Singapore GP, Red Bull GRC highlight weekend’s NBC motorsports coverage

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NBC Sports Group continues its presentation of the 2014 Formula One season “under the lights” this weekend, with comprehensive coverage of the Singapore Grand Prix across NBCSN, CNBC and NBC Sports Live Extra. Live race coverage begins Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN, and is followed by F1 Extra, NBC Sports Group’s F1 post-race show, at 10 a.m. ET.

This weekend’s motorsports coverage also features a doubleheader in the Red Bull Global RallyCross series from Los Angeles on NBC this Saturday and SundayNBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will stream both the Singapore Grand Prix and Red Bull Global RallyCross events.

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

NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive coverage of the F1 Singapore Grand Prix begins Friday at 6 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra with Practice 1, followed by Practice 2 at 9:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN. Live Extra will carry Practice 3 on Saturday at 5 a.m. ET, followed by live qualifying coverage at 9 a.m. ET on CNBC.

Live Singapore Grand Prix coverage begins Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET, followed by F1 Extra at 10 a.m. ET. NBCSN will air an encore presentation of the Singapore Grand Prix on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

The Singapore Grand Prix was the first F1 race to be run at night in 2008, and is one of three races this year that are taking place under the lights (Bahrain, Abu Dhabi).  Two weeks ago, Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) capitalized on an error from teammate Nico Rosberg in the first chicane, and held onto the lead for his sixth victory of the 2014 campaign. Hamilton now boasts 216 points in the championship standings, and ranks second behind Rosberg (238 points) with six races remaining in the season. Last year,Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) led wire-to-wire to win at Singapore.

Lead F1 announcer Leigh Diffey will call the Singapore Grand Prix, and will be joined by veteran analyst and former racecar 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 Marina Bay Street Circuit.

RED BULL GLOBAL RALLYCROSS: LOS ANGELES – SATURDAY AND SUNDAY AT 5 P.M. ET ON NBC

NBC will present coverage of the Red Bull Global RallyCross series from Los Angeles this Saturday and Sunday at 5 p.m. ET. Rhys Millen (Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing) took the checkered flag at Daytona on Aug. 23, holding off Ken Block (Hoonigan Racing Division) for his first victory of the year. Block currently sits second in the driver standings with 205 points behind Nelson Piquet Jr. (245 points), who boasts a season-high four podiums this year.

Veteran motorsports play-by-play announcer Tes Sewell will call the action on this weekend from the Port of Los Angeles, joined by former driver and analyst Tommy Kendall and reporter Kristen Kenney.

2014 F1 ITALIAN GRAND PRIX ON NBCSN IS MOST-WATCHED ITALIAN GP SINCE 2006; F1 ON NBCSN VIEWERSHIP UP 98% VS. 2013

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2014 Italian Grand Prix on Sunday, Sept. 7 (7:30-9:35 a.m. ET), averaged 410,000 viewers, making it the most-watched Italian Grand Prix since 2006 (422,000 viewers, SPEED).

Through eight races on NBCSN, the 2014 F1 season has averaged 388,000 viewers, up 98% from the average viewership through eight races in 2013 on NBCSN, with four races remaining on the network (Singapore, Japan, Russia, Abu Dhabi).

Motorsports Coverage This Week on NBC, NBCSN, CNBC and NBC Sports Live Extra (subject to change):

Date Program Time (ET) Network
Thurs., September 18 NASCAR AMERICA 5 p.m. NBCSN
Off The Grid – Budapest (Encore) 8:30 p.m. NBCSN
Mecum Dealmakers: Kansas City (Encore) 9 p.m. NBCSN
Mecum Dealmakers: Indianapolis (Encore) 10 p.m. NBCSN
/DRIVE on NBC Sports 11 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., September 19 Motocross Highlight Series 12 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Singapore Grand Prix – Practice 1 6 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
F1 Singapore Grand Prix – Practice 2 9:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Countdown 5 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., September 20 F1 Singapore Grand Prix – Practice 2 (Encore) 12:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Singapore Grand Prix – Practice 3 5 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
F1 Singapore Grand Prix – Qualifying 9 a.m. CNBC
F1 Singapore Grand Prix – Qualifying (Encore) 12:30 p.m. NBCSN
Red Bull Global RallyCross: Los Angeles 1 5 p.m. NBC
Sun., September 21 F1 Singapore Grand Prix 7:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra 10 a.m. NBCSN
Red Bull Global RallyCross: Los Angeles 2 5 p.m. NBC
Mon., September 22 NASCAR AMERICA (60 minutes) 4:30 p.m. NBCSN
F1 Singapore Grand Prix (Encore) 7 p.m. NBCSN
Off The Grid: Budapest (Encore) 10:30 a.m. NBCSN
GP2 – Italy 2 p.m. NBCSN
F1 Italian Grand Prix (Encore) 3 p.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra (Encore) 5:30 p.m. NBCSN

 

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
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LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.