Patrick Dempsey

Sports car racing may be confusing, but that’s no excuse for this graphic (PHOTOS)

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Yes, between the FIA World Endurance Championship (LMP1-H, LMP1-L, LMP2, GTE-Pro, GTE-Am), TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (P, PC, GTLM, GTD), Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (GS, ST) and Pirelli World Challenge (GT, GT-A, GTS, TC, TCA, TCB) you have 15 different classes and two in-category subclasses (LMP1-L and PWC GT-A, respectively), so sports car racing is confusing.

Still, if you’re promoting an event, that’s still no excuse to not do some basic research as to which cars fit into which class when you’re creating a promotional poster for said event.

Hat tip to Rebellion Racing for finding this gem off the website, in advance of the FIA WEC/IMSA combined weekend Sept. 19-20 at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas.

This GTE-Am group shot is littered with errors.

For 8Star Motorsports, the car pictured is a pre-bodywork update Corvette Daytona Prototype, that 8Star ran in the 2013 GRAND-AM Rolex Series DP class. 8Star this year runs a year-old Ferrari F458 Italia in the FIA WEC GTE-Am category; it also runs a PC class Oreca FLM09 in the TUDOR Championship, but its PC car would be just as irrelevant to GTE-Am as is this older DP.

AF Corse is misspelled as “AF Course.” And the chassis is the older model Ferrari F430 GT, which has been out of commission since 2010, before the introduction of the F458 in 2011. What’s particularly egregious here is that AF Corse ran no less than seven combined GTE-Pro and GTE-Am F458s in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans… yet this creator decided to grab a four-year old car because, hey, it’s a red Ferrari, who’s going to know the difference?

The errors roll on in GTE-Am with the next car, which is a whopper. A customer Lola-Aston Martin LMP1 car from maybe 2007 or 2008 is utilized in the place of where the factory Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage should be placed. And again, come on guys, basic research here… AMR ran four Vantages at this year’s Le Mans, and actually won the GTE-Am class with the “Dane Train” No. 95 car. Instead, they’ve gone for this car. I’ll let Twitter user Fred Smith point out how much skill it takes to get a car this wrong.

Lastly, ProSpeed Competition rounds out this page with something that’s actually in range. The team had an older Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in its arsenal, and I believe the No. 75 car pictured here is the one drafted into last-minute action at this year’s Le Mans, and then shifted from the GTE-Am to GTE-Pro class where Jeroen Bleekemolen and Cooper MacNeil drove the race on their own. But this ProSpeed photo wouldn’t fit the comedy of errors without being wrong itself, too. The team runs a 991-spec Porsche 911 RSR in the FIA WEC this year, so the photo’s still wrong.

Like Rebellion Racing, which competes in the LMP1-L category with its Rebellion R-One Toyota, Aston Martin poked a bit of fun at this perplexing quartet when discussing the loved/hated acronym we all know from sports car racing: BoP (Balance of Performance).

The actual cars these teams – and the rest of the FIA WEC field – will be at Austin Sept. 19-20.

Alternative engine solution rejected by F1 Commission

Nico Rosberg
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Plans to introduce a new alternative, cheaper engine into Formula 1 for 2017 – hypothetically a 2.2-liter V6 similar to what is seen in IndyCar – will at least temporarily go on the backburner.

The F1 Commission has rejected the so called “alternative engine solution,” where several companies submitted proposals to be that alternative supplier.

“The F1 Commission voted not to pursue this option at this stage — however, it may be reassessed after the Power Unit manufacturers have presented their proposal to the Strategy Group,” the FIA said on Wednesday.

“The parties involved have agreed on a course to address several key areas relating to Power Unit supply in Formula One,” the statement added.

Meanwhile the statement outlined four things the current manufacturers – Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda – would be tasked with improving on the current 1.6-liter formula:

Those are:

  • a guarantee of supply to teams
  • the need to reduce the engines’ cost
  • simplification of the specification
  • “improved noise”

Further meetings between the manufacturers and the governing body are scheduled, including one this weekend at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix season finale.

As F1 heads into the final weekend of the season, political/paddock items such as Red Bull and Toro Rosso’s respective power unit futures, whether Renault’s takeover of Lotus will finally become official and what will happen with Manor’s team leadership stake – this marks Graeme Lowdon and John Booth’s final weekends although ex-McLaren man Dave Ryan has been hired as the team’s new racing director – are among the talking points.

Stoffel Vandoorne’s Super Formula test hampered by engine woes

Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne
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You couldn’t make this stuff up.

Dominant GP2 Series champion Stoffel Vandoorne had his first go in a Super Formula car at Suzuka on Wednesday, but the engine woes that have hampered his Formula 1 team’s efforts (McLaren) all season appear to be equal opportunity woes.

Vandoorne only completed a limited day of running due to technical issues; naturally, and in an unfortunate coincidence, the Super Formula cars also have Honda power.

The Belgian is now en route from Japan to Abu Dhabi, where this weekend’s final round of the GP2 season will be held alongside the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

FIA Formula E to remain at Battersea Park following vote

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Wandsworth Council’s Community Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee voted seven to four late Tuesday night, in favor of retaining the FIA Formula E event in Battersea Park.

This will see the London ePrix – the season finale for the electric open-wheel championship – continue at the site for at least the next two seasons.

The 2016 race will run July 2-3, to avoid a direct head-to-head clash with the British Grand Prix a week later in Silverstone.

Battersea Park’s race faced local opposition in recent weeks, which put the race under threat.

Here are your Abu Dhabi GP TV Times on NBCSN, CNBC, Live Extra

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It’s the final Grand Prix of the year, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from the Yas Marina Circuit.

Here’s the TV times and game plan for the weekend across NBCSN, CNBC and NBC Sports Live Extra:

NBC Sports Group presents the season finale of the 2015 Formula One season this weekend with live coverage of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – F1’s only twilight race – from Yas Marina Circuit this Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN.

NBC Sports Group is on pace to deliver its most-watched Formula One season to date, with just Sunday’s season finale in Abu Dhabi remaining on the schedule. Through 18 races, NBC Sports Group’s F1 coverage has averaged 533,000 viewers, up 17% vs. the same point of the 2014 F1 season. Last week, NBCSN delivered the most-watched live cable telecast of the Brazilian Grand Prix since 2010, averaging 493,000 viewers.

Lead F1 announcer Leigh Diffey will call the Abu Dhabi 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 Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) is looking to close out the 2015 campaign with a third consecutive victory, following wins in Mexico and Brazil. Rosberg has also earned the pole position in five consecutive races. Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton clinched his second consecutive Drivers’ Championship with a victory at the United States Grand Prix in October. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has won the race in Abu Dhabi three times (2009, 2010 & 2013), followed by Hamilton’s two victories (2011 & 2014). The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix debuted in 2009 and holds the distinction as F1’s only twilight race, beginning in the sun of the afternoon and concluding after dusk under the lights.

Coverage of this weekend’s season finale in Abu Dhabi begins Friday at 4 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra with Practice 1, followed by NBCSN’s live coverage of Practice 2 at 8 a.m. ET. Live Extra will carry Practice 3 on Saturday at 5 a.m. ET, and CNBC will present live qualifying on Saturday at 8 a.m. ET.

NBCSN’s race day coverage begins Sunday at 7 a.m. ET with F1 Countdown, followed by NBCSN’s live presentation of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at 7:30 a.m. ET. F1 Extra will provide post-race analysis at 10 a.m. ET, and NBCSN will air an encore presentation of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET. NBCSN will also air coverage of the GP2 race in Abu Dhabion Sunday at 10 p.m. ET, with Alex Jacques calling the action.

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

Date Program Time (ET) Network
Fri., November 27 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Practice 1 4 a.m. Live Extra
Off The Grid – Talladega (Encore) 7 a.m. NBCSN
Off The Grid – Austin (Encore) 7:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Practice 2 8 a.m. NBCSN
“1” – F1 Documentary 9:30 a.m. NBCSN
Sat., November 28 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Practice 2 (Encore) 1:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Practice 3 5 a.m. Live Extra
F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Qualifying 8 a.m. CNBC
F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Qualifying (Encore) 12:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., November 29 F1 Countdown 7 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 7:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra 10 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Encore) 4:30 p.m. NBCSN
GP2 – Abu Dhabi 10 p.m. NBCSN