Return to Austria highlights more than 35 hours of NBC/NBCSN motorsports this week

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NBC Sports Group continues its Formula One coverage this weekend with the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN, highlighting more than 35 hours of motorsports coverage across NBC and NBCSN this week. NBC’s motorsports coverage features Red Bull Global Rallycross action from Washington, D.C. on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.

NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will provide comprehensive streaming coverage of the F1 Austrian Grand Prix and Red Bull Global Rallycross from Washington, D.C.

F1 AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX – SUNDAY AT 7:30 A.M. ET ON NBCSN

Formula One makes its return to Austria for the first time since 2003, and 50 years since F1 held the first World Championship Austrian Grand Prix. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) enters this week’s race looking to carry the momentum of his victory at the Canadian Grand Prix on June 8, the first win of his F1 career. Ricciardo overtook Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) with three laps remaining and held on for the checkered flag, snapping Mercedes’ six-race winning streak to open the 2014 season. Defending World Champion and Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel finished third in Montreal, notching his second podium of the campaign.

Live Austrian Grand Prix coverage begins on NBC Sports Live Extra with Practice 1 on Friday at 4 a.m. ET, followed by Practice 2, which will also air live on NBCSN at 8 a.m. ETLive Extra will stream exclusive coverage of Practice 3 on Saturday at 5 a.m. ET, prior to NBCSN’s live coverage of qualifying at 8 a.m. ET. NBCSN live race presentation airs Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET, followed by F1 Extra, NBC Sports Group’s pre- and post-race studio show, at 10 a.m. ET.

NBCSN will also air an encore presentation of the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET. In addition, NBCSN will air coverage of both GP2 races from Austria. Race 1 will be shown at 5:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, followed by Race 2 on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.

Lead F1 announcer Leigh Diffey will call the Austrian Grand Prix, and will be joined by veteran analyst and former race car 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 Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, and will also call this week’s GP2 races.

RED BULL GLOBAL RALLYCROSS – SUNDAY AT 2 P.M. ET ON NBC

NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship continues weekend on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET from Washington, D.C. Scott Speed (Volkswagen Andretti) will look to earn his third consecutive win to start the 2014 campaign after victories in Barbados and Austin.

Veteran motorsports play-by-play announcer Tes Sewell will call the action on Sunday on-site from RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., joined by motorsports analyst Townsend Bell and reporter Kristen Kenney.

NASCAR AMERICA – WEEKDAYS AT 5 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

NASCAR AMERICA, NBCSN’s 30-minute daily show dedicated to the nation’s longstanding fascination with speed and stock car racing, airs weekdays at 5 p.m. ET. Host Rick Allen is joined by analyst and former driver Kyle Petty, and special guest and former NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd.

In addition, NBCSN will present encore presentations of Mecum Auctions and KURT BUSCH: 36. Following is this week’s motorsports coverage schedule on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra:

Date Program Time (ET) Network
Wed., June 18 NASCAR AMERICA 5 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR: The List 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR: The List 7 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR: The List 7:30 p.m. NBCSN
KURT BUSCH: 36 8 p.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross – Glen Helen (Encore) 9 p.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross – Hangtown (Encore) 11 p.m. NBCSN
Thu., June 19 Motocross Highlight Series 1 a.m. NBCSN
NASCAR: The List 2 a.m. NBCSN
NASCAR: The List 2:30 a.m. NBCSN
NASCAR AMERICA 5 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., June 20 Austrian Grand Prix – Practice 1 4 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Mecum Auctions: Kansas City (Encore) 7 a.m. NBCSN
Off The Grid: Barcelona (Encore) 7:30 a.m. NBCSN
Austrian Grand Prix – Practice 2 8 a.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Motorsports Hour 4 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR AMERICA 5 p.m. NBCSN
Mecum Auctions – Indianapolis (Encore) 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
/DRIVE on NBC Sports 9:30 p.m. NBCSN
Austrian Grand Prix – Practice 2 (Encore) 10:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., June 21 Pirelli World Challenge – Detroit 12 a.m. NBCSN
Austrian Grand Prix – Practice 3 5 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Austrian Grand Prix – Qualifying 8 a.m. NBCSN
GP2 Austria – Race 1 5:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., June 22 Austrian Grand Prix – Qualifying (Encore) 1:30 a.m. NBCSN
Austrian Grand Prix 7:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra 10 a.m. NBCSN
Red Bull Global Rallycross – Washington, D.C. 2 p.m. NBC
Austrian Grand Prix (Encore) 2:30 p.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra (Encore) 5 p.m. NBCSN
RACER TV 5:30 p.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Motorsports Hour 6 p.m. NBCSN
GP2 Austria – Race 2 7 p.m. NBCSN
“1” – F1 Documentary 9 p.m. NBCSN

Schmidt Peterson confirms all-Canadian lineup of Hinchcliffe, Wickens

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The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team is going for a diet of denim, maple syrup, pace and politeness in its 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series lineup, with an all-Canadian pairing of James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens confirmed for next season.

Hinchcliffe was known to want a driver of Wickens’ caliber alongside him in the second seat after three less-than-fruitful seasons with James Jakes (2015), Mikhail Aleshin (2016) and a combination of drivers (Aleshin, Sebastian Saavedra, Jack Harvey) rotated through the second car the last three years.

Recent changes have brought them to this point and now leads them to becoming full-time teammates for the first time in a decade, since the defunct country-focused A1 Grand Prix series in 2007-2008.

Hinchcliffe has re-signed with Schmidt Peterson after three seasons with the team. His first was shortened due to his near life-threatening injuries sustained in an accident in practice for that year’s Indianapolis 500. A rapid and welcome recovery followed throughout the second half of 2015 before his comeback to action in 2016, with an Indianapolis 500 pole and a couple near-misses on wins that followed. In 2017, he won Round 2 at Long Beach but faltered in the second half of the year through a litany of mechanical woes and bad luck.

Wickens, meanwhile, faced an uncertain future when Mercedes-Benz announced earlier this year it would withdraw from DTM at the end of 2018. One of Hinchcliffe’s long-time friends, Wickens hasn’t raced full-time in North America in more than a decade since they were both in Formula Atlantic in 2007, at separate teams (Wickens at Red Bull Forsythe Racing and Hinchcliffe at Sierra Sierra Enterprises). As he pursued his Formula 1 dream and had a wealth of success in the junior series, he never got a proper shot, and has since gone onto several successful years with Mercedes in DTM.

A ride-swap between the two of them came together earlier this year where Wickens sampled Hinchcliffe’s No. 5 Arrow Electronics Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda at Sebring’s short course, while Hinchcliffe then flew to Italy to sample Wickens’ Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM after the St. Petersburg season opener. Hinchcliffe ended 13th in points in IndyCar, Wickens ninth in DTM this year, both with one win each during the year. Wickens also had a Friday to sample the No. 7 Lucas Oil SPM Honda at Road America this year, but had to relinquish the seat once Aleshin returned from a visa issue.

“Not only am I really excited to be able to say I’ll be back with SPM for next year and beyond, but I am also really looking forward to being teammates with one of my oldest friends,” said Hinchcliffe.

“Robbie and I grew up racing against one another, eventually took different paths, me staying in North America in open-wheel cars and him going off to Europe in sports cars, but it’s pretty neat that we both ended up here and we get to live our dream of being professional racing drivers, together on the same team.

“I think 2018 is going to be a great year for the SPM organization, from having Robbie here to the team’s new partnership with Honda and the 2018 aero kit; I just can’t wait to get back on track and bring some good results home for the Arrow Electronics crew.”

Wickens added: “This is an entirely new chapter to add to my racing career, and I am really excited for this opportunity that Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has given me.

“I think everyone knows the story by now that James and I grew up racing against one another in go karts, and to make it to the largest open-wheel racing series in North America together as teammates, it’s crazy to think about.

“I am very thankful for the six years I had with everyone at Mercedes and DTM; those are memories I will cherish forever. I can’t wait to truly see what the Verizon IndyCar Series is all about!”