Iowa Corn Indy 300 highlights 25 hours of motorsports coverage on NBCSN, NBC Sports Live Extra this weekend

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* Qualifying Airs Friday at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, Followed by Live Race Coverage Saturday at 8 p.m. ET

*  NBCSN & NBC Sports Live Extra Present Six Hours of Live Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Budds Creek National Coverage on Saturday

 

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series continues this weekend from Iowa Speedway with the Iowa Corn Indy 300 on Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET. NBCSN’s motorsports slate also features live Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Budds Creek National coverage on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET.

NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will stream both the Iowa Corn Indy 300 and Budds Creek National.

 

IOWA CORN INDY 300 – SATURDAY AT 8 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

NBCSN’s coverage of the Iowa Corn Indy 300 begins Friday at 4 p.m. ET with qualifying, followed by IndyCar Countdown at 5 p.m. ET, hosted by Leigh Diffey. NBCSN’s live presentation of the Iowa Corn Indy 300 begins Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET.

Last week, Juan Pablo Montoya (Team Penske) earned his first IndyCar victory since 2000 with a win at the Pocono IndyCar 500, followed by teammate Helio Castroneves, who now sits even with teammate Will Power atop the IndyCar points standings (446 points). Last year, James Hinchcliffe (Andretti Autosport) led 226 of 250 laps to take the victory at Iowa Speedway.

Diffey will call the Iowa Corn Indy 300 alongside veteran motorsports analyst David Hobbs and former driver and analyst Paul Tracy. Reporters Jon BeekhuisKelli StavastKevin Lee and Robin Miller will report from the pits.

 

LUCAS OIL PRO MOTOCROSS BUDDS CREEK NATIONAL – SATURDAY

NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will combine to present live coverage of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Budds Creek National from Mechanicsville, Md. Coverage starts on Live Extra at 10:30 a.m. ET with practice, followed by the pre-race show at 12:15 p.m. ET. Race coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on Live Extra with 1st Motos, followed by NBCSN’s live presentation of Motos 2 at 3 p.m. ET.

Last weekend, Ken Roczen continued his dominant start to the 2014 season with a sweep in the 450 class at the RedBud National, his fourth win in six starts, while Jeremy Martin won in the 250 Class for his third victory of the season.

Veteran play-by-play voice Jason Weigandt, analyst and two-time AMA Pro Motocross Champion Grant Langston, and pit reporter Georgia Lindsay will call the action from Budds Creek National in Mechanicsville, Md.

 

Motorsports Coverage This Week on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra:

Date Program Time (ET) Network
Thu., July 10 NASCAR America 5 p.m. NBCSN
KURT BUSCH: 36 5:30 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR: The List 6 p.m. NBCSN
Motocross Highlight Series 11 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., July 11 Mecum Auctions (Encore) 2:30 p.m. NBCSN
Iowa Corn Indy 300 – Qualifying 4 p.m. NBCSN
IndyCar Countdown 5 p.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Motorsports Hour 6 p.m. NBCSN
/DRIVE on NBC Sports (Encore) 7 p.m. NBCSN
Off The Grid: Barcelona (Encore) 7:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., July 12 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Budds Creek – Practice 10:30 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Budds Creek – Pre-Show 12:15 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Budds Creek – 1stMotos 1 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Budds Creek –  2nd Motos 3 p.m. NBCSN
TORC: Bark River 5 p.m. NBCSN
Iowa Corn Indy 300 8 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., July 13 RACER TV 5 p.m. NBCSN
TORC: Crandon Cup 6:30 p.m. NBCSN

 

MOTORSPORTS ON NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA: NBC Sports Live Extra — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets — will provide live streaming coverage of this week’s Iowa Corn Indy 300 and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Budds Creek National. The majority of coverage will be provided via “TV Everywhere,” the media industry’s effort to make quality content available to authenticated customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.

For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play.

Coverage airing on NBCSN will live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra, and to the digital platforms of participating cable, satellite, and telco services, via “TV Everywhere,” which is available on an authenticated basis to subscribers of participating MVPDs.

 

MOTORSPORTSTALK: MotorSportsTalk (@MotorSportsTalk) on NBCSports.com brings racing fans up-to-the-minute news, video and information on the Formula One, Verizon IndyCar Series, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and all other motorsports racing from around the world. The site also serves as the destination for all news, analysis and video from NBC and NBCSN productions of IndyCar and F1, including contributions from on-air commentators.

MotorSportsTalk’s content is provided by top racing journalists and expert analysts, including:

  • Luke Smith is creator and editor at Richland F1, which begins its second season this year. He’s on Twitter at @LukeSmithF1, primarily handling the F1 scene from Europe in great detail.
  • Tony DiZinno has most recently served as web editor for RACER Magazine and has more than seven years of experience in the industry. Follow him on Twitter at @TonyDiZinno.
  • Chris Estrada has written for NBCSports.com’s MotorsportsTalk since its inception in 2013, and has been a contributor for various outlets, including the Boston Globe, IndyCar Nation and FoxSports.com. Follow him at @estradawriting.
  • Jerry Bonkowski is a veteran NASCAR reporter with more than 30 years of experience. He has contributed to USA Today, Yahoo! Sports and other websites over the course of his career. Follow him on Twitter @JerryBonkowski.

To explore the site, please visit MotorSportsTalk.com.nbcsports.com or www.NBCSports.com.

SOCIAL: Follow @MotorsportsTalk@F1onNBCSports and @NBCSN on Twitter and “like” Facebook.com/NBC Sports for the most up-to-date news, videos and commentary about Formula One on NBC Sports and NBCSN.

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NEOM McLaren Racing Formula E and Ian James set to race ahead of electric motorsports’ curve

James McLaren Formula E
NEOM McLaren Racing Formula E Team
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As Formula E enters their ninth season and McLaren Racing is set to compete in last year’s championship winning car, Ian James is passionate about pushing electric motorsports forward at a critical stage as race technology begins surpassing that of the street cars.

Midseason, McLaren acquired the assets of the Mercedes-EQ team as they were already on their way to winning a second consecutive championship. With those assets in place and coming off a successful debut in the Extreme E series, James is set to usher in a new era in electric car racing.

Last week’s announcement that Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast behind the wheel of the NEOM McLaren Racing Formula E Team was the last piece of the puzzle.

McLaren’s electric portfolio is building with the Formula E team coming one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour. There were a lot of lessons to learn in that series with growing pains during the first three of five rounds. Rounds 4 and 5 were a completely different matter with the team crossing the finish line first in Chile before being assessed a time penalty.

In the final round in Uruguay, they scored an elusive podium.

“McLaren kicked off the season in Extreme E at the beginning of this year, so our first [electric] race took place Neom, actually out in Saudi,” NEOM McLaren Racing Formula E Team Principal James told NBC Sports. “At the time, we were in very early discussions about opportunities with the Formula E team. I actually went out there to meet with Zak [Brown, CEO McLaren Racing] and that was my first taste of Extreme E.

“Since the transition, I joined them in Chile in Atacama Desert, and then Uruguay last weekend. [The second-place finish was] a lovely way to round out the season. The fact that they got that podium. It was very well deserved. It’s a great team and a great series actually. It’s just so very different from anything else. The team’s done a great job in getting set up, and it’s nice now to, we’re trying to use that momentum that we’ve got from Uruguay to get us into next season when it kicks off next year, which will be great. I think we’re mid-March is looking like the first race, so a little bit of time to get things prepped for that.”

 

James McLaren Formula E
The NEOM Mclaren Racing Formula E Team was created through the acquisition of last year’s championship team from Mercedes-EQ. – NEOM McLaren Racing Formula E Team

Synergies exist between the single seater and rally series. Lessons learned about battery power and sustainability in the electric SUV carry over so long as one is mindful of keeping focus on the individual needs and nuances of each series.

Especially now that electric racing technology has caught up, and is ready to surpass, the existing technology that has gone into building street cars.

When internal combustion engines gained the upper hand soon after automobiles were invented, racing paced alongside. The pressure of competition pushed the development of their commercial equivalents. The same has not necessarily been true of electric cars. Street cars were not designed to undergo the same stress as racecars – and that vulnerability showed up on the racetrack.

“Formula E has come along a long way,” James said. “I think one of the most notable developments is in the battery technology. In Gen 1, you had the drivers jumping from one car to another car midrace because the battery technology and capacity simply wasn’t where it needed to be to do the full distance. That obviously changed in Gen 2 and we saw a power increase as well to the 250 kilowatts.

“Now going to Gen 3, we have 350 kilowatts in a smaller battery. But that means that we’re relying on the regeneration of energy and for that reason, we’ve got also the opportunity to regenerate on the front axle as well as the rear axle now. So, there’s all sorts of things that are developing in the right direction.

“In terms of throttle response, actually, we’re now in a situation with electric racing and the motors that it’s instantaneous. And one of the advantages of electric over combustion engine is that the torque is instantaneous as well, so that gives you a lot more room to play with.”

No matter the power source, racing has always been about resource management. Drivers and teams select tire strategies they believe produce the fastest elapsed time and fuel conservation comes into play.

On one hand, electric racing is the same, but there is a critical difference. With the battery as both the power source and an integral part of the engine, there are multiple reasons to manage it.

In electric racing, the brain of the car is the software – and that is where James sees the greatest room for advancement.

“As we are working with our drivers and engineers – and start to look at functionality to improve our efficiency and our performance, that’s something we’ll continue to push because that development is open throughout the season,” James said. “That’s going to be our focus going forward and provides enough of a challenge for us to get our teeth into.

“What’s going to be fascinating is as Formula E continues, is to really look at which areas of development on the car are going to be the most relevant and ensuring that we can focus on those together with the manufacturers so we continue and use the series as a platform for technical development that can then feed back into the road car side of things as well.

“At the end of the day, that’s what motorsports always been, a very powerful tool for, and I see Formula E as no exception.”

James McLaren Formula E
Jake Hughes and Rene Rast were chosen for their ability to drive fast and execute the necessary strategy for energy management. – NEOM McLaren Racing Formula E Team

Selecting Rast and Hughes as McLaren’s Formula E drivers was not simply because they know how to drive fast. James believes both drivers have the mental aptitude to execute energy management strategies throughout the race and squeeze maximum performance.

“As with many other motorsports, you’ve got a certain amount of energy that you’re able to deploy during the race and the management of that energy is absolutely crucial,” James said. “What we’re seeing typically in electric motorsports now is the hardware side of things. The efficiencies that we’re seeing in the powertrain as a whole, they’re getting up to the sort of 96%, 97%, 98% efficiency, so the gains that you get through that further and further become more marginal.”

With much more room for improvement, software is a different matter. To make the best decisions, the drivers need data, and that is where James believes McLaren Formula E will make their greatest impact.

“And then you really switch that focus to the software and that’s where you’re going to see the most the most improvement and the most gains,” James continued. “It’s then using that software to ensure that you’re deploying the energy in the most efficient manner during race, and thereby giving the driver the most performance. And that’s something which is incredibly complicated, but I find it a fascinating area to work in.

“The benefit of being involved in racing is you can really push the envelope in a way that you can’t do on road cars. And I think that that’s where that value comes in. It means that you accelerate the development a lot quicker. We will get ahead of the curve – and we are getting ahead of the curve now – and that will mean that the electric motorsports remain part of the overall development process.

“The key to that is also making sure that the racing’s exciting and fun for the fans. If we can, we can tick both of those boxes, then it’s got a very bright future ahead of it.”