Andre Lotterer’s one-off F1 appearance for Caterham at last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix came to an early end after the German was forced to retire following a loss of power at the end of the first lap.
The three-time Le Mans winner was confirmed to be replacing Kamui Kobayashi for the race earlier this week, with Caterham citing his experience as the main reason for acquiring his services.
Lotterer managed to outqualify full-time driver Marcus Ericsson despite only stepping in the car on Friday, and made a good start in the race on Sunday before being sidelined when he lost power.
“I didn’t even get to sweat unfortunately,” Lotterer joked after the race. “I was really looking forward to a good race and I had a good start, but then I went a bit wide at turn 17 and there was a sudden loss of power. The team and Renault will have to investigate this tonight and see what happened.
“It’s a shame, but I am pleased with my race weekend. I made no mistakes and did a reasonably good job.
“Of course it would’ve been fantastic to finish the race and do a whole grand prix, but it’s still been an amazing weekend. I can go home happy even though it didn’t really end the way I would’ve liked it to.”
Lotterer was quick to thank the team for giving him the chance to make his F1 debut at Spa, and he will now turn his attention back to his endurance racing commitments with Audi.
“I want to thank Caterham F1 Team for this amazing opportunity,” he said. “It’s been fantastic to experience Formula 1, I got a lot of support and the team has been great. It’s frustrating to have only completed one lap of the race, but this is motorsport and these things happen.”
In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.
Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.
Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.
The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.
“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”
Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.
SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.
When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.
SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.
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