IndyCar announces its 2021 schedule

IndyCar 2021 preparation
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(UPDATE: Two months after this release of the original 2021 schedule, IndyCar announced that the Grand Prix of Long Beach will be moved to the Sept. 26 season finale. In January, it announced that St. Petersburg was moved to April 25, and that Barber Motorsports Park now will open the season on April 18.)

The NTT IndyCar Series released its 2021 schedule, which will feature 17 races with two doubleheader race weekends.

The season will begin March 7 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, which will be the first of a record nine races shown on NBC (including the Grand Prix of Long Beach moving to the network). The other eight will be on NBCSN.

“We’re really pleased that the current plans provide for one additional race on NBC’s network than we had this year,” Mark Miles, president and CEO of Penske Entertainment, said in a release. “In particular, the season will start with NBC coverage of the St. Petersburg event, a spectacular start for those in attendance and watching from home.”

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Among the significant moves:

–Texas Motor Speedway will move ahead of the Indianapolis 500 for the first time with its first doubleheader race weekend on May 1-2.

–The Detroit Grand Prix weekend doubleheader will move from the week after the Indy 500 to June 12-13, and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will hold its race July 4.

–The series will hold its inaugural race in Nashville, Tennessee, on Aug. 8 (the first street race added to the schedule since 2013).

–The Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course will play host to two race weekends for the second consecutive year, running Aug. 14 the day before the first NASCAR Cup Series race on the circuit.

Three tracks that originally were on the 2020 slate will drop off the 2021 schedule:

–Richmond Raceway, whose return after a 10-year absence was canceled this season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic;

–Iowa Speedway, which had played host to IndyCar annually since 2007, including a doubleheader this year;

–Circuit of The Americas, which held its first IndyCar race in 2019 but was forced to cancel this year.

Here are the dates and TV networks for next year’s races (times will be announced at a later date):

IndyCar 2021 schedule

April 18 – Barber Motorsports Park (NBC)

April 25 – Streets of St. Petersburg (NBC)

May 1-2 – Texas Motor Speedway doubleheader (NBCSN)

May 15 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course (NBC)

May 30 – Indianapolis 500 (NBC)

June 12-13 – Detroit Belle Isle GP doubleheader (NBC)

June 20 – Road America (NBCSN)

July 4 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (NBC)

July 11 – Streets of Toronto (NBCSN)

Aug. 8 – Streets of Nashville (NBCSN)

Aug. 14 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway GP 2 (NBCSN)

Aug. 21 – World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway (NBCSN)

Sept. 12 – Portland International Raceway (NBC)

Sept. 19 – WeatherTech Laguna Seca Raceway (NBC)

Sept. 26 – Streets of Long Beach (NBC)

 

IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta: How to watch, start times, schedule, entry list

AUTO: NOV 13 IMSA - Motul Petit Le Mans
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Start times, TV schedule: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will conclude the 2022 season this weekend with the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta, which also will mark the end of the line for the DPi class.

The premier Daytona Prototype international category, which started in 2017, will be replaced by the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class with its LMDh cars that will establish a bridge to Le Mans.

For the third time in four years, an Acura will be crowned the champion in DPi as the No. 10 of Wayne Taylor Racing holds a 19-point edge over the No. 60 of Meyer Shank Racing.

Last year, WTR’s No. 10 entered the season finale with a 19-point lead but lost the title to the No. 31 Cadillac of Action Express.

Full-time WTR drivers Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor (who will be joined by Brendon Hartley in the No. 10 this weekend) have a series-leading four victories this season. The MSR duo of Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves this weekend) won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and have five runner-up finishes this year.

Championship scenarios in the other four categories:

GTD Pro: Points leaders Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet will clinch the title by starting in their No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

–GTD: There are 140 points separating the top four teams with Roman De Angelis and the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 leading by 45 points.

–LMP2: John Farano is first in the driver standings by 33 points over Dwight Merriman and Ryan Dalziel. In the team standings, the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports leads by 19 points over the No. 8 Tower Motorsport (Farano’s team).

–LMP3: No. 54 CORE autosport drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun lead by 83 points over the No. 74 Riley Motorsports of Gar Robinson.

With the 10-hour race requiring an extra driver, several stars from other racing series have been added. In addition to Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Ryan Hunter-Reay will serve as third drivers in Chip Ganassi Racing’s pair of Cadillacs.

Jimmie Johnson also will be making his last DPi start in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac with Mike Rockenfeller and Kamui Kobayashi. Petit Le Mans could mark the last start in an IMSA prototype for Johnson, who has said limited inventory likely will keep him out of the GTP category in the Rolex 24 next year.

Here are the start times, starting lineup, schedule and TV info for the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta (all times are ET):


Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta start times, schedule, TV info

When: Saturday, 12:10 p.m. ET

Race distance: Ten hours on the 12-turn, 2.54-mile road course

TV: Noon-3 p.m., NBC; 3-10:30 p.m., USA Network. Peacock, the NBC Sports App,and NBCSports.com will have streaming coverage of the event from flag to flag beginning at noon. Leigh Diffey and Dave Burns are the play by play announcers with analysts Calvin Fish, Townsend Bell, James Hinchcliffe and Brian Till. The pit reporters are Kevin Lee, Hannah Newhouse, Dillon Welch and Matt Yocum.

IMSA.com live TV qualifying stream: Friday, 3:35 p.m. ET.

IMSA Radio: All sessions are live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage will begin Saturday at noon (XM 207, Internet/App 992).

Forecast: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 63 degrees with an 85% chance of rain at the green flag.

Entry list: Click here to see the 48-car field for the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta


Daily schedule IMSA Petit Le Mans

Here’s a rundown of the Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia:

Wednesday, Sept. 28

9:30 a.m.: Mazda MX-5 practice

10:25 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup

12:30 p.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

1:15 p.m.: Mazda MX-5 practcice

2 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup practice

3:30 p.m.: Michelin Challenge practice

Thursday, Sept. 29

8 a.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

9 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup qualifying

9:50 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

11:40 a.m.: Prototype Challenge qualifying

12:10 p.m.: Michelin Challenge practice

1:50 p.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 1

2:55 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

5 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup, Race 1

6 p.m.: Michelin Challenge qualifying

7:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

Friday, Sept. 30

8 a.m.: Prototype Challenge race

9:50 a.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 2

10:55 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup, Race 2

1:10 p.m.: IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race

3:40 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying

Saturday, Oct. 1

9:15 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

12:10 p.m.: Petit Le Mans