‘Motorclub’ season two premieres tonight, 9p ET on NBCSN

Screen cap via Motorclub
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As part of NBCSN’s ‘Overdrive’ Thursday night motorsports block, ‘Motorclub’ premieres for its second season as well.

Here’s some details on the overall block and Motorclub’s second season.

NBCSN Overdrive, the network’s Thursday night primetime motorsports block, is highlighted this week by the American Flat Track Finals from Perris Auto Speedway at 10 p.m. ET.

The weekly, primetime block will include six unique series and more than 40 hours of premiere programming, featuring new seasons of Motorclub and Caffeine & Octane. American Flat Track, widely regarded as the most prestigious and competitive form of dirt track motorcycle racing in the world, will be featured most Thursdays on Overdrive at 10 p.m. ETClick here for more information.

The hit series Motorclub returns to NBC Sports Network for a second season this fall with insider access to all-new stories from behind the scenes of professional auto racing.

“What we’re doing opens a door to the off-track, lifestyle story that you don’t see in traditional racing coverage on TV,” said series co-creator and motorsport agent Fred Chang. “We bring viewers into an experience that’s always been hidden behind closed doors — until Motorclub.”

Season II offers plenty of star power, including the return of rallycross champions Tanner Foust and Scott Speed, and Motorclub newcomers including Formula 1 ace Daniel Ricciardo, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing squad, and Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato. They bring viewers inside a motorsport community with diverse roots across the spectrum of racing, action sport, fashion, design and social media.

The series return this fall comes on the heels of a wildly popular first season that drew both fans and major companies seeking new ways to build authentic connections with their customers, said Chang.

“Viewers keep coming back to this show for the access that we have to these stars’ real lives,” said Chang. “And for our partners, Motorclub offers value as content that compliments their sponsorships.”

Rockstar Energy Drink is a brand that has backed the show from its opening episodes, supporting the stories of a number of its sponsored athletes.

Motorclub is one of the ways that we leverage our athlete relationships,” said Michael Kelso, Rockstar Energy Drink marketing director. “This show, with its fantastic ability to tell our athletes’ lifestyle stories, is an investment that amplifies what we’re doing in other areas. It helps us as a brand, as well as helping to build our stars, so it’s a win all around.”

Shot in a cinematic, documentary style under the direction of co-creator Matt Fife, this season of Motorclub takes an inside look at an exciting cast of drivers and the network of teammates, friends, coaches and family members that support them on their path to championships.

“When we see how these groups of people influence a driver’s journey, we recognize the same qualities that sustain all meaningful communities: passion, integrity, and perseverance,” said Fife.

Each episode features intersecting storylines from on and off the track and culminates at an exciting championship event featuring real competition footage as seen from the exclusive perspective of drivers, crew, family members and friends.

The show’s first season featured multi-series champion and stunt driver Foust, skateboard legend and racing driver Bucky Lasek, motocross innovator and truck racer Brian Deegan, rally champion Travis Pastrana, and U.S. Formula 1 star turned rallycross champ Speed.

Motorclub returns to the NBC Sports Network schedule this fall. NBC Sports Group is the U.S. television home of motorsports, offering 1,800 hours of unparalleled wall-to-wall motorsports content across NBC, NBCSN and CNBC, NBCUniversal’s business channel, as well as on NBC Sports Live Extra this year. Coverage includes broadcasts of major racing series, complemented by original motorsports programming, like Motorclub.

Motorclub season II is back this fall on NBC Sports Thursday, October 12 at 9 p.m. ET. / 6 p.m. PT

As expected, FIA denies granting Colton Herta a Super License to race in F1

Colton Herta Super License
Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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The governing body for Formula One on Friday said IndyCar star Colton Herta will not be granted the Super License that the American needs to join the F1 grid next season.

“The FIA confirms that an enquiry was made via the appropriate channels that led to the FIA confirming that the driver Colton Herta does not have the required number of points to be granted an FIA Super Licence,” the FIA said in a statement.

The FIA decision was not a surprise.

Red Bull was interested in the 22-year-old Californian and considering giving Herta a seat at AlphaTauri, its junior team. AlphaTauri has already said that Pierre Gasly will return next season and Yuki Tsunoda received a contract extension earlier this week.

However, AlphaTauri has acknowledged it would release Gasly, who is apparently wanted at Alpine, but only if it had a compelling driver such as Herta to put in the car. F1 has not had an American on the grid since Alexander Rossi in 2015, but Herta did not particularly want the FIA to make an exception to the licensing system to get him a seat.

At issue is how the FIA rates IndyCar, a series it does not govern. The points it awards to IndyCar drivers rank somewhere between F2 and F3, the two junior feeder series into F1.

IndyCar drivers have criticized the system in defense of Herta and the intense, close racing of their own highly competitive series. Herta has won seven IndyCar races, is the youngest winner in series history and has four starts in the Indianapolis 500. He qualified on the front row in 2021 and finished a career-best eighth in 2020.

Rossi, who has spent the last four seasons as Herta’s teammate at Andretti Autosport, lashed out this week because “I’m so sick and tired of this back and forth” regarding the licensing.

“The whole premise of it was to keep people from buying their way into F1 and allowing talent to be the motivating factor,” Rossi wrote on social media. “That’s great. We all agree Colton has the talent and capability to be in F1. That’s also great and he should get that opportunity if it’s offered to him. Period.

“Motorsport still remains as the most high profile sport in the world where money can outweigh talent. What is disappointing and in my opinion, the fundamental problem, is that the sporting element so often took a backseat to the business side that here had to be a method put in place in order for certain teams to stop taking drivers solely based on their financial backing.”

Rossi added those decisions “whether out of greed or necessity, is what cost Colton the opportunity to make the decision for himself as to if he wanted to alter career paths and race in F1. Not points on a license.”

The system favors drivers who compete in FIA-sanctioned series. For example, Linus Lundqvist earned his Super License by winning the Indy Lights championship.

Lundqvist’s required points come via the 15 he earned for the Lights title, 10 points for finishing third in Lights last year and his 2020 victory in the FIA-governed Formula Regional Americas Championship, which earned him 18 points.

That gave the 23-year-old Swede a total of 43 points, three more than needed for the license.

Herta, meanwhile, ended the IndyCar season with 32 points. He can still earn a Super License by picking up one point for any free practice sessions he runs this year; McLaren holds his F1 rights and could put him in a car. Herta could also potentially run in an FIA-sanctioned winter series to pick up some points.

Michael Andretti, who has petitioned the FIA to expand its grid to add two cars for him to launch a team, said he never bothered to explore potential replacements for Herta on the IndyCar team because he was confident the Super License request would be rejected.

Andretti has been met by severe resistance from existing F1 teams and even F1 itself in his hope to add an 11th team. Andretti could still get on the grid by purchasing an existing team and he’d like to build his program around Herta, who is under contract in IndyCar to Andretti through 2023.