Red Bull Air Race comes to NBC Sports Group in 2017

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The Red Bull Air Race World Championship comes to the NBC Sports Group starting this weekend in Abu Dhabi. (Watch Saturday at 4:30 pm ET on NBC)

A release with further details and air times is below:

NBC Sports Group and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship have signed an exclusive multi-year U.S. media rights agreement beginning with the 2017 season, both parties announced today.

Ten years since it was officially launched, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship has become globally-renowned as the new dimension of motorsport. Using the fastest, most agile, lightweight racing planes, the best race pilots in the world hit speeds of 230 mph while enduring forces of up to 10G as they navigate a low-level slalom track marked by 25-meter-high, air-filled pylons.

The international competition spans eight races in seven different countries, including a pair of stops in the United States. The first is on April 16 in San Diego, followed by the season finale at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 15, giving race pilots Kirby Chambliss and Mike Goulian two opportunities to shine in their home nation.

NBC, NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app will combine to present coverage of all eight events during the 2017 Red Bull Air Race season, beginning with this year’s event in Abu Dhabi on February 10 and airs at 4:30 pm on Feb. 18 on NBC.

NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming platforms for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs — will provide extensive live streaming coverage 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Championship, including exclusive live race and qualifying coverage.

“We’re excited to bring the fastest racing series in motorsports to viewers on NBC and NBCSN,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBCSN. “Red Bull Air Race combines the elements of extreme skill, speed, and excitement, in a way that few international events are able to accomplish.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with NBC Sports to bring the Red Bull Air Race World Championship to audiences in the U.S. This is our tenth season and with a race in San Diego and the season finale in Indianapolis, 2017 is set to be the most exciting year of racing yet,” commented Erich Wolf, General Manager of Red Bull Air Race GmbH.

Following is NBC Sports Group’s telecast and streaming schedule for the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Championship Season:

Date Location Network** Time (ET)
Fri., February 10 Abu Dhabi – Qualifying Streaming 7 a.m.
Sat., February 11 Abu Dhabi – Race* NBCSN 9:30 p.m.
Sat., February 18 Abu Dhabi – Race* NBC 4:30 p.m.
Sat., April 15 San Diego – Qualifying Streaming 7 p.m.
Sun., April 16 San Diego – Race NBCSN 12:30 a.m.
Sat., June 3 Japan – Race NBCSN 2 a.m.
Sat., July 1 Hungary – Qualifying Streaming 10 a.m.
Sun., July 2 Hungary – Race* NBCSN Noon
Sat., July 22 Russia – Qualifying Streaming 9 a.m.
Sun., July 23 Russia – Race* NBCSN 11 p.m.
Sat., August 12 Europe 1 TBA – Qualifying Streaming 11 a.m.
Sun., August 13 Europe 1, TBA – Race* NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Sat., September 2 Europe 2, TBA – Qualifying Streaming 11 a.m.
Mon., September 4 Europe 2, TBA – Race* NBCSN 7 p.m.
Sun., September 10 Europe 2, TBA – Race* NBC 3 p.m.
Sat., October 14 Indianapolis – Qualifying Streaming 4 p.m.
Sun., October 15 Indianapolis – Race NBCSN 2 p.m.
Mon., October 16 Indianapolis – Race* NBCSN 1:30 p.m.

*denotes same-day delay/encore presentation
**all races streamed on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
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LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.