Canadian GP, IndyCar on NBCSN highlight 40+ hours of weekend coverage

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NBC Sports Group will present more than 40 hours of motorsports coverage this weekend, highlighted by live coverage of the IndyCar Firestone 600 on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, and the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBC.

NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will provide streaming coverage of both the Firestone 600 and Canadian Grand Prix this weekend. Additional motorsports coverage this week includes the debut of KURT BUSCH: 36 on NBC, and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross coverage from the Thunder Valley National on Saturday on NBCSN.

INDYCAR FIRESTONE 600 – SATURDAY AT 8 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

Beginning this weekend, NBCSN will provide exclusive coverage of the final 11 races of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season, culminating with the MAVTV 500 in Fontana, Calif. on August 30 on NBCSN.

Coverage of the Firestone 600 begins on Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET with qualifying, followed by live race coverage Saturday on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET. Brian Till (play-by-play) will call the action alongside former drivers Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Reporters Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Jon Beekhuis and Kevin Lee will report from the pits.

FORMULA ONE CANADIAN GRAND PRIX – SUNDAY AT 2 P.M. ET ON NBC

NBC’s Formula One coverage continues with the Canadian Grand Prix live from Montreal. Coverage begins Friday on NBC Sports Live Extra at 10 a.m. ET with Practice 1, followed by NBCSN’s coverage of Practice 2 at 2 p.m. ETLive Extra will stream coverage of Practice 3 on Saturday at 10 a.m. ET, prior to NBCSN’s live coverage of qualifying at 1 p.m. ETF1 Extra, NBC Sports Group’s pre-race show, will air Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, leading into live race coverage of the Canadian Grand Prix at 2 p.m. ET on NBC. As usual, Leigh Diffey (play-by-play) will be joined by analysts David Hobbs and Steve Matchett, with F1 insider and pit reporter Will Buxton joining the trio on site in Montreal.

KURT BUSCH: 36 – SUNDAY AT 4:30 P.M. ET ON NBC

KURT BUSCH: 36, an all-access look into the intense preparation, 200+ MPH competition and extreme logistics surrounding Kurt Busch’s racing in IndyCar’s famed Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 on the same day just two weeks ago, will debut this Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC. NBC Sports’ Emmy Award-winning NASCAR production team, led by Executive Producer Sam Flood, teams with the Emmy Award-winning NASCAR Productions to create KURT BUSCH: 36, featuring in-depth interviews, on-track footage, team communications and a seat right next to Busch throughout his races against drivers from IndyCar and NASCAR.

A 60-minute “director’s cut” of KURT BUSCH: 36 will air the following day, Monday, June 9, at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

In addition, NBCSN will present episodes of NASCAR AMERICA, NBC Sports Group’s new 30-minute daily show dedicated to speed and stock car racing, today and tomorrow at 5 p.m. ET.

LUCAS OIL PRO MOTOCROSS THUNDER VALLEY NATIONAL – SATURDAY AT 5 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will present six hours of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships coverage this weekend from the Thunder Valley National in Lakewood, Colo. in the third round of the 12-race championship series. Coverage begins on NBC Sports Live Extra with practice at 12:30 p.m. ET, followed by pre-race coverage on Live Extra at2:30 p.m. ET. 1st Motos coverage begins live from Thunder Valley at 3 p.m. ET on Live Extra, followed by 2nd Motos on NBCSN at 5 p.m. ET.

Veteran play-by-play voice Jason Weigandt, analyst and two-time AMA Pro Motocross Champion Grant Langston, and pit reporter Georgia Lindsay will call the action from Thunder Valley on Saturday.

Following is this week’s motorsports coverage schedule on NBCSN:

Date Program Time (ET) Network
Wed., June 4 Off The Grid: Barcelona (Encore) 4:30 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR AMERICA 5 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR: The List 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
Auctions America: Auburn (Encore) 8 p.m. NBCSN
Auctions America: Auburn (Encore) 11:30 p.m. NBCSN
Thu., June 5 NASCAR AMERICA 5 p.m. NBCSN
Mecum Auctions: Kansas City (Encore) 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
Mecum Auctions: Houston (Encore) 8:30 p.m. NBCSN
Mecum Auctions: Indianapolis (Encore) 11:30 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., June 6 F1 Canadian Grand Prix – Practice 1 10 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
F1 Canadian Grand Prix – Practice 2 2 p.m. NBCSN
Mecum Auctions: Indianapolis (Encore) 3:30 p.m. NBCSN
IndyCar Firestone 600 – Qualifying 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., June 7 F1 Canadian Grand Prix – Practice 2 (Encore) 2 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Canadian Grand Prix – Practice 3 10 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
AMA Motocross Thunder Valley – Practice 12:30 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
F1 Canadian Grand Prix – Qualifying 1 p.m. NBCSN
AMA Motocross Thunder Valley – Pre-Race 2:30 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
AMA Motocross Thunder Valley – 1st Motos 3 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
AMA Motocross Thunder Valley – 2nd Motos 5 p.m. NBCSN
IndyCar Firestone 600 8 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., June 8 F1 Canadian Grand Prix Qualifying 1:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra 1:30 p.m. NBCSN
F1 Canadian Grand Prix 2 p.m. NBC
Lucas Oil Motorsports Hour 4 p.m. NBCSN
RACER TV 5 p.m. NBCSN
TORC: Las Vegas 5:30 p.m. NBCSN
F1 Canadian Grand Prix – Encore 7 p.m. NBCSN
“1” – F1 Documentary 9:30 p.m. NBCSN

Ricciardo confident Red Bull hasn’t missed last F1 win chance in 2017

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Red Bull Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo is confident the team has not missed its last chance to win a race in 2017 after losing out to Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in Singapore.

Red Bull ran strongly throughout the Singapore race weekend, with Ricciardo boldly stating the team would win after qualifying third for the race.

A wet-dry affair marred by a start-line crash allowed Hamilton to sweep from fifth to first, while Ricciardo was left to settle for P2 for the third straight year in Singapore.

With none of the remaining circuits appearing to suit Red Bull’s RB13 car as well as Singapore, Ferrari and Mercedes are expected to share the spoils through the final six races of the year.

However, Ricciardo is sure that Red Bull will get another opportunity to add to its surprise victory in Baku earlier this season, which came about in surprising circumstances.

“Malaysia, obviously there were a few incidents last year but I think our general pace wasn’t too bad so we might be stronger than we think there,” Ricciardo said, looking ahead to next weekend’s race in Kuala Lumpur.

“Malaysia, Japan and then we’ll see. I think we can be podium cars, probably Malaysia, Japan, Austin.

“We might need some alternate conditions to really give us raw pace to fight for a win.

“I’m not going to sit here and say we’re not going to win one.

“I believe we’ll get at least one chance somewhere.”

F1 teams allowed to use current-year cars for demos from 2018

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Formula 1 teams will be allowed to use their latest-spec cars at demonstrations organized by the sport from 2018, the FIA has confirmed.

F1 hit the streets of London, England ahead of the British Grand Prix in July for a live demonstration that attracted a crowd of over 100,000 fans.

Due to restrictions on the use of current cars outside of official testing and grand prix weekends, all teams were required to appear with older chassis models in London, most coming from 2015, the most recent year allowed to be used freely.

The restrictions meant that Haas, which only became an F1 team in 2016, could not field a car at all in London.

As part of the updated sporting regulations approved by the World Motor Sport Council and issued by the FIA earlier this week, a rule tweak was confirmed to let teams use their current-year cars at “demonstration events organized by the Commercial Rights Holder”.

Teams are still allowed to complete two filming day events with their current cars, with the majority opting to use one prior to pre-season testing to act as a shakedown of their new models.

While no further demonstrations such as the one in London have been confirmed by F1 yet, they are understood to be in the works after the success the July event enjoyed.

Vinales takes Aragon MotoGP pole, Rossi P3 on return

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Maverick Viñales will start Sunday’s MotoGP race at Motorland Aragon from pole position after topping qualifying for Yamaha as teammate Valentino Rossi made a stunning return from injury.

Having broken his leg during a training accident at the end of last month, Rossi was cleared to race this weekend by MotoGP’s medical officials on Thursday, with the nine-time world champion gingerly returning to action in practice.

Rossi battled through to Q2 by finishing final practice 10th-quickest, before then producing a rapid final lap in the session to secure third place on the grid for Sunday’s race.

Teammate Viñales bagged his fifth pole of the season with a best lap of 1:47.635, lapping one-tenth of a second quicker than Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo. Rossi was a further 0.08 seconds behind in P3.

Cal Crutchlow took fourth for LCR Honda ahead of Marc Marquez, who fell ahead of his final run and was unable to improve his initial lap time in Q2.

Marquez’s chief title rival Andrea Dovizioso will start seventh behind Dani Pedrosa, while Aleix Espargaro, Alvaro Bautista and Andrea Iannone completed the top 10 in qualifying.

McLaren ‘a little behind’ on 2018 F1 car plans after delayed engine call

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McLaren racing director Eric Boullier has conceded the team is “a little behind” in developing its Formula 1 car for next year after only finalizing its 2018 engine plans last week.

McLaren saw its long-running engine saga end in Singapore when it agreed a deal to end its current Honda supply and link up with Renault from the start of next season.

The move is expected to give McLaren a lift in performance and allow it to fight further up the field, but the delay in being finalized has put the team slightly behind schedule in developing its new car.

“We are flat out working on the 2018 car. There are a lot of changes in terms of layout of the engine, so we have to redesign some of the parts we already had in our mind,” Bouller told the official F1 website.

“We are a little behind in terms of decision. I would have loved this decision to have been made a couple of weeks ago.”

McLaren will no longer enjoy exclusive works status in 2018 as it has done with Honda, with Renault also supplying engines to Red Bull and its own factory team.

Boullier remains confident of a strong partnership between McLaren and Renault, though, and is sure it is the best path for the future.

“We are ‘privileged customers’ with Renault. We have the same engine and access to information as Enstone or Red Bull Racing, so this is a real partnership with Renault,” Boullier said.

“We also have the possibility to work with them – to put ideas in the box for the future that might be taken into consideration. That will allow us to influence in the future. But yes, a full works team is different from our situation in 2018.

“But it is like in school: you look at the plusses and the minuses, and looking at all the plusses and minuses we made our decision, which we believe will be the best one for McLaren for at least the next three years.”