Here are your Malaysian Grand Prix times this weekend

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The Malaysian Grand Prix runs this weekend, now shifting to October after its usual early season run for the past 15 years since 2001.

Here are the pertinent times and details for the weekend on NBCSN and the NBC Sports App.

NBC Sports Group’s presentation of the 2016 Formula One season continues this weekend with comprehensive live coverage of the Malaysian Grand Prix, culminating in Grand Prix racing on Sunday at 2:30 a.m. ET/Saturday at 11:30 p.m. PT on NBCSN.

In addition to this weekend’s F1 coverage, NBC Sports Group continues its coverage of the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup with live coverage from Dover International Speedway on Saturday and Sunday on NBCSN.

Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton continue their battle atop the driver standings heading into Malaysia this weekend. Rosberg currently leads with 273 points, with defending champion Lewis Hamilton close behind with 265 points. Rosberg surpassed Hamilton with his win in Singapore on Sept. 18, coupled with a third-place finish by Hamilton.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, currently fourth in the driver standings with 153 points, boasts four career Malaysian Grand Prix victories, including last year’s race. Hamilton took the checkered flag in Malaysia in 2014.

Live coverage begins exclusively on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app tonight at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT with Practice 1, followed by NBCSN’s live coverage of Practice 2 on Friday morning at 2:30 a.m. ET/Thursday at 11:30 p.m. PT. Streaming coverage on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app continues with Practice 3 on Saturday morning at 2 a.m. ET/Friday night at 11 p.m. PT, and live qualifying on Saturday at 5 a.m. ET/2 a.m. PT.

Live Malaysian Grand Prix race coverage begins Sunday morning at 2 a.m. ET/Saturday at 11 p.m. PT on NBCSN with F1 Countdown, and is followed by F1 Extra at 5 a.m. ET/2 a.m. PT.

Lead play-by-play announcer Leigh Diffey will call this weekend’s action, and will be joined by veteran analyst and former racecar driver David Hobbs, and analyst and former race mechanic for the Benetton F1 team Steve Matchett. Townsend Bell will serve as the on-site reporter in Malaysia.

DATE COVERAGE TIME (ET) NETWORK
Thurs., Sept. 29 F1 Malaysian Grand Prix – Practice 1 10 p.m. Streaming
Fri., Sept. 30 F1 Malaysian Grand Prix – Practice 2 2 a.m. NBCSN
Sat., Oct. 1 F1 Malaysian Grand Prix – Practice 3 2 a.m. Streaming
F1 Malaysian Grand Prix – Qualifying 5 a.m. NBCSN
Sun., Oct. 2 F1 Countdown 2 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Malaysian Grand Prix 2:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra 5 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Malaysian Grand Prix (Encore) 8 p.m. NBCSN

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”