NBC Sports IndyCar coverage from Brazil announced

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NBC Sports Network continues coverage of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series this weekend, with the Sao Paulo Indy 300 live on Sunday, May 5, at 11 a.m. ET. Coverage begins on Sunday, May 5, at 1 a.m. with qualifying. IndyCar 36 returns at 6:30 p.m. ET on Saturday with an inside look at Charlie Kimball, the first licensed driver with diabetes in the history of IndyCar to compete at the most elite level of the series.

IZOD IndyCar Series leader Helio Castroneves returns to his hometown of Sao Paulo as he aims to extend his series lead against Japanese driver Takuma Sato, who ranks second after a win at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Three-time defending Sao Paulo champion Will Power drives for a fourth straight win in Brazil, while 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series champion and Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay looks to get back in the winner’s circle.

COMMENTATORS: NBC Sports Network’s IndyCar booth features lead voice Leigh Diffey, analyst Townsend Bell, and reporters Jon Beekhuis and Robin Miller covering from Indianapolis, Ind. Veteran Kevin Lee will report from pit road in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

INDYCAR 36NBC Sports Network offers motorsports fans another episode of the all-access series IndyCar 36. This week the cameras follow California driver Charlie Kimball, who races for Chip Ganassi Racing, and competes despite being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

The NBC Sports Network original series is produced by IMS Productions and gives viewers an all-access pass into the life of a world-class driver in the middle of race season. The cameras will follow a driver for 36 hours during a race weekend providing a behind-the-scenes look at the on- and off-track activities of the stars of the IndyCar Series. The all-access 36 series also includesNHL 36, Fight Night 36 and F1 36.

Date Event Time (ET)
Sat., May 4 IndyCar 36: Charlie Kimball 6:30 p.m.
Sun., May 5 Sao Paulo Qualifying 1 a.m.
Sun., May 5 Sao Paulo Indy 300 11 a.m.
Mon., May 6 Sao Paulo Indy 300 Encore 1 a.m.

IZOD INDYCAR ON NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA: NBC Sports Live Extra — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets — will live stream the Sao Paulo Indy 300 at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, May 5. The race will be streamed via “TV Everywhere,” the media industry’s effort to make quality content available to authenticated customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.

For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play.

MOTORSPORTSTALK: MotorSportsTalk (@MotorSportsTalk) on NBCSports.com brings racing fans up-to-the-minute news, video and information on the IZOD IndyCar Series, Formula One, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and all other motorsports racing from around the world. The site also serves as the destination for all news, analysis and video from NBC and NBC Sports Network productions of IndyCar and F1, including contributions from on-air commentators.

For more information about NBC Sports Group shows and properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com.

Michael Andretti looking forward to new Australian Supercars venture

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If it seems like Michael Andretti is out to conquer the world, he is – kind of.

The former IndyCar star turned prolific team owner has won three of the last four Indianapolis 500s and five overall, second only to Roger Penske’s 16 Indy 500 triumphs.

Along the way, in addition to expanding his own IndyCar and Indy Lights operation, the son of Mario Andretti and the primary shareholder of Andretti Autosport has also branched out into Global RallyCross and Formula E racing in recent years.

And now, Andretti has further expanded his brand internationally, following Penske to the world down under — as in the world of Australian V8 Supercars.

Andretti has teamed with Supercars team owner Ryan Walkinshaw, along with veteran motorsports marketer and executive director of McLaren Technology Group and United Autosports owner and chairman, Zak Brown.

Together, the three have formed Walkinshaw Andretti United, based in suburban Melbourne, Australia. The new team kicks off the new season with the Adelaide 500 from March 1-4.

“It’s just extending our brand and putting it out there,” Andretti told NBC Sports. “The Supercars are such a great series.

“It all started with Zach Brown calling me and said ‘You have to talk to Ryan Walkinshaw. He’s got something interesting to talk to you about.’

“We talked and literally in like a half-hour, we said, ‘Let’s figure out how we’re going to make this work.’ And then Zack was like, ‘Hey, what about me?’ And then Zack came in as a partner and it’s cool now that we have the Walkinshaw Andretti United team.

“I’m really excited about that program, the guys at the shop are excited about it, we’ve been doing a lot of things to try and help it because it’s such a cool series and the cars are so cool.

“I went down there to Bathurst, which was to me one of the coolest tracks in the world. I wish I could have driven it, I really do. It looks like a blast.

“It’s amazing how big that series is when you go down there. It’s one of the biggest sports in Australia. It was just a great opportunity for us to extend our portfolio.”

Admittedly, Andretti had some extra incentive to want to get involved in the Supercars world: Penske joined forces with legendary Dick Johnson Racing in September 2014.

The organization came together quickly and the rebranded DJR Team Penske went on to win the 2017 V8 Supercars championship.

“Roger was down there the last few years,” Andretti said, adding that fact as incentive to get his own organization into the series. “So it’s cool to go race head-to-head with Roger. That was also in the back of our minds.”

This is no start-up venture for Andretti. The roots of the new venture began in 1990 as the Holden Racing Team, which went on to become one of the most successful organizations in Australian V8 Supercar racing, having won the drivers’ championship six times and the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship’s top race, the Bathurst 1000 (essentially Australia’s version of the Indy 500), seven times.

Last season, Holden Racing team morphed into Triple Eight Race Engineering and was renamed Mobil 1 HSV Racing.

And now the company has been renamed once again for the 2018 campaign under the Walkinshaw Andretti United banner.

The team will be composed of two Holden ZB Commodores with drivers James Courtney and Scott Pye, as well as a Porsche 911 GT3-R in the Australian GT championship.

What’s next for Andretti’s motorsports portfolio? Right now, it’s pretty full, but you can bet running for championships from Australia (Supercars) to globally (GRC) to Indianapolis (Indy 500) to the U.S. (Verizon IndyCar Series) are at the top of this year’s list.