Motorsports Weekend Guide: September 19 to September 21

MWG Welcome to Hooniverse’s weekly look ahead to who’s racing what and where this weekend. I’ll spare you the details in too much depth, but here are some of who’s racing. Be sure to check after the jump for even more racing:

  • Le Mans comes to Texas!

  • More NASCAR Chase and NHRA Countdown

  • All kinds of short-track dirt racing

  • Only F1 in the open-wheel world

  • And other races with talent levels spread thick and thin

WEC_COTA World Endurance Championship/Tudor United SportsCar Championship: Circuit of the Americas The WEC returns to action for the first time since the 24 Hours of Le Mans, nearly three months ago. The U.S. round begins the final stretch of five races on three continents over the next three months and the Circuit of the Americas in Austin hosts the championship. Toyota has won both of the series’ six-hour races this season so expect them to be tough to beat at COTA, although the Audi and Porsche LMP1s are no slouches. In LMP2, Tudor Championship regulars Extreme Speed Motorsports will enter their Honda prototype while Corvette racing will have its own entry in the GTE class. Both of those run in addition to each team’s regular pair of TUSC entries. The race runs into the night Saturday, finishing under the Texas stars. For TUSC, this marks the final round before the 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. In the top Prototype class’ standings, the Corvette prototype from Action Express Racing has been on a mission and leads the Corvette DPs of Wayne Taylor Racing and Spirit of Daytona by 16 and 18 points, respectively. The points are even closer in the GT classes: In GT Le Mans, the #3 Corvette leads the #93 SRT Viper by just six points with the ‘vettes struggling in recent rounds. Even crazier: The GT Daytona, three teams are tied for the championship points lead: Turner Motorsports (BMW Z4), AIM Autosport (Ferrari 458), and Alex Job Racing (Porsche 911). Whatever else happens, COTA has been good for shaking up points races in its last two seasons. Website: WEC site. TUSC site. COTA site. Event page. Weekend schedule. WEC Entry list. TUSC Entry list. Supporting series: Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA. Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Live coverage: WEC – Saturday @ 6 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 2 (TV) and on RadioLeMans.com (Streaming audio). TUSC –  Saturday @ 12:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 2 (TV). Continental Challenge – Friday @ 1:20 p.m. ET on IMSA.com. GT3 Cup – Friday @ 9 a.m. ET and 8:25 p.m. ET on IMSA.com.   Blancpain Endurance Series: Nurburging 1000 KM Europe’s premiere GT3-spec racing series holds its final round at the ‘ring. Coming in, the team points is basically a two-team duo between Belgian Audi Club WRT’s pair of Audi R8 LMS and HTP Motorsports’ duo of Mercedes AMG SLS GT3s. The driver lineups in those four cars are likely the best in the field within two of the best-prepared cars. Elsewhere in the field, the new M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3s have proven very strong while ART Grand Prix’s McLaren MP4s have struggled. Typically, these kinds of extra-long BES races include first-race sportscar drivers, but the WEC race in Texas will take some of that talent. Nevertheless, HTP’s third driver in one of their cars is Bernd Schneider, who is something of a secret weapon in long-distance races. Keep an eye on the #84 Mercedes when he’s in the car. Website: Blancpain site. N1000 siteEvent page. Weekend schedule. Entry list. Supporting series: Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe. Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup. Live coverage: No live streaming in the U.S. One-hour highlights show Sunday @ 6 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network.   Formula One: Singapore Grand Prix Singapore is not a large island, but the country finds enough space for the Marina Bay temporary circuit, a three-mile run around the island’s waterfront. Lewis Hamilton won the last round at Monza in Italy, but he still trails teammate Nico Rosberg by 22 points.  To date, only two teams, Caterham and Sauber, have yet to score points, which indicates that this year’s rule changes have created some level of parity, except only three drivers have won races this year: Hamilton, Rosberg, and Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo (who is third in the championship). Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso is perhaps making the best of poor equipment and is fifth in the points, just one behind Valtteri Bottas, who has been surprisingly good this year. Website: F1 site. Singapore GP siteEvent page with weekend schedule. Supporting series: GP2. GP3. Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Live coverage: Sunday @ 8 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Network (TV).   NHMS NASCAR Sprint Cup: Sylvania 300 (New Hampshire Motor Speedway | Loudon, NH) The Chase (or, as Radio Le Mans tends to call it, the “Race for the Chase for the Cup for the Thing) is underway as of last weekend, where Brad Keselowski won the first Chase race at Chicagoland Speedway with a great late-race restart. His Penske teammate Joey Logano also finished in the Top Five, so expect Penske’s pair to pull hard in the Chase. This weekend, the Big Show heads to New Hampshire’s “Magic Mile,” a racetrack where Denny Hamlin, one of the last Chase qualifiers, has been excellent and could play spoiler. Website: Sprint Cup site. NHMS site. Event pageWeekend schedule. Entry list. Supporting series:  UNOH 175 (NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series). Live coverage: Sunday @ 2 p.m. ET on ESPN (TV) and Performance Racing Network (Radio/Streaming Audio). Camping Trucks – Saturday @ noon E.T. on Fox Sports 1 (TV) and Performance Racing Network (Radio/Streaming Audio).   NASCAR Nationwide: VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 (Kentucky Speedway | Sparta, KY) While the Chase heads to New England along with the NASCAR Trucks, Nationwide will run in Kentucky on the speedway’s 1.5-mile tri-oval. Unlike other races where double duty is possible for Sprint Cup drivers, the Chase will have the top series’ attention so some lesser-known hotshoes may get a seat or two. Of note, none of the top five points scorers in the season standings has ever scored a win at Kentucky. Website: Nationwide site. Kentucky siteWeekend schedule Supporting series: ZLoop 150 (ARCA) Live coverage: Saturday @ 7 p.m. ET on ESPNews (TV) and Motor Racing Network (Radio/Streaming Audio). ARCA – Friday @ 7 p.m. ET on 8 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.   NHRA: Texas Fall Nationals (Texas Motorplex | Ennis, TX) Just as NASCAR’s Chase began last week, so too did the NHRA’s season-ending Countdown to the Championship. The opening round at Charlotte’s zMAX Dragway didn’t shake up the standings very much, but with five more rounds coming, anything can happen. This weekend in Texas marks the second of four straight Countdown weekends before a four-week break and then a final two-race swing out West, finishing at Fontana. Website: NHRA site. Texas Motorplex siteEvent page. Weekend schedule. Entry list. Live coverage: Eliminations on Sunday @ noon on ESPN3.com with replay Sunday @ 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.   Red Bull Global RallyCross: Los Angeles The dirt-and-tarmac insanity of Global RallyCross heads to the Port of Los Angeles for this round. The course is an interesting one, with the Joker lap bypassing a jump, probably giving it a huge time advantage when taken. In the points, Nelson Piquet Jr. leads Ken Block by just 40 points, but Block has looked very competitive at most rounds. If they both end up in the final heat, expect Piquet to find no quarter from Block. Website: GRC siteEvent page with weekend schedule. Supporting series: GRC Lites. Live coverage: Saturday @ 5 p.m. ET on NBC.   FIA World RallyCross: Germany (Estering) The FIA’s rallycross championship will similarly find itself gracing dirt and gravel in Germany. World RallyCross streams all of its races for free on the series website and while it’s occasionally exciting, the commentary is usually dreadful. Anyway, former rally champion Petter Solberg leads the championship and has won several rounds, something that few thought the mad Norwegian capable of. Website: WRX site. Estering siteEvent page. Live coverage: Streaming live on WRX website.   SST 1 Stadium Super Trucks: Southern California Stadium Super Trucks wraps up its season with three races in three days in Southern California. The first two races will be held Friday and Saturday at the Sand Sports Super Show in Costa Mesa with the third at Cornoado Speed Festival in Coronado on Sunday. There are points, but they scarcely matter with series organizer and promoter Robby Gordon leading the points by a wide margin, likely earning two championship titles in his own series. Website: SST site. Sand Sports Super Show site. Coronado Speed Festival siteEvent page with weekend schedule. Live coverage: Replay on NBC Sports Network. Possibly streaming live on SST site.   Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series: Las Vegas Motor Speedway Just a high-speed desert run away from the Stadium Super Trucks, the Lucas Oil series runs its own show at LVMS. This is the penultimate round of the 2014 championship with the final at Lake Elsinore next month. In the points, X Games legend Brian Deegan leads the Pro 2 category by a wide margin while in the Pro Lites category, he trails Sheldon Creed by a single point. Creed, interestingly enough, currently sits second in the Stadium Super Trucks points behind Robby Gordon. Website: LOORRS site. Las Vegas site. Event page. Weekend schedule. Live coverage: Replay on MAVTV and CBS. Full schedule here.   FIA European Rally Championship: Rally Cyprus The Mediterranean island’s rally is a tough one, following winding mountain roads on a mix of surfaces. While it has occasionally been a date on the WRC calendar, the rally has since been passed on to the European championship. Website: ERC site. Rally Cyprus siteEvent page. Rally guide with weekend schedule. Entry list. Competitor map. Live coverage: No TV or streaming radio coverage in the U.S.   Trans Am: Lime Rock Park The notion of the TransAm series running at Lime Rock evokes images of classic muscle cars tearing around the little Connecticut bullring. While classic muscle cars don’t race there, per se, burly American cars do populate the entry list. While most carry ubiquitous paint schemes of one kind of another, the new TA2-class Challengers hearken back to classic Trans Am in the best way possible. Website: Trans Am site. LRP siteEvent page. Weekend schedule. Entry list. Supporting series: North American Road Racing Association (NARRA). Live coverage: Live timing on Race Monitor app for smartphone and devices.   ADAC GT Masters: Sachsenring ADAC is yet another series running its penultimate round, this one at Sachsenring’s 2.3-mile mix of high-speed and technical sections. With most of the best GT drivers either running the Blancpain Series or the WEC, the ADAC lineups could suffer a bit. However, German DTM heavyweights (and, more recently) the first team to win a Formula E race) Abt Racing and their pairing of Rene Rast and Kelvin Van Der Linde lead the points by a slim margin over Dutchman Jaap Van Lagen, who has shared a Porsche 911 GT3 with a few different drivers this year. Website: GT Masters site. Sachsenring siteEvent page. Weekend schedule. Entry list. Supporting series: ADAC Formula Masters. ADAC Procar. ATS Formula 3 Cup. EuroV8 Series. Live coverage: None in the U.S. ETRC FIA European Truck Racing Championship: Zolder Big trucks racing around Zolder, which everyone seems to confuse with Zandvoort. Website: ETRC site. Zolder siteEvent page Supporting series: Lotus Cup Europe. Live coverage: Great video recaps on TruckRace.org after the fact.   NASCAR Canadian Tire Series: The Pinty’s 250 (Kawartha Downs & Speedway) Canada’s NASCAR series runs its final 2014 race before the weather turns on the 3/8-mile oval at Kawarth Downs. In the points. L.P. Dumoulin leads J.R. Fitzpatrick by 16 points, a gap that could be fairly easy to surpass if circumstances conspire. Veteran D.J. Kennington adds to the initials tally and has, in fact, been very good at Kawartha. Website: CTS site. Kawartha siteEvent page. Weekend schedule. Live coverage: None in the U.S.   ChumpCar World Series: Sebring International Raceway The crapcan series’ annual “Slightly More Than 12 Hours of Sebring” takes these heaps from morning deep into the dark of night. Last year’s edition found driving rain in the night to render the race nearly impossible. Nevertheless, there was a final corner pass for P2 that caught just about everyone, including both drivers, by surprise. Website: CCWS site. Sebring site. Event supplements with weekend schedules Live coverage: Live timing on CCWS site or on Race Monitor app for smartphones and devices.   24 Hours of LeMons: Carolina Motorsports Park LeMons at its home away from home. CMP is one of several ground zeros for LeMons team bases, drawing heavily from NASCAR-land (Charlotte) and sportscar-ville (Atlanta). See our preview for the whole scoop. Website: LeMons site. CMP siteEvent page with weekend schedule. Entry list. Hooniverse preview. Live coverage: Live timing on Specialty Timing site or on Race Monitor app for smartphones and devices.   ChumpCar World Series: Calabogie Motorsports Park North of the border, Chumps will also be racing a 12-Hour event at Calabogie. While the track usually only draws a moderate amount, racing has always been pretty tight come the final push to the finish. Website: CCWS site. Calabogie siteEvent supplements with weekend schedules Live coverage: Live timing on CCWS site or on Race Monitor app for smartphones and devices.   [Lead photo: Copyright 2014 Eric Rood/Hooniverse | Other photos: 24 Hours of Le Mans, NASCAR, Traxxas.com, FIA.com]

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