First Sochi Russian Grand Prix highlights weekend NBCSN motors coverage

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Formula One returns to Russia for the first time in 100 years this weekend, when Lewis Hamilton looks to extend his lead over Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg at the Russian Grand Prix from Sochi, Russia, site of the XXII Olympic Winter Games this past February, on Sunday at 6:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN.

This weekend’s motorsports action on NBCSN also includes 10 hours of coverage from Mecum Auctions in Chicago, beginning tonight at 6:30 p.m. ETNBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will stream both the Russian Grand Prix and Mecum Auctions events.

F1 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX – SUNDAY AT 6:30 A.M. ET ON NBCSN

Live coverage from the Sochi Autodrom begins Friday morning with Practice 1 at 2 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra, followed by Practice 2 at 6 a.m. ET on NBCSN. Live Extra will stream Practice 3 on Saturday at 4 a.m. ET, prior to live qualifying at 7 a.m. ET on NBCSN.

Live Russian Grand Prix coverage begins Sunday at 6:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN, followed by F1 Extra at 9 a.m. ET. NBCSN will air an encore presentation of the Russian Grand Prix at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Formula One returns to the site of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, on the 100th anniversary of the last Russian Grand Prix at a brand new circuit. F1 ran two races in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1913 and 1914 prior to World War II.

Hamilton won last week’s Japanese Grand Prix, which was red-flagged on the 44th lap after Marussia driver Jules Bianchi was seriously injured, crashing into a recovery vehicle tending to Adrian Sutil, who had gone off track due to wet conditions. Hamilton now leads Rosberg by 10 points in the F1 points standings with four races remaining.

Lead F1 announcer Leigh Diffey will call the Russian 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 Sochi Autodrom, and will also call the GP2 race Saturday at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN.

In addition, NBC Sports Group’s F1 telecast team will preview the race weekend on F1 Countdown tomorrow afternoon at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

MECUM AUCTIONS: CHICAGO – BEGINS TONIGHT AT 6:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

NBCSN continues its presentation of Mecum Auctions with 10 hours of coverage from its Chicago auction this weekend, beginningtonight at 6:30 p.m. ET. Coverage continues Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET, followed by a live presentation on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET. Mecum Auctions coverage will follow the F1 Russian Grand Prix on Sunday at 10 a.m. ET.

This weekend’s auction will feature more than 1,000 classic and collector cars, including a Bloomington Gold Survivor 1967 Silver-on-Red COPO Corvette Convertible, and a 1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger R/T.

Scott Hoke will host NBCSN’s Mecum Auctions coverage on-site at the Schaumburg Convention Center in Schaumburg, Ill., alongside analysts John Kraman, Stephen Cox, and Bill Stephens. Mecum Auctions is led by Dana Mecum, Founder and President of Mecum Auctions for the past 27 years.

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

Date Program Time (ET) Network
Thurs., October 9 NASCAR AMERICA 5 p.m. NBCSN
Mecum Auctions – Chicago 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., October 10 Speed Energy Formula Off-Road Series 12 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Russian Grand Prix – Practice 1 2 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
F1 Russian Grand Prix – Practice 2 6 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Countdown 5 p.m. NBCSN
Mecum Auctions – Chicago 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., October 11 F1 Russian Grand Prix – Practice 2 (Encore) 12:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Russian Grand Prix – Practice 3 3 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
F1 Russian Grand Prix – Qualifying 7 a.m. NBCSN
Off The Grid (Encore) 8:30 a.m. NBCSN
Mecum Auctions – Chicago (Encore) 9 a.m. NBCSN
GP2 Russia 11:30 a.m. NBCSN
Mecum Auctions – Chicago 1 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., October 12 F1 Russian Grand Prix 6:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra 9 a.m. NBCSN
Off The Grid – Singapore 9:30 a.m. NBCSN
Mecum Auctions – Chicago 10 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Russian Grand Prix – Encore 1:30 p.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra 4 p.m. NBCSN

 

Cadillac confirms WEC driver lineup with Chip Ganassi Racing that will race Le Mans in 2023

Cadillac Ganassi Le Mans
Cadillac Racing
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Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing announced their driver lineup for a 2023 entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the sports car series that includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Cadillac V-LMDh entry will be driven by Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn, who were teamed on the No. 02 Cadillac that competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi class this season and won the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The third driver will be Richard Westbrook, who will return to Ganassi after helping the team to a GT class win at Le Mans in 2018.

The team also will compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the rebranded Grand Touring Prototype premier category, which is designed for crossover between the top prototypes in IMSA and WEC. Ganassi will field a second entry at Daytona with its No. 01 Cadillac that will compete full time in IMSA with Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande.

A Ganassi spokesman said the team hopes to run its second entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans but only its WEC team is confirmed (an AOC invitation would be required for the IMSA team). The team also is exploring options but currently plans to have the WEC’s team base of operations in Indianapolis.

Ganassi is the first American-based prototype team to confirm its entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s expected that Team Penske, which raced this year’s Le Mans with a full-time WEC entry in LMP2, also will race Le Mans with Porsche’s new LMDh car that is set for IMSA, but the manufacturer has yet to confirm its driver and team lineup.

Next year will mark the return of Cadillac to Le Mans for the first time since 2002.

Before joining Ganassi last year, Lynn made 28 WEC starts since 2016, winning the LMGTE Pro class at Le Mans in 2020.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to continue with Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing,” Lynn said in a release. “It’s a huge honor to drive for Chip in any capacity but certainly on a full factory sports car program, it’s seriously cool. Cadillac has so much heritage as a luxury North American sports car brand, so to be able to represent them is a huge privilege. I’ve had a lot of fun in my first year doing it and to continue that onto the World Endurance Championship stage is fantastic.

“For me, returning to WEC is sort of what I’ve always known and it’s a bit like going into my wheelhouse. This year in IMSA was a bit different with getting to know all-new circuits and a new style of racing so 2023 will be filled with a bit more of what I’m used to with more of a European focus. I think what’s significant about WEC is without a doubt Le Mans. As a sports car race, Le Mans is the crown jewel and everything that we want to win. To be able to take Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac back to Le Mans to fight for overall honors is a huge honor and that’s something that I’m going to work tirelessly to make sure we achieve.”

Bamber won the Le Mans overall in 2015 and ’17 with Porsche teams and also was a 2019 GTLM champion in IMSA.

“I am really happy to continue at Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac,” Bamber said in a release. “I’ve loved my first season in DPi and now to continue over into the LMDh era and WEC is super exciting. Looking forward to fighting for a world championship and another Le Mans victory.

“The World Endurance Championships gives us the opportunity to race at the world’s biggest race, which is Le Mans, the crown jewel of sports car racing. I’ve been lucky enough to win it before and it’s obviously a huge goal for Cadillac and everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing. To have that goal in sight is really exciting. It’s been great to have Alex as a teammate in 2022. We’ve been able to learn and grow together in the DPi, and we have a really good partnership going into WEC. We know each other really well and believe adding Richard will be a seamless transition.”

Said Westbrook: “After four really good years at Chip Ganassi Racing, I’ve got so many friends there and I’ve always dreamt to come back one day. It just worked so well between 2016 and 2019, and I’m delighted we found a route to come together again. I can’t wait, it’s an exciting era in sports car racing right now.

“I feel like I know Alex and Earl really well. I did Le Mans with Alex in 2020 and I’ve known him for years. It feels like I’m going back with an ex-teammate and exactly the same with Earl. Although I’ve never shared a car with Earl, we’ve always done the same sort of racing be it in WEC or in IMSA. We’ve had lots of battles, including this year in our dueling Cadillacs. We’ve always gotten along quite well, and I can say we’re going to have a great year together.”

The seven-race WEC season, which also includes a stop at Spa, will begin March 17 with the 1,000 Miles of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.