Sainz hopes Toro Rosso will know engine fate soon

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Carlos Sainz Jr. hopes that Toro Rosso will soon know which engines it will be using for the 2016 Formula 1 season to ease concerns about the team’s future.

Toro Rosso acts as the B-team to Red Bull Racing, whose own difficulties with Renault power units over the past two years have prompted the parties to agree a split at the end of 2015.

As a result, with less than five months to go until the first pre-season tests for 2016, both Red Bull and Toro Rosso are without an engine contract, raising questions about their futures in the sport.

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has said that the teams would only race in 2016 if they had a competitive engine, making clear that the future of the energy drink giant’s F1 projects are far from certain.

After Mercedes rejected working with Red Bull for fear of increased competition, Ferrari has been left as the only possible engine partner for 2016. However, negotiations are still ongoing, and it is known that not all at Maranello are in favor of the move.

Speaking to Spanish newspaper MARCA, Sainz said that although he was relaxed about the situation, he would like to know where Toro Rosso stands for 2016 soon so the team can continue its preparations.

“I’m calm, and the team is happy with me, but nobody knows anything 100% in this sport,” Sainz said.

“In any case, it would be good to know the brand of engine for the year to come soon, for designing the back of the car. Every day that passes is time lost in the car’s development.”

Sainz has enjoyed a quietly impressive debut season in F1, finishing in the points on six occasions in the opening 14 races of the season.

However, the Spaniard believes that with Ferrari engines, Toro Rosso could surprise many in 2016 and perhaps achieve even bigger results.

“I imagine yes, we can have a good car next year,” Sainz said. “If we continue along the line of this year, with a slightly better engine, we could spring a surprise.”

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.