Photo: GRC

Red Bull GRC: NBC Sports Group confirms TV deal through 2015


NBC Sports Group has announced a multi-year partnership with Red Bull Global Rallycross today through the 2015 season, presenting up to nine Red Bull Global Rallycross races annually the next two years. Coverage begins Saturday, May 24 at 1 p.m. ET on NBC with the first race of the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross season from the Top Gear Festival in Barbados. The NBC confirmation post is linked here.

Additional race locations this year include New York, Washington D.C., Daytona, Detroit, Charlotte, Los Angeles Seattle, and the season finale in Las Vegas in November. Red Bull Global Rallycross features some of the world’s premier rallycross drivers, including Ken Block,Tanner Foust and Scott Speed.

“We are thrilled to partner with Red Bull Global Rallycross and present more than 10 hours of original motorsports content on NBC,” saidGary Quinn, Vice President, Programming and Owned Properties, NBC Sports Group. “NBC Sports Group is one of the premier destinations for motorsports coverage, and the addition of Red Bull Global Rallycross to the NBC Sports family reiterates our commitment to the category.”

“Our fan base is growing exponentially, and being on NBC is an important step in meeting the demand out there for our Red Bull Global Rallycross motor sports platform.” said Colin Dyne, CEO, Red Bull Global Rallycross. “This partnership gives our fans incredible flexibility in how they view our races and we look forward to introducing the non-stop action of our sport to millions more households this season.”

Veteran motorsports play-by-play announcer Tes Sewell will call the action this season, joined by NBC Sports Group motorsports analyst and active driver Townsend Bell.

In addition to NBC’s coverage of the Red Bull Global Rallycross series, NBCSN will air encore presentations of all nine events this season, and all content will be streamed via NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets.


Date Coverage Network Time (ET)
Sat., May 24 Top Gear Festival – Barbados* NBC 1 p.m.
Sun., June 22 Red Bull Global Rallycross – Washington D.C. NBC 2 p.m.
Sun., July 20 Red Bull Global Rallycross – New York NBC 2 p.m.
Sat., July 26 Red Bull Global Rallycross – Charlotte NBC 2 p.m.
Sun., August 3 Red Bull Global Rallycross – Detroit NBC 2 p.m.
Sat., August 23 Red Bull Global Rallycross – Daytona NBC 3:30 p.m.
Sat., September 20 Red Bull Global Rallycross – Los Angeles NBC 5 p.m.
Sun., September 28 Red Bull Global Rallycross – Seattle* NBC 2:30 p.m.
Sun., November 16 Red Bull Global Rallycross – Las Vegas* NBC 2 p.m.

*Denotes tape-delayed presentation

Formula E: Team Aguri confirms da Costa for second season

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Antonio Felix da Costa has been confirmed for a second season with Team Aguri for the 2015-2016 FIA Formula E Championship, which begins later this month in Beijing.

He won once this past year at Buenos Aires and finished eighth in the points despite missing both the season opener and season finale due to clashes with his DTM schedule.

Said the 24-year-old Portuguese driver, “I am really happy to continue with Team Aguri and Formula E for season two. This championship is earning its respect in the world of motorsport and I am honoured to be involved. Regarding the season, I am really looking forward to getting started.”

Team Aguri team principal Mark Preston added, “It is a great pleasure to have Antonio continuing with the team for season two of Formula E. Antonio brought us our maiden win in Buenos Aires and helped to develop the team from scratch, he will continue to build on that success for season two and beyond.”

The team that bares the name of ex-Formula 1 driver and team owner Aguri Suzuki has not yet confirmed its second driver, which is the last outstanding seat to be filled on the Formula E grid.

Amlin, which had partnered with Aguri last year, is now present with the Andretti Formula E team and its drivers, Robin Frijns and Simona de Silvestro.

Hulkenberg leads shorter than normal FP1 in Russia

Nico Hulkenberg
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Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg posted a 1:44.355 lap of the of the Sochi Autodrom to lead a fairly abnormal, and shorter than usual, first free practice for the Russian Grand Prix.

Hulkenberg posted the time to conclude the usual 90-minute session, to pip Nico Rosberg at 1:44.407 on his final lap. The usual 90-minute session was shortened due to a track delay for cleanup of diesel fuel on course.

Sebastian Vettel, Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo completed the top five.

While the clock started on time for the full 90-minute session, track activity was halted for the opening 30 minutes to clean up diesel spillage on the track at Turn 8.

It left teams and drivers with just a 60-minute first free practice to tackle the Sochi Autodrom, but did not push the session later or affect the timetable for the rest of the day. However, with a damp if not entirely wet track, it made things difficult in FP1.

The delay also meant that teams weren’t able to use an extra set of Pirellis handed out at the start of FP1. Supersofts can be used for the first time in FP2.

During the delay, it did offer a chance for sarcasm, and Manor seized the opportunity following a comment from McLaren Honda’s Fernando Alonso noting that even with Mercedes engines next year, Manor wouldn’t move ahead of them.

NBC’s Will Buxton explained the track surface dilemma drivers would face in this session.

With just under one hour to go in the session, Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson was the first to head out on course, leading several others. Ericsson made the first laps of the weekend at the track where he made his final start for Caterham a year ago.

Both Williams drivers went on course on Pirelli’s wet weather tires for their installation laps. Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg tried the intermediates, and Alonso was first on course in slicks.

No official times were registered until there were less than 40 minutes remaining in the session, with Alonso registering a 2:00.736 time, while putting down a bevy of sparks. He quickly lowered the mark to 1:56.327, and 1:53.854 after that. Ericsson was next in at a 1:58.926, although dropped into the 1:54 range not long after.

Alonso’s teammate Jenson Button clocked in at 1:50.920 with just under 20 minutes remaining and for the first time this year, we could say we had a McLaren Honda 1-2 on track, albeit under abnormal circumstances.

The trsck got busy in the final 15 minutes, with Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen posting a 1:50.870 to lead before Alonso clocked in a 1:49.240.

A 1:47.959 from Williams’ Valtteri Bottas, then a 1:45.987 from Hulkenberg followed in the final 10 minutes as times firmly began to drop. Vettel got down to a 1:45.491 shortly thereafter, and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton came up two tenths shy of the mark at a 1:45.691.

Ericsson reported a power cut near the end of the session down at Sauber but otherwise there were no issues through the field, other than a handful of spins, including one from Hamilton on his final flier at the second-to-last corner.

FP2 begins from 7 a.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.