(Photo by Dean Treml/Red Bull via Getty Images)

First draft of FIA WEC Bahrain rookie test entry list revealed

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A week from Sunday, on Nov. 19, the FIA World Endurance Championship will hold its annual postseason rookie test at the Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain, a day after the series’ season finale.

Confirmed rookies to test so far include Thomas Laurent in LMP1 (Toyota), Maheveer Raghunathan (G-Drive Racing), Konstantin Tereshchenko (TDS Racing), and Gabriel Aubry (Signatech Alpine Matmut) in LMP2 and Ishikawa Motoaki (AF Corse) in GTE-Pro.

Plenty more TBA slots are listed among the 12 cars, with the following slots still to be determined depending on the outcome of the 2017 World Series Formula V8 3.5 season finale, which takes place as a support to FIA WEC at Bahrain:

  • Champion driver in LMP1 Porsche 919 Hybrid (Pietro Fittipaldi leads that series now by 10 points)
  • 2nd place driver in LMP2 second-place finishing team (Vaillante Rebellion, G-Drive or Jackie Chan DC Racing, and current second place driver is Matevos Isaakyan)
  • 3rd place driver in GTE-Pro championship team (AF Corse, Porsche or Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK, and current third place driver is Egor Orudzhev by six points over Alfonso Celis Jr.)

Two other drivers are linked to this test as well, at different ends of the open-wheel experience spectrum.

Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso has been linked to a Toyota seat for this test, with DailySportscar posting on Tuesday that Alonso had been to the team’s Cologne, Germany base for a seat fitting. Other reports have surfaced that Alonso is close to the test, as well.

Quite by contrast, Mazda Road to Indy race-winning veteran Garett Grist will test for Jackie Chan DC Racing. The young Canadian was the lead pro in BAR1 Motorsports’ PC class victory in that class’ finale at Motul Petit Le Mans and is exploring a full-time switch to sports car racing after dabbling in it this year.

FIA WEC has the full entry list thus far linked here.

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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