MotorSportsTalk’s predictions: Chinese GP

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In a new feature on MotorSportsTalk, the Formula One writers have made some predictions for the race weekend, picking their race winner, surprise result, and the driver who has the most to prove. Of course, this is all hypothetical. Formula One is notorious for producing the unexpected, making no prediction a sure-fire call.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Race winner: Sebastian Vettel. Spurred on by the scandal and Red Bull Racing’s lack of wins there since 2009, I think he comes out even hungrier and dominates this weekend to leave no doubt.

Surprising finish: Jenson Button. McLaren has had a miserable start to the year but since Pirelli’s new softer tires are in play this weekend, and McLaren claims improvements to the car over the break, I think Button can sneak a top-five if his usual tire management skills come into play.

Most to prove: Can I say a tie between the two Mexicans? Perez and Gutierrez have been underwhelming this year, Perez due to equipment and Gutierrez due to Hulkenberg at Sauber. Either of them needs a big weekend.

Christopher Estrada (@estradawriting)

Race winner: Fernando Alonso. He says he doesn’t regret the wing decision that took him out at Malaysia, but Alonso’s got to be champing at the bit going into Shanghai.

Surprising finish: Adrian Sutil. He was undone by a wheelnut issue last time out, but has been decent in race pace and can sneak up again as he did in Australia.

Most to prove: Mark Webber. If an all-out battle has indeed begun between himself and teammate Sebastian Vettel, Webber has no choice but to take the fight to him.

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Race winner: Sebastian Vettel. Seb is usually very quick in Shanghai. With the quickest car, it’s hard to look past him for the race win this weekend – without team orders…

Surprising finish: Felipe Massa. The Brazilian is back to his 2008 best it would appear. If he can continue his great qualifying form and not lose out off the start, then he could be in the running for a podium.

Most to prove: Charles Pic. With home favorite Ma Qing Hua replacing him for FP1, and rumors circulating about his future, Pic needs a big weekend to silence any critics. Beating Bianchi will be hard, but it must be his target.

Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)

Race winner: Fernando Alonso will exploit the Ferrari’s promising long-run pace to useful effect.

Surprising finish: Nico Rosberg ahead of Lewis Hamilton (as long as the team don’t get involved again).

Most to prove: Pastor Maldonado needs to assert himself over his promising young team mate and be the first of them to pick up a point in the troublesome FW35.

IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta: How to watch, start times, schedule, entry list

AUTO: NOV 13 IMSA - Motul Petit Le Mans
David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Start times, TV schedule: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will conclude the 2022 season this weekend with the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta, which also will mark the end of the line for the DPi class.

The premier Daytona Prototype international category, which started in 2017, will be replaced by the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class with its LMDh cars that will establish a bridge to Le Mans.

For the third time in four years, an Acura will be crowned the champion in DPi as the No. 10 of Wayne Taylor Racing holds a 19-point edge over the No. 60 of Meyer Shank Racing.

Last year, WTR’s No. 10 entered the season finale with a 19-point lead but lost the title to the No. 31 Cadillac of Action Express.

Full-time WTR drivers Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor (who will be joined by Brendon Hartley in the No. 10 this weekend) have a series-leading four victories this season. The MSR duo of Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves this weekend) won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and have five runner-up finishes this year.

Championship scenarios in the other four categories:

GTD Pro: Points leaders Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet will clinch the title by starting in their No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

–GTD: There are 140 points separating the top four teams with Roman De Angelis and the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 leading by 45 points.

–LMP2: John Farano is first in the driver standings by 33 points over Dwight Merriman and Ryan Dalziel. In the team standings, the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports leads by 19 points over the No. 8 Tower Motorsport (Farano’s team).

–LMP3: No. 54 CORE autosport drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun lead by 83 points over the No. 74 Riley Motorsports of Gar Robinson.

Here are the start times, starting lineup, schedule and TV info for the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta (all times are ET):


Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta start times, schedule, TV info

When: Saturday, 12:10 p.m. ET

Race distance: Ten hours on the 12-turn, 2.54-mile road course

TV: Noon-3 p.m., NBC; 3-10:30 p.m., USA Network. Peacock, the NBC Sports App,and NBCSports.com will have streaming coverage of the event from flag to flag beginning at noon. Leigh Diffey and Dave Burns are the play by play announcers with analysts Calvin Fish, Townsend Bell, James Hinchcliffe and Brian Till. The pit reporters are Kevin Lee, Hannah Newhouse, Dillon Welch and Matt Yocum.

IMSA.com live TV qualifying stream: Friday, 3:35 p.m. ET.

IMSA Radio: All sessions are live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage will begin Saturday at noon (XM 207, Internet/App 992).

Forecast: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 63 degrees with an 85% chance of rain at the green flag.

Entry list: Click here to see the 48-car field for the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta


Daily schedule IMSA Petit Le Mans

Here’s a rundown of the Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia:

Wednesday, Sept. 28

9:30 a.m.: Mazda MX-5 practice

10:25 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup

12:30 p.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

1:15 p.m.: Mazda MX-5 practcice

2 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup practice

3:30 p.m.: Michelin Challenge practice

Thursday, Sept. 29

8 a.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

9 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup qualifying

9:50 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

11:40 a.m.: Prototype Challenge qualifying

12:10 p.m.: Michelin Challenge practice

1:50 p.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 1

2:55 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

5 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup, Race 1

6 p.m.: Michelin Challenge qualifying

7:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

Friday, Sept. 30

8 a.m.: Prototype Challenge race

9:50 a.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 2

10:55 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup, Race 2

1:10 p.m.: IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race

3:40 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying

Saturday, Oct. 1

9:15 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

12:10 p.m.: Petit Le Mans