Manor thrilled as Roberto Merhi finishes Malaysian GP

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Simply finishing a grand prix may not seem like a great achievement to some, but for Manor Marussia F1 Team, it meant the world as Roberto Merhi took the checkered flag in the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Following a winter of uncertainty, the ex-Marussia operation was saved thanks to fresh investment, allowing the team to get out on track for the first time in practice on Friday.

Despite failing to finish inside the 107% time required to qualify, the race stewards gave Manor drivers Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens permission to race on Sunday.

Stevens failed to make the start following a fuel system problem on his car, but Merhi produced a fine display to finish the race, with the 53-lap run being the longest that the team has managed by far.

“I’m so happy for the team,” Merhi said. “P15 is not only a great result from today’s race, but also a huge reward for a fantastic effort over the past few months. I’m really proud of us.

“Coming into the weekend we knew things would not be easy; we had to work very hard and stay focused every step of the way. We missed out on some of our targets but in the end it was the race that mattered and we brought the car home with a full race distance.

“That was my main objective, as the information we now have is so important for our development, but it’s good to know that we got a good result along the way and finished ahead of some of the other teams.”

Team principal John Booth echoed Merhi’s sentiments, believing that it was a just reward for the team after all of its work over the winter.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to see the checkered flag today,” Booth said. “We’ve had to overcome some massive hurdles in a very short space of time, so everyone is pretty emotional this afternoon.

“This result is just reward for an incredible amount of hard work and determination from a fantastic team of people.”

Manor will now be hoping to carry this form into the next race in China, where we will hopefully see both of its cars on the grid and racing.

IMSA at Mid-Ohio Sunday: How to watch, schedules, TV, stream info

IMSA Mid-Ohio schedule
IMSA
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The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returns to a sprint as the circuit enters the stretch run of the 2020 season with a packed weekend schedule at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The Acura Sports Car Challenge will be a two-hour, 40-minute race around the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course in Lexington, Ohio, for the DPi, GTLM and GTD classes.

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar teams will practice Friday and Saturday. Qualifying will take place at 8 a.m. Sunday before a 2 p.m. green flag (same-day delay 11 p.m. ET, NBCSN; streaming on NBC Sports App, NBCSports.com and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold) for the headlining race of a busy weekend.

There will be eight other races at Mid-Ohio across four series: the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, IMSA Prototype Challenge, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup.

The GTLM class of IMSA’s top series will be short two entries with Porsche pulling out because of positive COVID-19 tests at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last weekend.

This will mark the seventh race of the season. After Mid-Ohio, there are three events left for the premier DPi and four for the GT division, including two of the year’s longest (the 10-hour Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring season finale).

Here are the details for IMSA this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (all times are ET):


IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Mid-Ohio

WHEN: Sunday, 2 p.m.

TV:  11 p.m. (same-day delay), NBCSN (streaming link); 2 p.m. NBC Sports App (streaming link) / TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold

STREAM: NBC Sports App, NBCSports.com and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold (live flag to flag starting at 2 p.m.)

RADIO: IMSA Radio will have live radio coverage throughout the weekend on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com, as well as SiriusXM

RACE DISTANCE: Two hours and 40 minutes around the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course in Lexington, Ohio.

FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 81 degrees with a 1% chance of rain at the green flag.

ENTRY LIST: Click here for which WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams are racing at Mid-Ohio


IMSA Mid-Ohio weekend schedule

Friday

6:10-7:10 p.m. — WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

Saturday

10:55 a.m.-12:10 p.m. — WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

Sunday

8-9:05 a.m. — WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying

2 p.m. — WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Acura Sports Car Challenge