Photo courtesy of IMSA

Patron ESM Nissan captures Petit Le Mans victory

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BRASELTON, Ga. – After dominant runs from both Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPis in today’s Motul Petit Le Mans, the team’s No. 2 car of Ryan Dalziel, Scott Sharp and Brendon Hartley emerged as race winners in the 20th edition of the October endurance classic at Road Atlanta.

Either the No. 2 or No. 22 car had a proper shot at the win, but two penalties served inside the final 15 minutes of the race changed the final outcome.

Contact between Pipo Derani in the No. 22 car with Ryan Briscoe in his No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, which left his car with a damaged rear wing assembly, saw him get called into the pits for avoidable contact.

Filipe Albuquerque inherited the lead at this point, in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, but that was short-lived too. Having been deemed to move Action Express Racing teammate Dane Cameron in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac to the grass in a three-wide move on the front straight, that saw him get a stop-and-hold penalty for unjustifiable risk.

Hartley in the No. 2 Nissan took the lead from there, with Cameron’s No. 31 car he shared with Eric Curran and Mike Conway promoted to second and Team Penske, after a roller coaster day of its own, back on the podium in third for the trio of Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud in the No. 6 Oreca 07 Gibson.

BMW Team RLL signed off the career of the BMW M6 GTLM in style, with a win in GT Le Mans by Bill Auberlen, Alexander Sims and Kuno Wittmer in the team’s No. 25 car. Auberlen is making his 400th start with BMW this weekend.

Sims held off a charge versus champions Corvette Racing, Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R they shared with Mike Rockenfeller. Garcia was in for the finish. The No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE completed the podium.

In GT Daytona, the Montaplast by Land-Motorsport team avenged its runner-up finish in the Rolex 24 at Daytona to win at Petit Le Mans. American star Connor De Phillippi and his usual co-driver Christopher Mies shared the car with teenager Sheldon van der Linde to capture the win in the No. 29 Audi R8 LMS.

A pair of Porsche 911 GT3 Rs were next with Alegra Motorsports and Park Place Motorsports completing the podium.

Finally in the last Prototype Challenge race ever, BAR1 Motorsports ended Performance Tech Motorsports’ perfect season dreams with a flawless drive turned in by John Falb, Garett Grist and Tomy Drissi in the No. 26 Oreca FLM09, a 1-2 finish for the team.

Additional post-race notes are linked here. Here are unofficial results.

NBC Sports Group, INDYCAR partner on new TV and digital rights agreement starting in 2019

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NBC Sports Group and INDYCAR officials this morning announced a new partnership beginning in 2019 that will take the sport in an exciting new direction.

The new all-encompassing agreement includes TV and digital rights to all INDYCAR races — including the legendary Indianapolis 500. NBCSN has been INDYCAR’s cable partner since 2009, but this new agreement is all-encompassing and includes broadcast, cable, digital, streaming, and direct-to-consumer rights for all INDYCAR races, qualifying, practices and more.

All races will be carried live, with eight races — including the Indy 500 — on NBC, while the remaining races will be televised on NBCSN.

Here is the official news release announcing the new partnership:



New Agreement Includes Rights to All Races, Qualifying, and Practices

Indianapolis 500 Moves to NBC in 2019

Indy 500 and Seven Additional Races on NBC Annually; Remaining Races on NBCSN; All Races Live Streamed on and the NBC Sports app

NBC Sports Gold Direct-to-Consumer Package Includes Qualifying, Practices, Indy Lights, and Full-Event Replays

STAMFORD, Conn. – March 21, 2018 – NBC Sports Group and INDYCAR announced a new, multi-year media rights agreement today in which NBC Sports has acquired the rights to present all INDYCAR races, qualifying, practices, and Indy Lights races across its platforms beginning in 2019. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Indianapolis 500 and seven additional Verizon IndyCar Series races will be broadcast annually on NBC, with all remaining races televised on NBCSN. All races will be live streamed to authenticated subscribers on and the NBC Sports app. Details of NBC Sports’ 2019 INDYCAR schedule will be announced at a later date.

NBC Sports Gold – NBC Sports Group’s direct-to-consumer product – will offer a package to INDYCAR fans that features all qualifying and practices not televised live, all Indy Lights races, and full-event replays. Additional details, including the cost of the Gold offering, will be announced at a later date.

“We’re excited to have NBC Sports serve as the exclusive home of INDYCAR, which represents the most competitive open-wheel racing in the world,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBCSN. “We’re honored to bring the Indianapolis 500, one of the most prestigious events in all of sports, to NBC, further enhancing NBC Sports’ Championship Season. We’ve seen consistent growth for INDYCAR on NBCSN in the past decade, and we hope to continue that growth throughout the series by leveraging the television, digital, production and marketing assets that make NBC Sports a powerful media partner.”

“This arrangement brings all of INDYCAR to one home, increases our exposure and includes our first direct-to-consumer offer for our fans,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, which owns INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “We couldn’t be happier to have start-to-finish coverage of INDYCAR’s season with the NBC Sports Group.”

The 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500, set for Sunday, May 26, 2019, will be the first ever on NBC. The Indy 500 will also be included every year in NBC Sports’ Championship Season marketing campaign, which touts numerous high-profile championship events that are presented across NBC Sports platforms from May to July, including the Triple Crown, The PLAYERS, Premier League Championship Sunday, French Open, Stanley Cup Final, Tour de France, and The Open Championship.

The entire Verizon IndyCar Series will receive unprecedented marketing and promotional support from NBC Sports, which will utilize not only its own assets, but many NBCUniversal assets as well. With the Indy 500 and seven additional races on NBC, INDYCAR will have the second-most races on broadcast television in all of motorsports.