Off The Grid: Shanghai preview (premieres 6/10 on NBCSN)

Leave a comment

With the new Formula 1 campaign now in full swing, it’s time for another season of NBC Sports’ original series “Off The Grid”.

Off The Grid hosts Will Buxton and Jason Swales are back, going behind-the-scenes in F1 and giving you a taste of the cities that the sport ventures to.

In the first episode of the year, we head to one of the biggest cities in the world: Shanghai.

The Chinese Grand Prix has become a firm fixture on the F1 calendar since it was first held in 2004, taking the sport to the world’s most populous country.

In this episode, Will and Jason catch up with championship leader Nico Rosberg and new Haas driver Romain Grosjean, as well as getting to grips with the tech behind an F1 steering wheel.

We also take a look inside the stunning Shanghai auto museum and get a tour of the world’s tallest media centre at the Shanghai International Circuit.

Off The Grid: Shanghai premieres on Friday June 10 at 3:30pm ET on NBCSN, following practice for the Canadian Grand Prix. You can also catch the re-air after qualifying from Montreal at 2:30pm ET on Saturday June 11.

Check out a full preview of the episode in the above video.

April 5 in Motorsports History: Alex Zanardi’s amazing Long Beach rally

Leave a comment

Alex Zanardi entered the Long Beach Grand Prix on April 5, 1998 as the race’s defending champion and the series’ defending champion.

But the Italian didn’t seem a serious contender for much of the 105-lap event. Zanardi started 11th position and lost a lap early when he was involved in a multicar spin in the hairpin.

Alex Zanardi celebrates after winning the 1998 Grand Prix of Long Beach. Photo: Getty Images

But the race was still young, and despite emerging from the incident in 18th place, Zanardi slowly progressed through the field while battling radio problems that made communication difficult with his team.

With five laps remaining, Zanardi passed Dario Franchitti on the backstretch for second place and then focused in on leader Bryan Herta.

With two laps remaining, Zanardi made his move, making a daring pass on the inside of Herta in the Queen’s Hairpin (which no longer exists as the track layout was changed the following year).

The move was reminiscent of Zanardi’s famous last-lap move on the inside of Laguna Seca’s famed Corkscrew in 1996, which deprived Herta of his first CART victory.

Franchitti passed Herta as well, and Zanardi went on to clinch his first victory of the season.

“On a day when everything went wrong, we came back and won,” Zanardi said following the race. “I can’t explain it. It wasn’t until I saw Bryan ahead of me that I ever thought I had a shot at winning. It was amazing. I have no words to describe it.”

Following Long Beach, Zanadri won six more times in 1998 en route to his second and final CART championship.

Also on this date:

1992: Bobby Rahal led from start to finish to win the Valvoline 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. The win was the first of four victories for Rahal during his championship season.

2009: Ryan Briscoe won the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the first of three victories for the Aussie in 2009. The race was also the first IndyCar Series on Versus, which was rebranded as NBC Sports Network in 2012.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter @michaele1994