Heikki Kovalainen announces switch to Super GT in Japan

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Former Formula 1 driver Heikki Kovalainen has confirmed that he will be racing in this year’s Japanese Super GT championship, joining Lexus Team SARD for the 2015 season.

Kovalainen made his F1 debut back in 2007 for Renault, but was drafted in by McLaren as Fernando Alonso’s replacement for the 2008 season. He won the Hungarian Grand Prix that year en route to seventh place in the championship.

The Finn left Woking after 2009, joining backmarkers Caterham (nee Lotus Racing) for three difficult seasons. His final F1 appearance came at the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix where he deputized for the injured Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus F1 Team.

Now though, Kovalainen is set to try his hand at GT racing in Japan, confirming the move on his official Twitter account.

Kovalainen will race in the GT500 class alongside Kohei Hirate in the #39 Lexus Team SARD car, with his debut coming at Okayama in April.

Another man making the move over to Japan after F1 is Kamui Kobayashi, who will return to his native country to race in the Super Formula championship after a turbulent year with Caterham in 2014.

Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.

NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.