NBC, NBCSN set for mega U.S. Grand Prix weekend of coverage from Austin

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NBC Sports Group will present comprehensive coverage of the Formula One™ United States Grand Prix from Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, next FridaySunday, Oct. 31-Nov. 2, including practice, qualifying and culminating in NBC’s live presentation of the U.S. Grand Prix on Sunday, Nov. 2 at 3 p.m. ET.

For the first time ever, NBC Sports Group will present live qualifying on NBC on Saturday, Nov. 1, beginning at 1 p.m. ET, as well as complete coverage of all three practice sessions across NBC and NBCSN.

NBC Sports Group F1 broadcast team, led by lead play-by-play commentator Leigh Diffey, will be on-site at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas to host all practice, qualifying and United States Grand Prix coverage. Diffey will be joined by analyst and former racecar driver David Hobbs, analyst and former race mechanic for the Benetton F1 team Steve Matchett, F1 insider Will Buxton, and motorsports reporter Kelli Stavast.

NBC Sports Group’s United States Grand Prix coverage will feature numerous interviews and features with F1 drivers and team executives, as well as the premiere of Road To Mercedes, an in-depth look at the history of Mercedes-Benz in motorsport.

NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will live stream all three practices, qualifying and the U.S. Grand Prix next weekend.

F1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX – SUNDAY, NOV. 2 ON NBC

Coverage of the U.S. Grand Prix begins with a 60-minute edition of F1 Countdown, NBC Sports Group’s live F1 pre-race show, on NBCSN at 2 p.m. ET for 30 minutes, and shifts over to NBC at 2:30 p.m. ET, leading into the U.S. Grand Prix at 3 p.m. ET.

F1 Countdown will feature sit-down interviews between Diffey and Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci, as well as motorsports Stavast with Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo, and a feature with Buxton and four-time F1 World Champion and Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel, as they cruise through the streets of downtown Austin. In addition, pre-race coverage will give fans the most extreme perspective of Circuit of the Americas, as Stavast will skydive down into the track. NBC will also air an hour of post-race coverage immediately following the conclusion of the U.S. Grand Prix.

Last year, Sebastian Vettel won the U.S. Grand Prix en route to his 2013 F1 World Championship. Lewis Hamilton currently leads Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg by 17 points in the standings with just three races remaining, and won the first U.S. Grand Prix that was held at Circuit of the Americas in 2012.

FOR FIRST TIME, NBC SPORTS GROUP PRESENTS LIVE QUALIFYING ON NBC, & LIVE COVERAGE OF ALL PRACTICES ON NBC OR NBCSN; ROAD TO MERCEDES PREMIERES THURSDAY, OCT. 30 AT 10 P.M. ET

For the first time, NBC Sports Group will present live qualifying on NBC, as well as all three practices across NBC and NBCSN. Coverage will begin with Practice 1 on Friday, Oct. 31 at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, followed by live coverage of Practice 2 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN. NBC will air Practice 3 followed by live qualifying on Saturday, Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. ET.

In addition, NBCSN will debut Road To Mercedes on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 10 p.m. ET as part of a full night of F1 programming on NBCSN. Hosted by Will Buxton, the 60-minute special examines the history and heritage of the Mercedes F1 team, which clinched the 2014 F1 constructors’ championship after the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi on Oct. 12, winning its first ever F1 constructors’ title.

Road To Mercedes will feature an in-depth look at the Silver Arrows, as well as the restoration of historic Mercedes cars at Kienle, as Buxton brings viewers on a trip from Mercedes F1 home in the United Kingdom to the company’s birthplace in Germany. The special will also air on Friday, Oct. 31 at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN between Practices 1 and 2.

Following Practice 2, NBCSN’s edition of F1 Countdown on Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET will feature sit-down interviews between Steve Matchett and Gene Haas and Haas F1 Team Principal Gunther Steiner, discussing the prospects of an American F1 team in 2016.

NBCSN’s  Thursday night F1 programming block will also feature Road To Ferrari at 11 p.m. ET, as well as episodes of /DRIVE on NBC SportsOff The Grid, and “1”, the critically-acclaimed F1 documentary.

Following is NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive motorsports coverage surrounding the F1 U.S. Grand Prix next weekend:

Date Coverage Network Time (ET)
Thurs., October 30 Off The Grid (Encore) NBCSN 7 p.m.
“1” – F1 Documentary NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Road To Mercedes (Premiere) NBCSN 10 p.m.
Road to Ferrari (Encore) NBCSN 11 p.m.
Fri., October 31 /DRIVE on NBCSN (Encore) NBCSN 12 a.m.
/DRIVE on NBCSN (Encore) NBCSN 12:30 a.m.
Road To Mercedes (Encore) NBCSN 1 a.m.
Off The Grid (Encore) NBCSN 12 p.m.
F1 United States Grand Prix – Practice 1 NBCSN 12:30 p.m.
Road To Mercedes (Encore) NBCSN 2 p.m.
F1 United States Grand Prix – Practice 2 NBCSN 3 p.m.
F1 Countdown NBCSN 4:30 p.m.
F1 United States Grand Prix – Practice 2 (Encore) NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Sat., November 1 F1 United States Grand Prix – Practice 3 & Qualifying NBC 1 p.m.
Sun., November 2 F1 United States Grand Prix – Qualifying (Encore) NBCSN 12:30 a.m.
F1 Countdown NBCSN 2 p.m.
F1 Countdown NBC 2:30 p.m.
F1 United States Grand Prix NBC 3 p.m.
F1 Extra NBC 5 p.m. 

Hunter McElrea wins Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 Scholarship

IndyCar.com
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Hunter McElrea bested 18 competitors to win the third annual Road to Indy USF2000 $200,000 Scholarship Shootout on Sunday at Bondurant Racing School in Chandler, Ariz.

The two-day contest featured on-track competition in Formula Mazda cars as well as interview sessions and assessment from a panel of judges.

“I can’t believe it,” McElrea said at IndyCar.com. “This is definitely the most exciting opportunity that I have had in my racing career. I cannot thank Mazda and everyone enough for making this possible for me. The fact that I am going to be on the grid next year thanks to them is a dream come true.

“They have given me the opportunity to prove myself in such a high level that I never even thought I would be able to reach. I have to thank Andersen Promotions, Cooper tires, all of the judges, everyone from Mazda, the Bondurant Racing School and the other competitors, who literally pushed me to the limit.

“I am just so happy. It is still sinking in, but I just can’t wait to get next year started, and I’ll be representing Mazda in that nice Soul Red USF2000 car.”

MORE: Michael Carter wins Mazda Road to 24 shootout

The 19-year-old McElrea was born in California, but reared in Australia.

As a result of winning the award, McElrea will compete in the 2019 season of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, the first rung of the Mazda Road to Indy development ladder.

McElrea won the Australian Formula Ford Championship this year on the strength of 13 victories in 21 races.

Early competition resulted in a final field of six drivers that included Jake Craig, Michael Eastwell, Braden Eves, Flinn Lazier and Ross Martin. They competed in a qualification session and 30-minute simulated race. McElrea won that race.

“Today was an incredible day,” said Tom Long, Mazda Motorsports factory driver and one of the judges. “There was so much talent here for the shootout. Hunter McElrea just rose to the top when it was time to shine, but our decision was very, very difficult.

“In the end, given all of the circumstances, we were able to make a pretty good decision and we are really, really proud of not only Hunter but our whole team here with Mazda to be able to grant this $200,000 scholarship for his opportunity in USF2000 next year.”