MotorSportsTalk’s predictions: Bahrain GP

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As expected, the Chinese Grand Prix proved to be a challenging race to predict, especially after qualifying yielded little information. Eventually, it was Christopher and Keith who managed to correctly predict the race winner, with Tony touting Jenson Button as “sneaking a top five finish”. Can they continue this form for the Bahrain Grand Prix?

You can watch FP2, qualifying and the race on NBC this weekend via http://stream.nbcsports.com/liveextra/, or on their phone or tablet by downloading the apphttp://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/25481063/.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Race winner: Fernando Alonso. A former winner in Bahrain and on-form after China, two-in-a-row for the Spaniard would truly assert his championship challenge this year.

Surprising finish: Romain Grosjean. His car issues aside, Grosjean has been cleaner – if slightly anonymous – through three races this year. I’d look for that to change at a track he finished on the podium on a year ago.

Most to prove: Jean-Eric Vergne. Vergne shaded Daniel Ricciardo substantially in China, and this was a race where Daniel made Q3 a year ago. At the very least, needs to outqualify the Australian and prove something to the Red Bull higher-ups.

Christopher Estrada (@estradawriting)

Race winner: Kimi Raikkonen. Five podiums in Bahrain, but no victory? After his runner-up effort in China, it’s high time for the Finn to get rid of his goose egg.

Surprising finish: Nico Rosberg. The German’s had some tough luck early on, but his car is steadily improving. That should keep himself confident to make some noise.

Most to prove: Sergio Perez. Pressure’s on for the young Mexican after he was told to “toughen up” on the track. Let’s see if Perez can get rough when he needs to.

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Race winner: Sebastian Vettel. The late change in the tire compounds could give Red Bull an edge. Vettel proved late on in China that the RB9 is very quick indeed, so he will be challenging for the win in Bahrain.

Surprising finish: Valtteri Bottas. Williams may be struggling, but with a few DNFs here and there, they could open their 2013 account in Bahrain. Bottas has looked more likely to score than Maldonado, so he’s my tip for surprising finish.

Most to prove: Mark Webber. Webber’s Chinese GP weekend was the stuff of nightmares, so he needs to bounce back and prove that he is able to compete with Vettel. A good result will also quieten the Porsche-WEC rumors.

Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)

Race winner: Kimi Raikkonen. I’m tipping the Lotus to do well here. The E21 is great on its rear tires which will count for a lot at a track where traction is vital. Raikkonen’s smoothness and self-discipline will take care of the rest.

Surprising finish: Romain Grosjean. I’m going to concur with Tony. Grosjean is quick, he was terrific here last year and I suspect his change of chassis this weekend will help him get on top of the set-up problems that plagued his first three races.

Most to prove: Sergio Perez. Raikkonen’s criticism of Perez’s driving in China was well off the mark – the McLaren driver didn’t put a wheel out of line before the Lotus hit him. But he can’t be coming home in eleventh place while Button is putting in damage-limiting drives to fifth.

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.

With the 10-hour race requiring an extra driver, several stars from other racing series have been added. In addition to Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Ryan Hunter-Reay will serve as third drivers in Chip Ganassi Racing’s pair of Cadillacs.

Jimmie Johnson also will be making his last DPi start in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac with Mike Rockenfeller and Kamui Kobayashi. Petit Le Mans could mark the last start in an IMSA prototype for Johnson, who has said limited inventory likely will keep him out of the GTP category in the Rolex 24 next year.

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