WATCH LIVE: FP1 for the Australian Grand Prix

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The 2015 Formula 1 season bursts into life on Friday morning in Melbourne with the first free practice session for the Australian Grand Prix.

Following a long winter, the teams will get their first chance to lay down a marker to the rest of the field during practice at Albert Park today, with Mercedes, Williams and Ferrari all hoping to continue their pre-season form from the off Down Under.

You can watch FP1 for the Australian Grand Prix live on NBC Sports Live Extra from 9:30p ET. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Although first practice gives very little idea of how the pecking order will shape up for the rest of the weekend, it will be intriguing to see how the teams fare in the first weekend session of the year. The front-runners will want to make an immediate impression, but for the likes of McLaren and Force India, simply racking up the mileage would be an achievement.

Uncertainty still surrounds the next move for Sauber and Giedo van der Garde following their legal row across the course of the race weekend. In the past couple of hours, yet another court hearing has taken place, with the judge choosing to adjourn proceedings until after FP1. Even at this late stage, it is unclear just who will be driving the team’s cars in the session.

Nevertheless, FP1 will go ahead as normal in Australia as the countdown to the first race of the year continues. For a complete round-up of all of the pre-race weekend news and reports, be sure to check out our full grand prix preview.

Be sure to join us at 9:30p ET for live coverage for FP1 for the Australian Grand Prix on NBC Sports Live Extra. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

The session will be repeated at 12:30a ET on NBCSN ahead of live coverage of second practice, which kicks off at 1:30a ET. You can see full broadcasting details for the Australian GP here.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III