Steam. The online racing game features high fidelity, next-generation graphics and advanced vehicle physics.
Orontes Games lead developers Christian Folkers and Thorsten Folkers will join the iRacing team. iRacing has also announced the acquisition of Monster Games, Inc (MGI). The Minnesota-based game development studio is behind the NASCAR Heat franchise and Tony Stewart’s Sprint Car Racing game.
President and owner of MGI Rich Garcia will join the iRacing development team. He will be reunited with iRacing CEO and CTO Dave Kaemmer, who worked for Kaemmer’s former company, Papyrus Racing Games. Both acquisitions are standalone development studios and projects. For more information, visit iracing.com.
New Ownership, Name For Texas’ Rocket Raceway Park
New ownership has taken over the Rocket Raceway Park. The Petty, Texas, dirt oval formerly known as 82 Speedway will see new branding and an exciting mix of events for the 2022 season. The management team of Kevin Sustaire and Kevin Rogers will take the reins after spending the last three seasons at the RPM Speedway in Texas. For 2022, the track will feature four Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series divisions, including USRA Modifieds, Medieval USRA Stock Cars, USRA Limited Mods, and Sunoco USRA Factory Stocks, with Eco-Mods and Trooper Cruisers also on the Saturday night card.
The USRA Modified division will join the card on a bi-weekly basis. They will compete for the Rocket Challenge in 2022 and alternate weekends with the Superbowl Speedway in Greenville, Texas. The Medieval USRA Stock Cars are a new division and the first time the class will be sanctioned at a race track in the Lone Star State.
For more information, visit rocketracewaypark.com.
IndyCar Announces Contract Extension With Chassis Manufacturer Dallara
IndyCar has announced a multiyear extension with chassis manufacturer Dallara. The contract runs parallel to the current agreements with engine manufacturers Chevrolet and Honda. Dallara, an Italian company, first supplied driver safety cells for the IndyCar Series in 1997 and has been the sole chassis supplier since 2008. In 2012, the manufacturer expanded its U.S. operations by opening the Dallara IndyCar factory in Speedway, Indiana, where the company produces and assembles chassis for a variety of racing series.
Since 2015, production has included the chassis for IndyCar’s Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires and in 2018, Dallara began manufacturing the current universal body kit (AK-18) for the NTT IndyCar Series. This year marks the company’s 26th consecutive season with the racing organization. The 2022 NTT IndyCar Series season opens Sunday, February 27, at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding. For more information, visit indycar.com.
Autonomous Challenge Set for Las Vegas Competition
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has announced that Energy Systems Network, the organizer of the Indy Autonomous Challenge, will host a head-to-head, high-speed autonomous race car passing competition in conjunction with CES 2022. The Autonomous Challenge at CES will take place at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday, January 7, 2022.
The event follows the Indy Autonomous Challenge, the first high-speed autonomous race car competition at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that took place on October 23. The Autonomous Challenge at CES will feature several of the university teams that competed in Indianapolis, including the winner of the competition (TUM Autonomous Motorsport) and two finalists (EuroRacing and PoliMOVE).
The goal is to advance technology that can speed the commercialization of fully autonomous vehicles and deployments of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). Designed by university teams, these enhancements can lead to increased safety and performance in motorsports as well as all modes of commercial transportation.
For more information, visit indyautonomouschallenge.com.
For more racing news, visit Performance Racing Industry’s (PRI) website.