Motorsports Weekend Guide: July 24 to July 26

MWG_2015
It’s Thursday, which means another edition of Hooniverse’s weekly look at who’s racing what where in the next few days. This weekend finds stock cars on America’s most famed racetrack and sports cars new and old taking over two of the Northeast’s most famous tracks. Add to that a pair of very different 24-hour races and one of the more interesting staples of the F1 calendar and you’ve got a nicely rounded weekend of racing ahead of you. Make the jump for the details.
Pro tip: Keep this page open all weekend or bookmark so you have all the resources handy. 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).

NASCAR Sprint Cup: Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard (Indianapolis Motor Speedway)

This race was, at one time, simply called the Brickyard 400 and Jeff Gordon won the first one. He won the last one, too—his fifth Indy win—and this being his final year in NASCAR, you can bet the Rainbow Warrior wants to win his last Brickyard race. He’s been run by a hefty pile of bad luck this year to keep him from winning, but maybe his change of luck will come this year on the 2.5-mile historical oval.
Either way, the 400-mile rip around the Brickyard will be a challenge. I had long thought Indianapolis was a restrictor-plate race, but it appears it isn’t. That may explain why Tony Stewart—a former Indianapolis 500 winner—has been so good at Indy. He’s similarly struggled the last couple years.
Links: Sprint Cup site. IMS site. Event page. Schedule. Entry list. Standings. Live timing.
Support race(s): Lilly Diabetes 250 (Xfinity Series). #ThisIsMySpeedway150 (Lucas Oil Raceway | ARCA).
Coverage: Sunday @ 3 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. Xfinity Series – Saturday @ 3 p.m. ET on NBC. ARCA – Friday @ 9 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.
 

Blancpain Endurance Series: 24 Hours of Spa

The Blancpain series heads to its marquee event at Spa Francorchamps this weekend. The GT3-class racing includes an incredible field of talent with Audi factory drivers dropped into the cars. With last year’s winners WRT Belgian Club Audis dominating the endurance series, it’s hard to expect anybody to challenge. However, there’s terrific depth in cars bring run by proxy teams from BMW, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley, Aston Martin, Nissan, McLaren, and Mercedes.
Last year’s race was a bit physical with a big wreck marring much of the racing, but the Marc VDS BMW gave the race winners a run for their money.
Links: BES site. Spa site. Event page. Schedule. Entry list. Standings. Live timing.
Support race(s): Porsche Carrera Cup. Formula Renault 2.0 Northern Europe. Lamborghini Super Trofeo.
Coverage: Livestream on Nismo.tv with Radio Le Mans commentary. Race starts at 10:30 a.m. ET.
 

Formula 1: Hungaroring

This weekend’s will be the first F1 race since Jules Bianchi’s death last week so expect an emotionally charged weekend and hopefully some nice tributes on and off the track for the French driver. This follows an emotional weekend for Bianchi’s former teammate Max Chilton, who dedicated his first Indy Lights win to Jules.
On the track, Lewis Hamilton is one of two four-time winners at Hungary and the championship leader should be the favorite. Daniel Ricciardo’s drive to the win last year was inspired, but his car is nowhere near competitive enough this year to repeat the endeavor. Williams’ pair of Valteri Bottas and Felipe Massa should make it interesting in their fight with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen for fourth in the championship; just three points separate that trio in what has been good racing all year.
Links: F1 site. Hungaroring site. Event page. Schedule. Entry list. Standings. Live timing.
Support race(s): GP2, GP3, Porsche Supercup.
Coverage: Sunday @ 7:30 a.m. on CNBC.
 

24 Hours of LeMons: Autobahn Country Club 24 Hours

I don’t normally put LeMons this high on the list, but this is the ever-so-rare 24-hour version of the race (Yes, it’s usually just a clever name) and yours truly will be guiding LeMons fans throughout the full day of racing via a liveblog on this very site. There’s rain in the forecast, which is typical for races at Autobahn. With the track’s slick surface, the field of nearly 100 cars should have their work cut out keeping their cars running and then keeping their running cars on the track surface. Check back to Hooniverse for updates this weekend!
Links: LeMons site. Autobahn site. Event page with schedule. Live timing.
Coverage: Liveblog right here on Hooniverse. Check back on the main page Saturday and Sunday to get updates.
 

Tudor United Sportscar Championship: Lime Rock Park

The American sports car series gets a (sort of) full series race at Lime Rock after last year’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge-only weekend last year. It’s only the pro-am PC and GTD classes for TUSC, but the 18 teams between the two classes are almost all the highest quality, so I’d expect a solid main event at the little bullring. It takes some real stones to make passes at Lime Rock and the bigger Continental Challenge field should make it interesting Saturday morning.
Links: TUSC site. LRP site. Event page. Schedule. Entry list. Standings. Live timing.
Support race(s): Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.
Coverage: Live on IMSA.com on Saturday @ 3:15 p.m. ET. Delayed broadcast on Sunday @ 5 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. CTSCC – Live on IMSA.com on Saturday @ 10 a.m. ET. Delayed broadcast August 2 @ Noon ET. All sessions – Live audio on Radio Le Mans/IMSA Radio.
 

Formula Drift: Seattle (Evergreen Speedway)

Drifting heads to the Pacific Northwest and its staple venue at Evergreen. With just three rounds left, the championship has suddenly gotten interesting. Ryan Tuerck’s performance at The Wall gave him a single point over Odi Bakchis, but the winner at that round, Fredric Aasbo lurks only seven points behind Tuerck. All signs point to raucous final round at Irwindale Speedway in October, which will of course be the last ever FD weekend at the House of Drift before Irwindale becomes a strip mall. If you’ve not been watching this year, now is a good time to pick it up.
Links: FD site. Evergreen site. Event page with schedule. Entry list. Standings.
Coverage: Livestream on FD site Saturday @ 7:30 p.m. ET.
 

NHRA: Mile High Nationals (Bandimere Speedway | Denver)

The NHRA was recently in the news for the first time in a long time and, unfortunately, the news was less than good: ESPN announced they won’t be renewing the series’ TV deal and the NHRA announced a move to NBC Sports Network. This of course means that ESPN no longer carries any motor racing, a truly sad state of affairs in American sports broadcasting. Or maybe not; NBC SN is making a case as the motorsports broadcaster of choice. Anyway, enough pontificating; the NHRA racers get down to business up in the Rockies this weekend at Bandimere, where the thin air produces a fairly unique racing environment on the year’s calendar.
Links: NHRA site. Bandimere site. Event page. Schedule. Entry list. Standings.
Coverage: Sunday @ 1 p.m. ET on ESPN3.com (Live) and @ 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2 (Delayed).
 

NASCAR Canadian Tire Series: Autodrome St. Eustache

While the big NASCAR series race at the famed Brickyard, the Canadian series runs at St. Eustache’s oval, which is a 0.4-mile part of the larger road course on the grounds. The 1.1-mile, 15-turn (Yes, really) road course mostly sees motorcycle racing and the NASCAR series instead elects only to use the oval. I do wish they ran the claustrophobic road course for the mania it would produce, but next weekend sees CTS running NASCAR’s only temporary street circuit at Trois Rivieres, a spectacular event every time.
Links: CTS site. St. Eustache site. Event page. Schedule. Entry list. Standings.
Coverage: No live coverage. Delayed coverage on TSN on August 1 @ 6:30 p.m. ET.

 

British Truck Racing Association: Donington Park

I’m a big fan of racing at Donington Park, a flowing British circuit with a healthy amount of elevation changes. It makes for some spectacular racing in touring cars and for the five-ton behemoths of the British Truck Racing Association, the racing remains terrific. Since truck racing is basically embigonated touring cars, expect nothing short of the same spectacle. And hell, if you’ve in the vicinity, the support race lineup sure looks like a good time.
Links: BTRA site. Donington Park site. Event page with schedule. Entry list.
Support race(s): Legends, Mini Miglia Championship, Mini Se7en Challenge, British Dunlop Endurance Championship, Pickup Racing.
Coverage: No live coverage, but races can be found on Digitex TV YouTube channel.
 

World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies: Baja Aragon (Spain)

The FIA rally raid championship races this week in the Iberian Peninsula, specifically in Northeast Spain near the Pyrenees. Like most rally raids, this one traverses harsh geography over huge stretches of land, like the raid’s Baja namesake. In the championship, defending title holder Vladimir Vasilyev leads Nasser Al Attiyah by just 21 points as Al Attiyah chases his first WCCCR championship after winning the Dakar Rally in January.
Links: WCCCR site. Spain site. Entry list. Standings. Live timing.
Coverage: No live coverage, but Baja Aragon has a YouTube channel here.
 

SVRA: Watkins Glen International

Vintage racing at one of America’s motorsports landmarks? Yes, please. This is one of the best vintage events in the country (and that’s saying something), but the turnout for the Vintage Trans Am races is usually unbelievable (see above). I’m not sure it gets much more historical than this, along with The Hawk vintage weekend at Road America. This is great stuff and if you’re in Upstate New York, it’s not to be missed.
Links: SVRA site. WGI site. Event page. Schedule. Entry list.
Coverage: Live timing on Race Monitor app.
 

World Racing League: Mid-America Motorplex

While LeMons is racing around a Chicago track for a full day, the WRL will host a pretty substantial field at MAM near Omaha, Nebraska. I’m told there are about 30 cars registered for this race, which is no small feat when the track is a decent haul from major metropolitan areas (Sorry, Omaha). Nevertheless, those who have raced MAM think it’s a fun little track out on the prairie and this should be a stellar event as one of the few chances to race wheel to wheel there.
Links: WRL site. MAM site. Event document with schedule.
Coverage: Live timing on WRL site and Race Monitor app.
 
Did we miss something? Are you going to watch racing live or perhaps even to participate? Let us know in the comments so we can talk about racing.
We like talking about racing.
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[Lead photo copyright 2015 Hooniverse/Eric Rood | Other Images/Videos from YouTube: NASCAR, GT World, Formula 1, SVRAcom]

0 Comments

  1. “Formula Drift: Seattle (Evergreen Speedway)”
    That’s about twenty or so miles from my house, so maybe I should wander over there on Saturday and see what the kids these days are making such a fuss about.

    1. Please do, and report back. I’ll still don’t understand it, and probably never will. I never went to a drift event when I lived there, but always found the Extreme Figure-8 racing enjoyable. Maybe if they could combine the two – demolition derby cars in a drifting figure-8 race.

      1. So it turns out to be something like drag racing but with corners and a high level of contempt for static friction, although the goal is not to finish first but to take turns shadowing each other closely around the course on sequential runs. Some aspects of judging the competence and artistry of the results remain opaque to me. I was there from noon to about 4:00 and watched only a handful of runs; mostly I wandered around the paddock looking at stuff.
        I will say I have no idea how the trailing driver is supposed to determine anything about track position while engulfed in the clouds of tire smoke from the leading driver’s car, so my hat is off to them for generally achieving this.
        I did get to meet the Drift Idiot. He seems like a nice guy and took it well when some weirdo in a LeMons t-shirt started babbling at him about his videos on Hooniverse. He asked me if I knew Jeff Glucker and was a bit nonplussed when I said we’d never met, as he apparently thought anyone involved in LeMons on the West Coast must be from California….

        1. Silly people. Glucker is in Southern California and everyone knows Seattle is in Northern California!

    2. Living close is great, because it looks like this might be their third consecutive event run in the rain. Wall Speedway was 3 and a half hours away for me, though they did manage to move the event up just enough that they finished 5 minutes before the heaviest rain came. It was still a solid show, but not as spectacular as last year was in the dry.

  2. FOX Sports 1 is carrying the full NHRA season from 2016, so it’s actually GOOD NEWS. NBCSN and CBS Sports are taking up the slack left by ESPN, so I’m not too worried about the state of motorsports coverage.

    1. I’m not sure it’s as great a deal as the NHRA is making it out to be. Having 10 more races aired live sounds great, but their race format doesn’t really lend itself to live coverage. Even with the shorter turnaround times for those races, there’s still like 45 minutes to an hour of no action in the middle of those broadcasts between the semis and the finals. I also find myself skipping a lot of the live races as they’re on while I’m already DVRing two other series, so I imagine many of those races early in the season will find themselves “live” on Fox Sports 2 pulling in 1/10th of the viewership they’d find at 11:30PM on ESPN2.
      (Not that I’m complaining about not having a single reason to watch ESPN anymore)

      1. Yeah, likewise. ESPN surely wasn’t treating the NHRA like a prize. They got two hours of late Sunday delayed coverage and if you really wanted to watch, you could catch it live on ESPN3 with a ton of down time.
        Thanks for correcting me, too. I was just slapping this whole thing together last night in my usual manner, typing faster than I could think. I should probably work on that…

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