Ex-Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica will continue his return to circuit racing at Spa-Francorchamps next weekend in the Renault Sport Trophy.
Kubica raced in F1 between 2006 and 2010, but sustained a serious injury to his right hand and arm in a rally crash ahead of the 2011 season that meant he was unable to return.
After undergoing rehabilitation that allowed him to return to motorsport in rallying, Kubica took part in a number of World Rally Championship events from 2013.
The Pole announced earlier this year that he would leave rallying after the Monte Carlo Rally at the start of 2016, before making his first circuit racing start since his accident at the 12 Hours of Mugello following an invitation from Mercedes.
On Thursday, Renault announced that Kubica had accepted an invitation to take part in a round its spec-championship for R.S.01 cars at Spa next weekend.
Kubica will race alongside Christophe Hamon for Duqueine Engineering at Spa, having completed a shakedown with the team earlier this week at Ales in France.
“I quickly felt at ease at the wheel of the R.S. 01, and even on a twisty track like Ales its qualities were immediately evident, especially the stopping power granted by the carbon discs,” Kubica said.
“I was impressed by how late into the corner you can brake and by the absence of body roll, even when you push to make the most of the available grip.
“I look forward to driving it at Spa, where all the downforce the car can generate will also come into play.”
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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