IndyCar testing underway on Saturday at PIR; additional notes

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AVONDALE, Ariz. – The second day of Verizon IndyCar Series testing is underway at Phoenix International Raceway, at the Test in the West, or “PrixView,” or spring training, or whatever you want to call it.

This session started at noon and runs til 3 p.m. MT and local time, with the second session from 5 to 8 p.m. Gorgeous temperatures too, with 76 degrees Fahrenheit ambient and 95 on track at the start of the session per Firestone.

Admission is free to the public, and an autograph session takes place on the outside of Turn 1 from 3:45 to 4:30 p.m.

Tony Kanaan has both the fastest tow and non-tow-assisted lap, just after 1 p.m. MT and local time. Kanaan clocked a 19.4043 lap, at 189.607 mph, which is the fastest lap of the weekend thus far in the No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

“Tow-assisted” is a term you hear rather regularly at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where cars are in super speedway aero configuration, not in relatively high downforce short oval package.

Kanaan’s fastest lap in single-car runs is 188.422 mph.

Prior to Kanaan setting that mark, Josef Newgarden had set the new fastest lap of the weekend in the No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing, at 189.527 mph – or 19.4125 seconds – at the 1.022-mile PIR oval. His was also tow-assisted.

So far, 18 of the 21 runners have set representative times, with Luca Filippi, Will Power and Helio Castroneves later to head out in the session. Filippi was out for a longer run after 1 p.m.

In other notes from this morning:

  • The KVSH Racing announcement confirming Sebastien Bourdais was what team co-owner Jimmy Vasser called “the worst kept secret” in IndyCar, but still took quite a bit of time to complete. In brief, the efforts of KVSH Racing co-owner James “Sulli” Sullivan have been key to ensuring HYDROXYCUT returned to Bourdais’ No. 11 Chevrolet, which is the team’s lone full-season entry this morning. Vasser told NBC Sports in a separate interview on Friday – more of which will follow in the coming days – he hopes KVSH Racing will have an extra car at the Indianapolis 500 beyond Bourdais and the PIRTEK Team Murray entry for Matthew Brabham, which shares a technical alliance with the team.
  • Alexander Rossi also came into the media center this morning, and while he didn’t have a ton to report he was still enjoying being here, even in just an observing role.
  • Had a chance to speak to Ric Peterson, team co-owner of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. Peterson confirmed to NBC Sports that SPM is targeting a third car for the Indianapolis 500 as well, as you would expect, given the team has added an extra car in recent years. He said he’d love to continue working with Gabby Chaves, and whether it’s Chaves or another driver, he wants to get the deal done within the next three weeks to a month.
  • Had a chance to check out Firestone’s new 100th anniversary commemorative tire for the Indianapolis 500 on-site. Some interesting notes: The Firestone shield is white on the left hand side, and it is red on the right hand side, for differentiation. Lisa Boggs, Director, Bridgestone Americas Motorsports, told me one of the keys to ensuring the tire design came out clean was that it got all 66 Firestone race winners at the Indianapolis 500 spelled correctly, in correct order. Juan Pablo Montoya, the 2015 winner, is listed at the site of his first win in 2000 – so just before Helio Castroneves. Ryan Hunter-Reay’s name, the 2014 winner, is the last new winner while Ray Harroun was of course, the first in 1911.

More to follow later today on NBCSports.com.

IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta: How to watch, start times, schedule, entry list

AUTO: NOV 13 IMSA - Motul Petit Le Mans
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Start times, TV schedule: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will conclude the 2022 season this weekend with the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta, which also will mark the end of the line for the DPi class.

The premier Daytona Prototype international category, which started in 2017, will be replaced by the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class with its LMDh cars that will establish a bridge to Le Mans.

For the third time in four years, an Acura will be crowned the champion in DPi as the No. 10 of Wayne Taylor Racing holds a 19-point edge over the No. 60 of Meyer Shank Racing.

Last year, WTR’s No. 10 entered the season finale with a 19-point lead but lost the title to the No. 31 Cadillac of Action Express.

Full-time WTR drivers Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor (who will be joined by Brendon Hartley in the No. 10 this weekend) have a series-leading four victories this season. The MSR duo of Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves this weekend) won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and have five runner-up finishes this year.

Championship scenarios in the other four categories:

GTD Pro: Points leaders Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet will clinch the title by starting in their No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

–GTD: There are 140 points separating the top four teams with Roman De Angelis and the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 leading by 45 points.

–LMP2: John Farano is first in the driver standings by 33 points over Dwight Merriman and Ryan Dalziel. In the team standings, the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports leads by 19 points over the No. 8 Tower Motorsport (Farano’s team).

–LMP3: No. 54 CORE autosport drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun lead by 83 points over the No. 74 Riley Motorsports of Gar Robinson.

Here are the start times, starting lineup, schedule and TV info for the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta (all times are ET):


Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta start times, schedule, TV info

When: Saturday, 12:10 p.m. ET

Race distance: Ten hours on the 12-turn, 2.54-mile road course

TV: Noon-3 p.m., NBC; 3-10:30 p.m., USA Network. Peacock, the NBC Sports App,and NBCSports.com will have streaming coverage of the event from flag to flag beginning at noon. Leigh Diffey and Dave Burns are the play by play announcers with analysts Calvin Fish, Townsend Bell, James Hinchcliffe and Brian Till. The pit reporters are Kevin Lee, Hannah Newhouse, Dillon Welch and Matt Yocum.

IMSA.com live TV qualifying stream: Friday, 3:35 p.m. ET.

IMSA Radio: All sessions are live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage will begin Saturday at noon (XM 207, Internet/App 992).

Forecast: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 63 degrees with an 85% chance of rain at the green flag.

Entry list: Click here to see the 48-car field for the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta


Daily schedule IMSA Petit Le Mans

Here’s a rundown of the Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia:

Wednesday, Sept. 28

9:30 a.m.: Mazda MX-5 practice

10:25 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup

12:30 p.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

1:15 p.m.: Mazda MX-5 practcice

2 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup practice

3:30 p.m.: Michelin Challenge practice

Thursday, Sept. 29

8 a.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

9 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup qualifying

9:50 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

11:40 a.m.: Prototype Challenge qualifying

12:10 p.m.: Michelin Challenge practice

1:50 p.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 1

2:55 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

5 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup, Race 1

6 p.m.: Michelin Challenge qualifying

7:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

Friday, Sept. 30

8 a.m.: Prototype Challenge race

9:50 a.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 2

10:55 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup, Race 2

1:10 p.m.: IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race

3:40 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying

Saturday, Oct. 1

9:15 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

12:10 p.m.: Petit Le Mans