***The Dakar Rally got underway on Sunday, setting teams off for a 4600-mile trip throughout Saudi Arabia that will finish on Jan. 17. Notable entries include a Toyota Gazoo Racing Hilux for Fernando Alonso and RD Limited DXX buggies for Romain Dumas and Rebellion president Alexandre Pesci (pictured above). Dumas’s race ended on the first day, however, after a fire in his car just 40 miles into the rally.
***GetSpeed Performance plans to run three Mercedes-AMG GT3s in the NLS (formerly VLN) and Nürburgring 24, with Janie Hill and John Shoffner part of its lineup, along with a Pro crew and a young driver pairing. The team won VLN 7 last year with Fabian Schiller and Dominik Baumann.
***Hill and Shoffner will also compete for the team in International GT Open, while plans are in place for an additional GT3 program either in ADAC GT Masters or GT World Challenge Europe.
***Pure McLaren GT Series champion Mia Flewitt will drive one of Balfe Motorsport’s McLaren 570S GT4s in the British GT Championship alongside factory driver Euan Hankey. The pair finished second in class in the same car at last month’s Gulf 12 Hours, while Hankey previously served as Flewitt’s driver coach in her past two Pure McLaren GT seasons.
***Revere Lifestyle has become the first team to commit to LMP3 Cup Australia, which will get underway for its inaugural season in March. The team will run an Adess 03 Nissan and has full support and local distribution rights from the constructor.
***Five events will make up the LMP3 Cup Australia schedule between the opener at Sydney Motorsport Park on March 27-29 and the finale at Sandown Raceway on Sept. 11-13. Other rounds will be held at Winton Raceway, Philip Island Circuit and a second event at Sydney Motorsport Park.
***ecoGP has revealed plans to host a number of 24-hour races open only to electric road cars over the next few years, with three events this year and up to 12 planned in 2021. Two of this year’s races will take place on road courses in Germany with another at Hockenheim. Check out our sister site e-racing365 for more.
***The annual Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai will take place this weekend, with a number of high-profile GT3 teams heading up the entry list. The week will get underway with a six-hour race on Tuesday evening, replacing the traditional New Years’ Race at Zandvoort.
Laurent Mercier contributed to this report