Welcome to Hooniverse’s weekly look ahead to who’s racing what and where this weekend. After a busy Independence Day last weekend, the next few days looks pretty tame. Motorcycle s might top the list of breathtaking racing ventures while IndyCar is in the middle of a busy stretch-run until the season’s late-August conclusion. Get the scoop on these races after the jump:
World Superbikes at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
MotoGP in Germany
Tudor United SportsCar Championship’s lone international race
IndyCar in Iowa
And a whole boatload more!
World Superbikes: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Any time major international series come the U.S., it’s kind of a big deal (to the diehards, anyway), but when motorcycle racing comes to Laguna Seca, you’d better pay attention. If you think the track is breathtaking for cars, don’t miss it with riders leaning to the absolute limit over the crest before the legendary Corkscrew and down the 11,000-story drop back to the start/finish line. The circuit is truly an American motorsport treasure, perhaps even moreso when it’s thrust onto the international stage. For once, the SBK series leaves its supporting series in Europe with the domestic AMA Pro Road Racing filling supporting duties. Those races should be free to stream live on FansChoice.tv (Edit: Except they’re not because World SuperBikes’ TV rights holders apparently don’t wish it so). Website: World SBK site. MRLS site. Event page with SBK schedule. Full weekend schedule. Supporting series: AMA Pro Road Racing Live coverage: SBK on Sunday @ TBA on beIN Sports (TV).
AMA Racing streaming live on FansChoice.TV (see schedule linked above).
MotoGP: Grand Prix of Germany (Sachsenring | Zwickau)
Meanwhile, in Europe, MotoGP returns to the status quo. Marc Marquez just captured his eighth victory of the year in eight starts and there’s been little to suggest he won’t capture his ninth on Sachsenring’s 2.3 miles, tailored for motorcycle racing. This race concludes the season’s first half and if Marquez can win, who’s to say he won’t run the tables all season?
Tudor United SportsCar Championship: Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
CTMP (formerly known as Mosport) registers as one of the most intimidating circuits in North America with its natural rhythm and dare-you-to-brake high-speed corners. To date, a (former) LMP2 car has only won one race (at Laguna Seca) this year, but the 2.46 miles of flowing tarmac should favor them over the Daytona Prototypes. The series will also leave out the Prototype Challenge class for this round, but the race will still feature 41 entries.
Check in on FansChoice.TV throughout the weekend to catch the high-quality lineup of supporting series races. The site’s streaming coverage of the TUSC support series at the recent Watkins Glen International races was very well done and the Porsche GT3 Cup races were mind-bending in their complexity and entertainment value.
Website: TUSC site. CTMP site. Event page. Weekend schedule. Entry list. Supporting series: Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge. Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo. Porsche GT3 Cup USA. Cooper Tires Prototype Lites. Mazda MX-5 Cup. Live coverage: Sunday @ 2 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 (TV). Qualifying on Saturday @ 5:20 p.m. ET on IMSA.com (streaming). Continental Tire Challenge – Saturday @ 1:15 p.m. ET; no live broadcast poster, but look for it streaming on IMSA.com. Other supporting series – Possibly on FansChoice.TV.
NASCAR Sprint Cup: Camping World RV Sales 301 (New Hampshire Motor Speedway | Loudon, NH)
Rain shortened last weekend’s big holiday race at Daytona, but Aric Almirola managed to steal the victory, his first in 125 Sprint Cup starts. Much of the attention this week in the media has focused on the series’ nine biggest teams forming an alliance to further their business interests and those of the owners and racers.
If you can get past all of that drama, the series makes its trek to the relatively short 1.05-mile oval in New England. Good luck picking a favorite; the last 12 Sprint Cup races at NHMS have seen 12 different winners, although Toyota and Chevrolet engines have won the last 10 of them.
Website: Sprint Cup site. NHMS site. Supporting series: Sta-Green 200 (Nationwide). Granite State 100 (K&N East) Live coverage: Sprint Cup – Sunday @ 1 p.m. ET on TNT (TV) and Performance Racing Network (Radio/streaming). Nationwide – Saturday @ 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 (TV) and PRN (Radio/Streaming).
IndyCar: Iowa Corn Indy 300 (Iowa Speedway | Newton, IA) Juan-Pablo Montoya nabbed his first IndyCar win since returning to the series at Pocono last weekend, where a third consecutive poor race for Will Power and a second place for Helio Castroneves left the pair tied for the championship. Both are veteran drivers who have come so close to an IndyCar title without winning it, so expect both to put it all on the line over the final seven rounds. This weekend finds IndyCar racing on its third consecutive weekend at the shortest track of the year, the 7/8-mile oval in Iowa. The open-wheelers share the weekend again with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, who will race Friday night. Website: IndyCar site. Iowa site. Event page. Weekend schedule. Supporting series: American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series) Live coverage: Saturday @ 8 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network (TV). Live timing and streaming radio on IndyCar Race Control. NASCAR Trucks: Friday @ 8:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 (TV) and Motor Racing Network (Radio/Streaming audio). DTM: Moscow Raceway The German touring cars take their second trip out of country. Canadian Robert Wickens won at the last round at Norisring, which some commentary declared was dreadfully dull (a monumental achievement on such an exciting circuit). Wickens’ victory was one of two for Mercedes this year, who have not fared well in the championship otherwise. Curiously, BMW driver and championship leader Marco Wittman has won the other two rounds to date, but positions two through six in the championship are all Audis, who have yet to win a round. But if you’ve watched how Audi Motorsport goes about their business elsewhere, you know they’re nothing if not consistent. Website: DTM site. Moscow Raceway site. Event page. Weekend schedule. Supporting series: FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Volkswagen Scirocco-R Cup. Formula Russia. Live coverage: None live stateside. Look for replays in the “offseason.” World Series by Renault: Nurburgring No, the open-wheel development series aren’t tackling the whole Nordschleife; they will instead run the shorter Grand Prix circuit, a 3.2-mile blend of speed, technical corners, and elevation changes that mimics the much-longer Green Hell. Top billing goes to the Formula Renault 3.5 series where drivers run spec chassis and spec 3.5-liter Renault V6s while the four-cylinder Formula Renault 2.0 and the Clio Cup touring cars get the supporting role. The 3.5-liter field is usually filled with promising youngsters who represent the future of Formula One or, increasingly, the next crop of top-level sportscar racers. The current championship leader is Carlos Sainz, Jr. Don’t be surprised if the young Spaniard ends up in F1 before too long; he carries with him tremendous talent and name recognition, his father and namesake having won two World Rally Championships with Toyota before Sainz, Jr., was even born. Website: WSBR site. Nurburgring site. Event page with weeekend schedule. Supporting series: Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. Eurocup Clio. Live coverage: None live stateside, but look for replays on YouTube in a few days.
Japanese Super Formula: Fuji Speedway
The top open-wheel series of Japan is also a major international developmental series. Many Europeans race in Super Formula alongside the best drivers Japan has on offer. The list of Super Formula (and Formula Nippon before that) champions includes three of Audi’s Le Mans-winning drivers (Benoit Treluyer, Loic Duval, and Andre Lotterer) and Japanese prototype aces Kaz Nakajima and Satoshi Motoyama. This weekend finds the star-studded field at the former site of the Japanese Grand Prix.
Website: Super Formula site. Fuji site. Event page. Entry list. Live coverage: None live stateside, but look for replays on YouTube in a few days and for the love of all things Japanese, watch with the Japanese commentary.
British GT: Spa Francorchamps The United Kingdom’s series remains probably the best national GT series, drawing substantial GT3- and GT4-spec fields to race together in an endurance format. Legendary racing house Ecurie Ecosse will have their BMW Z4 GT3 along to race with Bentley’s new wildly successful Continental GT3. The two-race weekend at Belgium’s famed circuit marks weekend six of eight in the British GT season. Website: British GT site (Weekend schedule downloadable from main page). Spa site. Event page. Entry list. Supporting series: Lotus Cup Europe. Lotus Cup UK. Volkswagen Racing Cup. Live coverage: None stateside, but look for highlights and coverage on Motors TV in the UK.
FIA World RallyCross: Belgium (Circuit Jules Tacheny)
Just a few miles from Spa-Francorchamp, the FIA’s rallycross series flings its high-horsepower hot hatches around and over the Belgian dirt. If you read the series’ press releases, you know that American “TV presenter” (nevermind his impressive motorsports credentials) Tanner Foust won in Finland last weekend, which is maybe the most exciting thing that’s happened in World RX this year. This race caps a grueling month for the teams and racers, having run three consecutive weekends and four of the last five.
NASCAR K&N West: NAPA Auto Parts 150 (Stateline Speedway | Post Falls, ID) Big-horsepower tubeframe cars on a 1/4-mile oval in Idaho? That sounds like a recipe for close-quarters entertainment. Website: K&N West site. Stateline site. Event page. Live coverage: None, but go enjoy the show if you live in Idaho.
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series: Alberta Has Energy 300 (Edmonton International Raceway)
A relatively short distance from the K&N West race in Idaho, Canada’s NASCAR series will also race around a 1/4-mile oval in Alberta.
SCCA Majors Tour North: Gingerman Raceway The Majors Tour is the only big grassroots race this weekend with the Northern Conference visiting Gingerman in Southwest Michigan. The track rewards those with proficiency on technical circuits, so races like the 21-car Spec Miata field should be quite a spectacle on the 1.9-mile circuit. Website: Majors Tour site. Gingerman site. Event page. Weekend schedule. Entry list. Live coverage: Live timing on Majors Tour site or on Race Monitor app for smartphone and devices. [Lead photo copyright 2014 Hooniverse/Eric Rood | Other photos: World Superbikes, IndyCar, British GT]