NBCSN

F1 Spanish Grand Prix, Auburn auction highlight 25-plus hours of motorsports coverage this week on NBCSN

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* Spanish Grand Prix Airs Live Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN; Coverage BeginsFriday at 8 a.m. ET with Practice 2, Qualifying Saturday at 8 a.m. ET

* 10 Hours of Auctions America Coverage Starts Thursday at 2 p.m. ET

* NBC Sports Live Extra to Stream All TV Coverage, Plus Practices 1 & 3 of Spanish Grand Prix

NBCSN presents more than 25 hours of motorsports coverage this weekend, including the live presentation of the Formula One™ Pirelli Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET, and 10 hours of Auctions America coverage from Auburn, Ind.

NBCSN’s Spanish Grand Prix coverage begins Friday at 8 a.m. ET with Practice 2, followed by live qualifying on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. ET. NBCSN will air an encore presentation of qualifying at 6 a.m. ET on Sunday, leading into the Spanish Grand Prix at 7:30 a.m. ET.

NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will live stream the Spanish Grand Prix, including exclusive coverage of Practices 1 and 3. Live Extra will stream Practice 1 on Friday morning at 4 a.m. ET, and Practice 3 on Saturday at 5 a.m. ET.

Mercedes looks to continue its dominant start to the 2014 F1 season, as Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have combined to win the first four races of the schedule, including three straight victories by Hamilton heading into the Spanish Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) sits third in the points standings, and is a two-time winner of the Spanish Grand Prix (2006, 2013).

Lead F1 announcer Leigh Diffey will call the Spanish Grand Prix, and will be joined by veteran analyst and former racecar driver David Hobbs, and analyst and former race mechanic for the Benetton F1 team Steve Matchett. F1 insider Will Buxton will serve as the team’s on-site reporter from the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalyuna in Barcelona, Spain.

In addition, NBCSN will air live episodes of F1 Countdown on Friday at 5 p.m. ET, and F1 Extra on Saturday 9:30 a.m. ET, following qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix. Diffey will host both programs alongside Hobbs, with Buxton reporting from Barcelona.

 

AUCTIONS AMERICA AUBURN

In addition, NBCSN will present 10 hours of Auctions America coverage from the historic Auburn Auction Park in Auburn, Ind. this week, starting Thursday at 2 p.m. ET.  NBCSN’s presentation continues at 10:30 p.m. ET on Friday, followed by live coverage from Auburn on Saturday at 10 a.m. ET. The Auburn Spring telecast represents the first telecast in Auctions America’s new multi-year agreement with NBCSN, and features Auctions America’s largest Auburn Spring event to date.

Auction highlights include a 1939 Packard Twelve Touring Cabriolet by Brunn, a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427/435 Roadster, a 1955 Ford “Glass Wonder” Show Car Roadster, and a 2006 Dodge Viper SRT-10 Vol.9 Edition Coupe.

During three full days of auction action, approximately 900 collector cars are expected to cross the block, joined by a diverse selection of memorabilia. In keeping with the Auctions America’s commitment to cater for both veteran hobbyists and entry-level collectors, the auction offering spans the spectrum of the market, presenting something for all automotive tastes and budgets.

Veteran broadcaster Bill Patrick will host NBCSN’s Auctions America coverage this week, alongside NBCSN F1 analyst and former race mechanic for the Benneton F1 team Steve Matchett, and reporter Carolyn Manno.

 

Motorsports Coverage This Week on NBCSN (subject to change, all times ET):

Date Program Network Time
Thu., May 8 Auctions America – Auburn NBCSN 2 p.m.
NASCAR America NBCSN 5 p.m.
Fri., May 9 Auctions America – Auburn (Encore) NBCSN 1 a.m.
Spanish Grand Prix – Practice 1 NBC Sports Live Extra 4 a.m.
Road To Ferrari NBCSN 7 a.m.
Spanish Grand Prix – Practice 2 NBCSN 8 a.m.
F1 Countdown NBCSN 5 p.m.
Auctions America – Auburn NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Sat., May 10 Spanish Grand Prix – Practice 3 NBC Sports Live Extra 5 a.m.
Los Angeles Auto Show NBCSN 6 a.m.
Detroit Auto Show NBCSN 7 a.m.
Spanish Grand Prix – Qualifying NBCSN 8 a.m.
F1 Extra NBCSN 9:30 a.m.
Auctions America – Auburn NBCSN 10 a.m.
Sun., May 11 Spanish Grand Prix – Qualifying (Encore) NBCSN 6 a.m.
Spanish Grand Prix NBCSN 7:30 a.m.

 

FORMULA ONE™/AUCTIONS AMERICA ON NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA: NBC Sports Live Extra — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets — will provide live streaming coverage of this week’s F1 Spanish Grand Prix and Auctions America Auburn auction airing on NBCSN via “TV Everywhere,” the media industry’s effort to make quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of 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.

Coverage will live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra, and to the digital platforms of participating cable, satellite, and telco services, via “TV Everywhere,” which is available on an authenticated basis to subscribers of participating MVPDs.

Yamaha, Ducati enjoy launches ahead of new MotoGP season

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MotoGP heavyweights Yamaha and Ducati geared up for the new season of motorcycle racing’s premier championship with launches this week.

Yamaha and Ducati both enter 2017 with a new line-up following Jorge Lorenzo’s decision to move from the former to the latter, acting as one of a number of shake-ups in the rider market.

Three-time MotoGP champion Lorenzo replaces Andrea Iannone at Ducati, who sought refuge at Suzuki after a seat was freed up by Maverick Viñales following his move to Yamaha in replace of – the man who started the merry-go-round all – Lorenzo.

Yamaha was the first to take the covers off its new bike at a launch in Madrid on Thursday, with Viñales being joined by nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi for the unveiling of the YZR-M1.

The new bike features a darker blue as its main livery color, as well as greater presence for title sponsor Movistar.

“I had the first test in Valencia after the race, but particularly after we moved to Sepang and we could have more kilometers and [do] more work on the new bike,” Rossi said.

“We discovered a very good potential. It looks like we can be stronger. For sure now it’s important to work in the three tests before the first race, and try to arrive ready in Qatar. But the first impression is very good.”

Ducati followed suit earlier today by unveiling its new livery for 2017, with Lorenzo making one of his first official appearances in the team’s colors following the expiration of his Yamaha contract on December 31.

The team presented its 2016 bike, the Desmosedici GP16, in ’17 colors, as well as removing the controversial – and now banned – winglets from its model.

The new MotoGP season begins in Qatar on March 26, with pre-season testing set to start at the end of January in Malaysia.

Neuville leads Ogier midway through Monte Carlo Rally

Thierry Neuville (BEL) competes during the FIA World Rally Championship 2017 in Monte Carlo, Monaco on January 20, 2017
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MONACO (AP) Belgian driver Thierry Neuville took a 45-second lead Friday over defending world rally champion Sebastien Ogier midway through the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally.

Overnight leader Neuville won three of Friday’s six special stages, while Ogier struggled early on before pegging Neuville back by winning the last two. Ott Tanak of Estonia is third.

Four-time champion Ogier is now driving for Ford M-Sport after switching from Volkswagen last month. The Frenchman was eight seconds behind Neuville’s Hyundai overnight and quickly under pressure.

Tanak, who also drives for M-Sport, won Friday’s first special stage – the third of 17 overall – ahead of Neuville, with Ogier in ninth.

Difficult morning conditions saw snow and sheet ice on the roads. With all the top drivers fitting studded winter tires, Ogier still went off into a ditch.

“It happened at a junction, it was very, very icy. I pulled the handbrake but the car never turned,” Ogier said. “I slipped into the ditch and became stuck.”

Neuville won the next three specials – with Ogier second on 4 and 5 – but Ogier finally found his best form to trim back the deficit from 1:12 to 45 seconds. He also overtook Tanak, who is a fraction of a second behind Ogier.

Conditions were slushy in the afternoon as the icy roads began melting.

“For me this was more tricky than this morning and difficult to know what rhythm to go,” Neuville said.

A spectator was killed on Thursday night after being hit by a car during the first stage.

Organizers said the spectator was struck by a car driven by New Zealand driver Hayden Paddon during the first of two night stages.

That stage was canceled but the second went ahead, with Neuville beating Ogier.

There are six specials Saturday with the race concluding Sunday lunchtime.

Last year, Ogier won by nearly two minutes ahead of then-teammate Andreas Mikkelsen of Norway.

Ogier announced last month that he was going to drive the Ford Fiesta for M-Sport this season. A fifth title would move him into outright second place on the all-time list behind countryman Sebastien Loeb, who won nine straight titles.

The 33-year-old Ogier, who has won 38 career races, is tied with Finnish drivers Tommi Makinen – who won four straight – and Juha Kankkunen.

The next event in the 13-race season is in Sweden in three weeks.

BRDC: Reports Silverstone will definitely drop British GP ‘speculative and wrong’

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 10:  The grid at the start of the race during the Formula One Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 10, 2016 in Northampton, England.  (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
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The British Racing Drivers Club has issued a statement dismissing suggestions that Silverstone will definitely drop its Formula 1 race following the 2019 season.

Doubt was cast over the future of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone following a leaked letter from BRDC chairman John Grant, in which he admitted to concerns about the cost of hosting the race.

Grant admitted that BRDC officials were considering triggering a clause in Silverstone’s F1 contract that would allow it to end its commitment after 2019 due to “ruinous” costs.

In a statement issued on Friday, the BRDC stressed that no final decision had been made and that suggestions a final decision to drop the race had already been made were incorrect.

“The British Racing Drivers Club wishes to make clear that recent press reports suggesting that talks have been unsuccessful and that the British Grand Prix will definitely be dropped after 2019 are speculative and wrong,” the statement reads.

“Our objective is to preserve the British Grand Prix at Silverstone for many years to come but, of course, we can only do this if it makes economic sense,” Grant added.

“As I have said before, we will be considering over the next six months if we should give notice of our intention to exercise the break clause in our grand prix contract at the end of 2019. No decision has been made, or will be made, until mid-July.

“In the meantime, we will be using this period to explore all interested parties, hopefully in private, various ways in which we might work out a more sustainable proposition.”

Jacques Villeneuve: Indy 500 ‘the biggest, most important race in the world’

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 25: Jacques Villeneuve of Canada driver of the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara Honda during the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 mile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 25, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
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1995 CART champion Jacques Villeneuve has called the Indianapolis 500 “the biggest, most important race in the world”, believing that its long-running traditions are key to its enduring appeal.

Villeneuve won the Indy 500 in 1995 en route to the CART title, having finished second at the Brickyard the previous year.

Villeneuve moved into Formula 1 following his CART title victory, becoming world champion with Williams in 1997 before ultimately leaving the series mid-way through the 2006 season.

Villeneuve appeared in his third ‘500 in 2014, finishing 14th for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (pictured above).

Speaking at Autosport International last week, Villeneuve spoke warmly of his experiences at the ‘500, saying it dwarfed any other race in motorsport.

“[You’re] running at an average speed of 230 mph in traffic, in a place where you’re still allowed to risk your life basically because it’s marginally safer than 20 years ago, and half a million people in the grandstands,” Villeneuve said.

“Back then it was an event that lasted three weeks. You would build on it so the energy was incredible. It felt like a big gladiatorial ring from the Roman Empire. It was very special.

“It is the biggest, most important race in the world. Obviously an F1 championship is bigger, but as a one single event, it’s the biggest one.”

Villeneuve said that he did not appreciate the enormity of the event until he finally raced at the ‘500, having followed F1 more closely as a child by virtue of his father, Gilles, who raced for Ferrari.

“The Indy 500, I didn’t grow up with it. I grew up with Formula 1, so I didn’t really know what it represented,” Villeneuve said

“I didn’t think about it until I raced in Atlantics and I thought ‘oh wow, there’s half a million people here, that’s cool’.

“I still didn’t really understand why there was one toilet where they didn’t put the door because one year there was a driver who didn’t close his door and they decided to keep it like that for the next 40 years.

“There’s lots of stuff in America that’s very important, the history of why things have happened. Why do you drink milk when you’ve won the Indy 500? It’s because – I don’t know which driver – in the past was thirsty and asked for a jug of milk. They gave it to him and it became tradition.

“All these little things keep it alive. To get a race where people come almost daily for three weeks, that takes a lot of passion. But when you’re in it, OK it’s just a race and there’s lots of people, great, but it’s a stepping stone to F1.

“When you’re out of it, you realize first of all I survived it, and then you’ve won it. And then you realize that it’s still present and alive.

“And then you realize that that win was 22 years ago, and then you understand the meaning of what you accomplished.”