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Motorsports Weekend Guide: May 16 to May 18

Eric Rood May 15, 2014 Motorsports 4 Comments

MWG

This is Redusernab’s weekly look ahead to who’s racing what and where this weekend. The next few days sees American stock cars spread to the far corners of the continent, rallycross in the Caribbean, two-wheel racing on hallowed racing grounds, and the top V8 touring car series battling. Follow the jump for info on these and many more races:

  • Global RallyCross in Barbados

  • MotoGP at Le Mans

  • DTM at Oschersleben

  • V8 Supercars in Perth

  • NASCAR’s All-Star Race

  • NASCAR, Trans Am, and touring-car bonanza north of the border

Global_RallX

Red Bull Global RallyCross: Barbados

One can argue the nature of calling Red Bull’s rallycross series “global” since this is the only non-U.S. date, but the scale of the names in the series probably merits the worldwide title. Extreme sports legends like Ken Block, Bucky Lasek, Brian Deegan, and Travis Pastrana should bring younger viewers while veteran racers like Rhys Millen, Nelson Piquet Jr., and Scott Speed will try their hand on the dirt and pavement.

The opening round comes as part of the TopGear Festival at the newly renovated Bushy Park Circuit in Barbados and the racing will air on NBC next weekend. Read Bradley Brownell’s GRC season preview for Redusernab here.

Website: . . .
Supporting series: Live coverage: Tape-delayed show will air  May 24 @ 1 p.m. EST on NBC.

 

IndyCar: Indianapolis 500 qualifying (Indianapolis Motor Speedway)

After opening the month with the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on IMS’ road course, IndyCar has carried on with a weeks’ worth of practice sessions that will culminate in two days of qualifying for the 500 on the big 2.5-mile oval.

Website: . . .Live coverage: Day one qualifying – Saturday @ 3:00 p.m. EST on ABC (TV) and . Pole Day – Sunday @ noon EST on ABC (TV) and .

 

MotoGP: Grand Prix de France (Le Mans Bugatti Circuit)

Spanish phenom Marc Marquez has stormed MotoGP’s first four grand prix this year, sweeping the season to this point. This comes after he ran away with the 2013 championship in his rookie season. MotoGP heads to the storied Bugatti circuit at Le Mans, a 2.65-mile circuit that shares only a bit of the larger Circuit de la Sarthe, to see if anyone can actually beat Marquez.

Website: . . .
Supporting series: Moto3 and Moto3.Live coverage: FOX Sports 1 on Sunday @ 7:00 a.m. EST.

 

European Le Mans Series: Imola

ELMS’ opening round featured a strong performance by the sleeper Thiriet by TDS team in the top LMP2 class while Ferrari 458s dominated both GT classes (including Team Ukraine’s Ferrari beating the SMP Racing 458 in the GTC class…make of that what you will).

The ELMS heads to Italy for Round Two of the season, which will be its final race before the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. Le Mans is not an official date on the ELMS calendar, but many teams have garnered an entry to the prestigious endurance race. Regardless, the prototype (LMP2) class should be a dogfight and the two GT classes no less so.

Website: . . . . .
Supporting series: Porsche Carrera Cup France.Live coverage: on Sunday @ 7:00 a.m. EST (Streaming radio) with streaming audio from practice and qualifying.

 

Blancpain_Sprint

Blancpain Sprint Series: Brands Hatch

If the ELMS alone isn’t enough sportscar racing for you, Blancpain’s sprint series can fill whatever void remains. Each weekend features a one-hour qualifying race followed by a one-hour main race. Every car must make a mandatory driver change within the allotted time window, which introduces a variable or two to the races.

The field features a mix of GT3-spec cars with top-rate (mostly) European GT drivers. The formula produces close racing in an easily digestible race length that is free to stream online.

Website: . . . .
Supporting series: . . .Live coverage: Free streaming video @ 8:40 a.m. EST (Main race) and 4:30 a.m. EST (Qualifying race).

 

V8 Supercars: Perth 400 (Barbagallo Raceway)

What a difference a weekend can make. Heading into the previous round, Red Bull Australia’s Craig Lowndes led the championship points, but a poor showing in New Zealand and a tremendous weekend by Mark Winterbottom propelled the man they call “Frosty” to the top of the points standings, now with 100 points in hand over Lowndes. That puts Winterbottom as the top Ford ahead of five different Holdens.

The series now trucks across the expanse of the country to Perth on the western edge for a round of sub-minute laps around Barbagallo’s flowing 1.5 miles. Winterbottom has driven well in Perth historically but so has defending champion and RB Australia driver Jamie Whincup.

Website: . . . .
Supporting series: . . . Sports GT. Historic Touring Cars.Live coverage: V8 Superview () with three races Saturday and Sunday; e.

 

DTM: Oschersleben

Marco Wittman took home DTM’s Round 1 victory in his BMW, but the German touring car series roars on to Oschersleben, a very physical 2.3-mile circuit. Mercedes looked positively lost in the opening round at Hockenheimring, finishing with all seven of the make’s entries outside the Top 10. Turn 1 of lap 1 could be interesting with 20- cars piling into a narrow 90-degree; surviving that corner will be key.

Website: . . e. .
Supporting series: . . .Live coverage: No live coverage in the U.S., but race starts Sunday at 5:30 a.m. EST. .

 

Rally_Azores

FIA European Rally Championship: SATA Rally Azores (Portugal)

Of all the exotic locales of big-time performance rally, perhaps none is quite as spectacular as the ERC’s visit to the Azores. The rally traverses mountain roads on the island’s interior and skirts cliff faces with sheer drops into the Atlantic Ocean. Championship leader Esapekka Lappi will miss this rally, meaning that current P2 runner Craig Breen could make up a good chunk of his 30-point deficit in the points.

Website: . . . . .Live coverage: None stateside.

 

NASCAR: Sprint All-Star Race (Charlotte Motor Speedway)

This non-points round should be a fan favorite with recent winners and some fan-voted entires qualifying for the 22-driver field. The winner takes home a cool $1 million purse. To keep it interesting, the race will consist of four 20-minute segments a 10-lap finale. I don’t really understand what any of that means, but a bunch of popular drivers will be under the lights at one of the series’ most famous tracks. This is pretty much a proven recipe for success.

Website: e. . .
Supporting series: .
Live coverage:
Sprint – Saturday @ 9 p.m. EST on FOX Sports1 (TV) and (Radio and streaming audio). Trucks – Friday @ 8:30 p.m. on FOX Sports1 (TV) and N (Radio/streaming audio).

 

NASCAR Nationwide: Iowa Speedway

Meanwhile, the second-tier NASCAR series will run a race that actually counts for the season-long points race. It’s still early in the season, but Chase Elliott leads Elliot Sadler (not to be confused with Race for the Chase Elliott Sadler) by a single point with third-place Regan Smith just three points from first. Those three have all of the wins thus far, to boot.

This also serves as the first time this season that both the K&N Pro East and K&N Pro West will meet in the country’s middle to support a big-time race.

Website: . Iowa site. e. .
Supporting series: Live coverage: Nationwide – Sunday @ 2:00 p.m. EST  on ESPN (TV) and (Radio/Streaming audio).

 

Canadian_Tire

NASCAR Canadian Tire Series: Victoria Day Speedfest (Canadian Tire Motorsports Park)

While Canada’s NASCAR series is billed as the headliner on the Circuit Formerly Known as Mosport, the Victoria Day Speedfest really serves up a huge variety of machinery. Pirelli World Challenge’s TC classes and the Canadian Touring Car Championship offer two different takes on touring cars. Trans Am gives a second series running tube-frame road racers while the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge race will be high-performing spec racers. To top it all off, the Formula 1600 Super Series (Think Canadian Formula Ford/Formula F) will give a taste of lower-formula open-wheel racing with some potential future superstars.

That’s a full weekend of tremendous road racing on CTMP’s rolling 2.5 miles. It’s a track that rewards commitment and bravado because passing can be difficult with the way the circuit flows.

Website: . . e. .
Supporting series: , , , , Live coverage: 

 

ARCA: Menards 200 (Toledo Speedway)

The Automobile Racing Club of America offers an alternative to NASCAR if you like grassroots stockcar racing. The series heads to Toledo for 200 miles around the half-mile oval. This is one of ARCA’s occasional TV races, getting some coverage on FOX Sports 1.

Website: . .
Supporting series: ARCA Sportsman SeriesLive coverage: Sunday @ 2:00 p.m. on FOX Sports 1 (TV)

 

NHRA: Southern Nationals (Atlanta Dragway)

Drag Racing: It’s a thing I know virtually nothing about, but Atlanta Dragway was originally built to be an airport runway. So that’s neat.

Website: . Atlanta Dragway site. .Live coverage: Qualifying on Saturday @ 6:00 p.m. EST on ESPN. Elmination on Sunday @ 9:00 p.m. EST on ESPN.

 

SVRA_Road_America

SVRA: Spring Vintage Festival (Road America)

Sportscar Vintage Racing Association makes the rounds in the U.S., but there’s something special about vintage race cars at one of this country’s first landmark road courses. This is a race I wish I was attending. Just read the entry list to see why.

Website: . . . . .Live coverage: Live timing and scoring on RaceMonitor app for smartphones and devices.

 

Red Bull Air Race: Putrajaya (Malaysia)

Like drag racing, I know very little about air racing. But like drag racing, it’s absurdly entertaining to watch masters of their respective crafts. For the Red Bull Air Races, that means pilots nimbly dancing around pylons at low altitude on the knife edge of their machines’ performance envelopes.

Website: . .Live coverage: No live T.V. but event starts Saturday @ 5 a.m. EST. Possible livestreaming on , but it may be geo-blocked in the U.S.

 

Skip Barber Formula Summer Series: NOLA Motorsports Park

The Skip Barber Series (plural) are really pay-to-drive series with dual purpose: It’s a fairly inexpensive venue to get into basic spec series and it also serves as a developmental series for young drivers. Series champions take home a scholarship that helps get them seats in higher open-wheel development series (for the Skip Barber Formula Series) or the Playboy MX-5 Cup (Mazdaspeed MX-5 series). You won’t see much coverage of this series anywhere in the motorsports press, but the 2012 and 2013 winners (Peter Portante and Aaron Telitz, respectively) have both secured seats in the USF2000 Championship, which is part of the Road to Indy ladder.

Website: . . 
Supporting series: Mazdaspeed MX-5 Summer SeriesLive coverage: None.

 

Ferrari Challenge NA: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

Ferrari Challenge is essentially an amateur series for drivers to campaign a spec Ferrari 458 against other drivers of the same skill. Ferrari dealerships back the entries and driver skill varies in managing the 458’s prancing ponies.

Website:. . . .Live coverage: None.

 

Aston_GT4

Aston Martin GT4 Challenge: Watkins Glen International

The Aston Martin GT4 Challenge allegedly offers a similar experience to Ferrari Challenge, instead using FIA GT4-spec Astons prepared by American sportscar campaigners TRG. As recently as last month, , but is suspiciously quiet for a series with a race scheduled this weekend.

Even if it doesn’t happen, the Aston series was matched with a three-series weekend full of American open-wheelers. That should be an entertaining weekend nonetheless.

Website: . WGI site. .
Supporting series: . . F.Live coverage: Aston Martin has a TV contract with Velocity Channel and Motorsport.com.

 

EuroV8 Series: Mugello Raceway

The EuroV8 series heads to Mugello for Rounds 5 & 6 with its oddball mix of tubeframe sedans that includes everything from a Chrysler 300 to a Lexus IS F. It’s really a national series with no relevance to greater motorsports, but in and of itself, the racing should be pretty decent.

Website: . . .Live coverage: Possibly streaming .

 

ChumpCar World Series: Buttonwillow Raceway Park

The high California desert sees a visit from ChumpCar for a true 24-hour race. With temperatures likely to reach 90 degrees and then cool into the high 50s, drivers and cars will face tough conditions. The entry list doesn’t sound to be enormous, so one or two teams will likely pull away from the rest of the pack. I heard a rumor, however, that three very smallOne might even say they are miniaturefront-drive British Leyland will hold their own race-within-a-race among the higher-horsepower steeds.

Website: . . .Live coverage: Live timing and scoring on RaceMonitor app for smartphones and devices.

 

As always, let us know in the comments if you’re headed to some other motorsports event this weekend or if you’d like to see another series mentioned. If there’s no live coverage of a certain event, most series have their own YouTube channels where they post full races or even quality recaps of the weekend.

 

[Lead photo copyright 2014 Redusernab/Eric Rood | Other photos: , , , , , ]

 

 

 

 

  • Eric Rood

    The SCTA will also be holding Land-Speed Racing at El Miraj in the California desert.

  • smokyburnout

    I've never been awake early enough to try it, but supposedly the official DTM YouTube livestream isn't blocked in the States.

    Doesn't look like EuroV8 has the balance right between the manufacturers, but still some "pretty decent" racing
    [ BAKalYaYTF0 ]

    • smokyburnout

      Update: Just went to watch the replay of DTM Hockenheim on YouTube and it's blocked in the US now? I suppose Fox Sports thinks this will push the highlight shows they run on FS2 over 10,000 viewers next winter

      • Eric Rood

        Yeah. FOX Sports…ugh…

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