Bathurst 1000 and SCCA Runoffs this week make for a busy weekend

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The biggest race of the season for two major organizations occur this week.

The Australian V8 Supercars head to Mount Panorama for the Bathurst 1000, while the SCCA National Championship Runoffs head west for the first time in decades, to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey.

Both race weeks are already underway with practice and qualifying commencing.

We’ll start Down Under at Bathurst, for the officially named Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. Mark Winterbottom and Steve Richards claimed a popular first Bathurst win a year ago for Ford, which ended a four-year run of wins for Holden.

“Frosty” was second in the third and final practice session Thursday, behind session leaders David Reynolds and Dean Canto (2:06.3714), with the fastest lap of the day. Greg Murphy (practice two) and Chaz Mostert (practice one).

Here’s a list of the driver pairings for the PIRTEK Enduro Cup, which is awarded to the V8 Supercar driver and co-driver combination that accumulates the most Championship points over three of Australia’s iconic events.

For the second consecutive year, the Wilson Security Sandown 500 in September, and the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and Castrol Edge Gold Coast 600 in October offer four chances for each pairing to earn points, and edge closer to the Pirtek Enduro Cup.

The race occurs October 12 in Australia, which translates to Saturday for North American viewers. Ways to follow the race are linked here, via the V8SC website.

Heading back across the Atlantic, we arrive at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, where the SCCA Runoffs take place in Monterey, Calif. It marks the first West Coast Runoffs since 1968, at Riverside International Raceway.

There are 523 entries for the race, a majority of them West Coast entries, split among 27 classes. Here’s the full entry list link.

Spec Miata leads the way with 46 entries, followed closely by Spec Racer Ford with 45. Several classes (Formula Enterprises, Formula 500, B-Spec and STU) have only 11, one over the 10 minimum required for a National Championship race to be held.

A live multimedia experience will take place with video, live timing and more, via SCCA.com/SCCALive. More information is linked here.

Live broadcast will be done through SpeedCastTV, with veteran motorsports broadcasters Rick Benjamin and Greg Creamer joined by SCCA Champion Randy Pobst and Pirelli World Challenge broadcaster Jeff Lepper for the on-air call. Heyward Wagner will man pit lane throughout the weekend. Information can be found at SCCA.com/Runoffs.

Two days of qualifying are complete with the third today, before races occur Friday through Sunday.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.