Ferrari has announced that Antonio Spagnolo will serve as the race engineer for incoming former World Champion Kimi Raikkonen next year. Prior to his promotion, Spagnolo has worked as a chassis engineer on the car of Fernando Alonso.
The team confirmed the news as part of a release detailing Raikkonen’s visit to Maranello this afternoon.
About the visit, Ferrari stated: “It was an opportunity to go over the current state of play on the design of the 2014 car, as well as a chance for Kimi to meet up with many old friends who, in a few weeks time, will once again be his team.”
Raikkonen’s last race engineer at Ferrari, Andrea Stella, is still around but now works with Alonso in that same capacity. In 2007, the Finnish driver won the World Championship while guided by Chris Dyer, who left F1 a few years ago.
With today’s news, that means Scuderia stalwart Rob Smedley is set to find a new home in 2014. He served as the long-time engineer for Felipe Massa, and with the Brazilian driver now at Williams, Smedley could be on his way to re-uniting with him following the departure of Xevi Pujolar from Williams last month.
The US-based Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship circuit has reportedly parked itself and the pending 2018 season. According to various reports including AutoWeek, AutoSport.com and Motorsport.com, the Red Bull-sponsored GRC has suspended operations.
MotorSportsTalk reached out to a GRC spokesman for comment and further details.
It appears that all GRC-related websites, including its home page, as well as the site to order tickets to races this season, are unavailable. The series’ Twitter account @GRCseries remains, but hasn’t tweeted since April 13.
New York’s Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway, which was to host the GRC’s season-opening event (the original Louisville opener in mid-May was cancelled), issued a statement on its Twitter account:
Several GRC teams said at the end of last season that they would not return to the series, including teams from Honda, Volkswagen and Subaru.
It is expected that the GRC Europe series will continue working on its 2019 campaign.
It’s unclear whether teams that are no longer with the GRC U.S. series will move to a new series backed by IMG known as “Americas Rallycross Championship.” The ARC is slated to kick off as part of next month’s World Rallycross event at Silverstone in Great Britain.
Other ARC events, also tied into WRC events, will be at Trois-Rivieres in Canada on August 4-5, and at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 29-30. A fourth event is still in the works.