IMSA: Nick Tandy leads Porsche 1-2 at VIR


With five victories in IMSA GTLM competition entering this weekend’s round at Virginia International Raceway, it may have been a surprise to some that Porsche had yet to achieve a 1-2 finish in 2019.

That all changed in Sunday afternoon’s Michelin GT Challenge, as Nick Tandy in the No. 911 Porsche led teammate Earl Bamber to the checkered flag for the first 1-2 finish for the factory team since Lime Rock in 2017.

The sixth victory of the season for the team also crowned them the IMSA WeatherTech Championship manufacturer’s title, and it was all smiles in victory lane for Tandy and co-driver Patrick Pilet.

“It’s fun when you’re in front, or when you’re behind even, but when you’re in front it would obviously be nice to have a team order,” Tandy told NBC Sports. “The good thing about Porsche is that they let us race. I think we’ve seen that throughout the year.”

The two Porsche entries dominated the 2-hour 40-minute event, with the No. 911 passing polesitter Laurens Vanthoor No. 912 in the pits despite swapping out Tandy (who started the race) for Pilet.

The lead changed in the pits once again approximately halfway through the race when the No. 912 took the lead back from it’s sister entry after swapping Vanthoor for Bamber, while Tandy took back over for Pilet.

But Tandy did not give up, and slowly began closing the gap between first and second before finally retaking the lead when Bamber made his final pit stop.

Tandy held on for the victory, despite a late-race caution for an accident by Katherine Legge that bunched the field together one final time. With Bamber finishing second, Antonio Garcia in the the No. 3 Corvette C7.R shared with Jan Magnussen finished third to complete the GLTM podium.

GTD: Keating/Bleekmolen win first race of the season for Mercedes

In GT Daytona, Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekmolen in the No. 33 Mercedes-AMG GT3 took the class victory for the first time in 2019, with Bleekmolen making the race-winning pass on the No. 86 Acura of Mario Farnbacher with 50 minutes remaining.

Bleekmolen held on to the lead through the checkered flag, with Farnbacher and co-driver Trent Hindman having to settle for a second-place finish.

Toni Vilander in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 was able to make a last lap pass on Scott Hargrove in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R to take the final position on the GTD podium.

The WeatherTech SportsCar Championship now heads to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna for the second-to-last race of the season. Live race coverage begins on September 15 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC. 

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IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NTT IndyCar Series’ 2023 schedule will feature the same number of races and tracks as this season with some minor reshuffling of dates.

IndyCar will open the 2023 season March 5 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, and will conclude Sept. 10 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The 107th Indy 500 will take place May 28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 17-race schedule will conclude with a stretch of eight races in the final nine weeks.

“The NTT IndyCar Series is on an impactful upward trajectory, making progress at a pace that befits our thrilling style of competition,” Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “The 2023 season provides an opportunity to further build on this trend, bringing our sport and its stars to more markets and households and reaching new consumers across the globe.”

There will be 15 events on NBC: 13 races (including six of the final seven) plus Indy 500 qualifying May 20-21. There also are three races on USA Network and the Toronto race exclusively on Peacock. All races on NBC and USA also will have live simulstreams on Peacock.

In partnership with NBC Sports, the 2022 IndyCar season was the most-watched in six years and the most-watched across NBC Sports on record. The 2022 season also was the most streamed season on record.

“We’re very excited for our 2023 NTT IndyCar Series schedule and to build on this past season’s viewership milestones,” NBC Sports vice president of programming Mike Perman said in a release. “In providing comprehensive coverage across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, NBC Sports is once again looking forward to telling the stories of these world-class drivers and this compelling series.”

Notable elements on the 2023 schedule:

–There will be the same balance of seven road course races, five street courses and five ovals.

–St. Pete will be the season opener for the 13th time.

–The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will move from Belle Isle to the streets of downtown.

–The NASCAR doubleheader weekend at the IMS road course will shift to mid-August.

–The World Wide Technology Raceway event will move from Saturday to Sunday.

Start times for the 2023 events will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the 2023 IndyCar schedule:

Date Race/Track Network/Platform
Sun., March 5 Streets of St. Petersburg NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 2 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 16 Streets of Long Beach NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 30 Barber Motorsports Park NBC, Peacock
Sat., May 13 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) NBC, Peacock
Sun., May 28 The 107th Indianapolis 500 NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 4 Streets of Detroit NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 18 Road America USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 16 Streets of Toronto Peacock
Sat., July 22 Iowa Speedway – Race 1 NBC, Peacock
Sun., July 23 Iowa Speedway – Race 2 NBC, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 6 Streets of Nashville NBC, Peacock
Sat., Aug. 12 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) USA Network, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 27 World Wide Technology Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 3 Portland International Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 10 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca NBC, Peacock

*dates and networks/platforms are subject to change