No. 968
October 17, 2018

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MARCH 21, 2018

arrowup.gifarrowup.gifarrowup.gif  INDYCAR. The Verizon IndyCar Series will get a serious boost in 2019 through a media rights package announced with NBC Sports Group. The multiyear deal will put eight Verizon IndyCar Series races, including the 103rd Indianapolis 500 and its qualifications, on NBC next year. This is an increase from five races on broadcast television this year. The rest of next year's Verizon IndyCar Series races will be on NBCSN, which has seen its average viewership of INDYCAR races increase by 78 percent over the past four years. Dates, times and networks for next season will be announced at a later date. In a first for INDYCAR, an extensive amount of Verizon IndyCar Series content will be provided through NBC Sports Gold, a leading direct-to-consumer product. Subscribers will be able to choose the content they view and how and when they access it. Either at home or at the track, the service will provide feeds not available on any other platform, including practice and qualifying sessions not televised live. Fans will also be able to watch Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires races and programming such as INDYCAR's postseason championship celebration, Miller Lite Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and additional ancillary programming. All 2019 INDYCAR races will be streamed live on  and the NBC Sports app to authenticated subscribers. As part of this new alignment, the Indianapolis 500 will be included in NBC Sports' "Championship Season" marketing campaign, which touts numerous high-profile championship events presented on NBC Sports platforms from May to July. Other events include horse racing's Triple Crown, The PLAYERS, Premier League Championship Sunday, the French Open, the Stanley Cup Final, the Tour de France and The Open Championship. The entire Verizon IndyCar Series will receive unprecedented marketing and promotional support from NBC Sports, which will utilize not only its own assets but many NBCUniversal assets as well. NBCSN has been a telecast partner with INDYCAR since 2009 will air its first INDYCAR race of the 2018 season on Saturday, April 7, at ISM Raceway near Phoenix (9 p.m. ET).
(IMSA photo)
Pipo Derani, Nicolas Lapierre and Johannes van Overbeek (No. 22 Tequila Patrón ESM Nissan DPi) - all past winners of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring - combined to give Nissan its first win in the endurance classic in almost 25 years on Saturday. Derani – who joined van Overbeek in the winning overall lineup in 2016 – inherited the lead on a series of pit stops with 39 minutes remaining and never relinquished the top spot, driving to a 12.427-second victory over the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing "Cadillac"-branded DPi-V.R. of Jordan Taylor, Renger van der Zande and Ryan Hunter-Reay. “We worked the entire weekend to get a car that was really, really strong at night,” Derani said. “We weren’t sure if that was going to be the case because you never know what you get, during the race the weather might change. But we managed that. We had a car that was extremely understeer behind another car. It was quick, but on clean air. The car came towards us as the temperature got lower. I was able to overtake (Felipe) Nasr in the end. I could make the maneuver on the slow corner further down the lap. I’m really happy the work came to us over the weekend because it paid off to have a quick car in the end.” Felipe Nasr, Eric Curran and Mike Conway (No. 31 "Cadillac"-branded DPi-V.R.) finished third. Next up is the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach on April 14. The one-hour, 40-minute race will be televised live on FOX at 4 p.m. ET and feature the Prototype and GT Le Mans (GTLM) classes.
(Michelin Motorsport photo)
In another ferocious battle in the most hotly-contested GT class in all of motorsport, Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Frederic Makowiecki (No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR/Michelin) won the GT Le Mans class in Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. For Tandy, of Great Britain, and Pilet and Makowiecki, both of France, it was a 6.482-second margin of victory; it was also the first victory for the driving trio in the world's toughest endurance race. After driving to victory lane, Tandy sat in the car for an extra minute, putting his hands on his helmet and soaking in the historic moment of becoming a winner at Sebring. “I feel awesome,’’ Tandy, said after climbing out of his Porsche. “I mean, what a race. That was super on the limit at the end, fighting with the BMW. I’m so pleased for all the team. It’s been a really, really great weekend.’’ Alexander Sims, of Great Britain, and Americans Connor De Phillippi and veteran Bill Auberlen were second in class in the pole-winning No. 25 Team Rahal Letterman Lanigan BMW M8 GTLM. The other Porsche GT team car, the No. 912 911 RSR driven by Laurens Vanthoor, Gianmaria Bruni and Laurens Vanthoor finished third.
Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow and Corey Lewis (No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT) won the GTD class in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship 66th Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring presented by Advance Auto Parts. “In the end, the car was great,” said an emotional Sellers. “It’s just that, for the first time I think I’m kind of at a loss for words. This is a huge race, and this is the 20th anniversary of the first time I came here with my dad and stood up in Turn 3 and watched the cars go around. I remember him looking at me and saying, ‘If one day you can do this race, that’d be pretty amazing.’ Here we are 20 years later.” “It’s difficult to know whether you want to be in the car at the end or if you want to be out on the timing stand watching someone else be in at the end,” Snow added. “No matter what, it was nerve-wracking. (This is my) first time on the 12-hour podium, so I’m glad to be on the top step. This is huge. After finishing Daytona in third place and now coming here getting in first place, we honestly couldn’t be off to a better start for this championship.“ Alessandro Balzan, Cooper MacNeil and Gunnar Jeannette (No. 63 WeatherTech Racing/Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3) finished second, and Jeroen Bleekemolen, Ben Keating and Luca Stolz (No. 33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3) were third.

(VW images)
Volkswagen's latest motorsport project is the I.D. R Pikes Peak, an all-electric prototype racing car that will compete in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 24 in Colorado. The four-wheel-drive, all-electric racing car "points to the sporting potential of the I.D. family of all-electric vehicles and is also the first step towards a closer relationship between Volkswagen R and Volkswagen Motorsport," according to the manufacturer. “We want to be at the forefront of electro-mobility with Volkswagen and the I.D. family,” says Volkswagen Member of the Board of Management with responsibility for Development, Dr. Frank Welsch. “Competing in the most famous hillclimb in the world with the I.D. R Pikes Peak is a valuable test for the general development of electric cars.” The international Pikes Peak hillclimb, also known as the “Race to the Clouds,” has been held since 1916 near Colorado Springs in the Rocky Mountains. The 12.4-mile route starts at just above 9,000 feet and climbs to the summit at 14,115 feet above sea level. “The I.D. R Pikes Peak represents an extremely exciting challenge for us, to show what is possible in motorsport with an electric drivetrain. The entire team behind our driver Romain Dumas is highly motivated to set a new record for electric cars,” says Volkswagen Motorsport Director, Sven Smeets. The record in the electric prototype class currently stands at 8:57.118 minutes, set in 2016 by New Zealand’s Rhys Millen.
In a stirring MotoGP duel, Andrea Dovizioso (No. 4 Ducati Team) edged Marc Marquez (No. 93 Repsol Honda) by 0.027 seconds in the MotoGP season opener at Qatar. "It was a perfect race, perfect weekend," said Dovizioso. "As always with Marc, the last lap is very difficult but I was able to beat him again." Valentino Rossi (No. 46 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), who just inked a two-year contract extension with Yamaha, finished third.
(Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Bass Pro Shops/5-Hour Energy Toyota) delivered a dominant win in the Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday. Truex started from the pole, swept the first two stages and came through for the win, leading 125 of 200 laps and beating runner-up Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing DC Solar Chevrolet) by 11.685 seconds. The victory was Truex’s first at Fontana and the sixteenth of his career. Kyle Busch (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Interstate Batteries Toyota) finished third.
The No. 60 Roush Performance/KohR Motorsports Mustang GT4 driven by Kyle Marcelli and Nate Stacy held on for the final 20 of 47 laps in the two-hour timed race to deliver Ford’s 45th victory in the Grand Sport (GS) class of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race. It was the first series victory for both drivers. Toby Grahovec/Jayson Clunie (No. 26 Classic BMW/Vess Energy Group BMW) finished second and Spencer Pumpelly/Dillon Machavern (No. 28 RS1 Porsche Cayman GT4) came in third.
(LAT/Formula E)
Jean-Eric Vergne (No. 25 TECHEETAH) extended his lead at the top of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship by winning the CBMM Niobium Punta del Este E-Prix. Vergne had to withstand persistent pressure from reigning champion Lucas di Grassi (No. 1 AUDI SPORT ABT SCHAEFFLER) to seal the win in a close finish on the shores of Uruguay. It was Vergne’s third E-Prix win and his second of the season, meaning he now heads his nearest rival Felix Rosenqvist (No. 19 MAHINDRA RACING) by 30 points at the top of the standings. Sam Bird (No. 2 DS VIRGIN RACING) finished third.
Editor-in-Chief's Note: Check out this 2018 Haas F1 video . -PMD