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.

Ocon crowned GP3 champion after edging Ghiotto in finale

2015 GP3 Series Round 9
Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Sunday 29 November 2015.
Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) 
Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
ref: Digital Image _G7C8630
© GP3 Series
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Esteban Ocon became the sixth winner of the GP3 Series on Sunday in Abu Dhabi after edging out championship rival Luca Ghiotto in a tantalizing title decider at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Ocon entered the final race of the season leading Ghiotto by six points after taking pole position on Saturday and finishing fifth following a time penalty.

The two championship protagonists started fourth and fifth on the grid, but it was Ocon who made a better start to jump ahead of Ghiotto.

Contact was made between the duo, costing Ghiotto a small part of his front-wing endplate and dropping the Italian down to P7.

Ghiotto fought his way back up to fourth place, knowing that he had to catch and pass Ocon in third if he was to stand any chance of winning the title for Trident.

However, Ocon managed to eke out a small advantage over the laps that followed, dropping Ghiotto into the clutches of Jimmy Eriksson behind.

Although Ghiotto managed to stay fourth, he could not catch Ocon, who kept his cool to cross the line third and claim the series title.

Despite winning just one race all year long, a further 13 podium finishes in 18 races proved crucial as Ocon beat Ghiotto by eight points in the final standings.

“It’s what we wanted to achieve since the beginning of the season, and I’m very happy to finally achieve it,” Ocon said.

“It was a long season, and especially a long weekend, a lot of stress but yes, very happy to end up with the championship win.”

The Frenchman recently joined Mercedes’ driver academy as a full member, and has been tipped for a move into either GP2 or DTM for the 2016 season.

The race in Abu Dhabi was won by Campos Racing’s Alex Palou, marking the young Spaniard’s first victory in GP3. He beat Ferrari youngster Antonio Fuoco by 4.4 seconds as the Italian picked up his second podium finish of the year.

Hamilton nominated for BBC Sports Personality award

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 29:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP walks to the drivers' parade before the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 29, 2015 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
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2015 Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has been nominated for the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

Hamilton won the award for the first time in 2014 after clinching his second F1 title, and will defend his crown at a ceremony in Belfast, Northern Ireland on December 20.

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year award celebrates the highlights of the British sporting year, and has previous winners including David Beckham, Steve Redgrave and Lennox Lewis.

From F1, Hamilton is not the only former winner: Damon Hill, Nigel Mansell and Jackie Stewart all winning the trophy in the past in recognition of their on-track feats.

Hamilton features on a shortlist of 12, and is joined by tennis player Andy Murray following Great Britain’s first Davis Cup win in 79 years, boxer Tyson Fury after his defeat of Wladimir Klitschko on Saturday night and Tour de France winner Chris Froome.

You can see the shortlist in full here.

GP2 season finale cancelled due to barrier damage

2015 GP2 Series Round 11.
Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Sunday 29 November 2015.
The cars queue up in the pit lane during the red flag.
Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
ref: Digital Image _SBL0365
© GP2 Series
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The final race of the 2015 GP2 Series season in Abu Dhabi was cancelled on Sunday after a multi-car crash on the first lap caused damage to one of the barriers.

The crash was sparked by DAMS driver Pierre Gasly, who spun at turn two before trying to point his car back in the right direction, only to move into the path of the oncoming cars.

Nicholas Latifi, Artem Markelov, Daniel de Jong and Sean Gelael were all caught up in the accident, spearing into the barrier on the left-hand side of the track. Sergey Sirotkin and Arthur Pic also collided in a separate incident.

Race officials acted quickly to throw the red flag so that the cars could be recovered, only to find that the barrier had been severely damaged.

A lengthy wait followed as the marshals tried to repair it, but with the season-ending Formula 1 grand prix’s start time drawing ever nearer, the race eventually had to be called off.

Alex Lynn had been leading, but with less than a single lap completed, no points could be awarded for the race.

Subsequently, the standings following Saturday’s feature race in Abu Dhabi would stand as the final championship result with title winner Stoffel Vandoorne finishing the year 160 points clear of American driver Alexander Rossi in second place.

Sirotkin held onto third place despite not scoring in Abu Dhabi, while Rio Haryanto ended the year in fourth just one point further back. Mitch Evens ranked fifth in the final standings ahead of Lynn, Raffaele Marciello and Gasly who all finished on 110 points.

The GP2 teams will return to the track in Abu Dhabi later this week for the beginning of winter testing.

Despite late start, CGR Rallycross started first Red Bull GRC season strong

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MotorSportsTalk takes a look back at Chip Ganassi Racing Rallycross’ first season in the Red Bull Global Rallycross. First up is a look at how the season started, and how late things came together for the two-car effort, with a further look at the season after the first couple races coming in part two.

At the start of the season, Chip Ganassi said of his latest new racing project, a two-car Ford Fiesta effort in Red Bull Global Rallycross, “I’m the person that likes to come in and under promise and over deliver.”

Mission almost accomplished.

About the only thing the new CGR Rallycross program didn’t achieve in 2015 was a final round victory in its first year.

It sounds bad on the surface, but consider the competition level and the fact Ganassi didn’t win its first IndyCar race until its fifth season in 1994, and you get the sense CGR Rallycross is closer to a breakthrough than its IndyCar program was at the same time in its lifespan.

The fact the team even ran two cars this season was testament to an incredible last-minute effort of preparation, as the cars were received mere weeks before the season-opening round at Fort Lauderdale, May 31.

Team manager Carl Goodman explained how close it came to missing the planned debut.

“We only just got the first one just a couple weeks before,” Goodman told MotorSportsTalk. “We had three days of testing this year; a three-day test in Florida before season started. And the drivers had to share that car… it was only one car!

“We didn’t even know if we’d have a second car in moving from Ft. Lauderdale to Texas (for X Games). So every race weekend has been a test for us.”

The team’s lineup of Steve Arpin and Brian Deegan didn’t actually debut in full until X Games, and Jeff Ward filled in for Deegan at Daytona and Washington D.C. due to conflicts.

Arpin, who was the team’s only entry at Ft. Lauderdale, added more to how tight the timeline was.

“Honestly if stuff got pushed back one week, it would have been trouble,” said Arpin, driver of the team’s No. 00 Loenbro entry. “Once we got the cars, we were lucky because they were good off the boat.

“We just dove in. All these guys, except for Carl, it was their first time seeing and working on a rallycross car. We did some simulation stuff here at the stop. So we got acclimated, quickly.”

Speaking even more to the newness of the program, Goodman, Arpin and Deegan were the only team members who had any sort of past rally experience.

Goodman, an M-Sport veteran, was re-entering the rally world after eight years in NASCAR with Michael Waltrip Racing. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, given the Charlotte CGR team base and MWR’s own dwindling efforts in NASCAR.

“I was with M-Sport for about a month or two short of 10 years. But I left them at the end of 2006, just as they won a rally World Championship, the manufacturer’s championship,” he said.

“I moved to the U.S. and had my time with was MWR until about a year ago. So eight years of Cup years. When this opportunity came up, and with an M-Sport car, it just made it easier. I knew the car, how it’s built, all the parts fell together. It was a big professional team in CGR. All the parts came together at the right time. I’d had quite a break between M-Sport and rallycross.”

Goodman noted there were four full-time crewmembers, three with NASCAR experience, one with road racing and one with a dirt track background, with four others drawn from the workshop for race weekends.

“I think some of the guys were a bit daunted at first, but they’re all professional racers,” Goodman explained. “They all have that solid background of being at a track, so they’re not overwhelmed or awed by being there.

“They expected to know what to do, maybe not on this type of car, but they’re all very well versed in racing. It sounds on the face of it to be a completely different things, these cars blasting and jumping on the dirt, but they’re professionals and they adapted.”

Red Bull GRC courses, by their nature, are very different than any normal type of circuit racing. Some are more dirt-heavy, some more pavement-heavy but all have a dirt component, a jump and the Kobalt Tools Joker Lap.

Preparing the cars for these circuits helped take the crew out of their comfort zone, Goodman said.

“The main tools are there, with the springs, dampers and just your normal suspension tuning… the added tool is the differentials,” he said.

“In general the cars are quite soft. Everything is a compromise about them. Even if you have fast sections, you have tight and dirt sections. That can stop you from going too extreme, either direction.

“Barbados or even Daytona, they’re race tracks. You could turn up with a classic touring car. But with dirt and a jump, you can’t do that. You’re always governed by the fact that they have to get through the dirt. That’s the level of all the tracks.”

Things started well enough. Arpin was seventh at Ft. Lauderdale but a charge to second, a Silver medal, in only the team’s second ever start at the X Games at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas, was one of the season highlights.

“X Games… Steve just raced great and drove through the field. That certainly showed the potential of the car,” Goodman said.

Arpin added, “For the rewards, the X Games was the standout, but the final race in Vegas was the best for us.”

In part two of our look at CGR Rallycross, we’ll look at the remainder of their season after those opening two rounds that laid the groundwork for a successful first campaign in the championship.