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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Inside the deep data dive at Red Bull Racing (VIDEO)

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NBCSN’s Steve Matchett caught up with Red Bull Racing’s Paul Monaghan, Chief Engineer of Car Engineering, and Bill Moseley, Director of Marketing Communications at AT&T, for a deeper drive on data and sensors and how it’s all transmitted from Red Bull Racing at the track back to the team headquarters in Milton Keynes in England.

In the above video shot last week at Circuit of The Americas for the United States Grand Prix, Matchett finds out about the sensors on a car, how the sensors transfer data to the team and the impact of their findings.

You can watch this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix on NBC at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday; a full list of times for the weekend is linked here.

Vettel surprises Mercedes by leading second Mexican GP practice

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 28:  Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H Ferrari 059/5 turbo (Shell GP) on track during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 28, 2016 in Mexico City, Mexico.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
© Getty Images
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Sebastian Vettel sprung a surprise on Mercedes in the second Formula 1 practice session ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix by topping the timesheets for Ferrari on Friday afternoon.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton led the way in opening practice, and was expected to run at the front once again with teammate Nico Rosberg when teams switched to qualifying simulations in FP2 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

However, it was Vettel who laid down the pace on the super-soft tire for Ferrari, setting a benchmark lap of 1:19.790 for Hamilton and Rosberg to follow mid-way through the session.

Neither Mercedes driver could get ahead, despite both attempting two flying laps on their super-softs, with Hamilton (below, talking to NBCSN’s Townsend Bell) getting within just 0.004 seconds.

Rosberg slotted into third place, almost half a second further back after struggling during his qualifying run.

Kimi Raikkonen followed in fourth place for Ferrari ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg, the latter finishing an impressive sixth despite setting his fastest time on the slower soft tire.

Max Verstappen was seventh in the second Red Bull, bouncing back from his troublesome morning session, with Valtteri Bottas in eighth. The Spanish pair of Carlos Sainz Jr. and Fernando Alonso rounded out the top 10 places in FP2.

Mexican drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutierrez ended 15th and 22nd, respectively. Perez caught up with NBCSN’s Townsend Bell on Thursday and that video is below.

The session was notable for the difficulty that drivers had making their super-soft tires last. Few drivers were able to keep on pace for more than a handful of laps before taking big chunks out of the tire, suggesting that the soft and medium compounds will be favored for the race.

Qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix is live on NBCSN from 2pm ET on Saturday.

Flying Lizard double news: Porsches in PWC, Toyo Audi at Thunderhill

Photo: Porsche AG
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It’s been a busy week for Flying Lizard Motorsports, with a pair of program announcements. One venerable chassis and two new ones have been announced for the Sonoma, Calif.-based team.

Earlier this week, Flying Lizard confirmed the return of its Toyo Tires partnership in the Toyo-shod and liveried No. 45 Audi R8 LMS ultra at NASA’s 25 Hours of Thunderhill.

Program manager Darren Law and team veteran Johannes van Overbeek are back, with past Lizard drivers Dion von Moltke and Mike Hedlund set to replace Guy Cosmo and Tomonobu Fujii as the other two drivers.

The Toyo Lizard Audi dominated last year’s race, winning overall by some 35 laps.

“We look forward to the challenges of this year’s 25-Hours, and are returning to prove once again that Toyo Proxes Slicks are the tires to have for drivers looking to dominate in any form of road racing,” said Marc Sanzenbacher, senior manager, motorsports, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.

“The race conditions at this event are notoriously unpredictable and we welcome the various technical challenges it presents our engineers. We have some new cool weather and intermediate rain tire options to evaluate for this event and we look forward to gathering important development data while pursuing another overall victory.”


Meanwhile on Friday, Flying Lizard has also confirmed a two-car GTS class entry in Pirelli World Challenge with longtime manufacturer Porsche.

As part of that class and series’ new GT4-spec wave in the category – it will be all GT4-spec in 2018 with a final one-year run for existing previous non-GT4 machinery – Flying Lizard will run two of the new Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR entries. Those cars debuted at the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this year with GMG Racing.

Flying Lizard’s continued relationship with Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) will strengthen the effort, becoming a part of the North American Young Driver Development program.

“This just feels right to see Flying Lizard Motorsports back again with a Porsche program,” said Program Manager Darren Law. “We have had so many successful and memorable races with Porsche. Much of my driving career has been with Flying Lizard Motorsports, so I am happy that we will have the opportunity to join forces with Porsche for the upcoming season.”

INDYCAR set to sanction Mazda MX-5 Cup from 2017

Photo: Mazda Motorsports
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INDYCAR, not IMSA and not SCCA, will sanction the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires from 2017.

This sees the SCCA take a step back operationally from running this series, while INDYCAR – which has occasionally had sports car components on race weekends – will get into the business of sanctioning a sports car series for the first time.

Mazda Motorsports and Andersen Promotions announced today that the parties have reached an agreement for INDYCAR to sanction the Mazda MX-5 Cup series beginning with the 2017 season. The Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires is the signature spec series for the Mazda Road to 24 (#MRT24), the sports car counterpart to the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires (#MRTI).

In both programs, series champions earn a Mazda Motorsports scholarship to advance their racing careers. The MX-5 Cup season champion earns a $200,000 scholarship. New for 2017, the MX-5 Cup Rookie-of-the-Year will earn a $50,000 scholarship. In total, MX-5 Cup pays more than half-a-million dollars in prize money and scholarships.

“This sanctioning agreement with INDYCAR for the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires is based upon our long and productive relationship with Dan Andersen, Andersen Promotions and INDYCAR,” said John Doonan, director of motorsports at Mazda North American Operations.

“We have worked closely with them to grow the Mazda Road to Indy into the finest open-wheel ladder in the world. Now, we are striving to grow this series, which is the first step of our sports car ladder known as the Mazda Road to 24. In only one year, we have sold more than 120 of the newest generation of MX-5 Cup cars and have seen starting fields of up to 40 cars.

“By teaming with INDYCAR, we believe the series will thrive. Mazda strives to provide value to our customers, and to present our race teams with this race schedule today is a big step forward. They will have the opportunity to race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, plus other iconic circuits in the U.S. and Canada.”

In 2017 the MX-5 Cup will consist of a 12-race schedule held on a total of six event weekends, plus the second annual Global MX-5 Cup Invitational, a non-points-paying event for Mazda racers from around the world. Four of those event weekends will be held during Verizon IndyCar Series events – Barber Motorsports Park (April 20-23), Road America (June 23-25), Toronto (July 14-16) and Watkins Glen International (September 1-3). The series will also compete on the road course of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the SVRA event (June 15-17) and twice at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Sept. 22-24 and the Global Invitational, Oct. 13-15).

“The Mazda MX-5 Cup race car is such a terrific package and the MX-5 Cup championship already has shown what great racing this car and its drivers can provide,” said Dan Andersen, CEO of Andersen Promotions, which will oversee operational aspects of the series.

“Andersen Promotions is very excited to expand its Mazda involvement and move into the Mazda Road to 24 sports car ladder to complement what the Mazda Road to Indy open-wheel ladder has already accomplished. We are all about developing drivers for careers in racing, and we expect to bring our experience to MX-5 Cup and enhance the training that drivers receive to better enable them to climb the sports car ladder. INDYCAR is the best sanctioning body and has such exciting events on its calendar, and I can’t wait to add MX-5 Cup to some of these weekends and wave the Mazda flag even more.”

The MX-5 Cup series is considered the best value in sports car racing. The cars are sold as a ready-to-race, turnkey package for $58,900. Because of the parity of the cars, the racing is always close, hard-fought and great fun for fans. The series is entering its twelfth season of action.

“When Mazda approached us regarding MX-5 Cup, we felt it would be a great opportunity for INDYCAR to expand upon what we’re already doing with our involvement in the Mazda Road to Indy,” said Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations. “This agreement also allows us to enhance our overall platform with Mazda Motorsports and Andersen Promotions, who have been great partners of INDYCAR.”