F1 Grand Prix of Hungary - Previews

Hungarian GP highlights 30+ hours of motorsports coverage across NBC, NBCSN and CNBC this weekend

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The final grand prix before the mid-season break in Formula 1 is set to highlight over 30 hours of motorsports coverage across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC and NBC Sports Live Extra this weekend.

The Hungarian Grand Prix is a favorite among the fans and the drivers in the sport, and will see Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg do battle once again for the lead of the drivers’ championship.

F1 HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX – SUNDAY AT 7:30 A.M. ET ON CNBC

NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive coverage of the F1 Hungarian 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, which NBCSN will present at Noon ET. Live Extra will carry Practice 3 on Saturday at 5 a.m. ET, followed by live qualifying coverage at 8 a.m. ET on CNBC.

CNBC’s live Hungarian Grand Prix coverage begins Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET, followed by F1 Extra at 10 a.m. ET. NBCSN will air an encore presentation of qualifying on Saturday at Noon ET, and an encore of the Hungarian Grand Prix at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday. NBCSN will also air the GP2 race from Hungary on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.

Last week, Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) ran away with the German Grand Prix for his fourth victory of the season to increase his lead over teammate Lewis Hamilton to 14 points, as Hamilton finished in third position. Hamilton will look to rebound at Hungaroring where he’s won four times in his F1 career, including the past two Hungarian Grands Prix.

Lead F1 announcer Leigh Diffey will call the Hungarian 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 Hungaroring in Mogyorod, Hungary, and will also call the GP2 race.

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

NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Red Bull Global RallyCross Championship continues on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET from Charlotte, N.C. Last week, Tanner Foust (Volkswagen Andretti) snapped a 12-race winless streak with a win in New York. Nelson Piquet Jr. (SH Racing) finished second in New York to maintain his 35-point lead over Scott Speed (Volkswagen Andretti) in the point standings.

Veteran motorsports play-by-play announcer Tes Sewell will call the action on Saturday on-site from The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway, joined by motorsports analystTownsend Bell and reporter Kristen Kenney.

RED BULL HARE SCRAMBLE – SATURDAY AT 3:30 P.M. ET ON NBC

Following Red Bull Global RallyCross coverage on Saturday, NBC will present the Red Bull Hare Scramble, one of the world’s most difficult off-road motorcycle races, at 3:30 p.m. ET.Sal Masekela, the definitive voice in action sports, will call the event alongside Leigh Diffey, analyst and off-road driver Cameron Steele and reporter Tina Dixon.

MECUM AUCTIONS: HARRISBURG – THURSDAY-SATURDAY ON NBCSN

NBCSN’s Mecum Auctions coverage continues this week from their Harrisburg auction today at 5:30 p.m. ET. NBCSN will present its second day of Mecum Auctions: Harrisburg coverage on Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET, followed by live coverage on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Scott Hoke will host NBCSN’s Mecum Auctions coverage on-site at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, Pa., alongside analysts John Kraman,Stephen Cox, and Bill Stephens. Mecum Auctions is led by Dana Mecum, Founder and President of Mecum Auctions for the past 27 years.

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

NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will combine to present five hours of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Washougal National coverage from Washougal, Wash. on Saturday. Coverage starts on Live Extra at 1:30 p.m.. ET with practice, followed by the pre-race show at 3:15 p.m. ET. Race coverage begins at 4 p.m. ET on Live Extra with 1st Motos, followed by live coverage of 2nd Motos at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Last weekend, Eli Tomac took the 450 Class at Spring Creek National for his first career win, while Millville native Jeremy Martin won the 250 Class for his fourth podium of the season.

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 Washougal National in Washougal, Wash.

Motorsports Coverage This Week on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra (subject to change):

Date Program Time (ET) Network
Thurs., July 24 NASCAR America 5 p.m. NBCSN
Mecum Auctions – Harrisburg 5:30 p.m. NBCSN
Red Bull Global RallyCross New York (Encore) 11 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., July 25 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix – Practice 1 4 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
F1 Hungarian Grand Prix – Practice 2 8 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Fri., July 25 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix – Practice 2 (Encore) Noon NBCSN
NASCAR America 5 p.m. NBCSN
Mecum Auctions – Harrisburg 5:30 p.m. NBCSN
Motocross Highlight Series 11 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., July 26 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix – Practice 3 5 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
F1 Hungarian Grand Prix – Qualifying 8 a.m. CNBC
F1 Hungarian Grand Prix – Qualifying (Encore) Noon NBCSN
Mecum Auctions – Harrisburg 1:30 p.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Washougal – Practice 1:30 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Red Bull Global RallyCross Charlotte 2 p.m. NBC
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Washougal – Pre-Show 3:15 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Red Bull Hare Scramble 3:30 p.m. NBC
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Washougal – 1stMotos 4 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
GP2 Hungary 5 p.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Washougal – 2nd Motos 6 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., July 27 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix 7:30 a.m. CNBC
F1 Extra 10 a.m. CNBC
F1 Hungarian Grand Prix (Encore) 2 p.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra (Encore) 4:30 p.m. NBCSN

 

Tony Kanaan woos IMS after positng fastest Carb Day lap

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 27:  Tony Kanaan of Brazil, driver of the #10 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Dallara, practices during Carb Day ahead of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on May 27, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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“I think this track will pick the winner,” Tony Kanaan told reporters Friday after Carb Day practice was completed for the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

“So I’m trying to massage the track a little bit, talk to her nicely, and then see if she will pick me on Sunday.”

Kanaan certainly impressed the 2.5-mile ‘lady’ in practice, by posting a fastest lap of 226.280 mph that would seem to have her shunning all other suitors. Carlos Munoz set the second-fastest speed, but he was nearly a quarter of a second per lap slower with a speed of 224.772 mph.

Speeds were largely dependent on tows in the final tune-up for Sunday’s race.

All 33 drivers who qualified for the 100th running of the Indy 500 tried their dead-level best to impress the track. They raced side-by-side through the corners and filled the course with cars. For most of the session, a majority of the drivers were on course at the same time, and that surprised many.

“You should have asked me, I would have told you different,” Kanaan said.

“This is the closest we get to the race, two days, and after being here for almost a month, the engineers come up with different plans every day,” Kanaan added. “The more time you give them, the more they come up with stuff. And we had almost five days without being on track, so they go back to the shop and do simulations. So we had to test.”

Race conditions will be markedly different than what everyone faced in qualification and that is another reason so many cars were on track. It is also one reason Kanaan was so pleased with his time.

If a full field had not practiced, no one would truly know what they would face on Sunday. “Everybody is eager to feel how the car behaves in traffic. So it was a race out there today.”

Kanaan was pleased with the response he got from Indy.

“I’m happy with my car,” Kanaan said. “Obviously I have to pass 17 people before I get really happy with my car. But, you know, after the struggle in qualifying, we really focused on the race.”

Kanaan will start 18th, alongside Juan Pablo Montoya and close behind some other top-ranked drivers.

“One thing that eases my mind a little bit being back there, there are a lot of good guys back there with me,” Kanaan added. “You know, if you look around Montoya, Charlie Kimball, Scott Dixon, they’re very experienced guys back there, which sometimes it’s not the case.”

“So I really don’t have a plan. My plan is to start the race. If there is a gap, I’m going to go for it.”

Indy occasionally rewards spontaneity, so Kanaan’s fastest speed in final practice may be a strong indication of his odds of winning his second Indy 500. His first victory came in 2013.

Follow: @FantasyRace

When Townsend Bell and Mario Andretti made pizza (VIDEO)

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Before the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil kicks off on Sunday, Townsend Bell and Mario Andretti tossed around a couple pizzas.

Bell, the NBCSN IndyCar analyst who starts fourth in the No. 29 California Pizza Kitchen/Robert Graham Honda, has easily his best shot to win the Indy 500 in his 10th attempt.

He’s part of the five-car Andretti Autosport armada along with Carlos Munoz, Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi.

Stoneman edges Jones in closest finish ever at IMS in Freedom 100 (VIDEO)

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INDIANAPOLIS – No words other than “wow” to summarize the immediate aftermath of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires’ Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

At a race that had two incredible photo finishes in 2013 and 2014, another one occurred Friday with Dean Stoneman edging Ed Jones by just 0.0024 of a second.

“As you can see on the screen now it was bloody close,” Stoneman said from Victory Lane after driving the No. 27 Stellrecht Dallara IL-15 Mazda for Andretti Autosport.

It’s the closest finish in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history with Stoneman having led the field to the green on the last lap, but lost the lead at Turn 1 when Jones around the outside, before Stoneman got past him through Turn 3 and stayed ahead.

The Andretti Autosport driver then edged the Carlin driver at the line, fist in the air for his second win at IMS in three weeks, after also winning on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

“It’s great. I was in a hospital bed five years ago dreaming to be racing here and winning now,” Stoneman added.

“First [win] ever here for this race,” said Michael Andretti, car owner. “We’re so excited. We’ve been trying so many years to win this and Dean finally brought it to us.”

“It’s so frustrating to lose the race like that,” said second-place finisher Jones. “We were back and forth throughout the race and all the time I was waiting behind Dean for those last few laps. He held up everyone really slowly on that restart and caught quite a few incidents.”

“I got the lead in turn one and I thought I had the good run and I was pulling away but he had the draft down the back straight and I made the decision to stay on the inside,” Jones added, “He got the momentum on the outside and he just beat me to the line. It was so close and the team did a fantastic job of giving me the car to win the race.”

“That minor mistake just cost me everything.”

Previous closest finishes were 0.0026 of 2013 when Peter Dempsey won, and 0.005 of a second when Gabby Chaves won.

In third place, Dalton Kellett scored a career-best result in the No. 28 K-LINE car for Andretti Autosport, with Shelby Blackstock and Scott Hargrove completing the top five finishers.

F1 still Maldonado’s ‘Plan A’ as he chases race comeback

SINGAPORE - SEPTEMBER 18:  Pastor Maldonado of Venezuela and Lotus drives during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Singapore at Marina Bay Street Circuit on September 18, 2015 in Singapore.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
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Pastor Maldonado remains hopeful of returning to a Formula 1 race seat in the future, but is open to other series if his “Plan A” fails to come to fruition.

Maldonado lost his drive with Renault over the winter when his backing from Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA fell through.

Since then, the one-time grand prix winner has completed some private testing for tire supplier Pirelli, but is keen to make a racing return next season if possible.

“We will try again and try to be back in a good team, to give me the chance to be competitive,” Maldonado told Reuters in Monaco.

“Plan A is Formula 1. Then of course if it doesn’t come, we need to look around.”

Despite the financial and social problems facing Venezuela right now, Maldonado hopes that PDVSA can find the funding to resume his F1 career.

“PDVSA is a big company, supporting a lot of sport programmes in Venezuela,” Maldonado said.

“They still seem to maintain all the programmes. Hopefully it will be no problem to have them back.

“I am the only Venezuelan who is racing at this level. I have been supported since many, many years. The relationships are very good. Hopefully we can be together for more years.

“Of course the oil price is still a bit low, and when the oil is down, the country is down. For sure it’s painful at the moment.”