NBCSN racing tripleheader this weekend: 2 IndyCar plus Korean GP

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NBCSN will present 21.5 hours of motorsports coverage this weekend, highlighted by IndyCar’s Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston doubleheader plus Formula One’s Korean Grand Prix. NBC Sports Live Extra — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets — will present live streaming coverage of the tripleheader, as well as live coverage of practice and qualifying for the Korean Grand Prix.

Coverage of the Grand Prix of Houston begins Friday at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN with qualifying. Race 1 of the Grand Prix of Houston will air live Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, followed by Race 2 of the doubleheader on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Coverage of Firestone Indy Lights Houston, IndyCar’s developmental series, will air at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday following Race 2 of the Grand Prix of Houston.

Helio Castroneves (Penske) leads Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi) by 49 points in the IZOD IndyCar Series points standings with just three races remaining on the schedule. IndyCar returns to Houston this week for the first time since 2007, when Sebastien Bourdais (Dragon) took the checkered flag.

NBCSN’s live comprehensive coverage of Formula One’s Korean Grand Prix begins Friday at 1 a.m. ET with practice, followed by qualifying on Saturday at 1 a.m. ET. Live race coverage of the Korean Grand Prix begins on Sunday at 1:30 a.m. ET. F1 Extra, NBC Sports Group’s half-hour post-race show, will air immediately following the conclusion of the Korean Grand Prix on Sunday. NBCSN will also air an encore presentation of the Korean Grand Prix on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET.

Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) has taken control of the Formula One points standings, increasing his lead to 60 points over Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) following his third consecutive victory in the Singapore Grand Prix two weekends ago. Vettel aims for his third straight Korean Grand Prix victory, having won the race the previous two years.

NBCSN will also air episodes of TRANSLOGIC this week as part of its motorsports coverage.

A full release of the weekend’s coverage can be found here, on the NBC Sports Group Press Box website.

Date Coverage Network Time (ET)
Fri., October 4 TRANSLOGIC NBCSN 12 a.m.
TRANSLOGIC NBCSN 12:30 a.m.
F1 Korean Grand Prix – Practice NBCSN 1 a.m.
TRANSLOGIC (Encore) NBCSN 2:30 am.
IndyCar Grand Prix of Houston – Qualifying NBCSN 7 p.m.
F1 Korean Grand Prix – Practice (Encore) NBCSN 11:30 p.m.
Sat., October 5 F1 Korean Grand Prix – Qualifying NBCSN 1 a.m.
IndyCar Grand Prix of Houston – Race 1 NBCSN 3 p.m.
F1 Korean Grand Prix – Qualifying (Encore) NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Sun. October 6 F1 Korean Grand Prix NBCSN 1:30 a.m.
F1 Extra NBCSN 4 a.m.
IndyCar Grand Prix of Houston – Race 2 NBCSN 1 p.m.
Indy Lights Houston NBCSN 4 p.m.
F1 Korean Grand Prix (Encore) NBCSN 5 p.m.
F1 Extra (Encore) NBCSN 7:30 p.m.

Neuville wins Rally Australia; Ogier takes FIA WRC title

Sebastien Ogier. Photo: Getty Images
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COFFS HARBOUR, Australia (AP) Belgium’s Thierry Neuville won Rally Australia by 22.5 seconds on Sunday as torrential rain added drama to the last day of the last race of the World Rally Championship season.

Neuville entered the final day with an almost 20 second advantage after inheriting the rally lead Saturday when his Hyundai teammate, defending champion Andreas Mikkelsen crashed and was forced to retire for the day.

His lead was halved by Jari-Matti Latvala early Sunday as monsoon-like rain made conditions treacherous on muddy forest stages on the New South Wales coast. The rain stopped on the short Wedding Bells stage where Neuville was almost 5 seconds quicker than his rivals, stretching his lead to 14.7 seconds entering the last stage.

COFFS HARBOUR, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 17: Thierry Neuville of Belgium and Nicolas Gilsoul of Belgium compete in their Hyundai Motorsport WRT Hyundai i20 coupe WRC during Day One of the WRC Australia on November 17, 2017 in COFFS HARBOUR, Australia. (Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images)

That stage was full of incident. The driver’s door on Neuville’s Hyundai i20 coupe swung open in the middle of the stage and Neuville had to slam it closed as he approached a corner.

Latvala’s Toyota then crashed seconds from the end of the stage, allowing Estonia’s Ott Tanak, in a Ford, to take second place overall and New Zealalnd’s Haydon Paddon, in a Hyundai, to sneak into third.

Sebastian Ogier was fourth after winning the final, power stage but the Frenchman had already clinched his fifth world title before Rally Australia began. Neuville’s win was his fourth of the season, two more than Ogier, and was enough to give him second place in world drivers’ standings for the third time in five years.

Ogier owed his drivers’ title to his consistency: he retired only once and finished no worse than fifth all season.

Neuville admitted the last day was touch and go as the rain made some stages perilous, forcing the cancellation of the second to last stage.

“That was a hell of a ride,” Neuville said. “Really, really tricky conditions.

“I kept the car on the road but it was close sometimes. I knew I could make a difference but I had to be clever. You lose grip, you lose control and the car doesn’t respond to your input.”