Motorsports Weekend Guide: April 17 to April 19

MWG_2015
Here we are on Hooniverse for another look ahead to the weekend in racing. This weekend sees America’s biggest street-circuit race and a full boat of motorcycle racing, not to mention a good-sized segment of amateur racing. There’s a bit for everyone, so read through the listings after the jump to find what you’re looking for.
Want more information on a series mentioned below? Click here for Hooniverse’s Massively Oversized Guide to Motorsports 2015, which will tell you all you need to know (and then some).

IndyCar_LongBeach

IndyCar: Grand Prix of Long Beach

Opinions will vary on the IndyCar season to date, but few seem completely satisfied with the outcomes so far: torn-up aero kits neutering most of the season opener in St. Petersburg and a rain-soaked race at NOLA Motorsports Park last weekend. With the series headed to another barrier-lined street circuit like St. Petersburg, fans will hold their collective breaths and probably wince a lot, knowing that narrow confines and drivers not adjusting to them quickly enough probably caused the carbon-fiber shredding at the season opener. Long Beach tends to produce an even mix of stupid moves and brilliant passes so it remains to be seen. Will Power and Sebastien Bourdais each have multiple wins at Long Beach and Power’s Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Juan-Pablo Montoya each won there in the CART days (as did Bourdais).

Regardless, IndyCar brings with it one of the best support packages of any American race weekend. The IMSA sports car championship brings its Prototype and GTLM categories; while that means only 17 cars, the battles at the front of both classes should great. In addition, Pirelli World Challenge will bring a large grid of (mostly) GT3 cars to the weekend and the series’ standing starts at Long Beach tend to produce some elbowing and lots of excitement through Turn 1 (which narrows through the corner) and around the fountain. Stadium Super Trucks is essentially off-road monster trucks launching over huge ramps on the track and the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race is always a fan favorite.
Website: IndyCar site. LBGP site. Event page. Schedule. Entry list and season points.
Support Series: Tudor United Sports Car Championship (P and GTLM classes only). Pirelli World Challenge (GT/GTA/GT Cup/GTS classes only). Stadium Super Trucks. Indy Lights. Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race.
Live Coverage: Sunday @ 4 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network (TV) and SiriusXM 213 (Satellite Radio). Radio also available on IndyCar Race Control site.  Qualifying on Saturday @ 6:30 p.m. ET. TUSC – Saturday @ 7:00 p.m. ET on FansChoice.TV (Live TV) and IMSARadio.com (Streaming Audio only); Sunday @ 4 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 (Delayed).  PWC – Sunday @ 7:30 p.m. ET on Torque.tv and World-Challengetv.com. Replay on CBS Sports Network. SST – Streaming on SST site. Indy Lights  – Sunday @ 3:00 p.m. ET on NBC SN.
 
AMA_Road_Atlanta

MotoAmerica: Road Atlanta

The revamped American motorcycle road racing series opened its inaugural season last weekend in support of the MotoGP race at Circuit of the Americas and this weekend sees the series headed to Road Atlanta for round two. In the opener, four-time AMA Pro Road Racing champion Josh Hayes won the first Superbike race while young phenom Cameron Beaubier took the second of the two races.
It remains to be seen how Wayne Rainey’s series holds up in the long run, but using the tried-and-true format based on the World Superbike Championship gives MotoAmerica a solid platform. As for this weekend, look to see what kind of results they get on their first standalone race.
Website: MotoAmerica site. Road Atlanta site. Event page. Schedule. Entry list. Points.
Support Series: Superstock 1000, SuperStock 600, Supersport.
Live Coverage: Possibly streaming live on DailyMotion. Shown on delay on CBS Sports Network.
 
NASCAR_Bristol

NASCAR: Food City 500 (Bristol Motor Speedway)

Sprint Cup season is now in full swing and the series visits the paper-clip oval inside the big stadium at Bristol for what usually proves to be a physical race, both in terms of the racing and, predictably as a result, in the paddock. Races in NASCAR date back to 1961 on Bristol’s half-mile bullring. While superstars Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Jimmie Johnson are typically pretty successful at Bristol, the short track could be an advantage for drivers with a short-track background.
Bristol is also the playground of the Busch brothers; Kyle and Kurt each have five Sprint Cup wins and numerous more in the lower series. Kyle remains out of action while he recovers from his injuries after a big wreck at Daytona and Kurt still seeks redemption on the track from his suspension and vilification  (right or wrong) stemming from very public legal issues. Keep an eye on Kyle Larson, too, as he recovers from his own strange health issues a couple of weeks ago at Martinsville when he sat out over a fainting spell.

Website: Sprint Cup site. Bristol site. Event page. Schedule. Entry list. Points.
Supporting series: Drive to Stop Diabetes 300 (Xfinity Series).
Live coverage: Sunday @ 1 p.m. ET on FOX (TV) and Performance Racing Network (Streaming Audio). Qualifying on Friday @ 4:30 p.m. ET. Practices – Friday @ noon ET & Saturday @ 11:30 a.m. ET. Xfinity Series – Saturday @ 1 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 and PRN. Qualifying on Friday @ 5:30 p.m. ET. Practices Friday @ 1:30 p.m. ET & 3:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.
 

Formula 1: Bahrain Grand Prix

The fourth round of the championship comes at Bahrain’s modern Grade 1 circuit and follows yet another Mercedes 1-2 performance, albeit with Ferrari’s Sebastien Vettel close behind Nico Rosberg. As usual, the media circus following F1 focused on the Hamilton-Rosberg intrateam rivalry and Hamilton spraying one of the podium “girls” in the face with the champagne bottle after the race. This is because the race itself was like watching paint dry while the World Endurance Championship put on a remarkable show half a world away in the UK. What should one expect here? Probably a better show from GP2 in their series opener and more coverage about off-track crap than the snoozefest on it.
Website: F1 site. Bahrain siteEvent page. Schedule. Entry list. Season points.
Supporting series: GP2 Series. Porsche GT3 Cup Middle East.
Live coverage: Race Sunday @ 10:30 A.M. ET on NBC Sports Network. Qualifying – Saturday @ 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC SN. Practice – Friday @ 11:00 a.m. ET on NBC SN.
 

Japanese Super Formula: Suzuka

Japanese open-wheel season begins at Suzuka this weekend. If you watched the Super GT opener, you’ll likely notice a lot of the same drivers compete in Super Formula. Actually, you probably won’t because you can’t actually watch Super Formula anywhere in the U.S. to my knowledge. Still, if you can find it somewhere, the cream of the Japanese racing crop make up a very strong national series.
Website: Super Formula site. Event page.
Supporting series: Japanese Superbikes.
Live coverage: None in the U.S.
 

V8 Supercars: Perth SuperSprint (Barbagallo Raceway)

That time of year when six-time V8S champion Jamie Whincup assumes the championship lead and never looks back has come a bit early this year. After a strong start in Adelaide by James Courtney and Mark Winterbottom’s dominance in the non-points Melbourne races, Whincup won the final race of the Symmons Plains SuperSprint. This weekend marks the second SuperSprint weekend (two 60-kilometer races Saturday with a 200-kilometer race Sunday) at Barbagallo’s 1.5-mile circuit that will see the roaring V8 monsters clocking sub-minute laps.
Website: V8S site. Barbagallo site. Event page with schedule. Entry list. Points.
Supporting series: Dunlop Development Series. V8 Ute Racing Series. Improved Production. Saloon Cars. Formula Vee.
Live coverage: V8 SuperView (Subscription service). CBS SN on delay.
 

British Touring Car Championship: Donington Park

After a riveting season opener at Brands Hatch, the BTCC rolls into Donington Park for the series’ perennial hand-wringing exercise there. Honda driver Matt Neal and MG driver Jack Goff enter the weekend tied for the championship lead after one weekend with Volkswagen CC driver Aron Smith and touring-car superstar Andy Priaulx in pursuit.
Website: BTCC site. Donington Park site. Event page with schedule. Entry list. Points.
Supporting series: Ginetta GT4 SuperCup. Ginetta Junior Championship. Renault Clio Cup UK. MSA Formula Championship.
Live coverage: ITV4 in the UK. Delayed broadcast April 26 @ Noon & May 2 @ 10 a.m. ET on CBS Sports Network.
 

SCORE International Off-Road Racing: Baja Sur 500

In a way, the Baja Sur 500 is the opposite of the legendary Baja 1000: Instead of ripping down the Baja Peninsula in rippling off-roading vehicles, the SCORE competitors start in Cabo San Lucas at the Peninsula’s southern terminus and work their way north for 500 miles. Along the way, there’s usually just enough insanity on and off the course to make this a wild one for the off-roading faithful.
Website: SCORE site.Schedule. Entry list. Points. Course map.
Live coverage: Live coverage on SCORE Live or on Baja 1000 UStream site. Replay or highlights on CBS Sports Network.
 

MotoGP: Red Bull Grand Prix of Argentina (Termas De Rio Hondo)

Defending champion Marc Marquez returned to form with a win in Texas last weekend, although his poor showing at the season opener means he’s not leading the championship for the first time since 2013. The big surprise so far this year has been Andrea Dovizioso, whose two second-place finishes on a Ducati already match his podiums total from last year. This weekend finds them racing around Argentina’s world-class track, a twisty circuit built not long ago and already modified to host international series.
Website: MotoGP site. Termas de Rio Hondo. Event page with schedule. Entry list. Points.
Supporting series: Moto2. Moto3.
Live coverage: Sunday @ 12:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1. Moto2 – Sunday @ 8 p.m. ET (delayed). Moto3 – Sunday @ 7 p.m. ET (delayed).
 

World SuperBike Championship: Assen

If you’re a fan of British racers, this has to date been a tremendous year for you in World SuperBikes. In six races, British riders have taken every single podium and currently sit in the top four championship positions. Jonathan Rea leads the points with his Kawasaki and Ducati rider Chaz Davies sits third, but the real surprise has been the re-emergence of Aprilia rider Leon Haslam, who hadn’t won a race since 2010 and now has two of them this season. The WSBK series leans into the Dutch circuit at Assen this weekend.
Website: WSBK site. Assen siteEvent page with schedule. Entry list. Points.
Live coverage: Sunday @ 6:00 a.m. on beIN sports (TV).
 
 

World Touring Car Championship: Morocco

Unsurprisingly, defending champion Jose Maria Lopez left his home race in Argentina with a big points advantage. His Citroen teammate, French megastar Sebastien Loeb, came away with a win, though, so there could be an intramarquee rivalry brewing. There’s certainly no love loss between Lopez and teammate Yvan Muller. After a wretched opening weekend, expect the Lada team led by veteran touring car pilot Rob Huff to find their feet in Morocco.
Website: WTCC site. Event page. Schedule. Entry list. Points.
Live coverage: None in the U.S.
 

ADAC GT Masters: Oschersleben

The German national tin-top series is, curiously enough, the only place where you’ll find Corvettes and Camaros racing in GT3 trim run by Callaway and Reiter Engineering, respectively. The Corvettes—which are still C6s—are generally competitive, but the depth of teams and drivers means that this is anybody’s championship to win. The season starts at Oschersleben, a twisting 2.29-mile circuit in north-central Germany.
Website: GT Masters site. Oscherschleben site. Event page. Schedule. Entry list.
Supporting series: ADAC Formula 4. ADAC Procar. Volkswagen Golf Cup. Renault Clio Cup Central Europe.
Live coverage: None in the U.S. Possible replays on Fox Sports Nueve in the “offseason.”


GT Asia: Shanghai

Admittedly, details are hard to come by on the GT Asia series, but with the increasing popularity of GT3 racing and sports car racing in Asia, this is becoming a good testing ground for Asian teams and drivers looking to make an international impact. Look for a lot of the teams and names—should you find race reports anywhere, that is—that also will run in the revamped Asian Le Mans Series later this year.
Website: GT Asia site. Shanghai site. Event page. Schedule. Entry list. Points.
Supporting series:
Live coverage: None in the U.S.
 

FFSA GT: Ledenon

As with GT Masters, the French national GT series features a healthy dose of competition, including French Audi LMP1 drivers Benoit Treluyer and Andre Lotterer, among others. This series is mostly comprised of Audi R8 LMS and Ferrari 458s, both racing types of tremendous pedigree in recent memory. Severe elevation changes and what basically amounts to switchbacks make Ledenon in Southern France a tricky and unique circuit.
Website: FFSA GT site. Ledenon site. Event page. Schedule. Entry list.
Supporting series: Peugeot RCZ Racing Cup. French Formula 4. French Supertourisme. Carrera Cup France.
Live coverage: Streaming and archived video on FFSA GT site.
 

Endurance Racing Series (UK): Rockingham

In case you’d missed the memo, both endurance racing, GT3-spec racing, and GT3 endurance racing is all the rage. With British GT overly subscribed, the 360 Motoring Club launches its own endurance racing series for GT3 cars this weekend. The series features six classes for GT3, one-make GT cars (Ferrari Challenge, Porsche Cup, etc.), GT4, Enduro Max (360 horsepower and 1,200 kilogram) cars, Enduro Light (lower-power production) cars, and Ariel Atoms. It will open with a round on American-oval-inspired Rockingham Circuit.
Website: ERS site. Rockingham site. Event page. Schedule. Entry list. Points.
Live coverage: None in the U.S., as far as I can see.
 

British Superbike Championship: Brands Hatch

Also on the British Isles will be the British Superbikes’ second round. After starting the season at Donington Park, the huge bill of BSBK series roll on to Brands Hatch. The bikes will look spectacular diving down Paddock Hill Bend as they scoot around Brands’ natural bowl terrain.
Website: BSBK site. Brands Hatch site. Event page. Schedule. Entry list. Points.
Supporting series: Superstock 600. British Supersport. KTM British Junior Cup. Ducati TriOptions Cup. British Sidecars. British Motostar. 
Live coverage: Streaming?
 

IHRA: Bradenton Motorsports Park (Bradenton, FL)

The International Hot Rod Association heads to Florida for a round of the IHRA’s Nitro Jam Pro-Am. Hey, that rhymes, but you probably wouldn’t hear any rhymes over the roars of a few thousand horsepower in each of the strip’s lanes.
Website: IHRA site. Bradenton site. Event page. Schedule. Points.
Live coverage: Streaming live on the IHRA site.
 

Turismo Carretera: Neuquen

The Argentine national racing series runs its third race of the season at Neuquen, which is a surprisingly complex circuit for its mere six corners. The tubeframe racecars rock highly tuned inline-six engines based on the same cars that have run in the series since the 1970s. It’s a fairly unknown series outside of South America, but TC consistently puts huge grids on their racetracks nonetheless.
Website: TC site. Event pageEntry list. Points.
Live coverage: None in the U.S.
 

United States Touring Car Championship: Buttonwillow Raceway Park

The USTCC is actually a regional series that runs almost entirely in California, excepting June’s race at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. This opening round at Buttonwillow is a two-hour evening race run in conjunction with NASA SoCal’s regional weekend.
Website: USTCC site. Buttonwillow siteEntry list.
Supporting series: NASA SoCal Regional.
Live coverage: Live streaming on RacerConnect. Race highlights shown on Final Drive TV and FDTV’s YouTube Channel.
 

SCCA Majors Tour: Virginia International Raceway

The Majors Tour’s first round in the “Northeast” region comes at VIR, where an immense field of 284 cars will take to the track. Among those are Trans Am regulars Cameron Lawrence and Simon Gregg, who will both face off in Corvettes in the GT-1 class. As usual, the marquee classes of Spec Miata and Spec Racer Ford will run huge fields of 35 and 56, respectively.
Website: Majors site. VIR site. Event page. Schedule. Entry list.
Live coverage: Live timing on SCCA site and via RaceMonitor app.
 

ChumpCar World Series: Canadian Tire Motorsports Park

ChumpCar’s first Canadian round comes at world-renowned CTMP, where the low-buck racers will run a Double 7 weekend. This gives Chump racers the chance to rocket around The Track Formerly Known as Mosport’s high-speed roller coaster.
Website: CCWS site. CTMP site. Event page with supplemental rules and schedule.
Live coverage: Live timing on CCWS site and via RaceMonitor app.
 
 

ChumpCar World Series: Pacific Roadways

Pacific Roadways is a decidedly old-school track, a 2.34-mile circuit that interwoven with an NHRA drag strips and winding back on itself.  The races are a pair of seven-hour races, just like the CTMP round.
Website: CCWS site. Pacific Raceways site. Event page with supplemental rules and schedule.
Live coverage: Live timing on CCWS site and via RaceMonitor app.
 
 

ChumpCar World Series: Road America

ChumpCar holds three rounds this weekend and the National Park of Speed is among those; Road America’s four miles will host, you guessed it, two seven-hour races on Saturday and Sunday. Speed creep in the series has led to an increasing number of teams clocking laps on the fast side of three minutes. Expect that to trend to continue.
Website: CCWS site. Road America site. Event page with supplemental rules and schedule.
Live coverage: Live timing on CCWS site and via RaceMonitor app.
 

On the Tube: Replays and Delays

Thursday
1:00 p.m. ET – Pirelli World Challenge, Miller Motorsports Park (2014) – MAVTV
4:00 p.m. ET – Pirelli World Challenge, Miller Motorsports Park (2014) – MAVTV

Friday
12:30 a.m. ET – NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, Kern County Raceway – NBC Sports Network
3:00 a.m. ET – Lucas Oil Off Road Racing, Miller Motorsports Park (2014) – MAVTV
Saturday
12:30 a.m. ET – NASCAR Whelen Modified Series – NBC Sports Network
1:30 a.m. ET – NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, Kern County Raceway – NBC Sports Network
3:00 a.m. ET – NASCAR Sprint Cup Practice, Bristol – Fox Sports 1
4:30 a.m. ET – NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying, Bristol – Fox Sports 1
7:00 a.m. ET – NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying, Bristol – Fox Sports 1
8:30 a.m. ET – NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying, Bristol – Fox Sports 1
8:30 a.m. ET – NASCAR Xfinity Series Qualifying, Bristol – Fox Sports 1
9:30 a.m. ET – NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, Kern County Raceway – NBC Sports Network
11:30 a.m. ET – NASCAR Xfinity Series Practice, Bristol – Fox Sports 1
12:00 p.m. ET – World Rally Championship – MAVTV
3:00 p.m. ET – World Rally Championship – MAVTV
11:00 p.m. ET – MotoAmerica season preview – CBS Sports Network
Sunday
12:00 a.m. (Midnight) – British Touring Cars, Brands Hatch – CBS Sports Network
3:00 a.m. – British Touring Cars, Brands Hatch – CBS Sports Network
2:00 p.m. ET – Lucas Oil Off Road Racing, Glen Helen (2014) – MAVTV
4:00 p.m. ET – Tudor United Sports Car Championship, Long Beach – Fox Sports 1
5:00 p.m. ET – Lucas Oil Off Road Racing, Glen Helen (2014) – MAVTV
6:30 p.m. ET – MotoAmerica, Circuit of the America – CBS Sports Network
7:00 p.m. ET – Moto3, Argentina – Fox Sports 2
8:00 p.m. ET – Moto2, Argentina – Fox Sports 2
9:00 p.m. ET – MotoGP, Argentina – Fox Sports 2
Monday
7:00 a.m. ET – Red Bull Air Race – Fox Sports 2
10:00 a.m. ET – NASCAR Sprint Cup Race, Bristol – Fox Sports 1
1:00 p.m. ET – NASCAR Sprint Cup Race, Bristol – Fox Sports 2
Tuesday
9:30 a.m. ET – Red Bull Air Race – Fox Sports 2
12:00 p.m. ET – NASCAR Sprint Cup Race, Bristol – Fox Sports 2
Wednesday
1:00 a.m. ET – IndyCar, Long Beach – NBC Sports Network
10:00 a.m. ET – European Drag Racing Championship, Germany – MAVTV
5:30 p.m. ET – European Drag Racing Championship, Germany – MAVTV
9:30 p.m. ET – MotoAmerica, Circuit of the America – CBS Sports Network
beIN Sports
 
Going racing yourself or heading out to watch some racing in person? Tell us in the comments where you’ll be turning your wheels.
[Lead photo copyright 2015 Hooniverse/Eric Rood | Other photos: IndyCar, AMA Pro Road Racing, NASCAR]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here