Five of the 12 rounds in the 2016 Red Bull Global Rallycross season, over four weekends, will run on the same weekend at a different location as the Verizon IndyCar Series.
While this might not seem to mean much given the wide gap in equipment, it’s very important to note.
There were five IndyCar or Indianapolis 500 teams which ran full GRC Supercars or GRC Lites programs in 2015: Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross, Chip Ganassi Racing, SH Rallycross, Bryan Herta Rallysport and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.
There is not a ton, but still some, staff crossover that comes with these teams to try to utilize the same personnel at multiple events. Of that group, for example, only Andretti had a dedicated specific PR person just for GRC, while the other four teams had their IndyCar PR reps assist in the process, if not serve as the outright or lead PR person for the GRC program.
That becomes more difficult to accomplish when races are on different coasts at the same time, as at least one event will have to be covered remotely.
It also becomes harder for TV, noting that production was done last year by IMS Productions for all shows to be on NBC, and with NBC also and again committed to shows this year. The talent is different in most cases, but there is still some crossover between IndyCar and GRC talent at selected GRC rounds.
On the bright side, the first two conflicts from a TV standpoint are ABC races for IndyCar, so it’s the ABC/ESPN production happening on the IndyCar side compared to the NBC production group.
The five IndyCar/GRC conflicts are as follows next year:
|1||May 21||Phoenix, AZ (I)||Indy 500 quals (ABC)|
|2||May 22||Phoenix, AZ (II)||Indy 500 quals (ABC)|
|3||June 4||Dallas, TX||Detroit (ABC)|
|8||July 30||Washington, DC||Mid-Ohio (CNBC)|
|10||September 17||Seattle, WA||Sonoma (NBCSN)|
There were just two conflicts between IndyCar and GRC last year and teams and partners who participate in both got through OK. Those occurred at Fort Lauderdale (IndyCar at Detroit) and X Games (non-points, IndyCar at Texas), and by June the schedule cleared up to where the rest of the GRC rounds did not fall on IndyCar weekends.
Here’s another less important wrinkle, but still good to note. GRC and F1 will race on the same weekend six times, including on five weekends when NASCAR would be on NBC.
Come July 2-3 when NASCAR returns to NBC for the second half of the season, it’s going to be a lot of channel and time surfing, most likely, to keep track of all four major motorsports properties (NASCAR, F1, IndyCar, GRC) across the NBC Sports Group family of networks.
|4||June 18||Daytona Beach, FL (I)||Baku|
|5||June 19||Daytona Beach, FL (II)||Baku|
|6||July 2||The Base (I)||Austria|
|7||July 3||The Base (II)||Austria|
|8||July 30||Washington, DC||Germany|
|10||September 17||Seattle, WA||Singapore|
|11||October 8||Los Angeles, CA||Japan|
|12||October 9||Los Angeles, CA||Japan|
Note there, there’s two weekends (July 30 and September 17) where all of F1, IndyCar and GRC will be running. Those weekends:
- July 30: F1: Germany, IndyCar: Mid-Ohio, GRC: Washington DC
- September 17: F1: Singapore, IndyCar: Sonoma, GRC: Seattle
There’s good faith in the process that everyone involved will get through. But if you’re involved in two or more series, get your calendars out and call up Dolly the Sheep for cloning advice…
The full Red Bull GRC 2016 schedule:
2016 Red Bull Global Rallycross Schedule
|1||May 21||Phoenix, AZ (I)|
|2||May 22||Phoenix, AZ (II)|
|3||June 4||Dallas, TX|
|4||June 18||Daytona Beach, FL (I)|
|5||June 19||Daytona Beach, FL (II)|
|6||July 2||The Base (I)|
|7||July 3||The Base (II)|
|8||July 30||Washington, DC|
|10||September 17||Seattle, WA|
|11||October 8||Los Angeles, CA|
|12||October 9||Los Angeles, CA|