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Brendon Hartley picks No. 28 as permanent F1 number

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Brendon Hartley will race with No. 28 in Formula 1 from this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix onwards as his bid for a full-season drive with Toro Rosso in 2018 gathers steam.

Porsche LMP1 driver Hartley joined Toro Rosso to make his F1 debut last weekend in Austin, Texas after the team was forced to find a replacement for Pierre Gasly, who was tied up with Super Formula duties in Japan.

Hartley put in a solid display en route to 13th in his first single-seater race since 2012, earning himself a recall for Mexico, with Gasly returning in place of Daniil Kvyat, who will not return to the team.

Hartley raced with Toro Rosso’s assigned reserve number, No. 39, on debut in Austin, but will now switch to No. 28 for Mexico as his new permanent car number. No. 28 was last used in F1 by British racer Will Stevens, who raced full-time with Manor through 2015.

“I’m so excited to head to Mexico for my second Formula 1 Grand Prix. It was a steep learning curve in Austin last week, so I’m looking forward to putting some of the lessons learned into practice this weekend here in Mexico,” Hartley said in Toro Rosso’s race preview.

“It’s a tricky venue for the engineers, as the high altitude plays havoc on downforce and cooling, but from a driving point of view it’s a great track and one I really enjoy.”

Hartley has tasted success at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City before, having won the six-hour FIA World Endurance Championship race in both 2016 and 2017 with Porsche.

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko confirmed in an interview earlier this week that Hartley would be locked in for the remainder of the season, with the New Zealander appearing to be closing in on a full-season seat in 2018.

Hartley had been set to move into the Verizon IndyCar Series with Chip Ganassi Racing next year, only for the team to announce on Wednesday it had signed 2016 Rookie of the Year Ed Jones from Dale Coyne Racing to partner Scott Dixon.

Get your motor running: American Flat Track’s new season premieres Sunday on NBCSN

Photos courtesy American Flat Track
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If you like racing two-wheel style, make sure you catch the debut of a new multi-year TV broadcast deal featuring the American Flat Track motorcycle racing series on NBCSN.

The 18-round series debuts this Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN with the season-opening race that was held at Daytona International Speedway on March 15.

Going forward, all 18 rounds of the series will be televised on NBCSN in highly-coveted weekend afternoon programming slots without two weeks of each event.

Last season, AFT drew nearly two million viewers on NBCSN with regular primetime coverage on Thursday nights.

This season, the one-hour, tape-delayed telecasts will be part of NBCSN’s regular weekend programing, following or preceding coverage of NASCAR, INDYCAR and Pro Motocross.

AFT is now in its 65th season, with two distinct classes: powerful, twin-cylinder rides in the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines division, and the competition in the 450cc AFT Singles division.

“We are very excited to kick-off our second season of AFT on NBCSN,” NBC Sports Group Senior Director of Programming Jeff Macaluso. “The 2017 season provided us with some incredible racing and showed us how passionate the riders and fans are of this historic sport.

“The move to weekends this year, around other marquis motorsports properties, is sure to raise the level even higher.”

Here’s the 2018 AFT schedule on NBCSN:

Round Track, Location Track Type Premiere Time (ET) Time (PT)
1 Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL TT Sun, 3/25 2:00 PM 11:00 AM
2 Dixie Speedway, Woodstock, GA Short Track Sat, 4/14 5:30 PM 2:30 PM
3 Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, TX Half-Mile Sun, 5/06 4:00 PM 1:00 PM
4 Calistoga Speedway, Calistoga, CA Half-Mile Sun, 5/20 12:00 PM 9:00 AM
5 Turf Paradise, Phoenix, AZ Mile Sat, 5/26 3:00 PM 12:00 PM
6 Cal Expo, Sacramento, CA Mile Sun, 6/03 2:00 PM 11:00 AM
7 Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL Mile Sat, 6/09 5:00 PM 2:00 PM
8 Red Mile, Lexington, KY Mile Sat, 6/16 12:00 PM 9:00 AM
9 Remington Park, Oklahoma City, OK Mile Sat, 6/23 5:00 PM 2:00 PM
10 Allen County Fairgrounds, Lima, OH Half-Mile Sat, 7/07 2:30 PM 11:30 AM
11 Weedsport Speedway, Weedsport, NY Short Track Sun, 7/15 6:00 PM 3:00 PM
12 Buffalo Chip Campgrounds, Sturgis, SD TT Sat, 8/11 12:30 PM 9:30 AM
13 Black Hills Speedway, Rapid City, SD Half-Mile Sat, 8/18 2:00 PM 11:00 AM
14 Peoria Motorcycle Club, Peoria, IL TT Sat, 9/01 3:00 PM 12:00 PM
15 Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL Mile Sat, 9/22 2:30 PM 11:30 AM
16 Williams Grove Speedway, Mechanicsburg, PA Half-Mile Sun, 9/23 5:00 PM 2:00 PM
17 Canterbury Park, Shakopee, MN Mile Sun, 10/14 5:00 PM 2:00 PM
18 Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, NJ Mile Sun, 10/21 2:00 PM 11:00 AM


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