Karun Chandhok has been named official driver for its Heritage division, which means he’ll get the chance to drive several of the epic cars in Williams Martini Racing’s collection.
From the media release, “Karun will focus on the testing and public demonstration of Williams’ historic racing cars. He will make his first appearance as a Williams Heritage driver at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed (June 23rd – 26th), where Karun will drive up the iconic Goodwood Hill behind the wheel of an FW08C from 1983 and an FW13B from 1990.”
Chandhok said, “Williams is such an iconic British team, steeped in racing history so it’s a real honor to be involved in its Heritage program. So many of the Williams Heritage cars are pieces of racing history with great stories to tell, so to be offered the chance to get up close and personal and drive them – sometimes being the first person to do so in decades – is an incredible opportunity. I look forward to not only demonstrating the cars from time to time, but working with other Williams car owners to help them fully enjoy their experience of driving these pieces of F1 history.”
Jonathan Williams, Williams Heritage Director, said “With a wealth of experience in a wide range of championships, including Formula One, GT, LMP1 and Formula E, Karun was the ideal candidate to be our Heritage driver. What’s more, he has a real passion for motorsport history and is a font of knowledge when it comes to Formula One. The Goodwood Festival of Speed is a highlight of the motorsport calendar, always providing fans with a truly impressive collection of modern and historic cars. We are very much looking forward to taking part in the event once more.”
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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