Grosjean of France, Webber of Australia, Hamilton of Britain and Vettel of Germany fight for the first position during the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit

Complete 2014 F1 on NBC Sports TV Times, Schedule

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The complete, 2014 Formula One on NBC Sports schedule has been revealed (see Australian Grand Prix times here). A breakdown of times for each Grand Prix follows:

NBC will present four races, CNBC will broadcast three and NBCSN will air the remaining 12 races. CNBC will also live broadcast eight qualifying sessions, while NBCSN will air 11. All practices will be presented on NBCSN. Additionally, every race can be viewed live on your desktop and mobile device via NBC Sports Live Extra and the NBC Sports Live Extra app.

NBC Sports Group’s Formula One full announce booth returns for a second season, with lead race announcer Leigh Diffey providing live play-by-play commentary. Diffey is joined by veteran analyst and former racecar driver David Hobbs, and analyst Steve Matchett, a former race mechanic for the Benetton F1 team. Rounding out the broadcast team is F1 insider Will Buxton, who will provide live reports on-site in Australia and at all 19 F1 races this season.

The four live NBC races begin with the Monaco Grand Prix on May 25 at 7:30 a.m. ET, followed by the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday, June 8 at 2 p.m. ET. NBC’s F1 coverage continues with the United States Grand Prix (Austin) on Sunday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m. ET, and concludes with the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday, Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Group’s announce team of Diffey, Hobbs, Matchett, and Buxton will be on-site to call the action from Monaco, Montreal (Canada) and Austin (U.S.).

Due to scheduling conflicts, live coverage of the Great Britain, German and Hungarian Grands Prix will air on CNBC, NBCUniversal’s fully-distributed business channel.

The full release on the F1 schedule can be found on the NBC Sports Group Press Box website.

Schedule by Grand Prix:

Grand Prix Practice 2 (ALL on NBCSN) Qualifying (11 NBCSN, 8 CNBC; Specifics TBD) Race (Channel Listed)
Australian P1: 3/13, 9:30 p.m.P2: 3/14, 1:30 a.m. March 152:00 a.m. March 161:30 a.m., NBCSN
Malaysian March 282:00 a.m. March 294:00 a.m. March 303:30 a.m., NBCSN
Bahrain April 411:00 a.m. April 511:00 a.m. April 610:30 a.m.,  NBCSN
Chinese April 182:00 a.m. April 192:00 a.m. April 202:30 a.m., NBCSN
Spanish May 98:00 a.m. May 108:00 a.m. May 117:30 a.m., NBCSN
Monaco May 22 (Thurs.)8:00 a.m. May 248:00 a.m. May 257:30 a.m., NBC*
Canadian June 62:00 p.m. June 71:00 p.m. June 82:00 p.m., NBC*
Austrian June 208:00 a.m. June 218:00 a.m. June 227:30 a.m., NBCSN
British July 49:00 a.m. July 58:00 a.m. July 67:30 a.m., CNBC
German July 18 (SDD)2:30 p.m. July 198:00 a.m. July 207:30 a.m., CNBC
Hungarian July 25 (SDD)11:30 a.m. July 268:00 a.m. July 277:30 a.m., CNBC
Belgian August 228:00 a.m. August 238:00 a.m. August 247:30 a.m., NBCSN
Italian September 58:00 a.m. September 68:00 a.m. September 77:30 a.m., NBCSN
Singapore September 199:30 a.m. September 209:00 a.m. September 217:30 a.m., NBCSN
Japanese October 31:00 a.m. October 41:00 a.m. October 51:30 a.m., NBCSN
Russian October 106:00 a.m. October 117:00 a.m. October 126:30 a.m., NBCSN
United States October 311:00 p.m. November 11:00 p.m. November 22:00 p.m., NBC*
Brazilian November 711:00 a.m. November 811:00 a.m. November 91:00 p.m., NBC
Abu Dhabi November 218:00 a.m. November 228:00 a.m. November 237:30 a.m., NBCSN

All Times ET

Schedule Subject to Change
(SDD) Same Day Delay

*Entire broadcast team on site

Daniel de Jong favors GP2 stay over LMP2 move

2015 GP2 Series Round 11.
Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Saturday 28 November 2015.
Daniel de Jong (NLD, Trident), Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Trident).
Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.
ref: Digital Image _MG_4831
© GP2 Series
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Daniel de Jong will remain in the GP2 Series for the 2016 season with MP Motorsport after deciding against a move into the LMP2 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

De Jong made his GP2 debut back in 2012 with Rapax and has since raced for MP Motorsport, scoring six points over the past three years.

The Dutchman admitted that he did consider his future in the series after 2015, but ultimately decided against a move into LMP2 despite enjoying a successful test.

“Last year, we began looking at what the future holds for us. We looked into LMP2 pretty seriously, and I did a test that really pleased me,” de Jong said.

“But then I saw the WEC prototypes and GP2 race on the same weekend in Bahrain, and I thought: GP2 is such an amazing category, with cars battling throughout the entire field.

“That’s why I decided to stay in this hugely competitive championship for one more year before a possible switch to prototype racing.”

De Jong will race alongside 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 champion Oliver Rowland at MP this year, a prospect that the GP2 veteran is relishing.

“With Oliver as a teammate, we have a fantastic year ahead of us,” de Jong said. “He is so good and extremely motivated, and we’ve known each other for a long time.

“Everyone in the team is buzzing with enthusiasm and that feels really great.”

Jorda laughs off claim she was 12 secs per lap off pace in simulator

MONTMELO, SPAIN - MAY 08:  Development driver Carmen Jorda of Spain and Lotus F1 looks on in the team garage during practice for the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 8, 2015 in Montmelo, Spain.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
© Getty Images
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Renault development driver Carmen Jorda has laughed off an accusation from former GP2 driver Marco Sørensen that she was 12 seconds per lap slower than him in the Lotus simulator.

Jorda joined Lotus in a development role in 2015 after spending three seasons in GP3, where she finished in a highest position of 13th and failed to score a point in 46 attempts.

Jorda is yet to drive a Formula 1 car, but completed work for Lotus in its simulator during 2015.

Sørensen formerly enjoyed ties with Lotus before turning his attention away from single-seaters and moving into endurance racing with Aston Martin Racing.

In an interview with Danish publication Ekstra Bladet, Sørensen said that Jorda received favoritism within the team despite being as much as 12 seconds per lap slower than him in the simulator.

“She was 12 seconds slower than me in the simulator,” Sorensen claimed. “Still, she ran away with all the rewards.

“I have spent at least 60 days in the simulator in the past two years working on the development of the Formula 1 car, as Kevin Magnussen has done at McLaren.

“So I felt so violated that it finally became too much, so I just had to stop.”

Jorda responded by taking to Twitter and laughing off the claims, posting in both English and Spanish: “12 seconds faster? I’ve been laughing at that for 12 hours!” The English tweet has since been deleted.

Jorda also spoke about Sørensen’s comments in an interview with Spanish newspaper AS, saying: “I honestly don’t know who he is. I haven’t ever seen him in Enstone. Last year he was not part of the team.

“Last year in the simulator I used to be more or less within a second of [Romain] Grosjean.

“If you trust Sørensen’s numbers – if someone was 11 seconds up on Romain, I’m sure that all the F1 teams on the grid would sign them.”

MX-5 Cup Shootout winner Glenn McGee joins JJRD program

JJRD-McGee_LucasOilcar-med
Photo: Mazda Road to 24
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Glenn McGee’s a name you might hear down the road as he progresses through the Mazda Road to 24 program, having won the shootout to compete in the Mazda MX-5 Cup this season after advancing in from iRacing.

He’s now joined the Jonathan Jorge Racing Development (JJRD) driver development program for the year. A full release on that is below, along with a video of his shootout win.

JJ Racing Development (JJRD), an industry leader in coaching and driver development services among the junior and pro-levels of motorsports, has selected professional gamer turned professional race car driver, Glenn McGee to join their 2016 driver development program. In addition to JJRD’s full coaching services, designed to prepare drivers for the demands of a professional racing career, JJRD’s team of drivers will also benefit from the expert instructors, advanced modern formula race cars, and seat-time at North America’s premiere tracks, provided by the Lucas Oil School of Racing.

With the intent to identify and develop elite drivers, JJRD scouts for those whom demonstrate the raw ingredients to succeed in motorsports and works to successfully transition them into the pro-ranks; instilling the racing techniques, physical, social, and mental tools required to climb the motorsports ladder. Elite talents, scouted and retained within JJRD’s Driver Development program include current Indy Lights driver/winner, R.C. Enerson; Mazda Prototype driver, Tristan Nunez; and Indy Driver, Spencer Pigot.

McGee’s induction into the program is unique and offers an equally unique challenge to JJRD in that he will be the first of their drivers transitioning from virtual-to-reality. McGee recently went from being the fastest virtual Mazda driver in world competition (through motorsport simulation software, iRacing.com) to earning an invite and eventually winning the 2015 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout against real-life Mazda club racing champions; taking home a $100,000 Mazda scholarship and pro-seat in the 2016 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup, Presented by BFGoodrich Tires.

Part of JJRD’s program will be designed around helping the young driver successfully move from the virtual world to a real pro-racing career, while complimenting Mazda’s own driver development plans for McGee.

“We are committed to guiding talented drivers towards reaching their full-potential and are proud of what our drivers have achieved,” said JJRD’s Jonatan Jorge. “We’ve helped successfully guide drivers to the top of both the Mazda Road to Indy and Mazda Road to 24 ladder systems; evidenced by JJRD development drivers RC Enerson, Spencer Pigot and Tristian Nunez, and we think we can do the same with McGee,” Jorge continued “He has shown he has raw speed and a lot of the attributes that we look for when identifying these promising talents for the future and we are excited to invest in a driver from such a unique background. With our support, it will be interesting to see what a top simulation driver can do in the real world”

“I’m really honored to be a part of JJRD’s team which has already produced great drivers,” said McGee. “This is a big year for me as I navigate from being a pro sim-driver on iRacing.com to becoming a full fledged professional racing driver,” “There is an extraordinary amount to learn, but JJRD specializes in nurturing drivers from the start of their career and has proven that their methods work. I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together!”

McGee begins his program in earnest with JJRD and the Lucas Oil School of Racing where he’ll gain valuable seat time and instruction; working closely with staff on learning in-depth knowledge of advanced racing techniques, speed, racecraft, strategies, chassis setup, and the myriad of mental tools required to grow into a world-class professional driver. Open to drivers who complete the 2-Day course, McGee will also be attending the schools winter racing series, the Lucas Oil Formula Car Series, to further supplement his training with JJRD.

IndyCar Ministry prepares for another season of at-track service

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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There’s a lot of things that occur at a Verizon IndyCar Series race weekend behind-the-scenes but are intriguing and crucial elements of what makes the traveling road show tick.

IndyCar Ministry is one of those elements.

Although it’s not directly affiliated with INDYCAR (series sanctioning body), the ministry serves as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit non-denominational Christian organization that ministers to IndyCar plus the three series on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder, Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000.

The organization went through a leadership change this offseason with Chaplain David Storvick taking over as full Director of the ministry, following the resignation of past Chaplain Bob Hillis. Storvick was interim director prior to losing the interim tag, and had served as primary Chaplain for the Mazda Road to Indy series.

Storvick, a Purdue engineering graduate, had been a crew member going back to the early 2000s and began helping Hillis once the Mazda Road to Indy schedules grew and expanded. He later received his Masters’ in seminary at Cincinnati Christian, and has been traveling full-time since 2008.

The ministry’s mission is to be there for support for those who need it at the track, whether they’re drivers, crew members or other key stakeholders on a weekend.

“We work to make ourselves available,” Storvick told NBC Sports. “At track, obviously we’re there, in whatever situation for drivers, crew and their family,. We try to be a spiritual help to family in (tough) situations.

“After a tragedy or when something like that happens, there’s lots of what I would call ‘impromptu counseling.’ Getting people to understand what happened in those situations. For us to have the privilege, it is a privilege, and we take it very seriously. We try to do it as effectively as possible.”

The offseason for IndyCar Ministry sees the group do a bit of fundraising, through phone calls and emails to help secure funding for the following year, while continuing to raise awareness. Monthly newsletters also come out.

“It feels like a race team,” Storvick said. “We have to raise enough funding to do what we do to get to the track. It’s always a constant.

“But INDYCAR does allow us to use its logo and places for us. We’re not supported by them per se; financially, we’re solely on God’s provision, through individual and corporate donations.”

There are a lot of programs IndyCar Ministry completes on a weekend, which Storvick outlined.

ministry

“For a race weekend, there’s a lot of preparation that goes into it,” Storvick said.

“There’s a chapel service and there’s a message prepared. We make a point to offer prayer to every driver before every race in every series.

“You’d see it on the false grid for Mazda Road to Indy races, but I’ll come through to every driver, in all four series, at driver introductions, if the driver wants to pray before introduced, we will. IndyCar will do not just drivers, but also teams. But there’s a lot of activity on a race day, from our standpoint, to chapel, to prayer.

“And then obviously there’s a lot of people we work with on a regular basis. Sometimes we have those sessions at the track. We do other services as well, such as weddings or funerals that obviously requires extra planning.

“It’s about building relationships with people, sharing the hope of Christ with them, and taking it to next level.”