WTCC champion Lopez open to Formula E drive with DS, remains keen to race at Le Mans


Defending World Touring Car Championship champion Jose Maria Lopez is open to driving in Formula E in the future following DS Automobiles’ tie in with Virgin Racing.

In a press conference at the London ePrix in June, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson announced that his team would be joining forces with DS, a subsidiary of Citroen, for the second Formula E season.

Lopez has enjoyed considerable success since joining Citroen in the WTCC for the 2014 season, winning the title in his rookie year. He currently leads the 2015 championship by 55 points.

Following the tie-in between Virgin and DS, Lopez said in an interview with that he would be open to racing in Formula E in the future, claiming such a deal was now “much closer”.

“For me, whenever there is competition, four wheels, electric or non-electric motor, it excites me,” Lopez said.

Citroen is set to pull the plug on either its WTCC or World Rally Championship programme at the end of 2016, as confirmed to Autosport earlier this month.

Lopez is keen to remain with Citroen for the 2016 WTCC season, but said that his future is largely dependent on the team, and said that he would like to race at Le Mans in the future.

“My desire is to continue with the team, but it will depend on them,” Lopez said. “Today I do not think about it. I know that I love Le Mans, I would love to do it, and it’s something that I could do whilst prioritizing WTCC.”

After being lined up to race for the never-realized US F1 Team, Lopez has enjoyed considerable success since making the switch to tin tops, and the grids in both endurance and electric racing would only be richer for his presence.

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


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.