Weekend Preview: 7-8 March 2009

Some more championships get going this weekend with the WTCC and IRC both starting their seasons in Brazil, and interestingly they will be at the same location. More on that later.

Note – My copy of Autosport hasn’t arrived today due to snow, so I’m relying on internet links and prior notes – this means no ‘minor races’ this week.

* * * *

NASCAR Sprint Cup
– Kobalt Tools 500 (4/36)
– Atlanta Motor Speedway
– Atlanta, Georgia, United States
www.nascar.com

Yet another 500 miler, those guys get through a lot early in the season don’t they? This time we head to the fast Atlanta track. Midweek Motorsport said this week that you get 8 lap manic sprints followed by 15-20 laps of running on worn tyres. Can they not do what they did in Days of Thunder and back off for the first bit, then in the later bit pass them all as if you have another gear?

UK TV: 6.00pm, Sky Sports 3 & 3HD
US TV: 1.30pm, FOX

Also racing at Atlanta:
Camping World Truck Series
UK TV: No deal.
US TV: 1.30pm Saturday, SPEED.

* * *

FIA World Touring Car Championship
– HSBC Race of Brazil (1&2/24)
– Autodromo Internacional de Curitiba
– Curitiba, Brazil
www.fiawtcc.com

The WTCC gets started for 2009 with another visit to Curitiba, where for the 3rd year running there is a charity initiative to help the less well off of the locality, of which there are many. If a spectator brings 2kg of food they can watch the racing for free. I absolutely love this idea, last year the stands were packed and they collected 52 tonnes of food!! More here.

It’ll be interesting to see if one manufacturer dominates again. It took a few rounds last year for the balance to be restored. This year there is a new performance balancing formula to replace weights, which I’ve forgotten to read up on because I didn’t realise these guys were starting already…

UK TV:
Race 1 at 4.00pm, Eurosport 2
Race 2 at 7.00pm, Eurosport 1

US TV:
No deal.

* * *

Intercontinental Rally Challenge
– Rally Internacional de Curitiba (2/12)
– Autodromo Internacional de Curitiba
– Curitiba, Brazil
www.ircseries.com

The second round of IRC is under way already and comes to a close on Saturday afternoon. That’s not a typo in the location section – the service park is stationed behind the main grandstand of Curitiba race circuit. Both IRC and WTCC are backed and promoted by Eurosport Events so this marks an interesting cost-saving move whilst bringing a variety of motorsport to one location. It’s certainly the first time I’ve heard of a race and rally being held in the same place.

UK TV:
Updates throughout the weekend on Eurosport’s channels.

* * *

Other:

AMA Superbikes at Daytona. I imagine this is on SPEED in the US. It isn’t available here, not live anyway.

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