Dirk de Beer appointed Williams F1 head of aerodynamics

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Williams has announced that Dirk de Beer will join its Formula 1 operation as head of aerodynamics on March 1, three weeks before the start of the new season.

De Beer most recently worked as Ferrari’s head of aerodynamics, having previously enjoyed roles with Renault, BMW and Sauber, as well as being involved with IndyCar via Swift Engineering.

Williams confirmed on Thursday that de Beer would be joining on March 1, bolstering its senior technical team ahead of the new season.

“I am extremely pleased to be joining Williams. The team has an incredible heritage in Formula 1, and I’m proud to now be a part of that,” de Beer said.

“I’m looking forward to working with Dave Wheater and the Williams aero team to help continue driving forward the development of the car throughout the season and beyond. I would like to thank Williams for giving me this opportunity.”

Williams deputy F1 chief Claire Williams added: “We’re delighted to have someone with Dirk’s vast experience joining us. Having spent several years as a Head of Aerodynamics in Formula 1, his knowledge and technical expertise will undoubtedly be a great asset to the team in our continued push to restore Williams to the front of the grid.”

Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list; Musquin remains out

Shimoda injured
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Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.

“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”

Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.

The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.

Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.

Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.

Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.

Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.

Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”