Return to Austria highlights more than 35 hours of NBC/NBCSN motorsports this week

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NBC Sports Group continues its Formula One coverage this weekend with the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN, highlighting more than 35 hours of motorsports coverage across NBC and NBCSN this week. NBC’s motorsports coverage features Red Bull Global Rallycross action from Washington, D.C. on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.

NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will provide comprehensive streaming coverage of the F1 Austrian Grand Prix and Red Bull Global Rallycross from Washington, D.C.

F1 AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX – SUNDAY AT 7:30 A.M. ET ON NBCSN

Formula One makes its return to Austria for the first time since 2003, and 50 years since F1 held the first World Championship Austrian Grand Prix. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) enters this week’s race looking to carry the momentum of his victory at the Canadian Grand Prix on June 8, the first win of his F1 career. Ricciardo overtook Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) with three laps remaining and held on for the checkered flag, snapping Mercedes’ six-race winning streak to open the 2014 season. Defending World Champion and Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel finished third in Montreal, notching his second podium of the campaign.

Live Austrian Grand Prix coverage begins on NBC Sports Live Extra with Practice 1 on Friday at 4 a.m. ET, followed by Practice 2, which will also air live on NBCSN at 8 a.m. ETLive Extra will stream exclusive coverage of Practice 3 on Saturday at 5 a.m. ET, prior to NBCSN’s live coverage of qualifying at 8 a.m. ET. NBCSN live race presentation airs Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET, followed by F1 Extra, NBC Sports Group’s pre- and post-race studio show, at 10 a.m. ET.

NBCSN will also air an encore presentation of the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET. In addition, NBCSN will air coverage of both GP2 races from Austria. Race 1 will be shown at 5:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, followed by Race 2 on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.

Lead F1 announcer Leigh Diffey will call the Austrian Grand Prix, and will be joined by veteran analyst and former race car driver David Hobbs, and analyst and former race mechanic for the Benetton F1 team Steve Matchett. F1 insider Will Buxton will serve as the team’s on-site reporter from the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, and will also call this week’s GP2 races.

RED BULL GLOBAL RALLYCROSS – SUNDAY AT 2 P.M. ET ON NBC

NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship continues weekend on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET from Washington, D.C. Scott Speed (Volkswagen Andretti) will look to earn his third consecutive win to start the 2014 campaign after victories in Barbados and Austin.

Veteran motorsports play-by-play announcer Tes Sewell will call the action on Sunday on-site from RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., joined by motorsports analyst Townsend Bell and reporter Kristen Kenney.

NASCAR AMERICA – WEEKDAYS AT 5 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

NASCAR AMERICA, NBCSN’s 30-minute daily show dedicated to the nation’s longstanding fascination with speed and stock car racing, airs weekdays at 5 p.m. ET. Host Rick Allen is joined by analyst and former driver Kyle Petty, and special guest and former NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd.

In addition, NBCSN will present encore presentations of Mecum Auctions and KURT BUSCH: 36. Following is this week’s motorsports coverage schedule on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra:

Date Program Time (ET) Network
Wed., June 18 NASCAR AMERICA 5 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR: The List 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR: The List 7 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR: The List 7:30 p.m. NBCSN
KURT BUSCH: 36 8 p.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross – Glen Helen (Encore) 9 p.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross – Hangtown (Encore) 11 p.m. NBCSN
Thu., June 19 Motocross Highlight Series 1 a.m. NBCSN
NASCAR: The List 2 a.m. NBCSN
NASCAR: The List 2:30 a.m. NBCSN
NASCAR AMERICA 5 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., June 20 Austrian Grand Prix – Practice 1 4 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Mecum Auctions: Kansas City (Encore) 7 a.m. NBCSN
Off The Grid: Barcelona (Encore) 7:30 a.m. NBCSN
Austrian Grand Prix – Practice 2 8 a.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Motorsports Hour 4 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR AMERICA 5 p.m. NBCSN
Mecum Auctions – Indianapolis (Encore) 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
/DRIVE on NBC Sports 9:30 p.m. NBCSN
Austrian Grand Prix – Practice 2 (Encore) 10:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., June 21 Pirelli World Challenge – Detroit 12 a.m. NBCSN
Austrian Grand Prix – Practice 3 5 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Austrian Grand Prix – Qualifying 8 a.m. NBCSN
GP2 Austria – Race 1 5:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., June 22 Austrian Grand Prix – Qualifying (Encore) 1:30 a.m. NBCSN
Austrian Grand Prix 7:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra 10 a.m. NBCSN
Red Bull Global Rallycross – Washington, D.C. 2 p.m. NBC
Austrian Grand Prix (Encore) 2:30 p.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra (Encore) 5 p.m. NBCSN
RACER TV 5:30 p.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Motorsports Hour 6 p.m. NBCSN
GP2 Austria – Race 2 7 p.m. NBCSN
“1” – F1 Documentary 9 p.m. NBCSN

Hunter and Jett Lawrence walk a delicate balance between winning races and favoring the fans

Hunter Jett Lawrence fans
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ANAHEIM, California – Hunter and Jett Lawrence are two of the most popular riders on the Monster Energy Supercross circuit, with fan bases that established and grew immediately when they came to America to ride for HRC Honda. Connecting with those fans came naturally for the charming Australian brothers, but it has not come without cost.

“It’s cool they’re there and it’s one of the things we try to do is give the fan that interaction,” Hunter told NBC Sports during Supercross Media Sessions ahead of the 2023 season. “It’s why we do ride days, meet-and-greets, press conferences  – all that stuff, because it’s exciting for them. We are trying to bridge the gap so they get personal interaction. Because that’s all they’re after. It’s all about getting that fan to think, ‘I know that guy. I didn’t meet him, but I get him. I get his humor.’ ”

There is no artifice in either brother. Their fan appeal is directly attributable to who they are at their core. And it’s that very genuineness that has throngs of fans standing outside their hauler, waiting for just a moment of their time.

“It’s about being yourself – talking to people,” Hunter said. “It’s not like I turn it on or turn it off; it’s just about being yourself. This is who we are, this is who you get and this is how it will be. You can’t portray something you’re not. If you keep saying you’re an orange, but apples keep popping out, it’s only a matter of time [until they figure it out].”

The key word is ‘throngs’, however. One person wanting just a few moments of time is incidental. Dozens are an entirely different matter.

“It’s tough in Supercross because it’s such a long day,” Hunter said. “The recovery side of it’s tough to do everything. We get stuck outside the grid; we can’t be there for like 10 minutes. We’re stuck there for like an hour. It gets overwhelming at times.

“You feel bad because you want to sign everything, but you’re still here for a job. Every race day is like that. We do the best we can, but there are so many people who wait out front. They’re screaming for you. Even when we’re coming off the sessions, they’re already yelling before you put your bike on the stands. You don’t even get time to take you helmet off.”

It can be a double-edged sword. Personality is only one part of the equation. A much bigger part of the brothers’ fan appeal comes because of their success. Hunter finished second in the last two Supercross 250 West title battles and third in the past two Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships.

Jett won the last three titles he competed for, including last year’s 250 East Supercross Championship and the last two Motocross contests.

“I think they expect me to have nothing else to do on a Saturday and that I have unlimited energy,” Jett said. “But, I’m trying to recover for the next race.”

It’s a matter of timing. Jett has gained a reputation last year for handing out hundreds of donuts before the races during Red Bull fan appreciation sessions. And after the race, once the business at hand has been settled, Jett is equally available to the fans.

“After the race it’s fine; I’ll stay behind.” Jett said. “My job is done on the racing side of things, but until that last moto is done, my main thing is dirt bikes. The fans come along with it. The fans are part of the job, but main job at hand is the racing side of things. After the race, I’ll stay there for an hour or so. It’s a lot calmer.”