Weekend Preview: 9-10 May 2009

Feature Events

FIA Formula One World Championship

– Formula 1 Gran Premio de España Telefonica 2009
– Circuit de Catalunya
– Montmelo, Catalonia, Spain
– (5/17)
www.formula1.com
Track Map

The teams have their luxurious motorhomes (palaces?) back, races are at their usual times again, and people actually will actually be on site watching with their eyes – Formula 1 is back in Europe!

Questions to be asked this weekend:

Which teams will choose to run KERS this week? Which teams will have added a new diffuser? Will the crazy-looking wings actually generate passing at what is usually one of the most boring races of the year? This place will be a true test of the new regulations.
Find out on Sunday!

TV Guide:

UK – LIVE on BBC One at 12:10pm with the usual suite of options appearing on the Red Button when the race starts at 1pm.
Qualifying is LIVE on BBC One at 12:10pm Saturday.

US – LIVE on SPEED at 7:30am ET
Qualifying is LIVE on SPEED at 8am Saturday.

Support races: GP2 Series, FBMW Europe, Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.
The schedule is here and you can convert to your time zone on the sidebar.

You can listen to a short preview of the event here to get up to speed on the current news.

Other Events

IRL IndyCar Series

– Pole Day for the Indy 500
– Indianapolis Motor Speedway
– Speedway, Indiana, USA
www.indycar.com

Indy’s long qualifying process starts with the big one, qualifying for the top 11 spots including the pole position! The draw for the qualifying order takes place on Friday night with the first car in line due to start the four-lap average from 12pm ET (I believe?).

After the 11th run the ‘bumping’ begins – the field is limited to 11 positions and the slowest gets knocked out on each faster run.

Repeat for positions 12-22 on Sunday and positions 23-33 next Saturday. Yes, this means if you are quick Sunday but not Saturday you might qualify in 12th with a faster time than the guy in 11th…

Finally, next Sunday is the last chance qualifying of Bump Day when whole field is opened up again and the slowest car regardless of position is bumped off the list.

There is copious TV coverage in the US but I’d imagine this one is best followed online using the radio, live timing and all of your Twitter friends!

TV Guide:

US – Versus has a huge level of coverage from 12:00pm to 6:30pm EDT on Saturday and Sunday with the same again for next week’s sessions.

UK and elsewhere – www.indycar.com live streaming video with live timing (go to the main page and check the options)

NASCAR Sprint Cup

– Southern 500
– Darlington Speedway

– Darlington, USA
– (11/36)
www.nascar.com

This is another Saturday night race.

TV Guide:

UK – LIVE on Sky Sports 2 at 12.00am Saturday night / Sunday morning, repeated on three times across Sky Sports during Sunday.

US – LIVE on FOX at 7pm ET Saturday

Support races: Nationwide Series (Friday)

Le Mans Series

– 1000km of Spa
– Spa-Franchorchamps
– Francorchamps, Belgium
– (2/5)
www.lemans-series.com

Peugeot rejoin the series in the final European sportscar race before the 24 Hours of Le Mans next month. They’ll be up against the Lola Aston Martins and the Kolles Audis.

The GT2 battle will be as fraught as ever as well!

TV Guide:

UK – Updates on Eurosport at 11:45am (30 mins) and 5pm (1 hr). Pretty shoddy for a six hour race I must say.

Support races: Radical European Masters, Classic Endurance Racing, Formula Le Mans, British GT

GP2 Series

– Circuit de Catalunya
– Montmelo, Catalonia, Spain
– (1/10)
www.gp2series.com

F1’s feeder series proper gets going after the diversion of the Asia Series. I have to say I need to do some reading up on who is doing what, and which drivers have been promoted from junior categories, because I’m a little bit behind on my GP2 news! Should be fun though.

TV Guide:

UK – Feature race doesn’t seem to be live on Saturday at all, we have to wait until 8am Sunday to watch it on Setanta Sports 1 followed directly by live coverage of the Sprint race.

This is a major step down in coverage compared to what we have been used to – we have had live coverage of the this or its predecessor F3000 for well over a decade, perhaps nearer two decades. This is not good news.

World Superbikes
– Monza, Italy

Don’t follow it so I don’t know…

* * *
Please note there will be no dedicated F1 Preview for the Spanish Grand Prix as regrettably I do not have time to write one. I have a lot of exam and project work to do so the blog will remain quiet for the next couple of weeks – but I will still be updating my Twitter account!

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