Mazda Road to Indy update: NBCSN show tonight, plus Mid-Ohio recap

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The first Mazda Road to Indy show on the NBC Sports Network will air overnight tonight, (Wednesday, August 7) at 2 a.m. ET, with a one-hour show on the USF2000 National Championship first half of the season.

This weekend at Mid-Ohio, as in St. Petersburg, Indianapolis (separate tracks between IMS and Lucas Oil Raceway Park) and Toronto, all three rungs of the ladder system were in action.

Gabby Chaves took his first Firestone Indy Lights win and moved to within 15 points of leader Carlos Munoz, who put in a stirring drive to recover from an early off-course excursion. Munoz finished fourth after falling as far back as 10th; he made most of his moves before the lone full course caution of the race. The top five in the standings are separated by just 43 points with three races remaining.

In Pro Mazda, Matthew Brabham’s assault on the record books continued with a sweep of the weekend’s two races, although only one came in the conventional dominant variety. Race two on Sunday, oil on track caused the lone leader to that point, Diego Ferreira, to slide off the road and Brabham snuck through. The wins are Brabham’s eighth and ninth in 12 2013 races, and the ninth sets a new single-season record. Spencer Pigot also impressed with a run from 11th to fourth in race 1 and a fast start from fifth to third in race 2, before dropping to fifth at the flag.

Neil Alberico took the first two USF2000 race wins of the weekend – the first on wet conditions and a seriously damp track, second on a dry one. Meanwhile Sunday’s race barely had the chance to get going after an 11-car pileup at the start of the field. Garett Grist came through to take his first win.

F1 Mexican Grand Prix on NBC, NBCSN, App this week

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Lewis Hamilton is poised to wrap his fourth Formula 1 World Championship early at this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix, as NBC Sports covers the 18th of 20 rounds this season from the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City.

Expanded TV coverage comes this weekend on NBC, NBCSN and the NBC Sports App.

All sessions will air live. Both Friday practice sessions are live on NBCSN at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. ET. Saturday third practice airs live via the NBC Sports App at 11 a.m. ET with a practice replay show at 12:30 p.m. before live qualifying at 2 p.m. ET, those two on NBCSN.

On Sunday, race day, F1 Countdown starts at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC leading to lights out and the race at 3 p.m. ET. Post-race coverage continues on NBC for one hour, from 5 to 6 p.m. ET.

Mercedes AMG Petronas has won both Mexican Grands Prix since the race was reinstated in 2015 after a 23-year hiatus. Nico Rosberg won in 2015 a race after Hamilton had clinched that year’s title, while Hamilton won last year in a 1-2 with Rosberg continuing to close on his first title.

Controversy reined about third place in Mexico last year with all of Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and ultimately Daniel Ricciardo ending in third, Ricciardo getting the podium after post-race penalties were assessed to the other two. Valtteri Bottas is the other active podium finisher in Mexico, having come third in 2015 with Williams.

Vettel enters Mexico 66 points behind Hamilton and can only keep the title alive to Brazil if he gets the gap under 50 points; any top-five finish for Hamilton will ensure the Englishman equals Vettel on four titles. So if Vettel doesn’t finish first or second, he can’t score enough points (either 25 or 18) to get that gap under 50 markers.

Last year’s race featured a bit of a “Noah’s Ark” finishing order with just the top five teams in the championship scoring points at this race, almost in descending order of just two-by-two. It was two Mercedes, then two Red Bulls, then two Ferraris, then Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India before the two Williams, and finally hometown hero Sergio Perez in the second Force India.

Perez is the lone home favorite this race with Esteban Gutierrez not on the grid this season.

Here’s the F1 schedule, with stream links and TV network if applicable:

  • Practice 1: Friday, Oct. 27, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Practice 2: Friday, Oct. 27, 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Practice 3: Saturday, Oct. 28, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET (Streaming)
  • Practice 3 (Replay): Saturday, Oct. 28, 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Qualifying: Saturday, Oct. 28, 2 p.m.-3:45 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Pre-Race: Sunday, Oct. 29, 2:30 p.m.-3 p.m. ET (NBC)
  • Race: Sunday, Oct. 29, 3 p.m.-5 p.m. ET (NBC)
  • Post-Race: Sunday, Oct. 29, 5 p.m.-6 p.m. ET (NBC)
  • Race (Replay): Sunday, Oct. 29, 8:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)

The next race is the Brazilian Grand Prix, on November 12.