WEC: Brabham in, Team SARD Morand out for Silverstone

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The 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship season kicks off with the 6 Hours of Silverstone this weekend, but there have been two late changes to the grid ahead of the curtain-raiser.

The field has fallen to 29 cars for the race weekend following the withdrawal of Team SARD Morand, which had been due to field two cars in LMP2 at Silverstone.

The no. 39 comprising of Christian Klien, Koki Saga and Zoel Amberg, and the no. 43 of Pierre Ragues, Oliver Webb and Tristan Vautier have been sidelined for this weekend’s race, with the team releasing a short statement confirming its withdrawal.

“We are sorry to announce that Team SARD Morand has to withdraw its two Morgan Evo SARD from the first round of the FIA World Endurance Championship held this weekend at Silverstone,” the statement reads.

“Due to administrative and legal reasons, Benoit Morand and his crew will miss the opening round of the championship. From now on, everything is done to race in Belgium for the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship and for the remaining rounds of the season.”

Morand also commented on the matter, saying: “Announcing this withdrawal is very painful. The team and I are working hard to race in Belgium and for the following rounds. I am still optimistic and have to go ahead.”

However, there has been a late addition to the LMP2 grid for the race at Silverstone in the form of David Brabham in the no. 31 Extreme Speed Motorsports Tequila Patron ESM car.

The Australian driver will substitute for Johannes van Overbeek, who had been due to race alongside Ed Brown and Jon Fogarty, only to pull out due to a rib injury.

“It was quite a surprise to get a call this close to the race,” Brabham said. “Scott [Sharp] explained the situation, and I feel for Johannes after having my own rib injury a couple of months ago racing in Australia. I know how much pain he is in.

“I’m honored to have been called up to help out Tequila Patrón ESM here at Silverstone, which isn’t that far from where I live. I’ll do the best I can this weekend.

“I’m back in racing form since my accident and have been training frequently. I’m looking forward to driving with Ed again, and we’ll start the Tequila Patrón ESM WEC season off on the right foot.”

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

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.
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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.