NBCSN

Live motorsports tripleheader across NBC, NBCSN and CNBC this Sunday

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* Honda Indy Toronto Doubleheader – Races 1 and 2 at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday andSunday on NBCSN

* Formula One German Grand Prix – Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET on CNBC

* Global RallyCross New York – Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBC

* Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Spring Creek National – Saturday at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN

* Iowa Indy Corn 300 Most-Watched IndyCar Race on NBCSN in More Than Two Years

NBC Sports Group presents coverage of six different racing series this weekend, including a live tripleheader on Sunday featuring the Verizon IndyCar Series, coming off the most-watched race on cable in more than two years, Formula One, and Red Bull Global RallyCross across NBCSN, CNBC and NBC, totaling more than 30 hours of motorsports coverage. In addition, NBCSN will present races from the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series, as well as races from Indy Lights and GP2, the developmental series for IndyCar and F1.

Sunday’s live motorsports tripleheader begins at 7:30 a.m. ET on CNBC with the F1 German Grand Prix, followed by Global RallyCross action from New York at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, and Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

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 IndyCar, Formula One, Global Rallycross and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross events.

INDYCAR HONDA INDY TORONTO DOUBLEHEADER – SATURDAY AND SUNDAY AT 3 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series continues this weekend from the streets of Toronto with the Honda Indy Toronto Doubleheader. Coverage starts at 1:30 p.m. ET with qualifying, leading into live coverage of Race 1 at 3 p.m. ET. NBCSN will present live coverage of Race 2 at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, followed by the Indy Lights Toronto race at 6 p.m. ET.

Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport), who won in Toronto in 2012, earned his third victory of the 2014 season last weekend at Iowa Speedway, passing Tony Kanaan (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) in the final two laps to earn the checkered flag. Hunter-Reay now sits in third place in the championship points standings behind Helio Castroneves (Team Penske, 471 points) and Will Power (Team Penske, 462 points).

Bob Varsha will call the Hondy Indy Toronto doubleheader on-site, alongside Toronto native and two-time Hondy Indy Toronto winner Paul Tracy, and Townsend Bell, who raced in this year’s Indy 500. Reporters Marty SniderKelli StavastKevin Lee and Robin Miller will report from the pits. Lee will handle play-by-play of the Indy Lights Toronto race alongside analysts Anders Krohn and Jake Query.

FORMULA ONE GERMAN GRAND PRIX – SUNDAY AT 7:30 A.M. ET ON CNBC

NBCSN’s coverage of the F1 German Grand Prix begins Friday at 4 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra with Practice 1, followed by Practice 2 at 8 a.m. ET, and Practice 3 at 5 a.m. ET on Saturday. NBCSN will also present coverage of Practice 2 on Friday at 2:30 p.m. ET. CNBC’s live coverage starts with qualifying on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. ET, with an encore presentation airing at noon ET on NBCSN. Live coverage of the German Grand Prix begins at 7:30 a.m. ET on Sunday on CNBC, followed by an encore at noon ET on NBCSN.

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) pulled within four points of championship leader and teammate Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) with a victory at Silverstone in the British Grand Prix two weeks ago, after Rosberg retired on lap 29 due to gearbox issues. Hamilton is a two-time winner of the German Grand Prix, winning at the Hockenheimring on both occasions, where this year’s race will take place. The German Grand Prix has alternated between Hockenheimring and Nurburgring since 2006.

Lead F1 announcer Leigh Diffey will call the German 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 Hockenheimring in Hockenehim, Germany, and will also call Sunday’s GP2 race, which airs at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

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

NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Red Bull Global RallyCross Championship continues on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET from New York. Patrik Sandell(Olsbergs MSE) will look to build off of his win in the Washington D.C. race on June 22, while Scott Speed (Volkswagen Andretti) hopes to hold his lead over Nelson Piquet Jr. (SH Racing) in the driver standings.

Veteran motorsports play-by-play announcer Brian Till will call the action on Sunday on-site from Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., joined by motorsports analyst Tommy Kendall and reporter Kristen Kenney.

LUCAS OIL PRO MOTOCROSS SPRING CREEK NATIONAL – SATURDAY AT 6 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will combine to present five hours of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Spring Creek National coverage from Millville, Minn. on Saturday. Coverage starts on Live Extra at 11:30 a.m. ET with practice, followed by the pre-race show at 11:15 p.m. ET. Race coverage begins at 2 p.m. ET on Live Extra with 1st Motos, followed by live coverage of the 450 Class of 2nd Motos at 4 p.m. ET, and 250 Class of 2nd Motos at 5 p.m. ET.

Last weekend, Ryan Dungey took the 450 Class at Budds Creek National for his third straight win in Mechanicsville, while Blake Baggettmatched Dungey’s accomplishment with his third straight Budds Creek National victory in the 250 Class.

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 Spring Creek National in Millville, Minn.

IOWA INDY CORN 300 MOST-WATCHED INDYCAR RACE ON NBCSN IN MORE THAN TWO YEARS

Last Saturday’s Iowa Indy Corn 300 on NBCSN (8:25-11:03 p.m. ET) averaged 444,000 viewers, making it the most-watched IndyCar race on NBCSN since the Grand Prix of Long Beach in 2012 (4/5/12, 468,000). Viewership was up 75% from the same race in 2012 (254,000), which was delayed due to rain (no cable comparison for 2013).

Through seven races this year, NBCSN’s IndyCar coverage is averaging 391,000 viewers, up 37% from the first seven races of 2013 on the network (285,000).

Additionally, last week’s live Lucas Oil Pro Motocross coverage from Budds Creek National on NBCSN (3-5 p.m. ET) averaged 210,000 viewers, up 23% from NBCSN’s 2013 average live motocross viewership.

 

Motorsports Coverage This Week on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra:

Date Program Time (ET) Network
Thu., July 17 Motocross Highlight Series 11 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., July 18 F1 German Grand Prix – Practice 1 4 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
F1 German Grand Prix – Practice 2 8 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
F1 German Grand Prix – Practice 2 (Encore) 2:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., July 19 F1 German Grand Prix – Practice 3 5 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
F1 German Grand Prix – Qualifying 8 a.m. CNBC
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross – Spring Creek (Practice) 11:30 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
F1 German Grand Prix – Qualifying (Encore) Noon NBCSN
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross – Spring Creek (Pre-Show) 1:15 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Honda Indy Toronto – Qualifying 1:30 p.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross – Spring Creek 1stMotos 2 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Honda Indy Toronto – Race 1 3 p.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Spring Creek – 450 Class 4 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Spring Creek – 250 Class 5 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross – Spring Creek National 6 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., July 20 F1 German Grand Prix 7:30 a.m. CNBC
F1 Extra 10 a.m. CNBC
F1 German Grand Prix (Encore) 11:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra (Encore) 2 p.m. NBCSN
Red Bull Global RallyCross – New York 2 p.m. NBC
Honda Indy Toronto – Race 2 3 p.m. NBCSN
Indy Lights Toronto 6 p.m. NBCSN
GP2 Germany 7 p.m. NBCSN

 

MOTORSPORTS 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 Formula One, IndyCar, Global Rallycross and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross events. The majority of coverage will be provided via “TV Everywhere,” the media industry’s effort to make quality content available to authenticated customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.

For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at http://www.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.

Races airing on:

  • NBC will live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra;
  • NBCSN 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;
  • CNBC will live stream exclusively through NBC Sports Live Extra via “TV Everywhere.”

MOTORSPORTSTALK: MotorSportsTalk (@MotorSportsTalk) on NBCSports.com brings racing fans up-to-the-minute news, video and information on the Formula One, Verizon IndyCar Series, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and all other motorsports racing from around the world. The site also serves as the destination for all news, analysis and video from NBC and NBCSN productions of IndyCar and F1, including contributions from on-air commentators.

MotorSportsTalk’s content is provided by top racing journalists and expert analysts, including:

  • Luke Smith is creator and editor at Richland F1, which begins its second season this year. He’s on Twitter at @LukeSmithF1, primarily handling the F1 scene from Europe in great detail.
  • Tony DiZinno has most recently served as web editor for RACER Magazine and has more than seven years of experience in the industry. Follow him on Twitter at @TonyDiZinno.
  • Chris Estrada has written for NBCSports.com’s MotorsportsTalk since its inception in 2013, and has been a contributor for various outlets, including the Boston Globe, IndyCar Nation and FoxSports.com. Follow him at @estradawriting.
  • Jerry Bonkowski is a veteran NASCAR reporter with more than 30 years of experience. He has contributed to USA Today, Yahoo! Sports and other websites over the course of his career. Follow him on Twitter @JerryBonkowski.

To explore the site, please visit MotorSportsTalk.com.nbcsports.com or www.NBCSports.com.

SOCIAL: Follow @MotorsportsTalk@F1onNBCSports and @NBCSN on Twitter and “like” Facebook.com/NBC Sports for the most up-to-date news, videos and commentary about Formula One on NBC Sports and NBCSN.

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.”