Finland’s new KymiRing to host MotoGP from 2018

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Finland will play host to a MotoGP world championship round from 2018 as part of a new deal announced by series bosses on Sunday.

Finland welcomed the premier class of motorcycle racing between 1962 and 1982, all but two of the races being held in Imatra in the south of the country.

A new circuit, the KymiRing, is currently under construction 100 km from the nation’s capital, Helsinki.

The KymiRing is set to be an FIA Grade 2 track and classified as Grade A by the FIM, motorcycle racing’s global governing body, allowing it to host MotoGP.

“The FIM MotoGP World Championship is set to reach new territory in Scandinavia, with Dorna Sports delighted to announce an agreement has been reached for Finland to join the schedule in 2018,” a statement from MotoGP read.

“The new KymiRing track in Iitti is currently under construction, with the FIM and Dorna working in close collaboration with all parties involved for the circuit to be homologated in time for the 2018 World Championship season.

“Today’s announcement that MotoGP is set for a return to Finland for the first time since 1982 reflects the global appeal and growing popularity of the FIM MotoGP World Championship.”

Finland has a rich heritage in motorsport, producing three F1 world champions – Keke Rosberg, Mika Hakkinen and Kimi Raikkonen – and two current drivers.

The circuit’s website states that the possibility will exist for upgrades to make it an FIA Grade 1 track, thus making it eligible to host F1 races.

Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
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Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”