2012 Race Schedules

For the last two seasons I’ve created race schedules for use in Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook and any other compatible diary system. 2012 is no exception and I can now announce the calendars for the year ahead are now, mostly, complete!

IWTMR Motorsport Calendar for May 2012 (click for Large)

If you want to track some of your favourite series and events, just load your selection of racing categories into your calendar so that you can make plans to watch live or set the DVR – and hopefully never miss another race!

Please go to the Calendar page for futher details and updates.

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I’m Watching… #3: NASCAR road courses, F1, F2, more

I watch too much racing. What have I been watching over the last couple of weeks?

I watch too much racing. What have I been watching over the last couple of weeks?

Formula 2 – Valencia 2009
Race 1 of 2. This was the ‘comeback race’ for the F2 name, unfortunately it was at the Ricardo Tormo circuit so it was rubbish, really boring. I don’t think I’ve seen a good race at that circuit in my life, any series. Maybe MotoGP. Martin Haven did his best to inject enthusiasm and a great deal of knowledge of ‘old F2’ and of drivers parachuting in from other series, but really you need the on-track stuff to be good as well and it really wasn’t. I missed the 2nd race, I have a feeling I watched it live on their site but I can’t remember, it was a year ago..

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”false” link=”term=Nationwide+Road+America&iid=9161555″ src=”http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9161555/bucyrus-200/bucyrus-200.jpg?size=500&imageId=9161555″ width=”380″ height=”294″ /]

Nationwide Series – Road America 2010 *live*
I was curious to see the 2nd-tier NASCAR series on a road course, and it had Jacques Villeneuve guest-driving and a couple of guys were pulling the double with this race in Wisconsin on Saturday and the Cup race in California on Sunday. I was disappointed. JV and Carl Edwards had a great battle at the front, unfortunately the rest of the field were hopeless and it came to a head with a lengthy red-flag delay after a multi-car pile-up which is when I gave up following it. I didn’t expect a ‘Dega-style “Big One” on a road course! Apparently once the race restarted it was brought back under safety car multiple times, and finished some hours after I’d left it. Needs work.

IZOD IndyCar – Iowa 2010 *live*
This was a great race, you could tell that from the few times the Race Control cameras were pointing in the right direction. I’m going to have to watch this again with the TV feed. To give them credit they did stick with the lead battle for a good while, unfortunately the lack of direction meant I missed the battling in the pack. Tony Kanaan had a brilliant run and it was great to see him win and to do it with a pass for the lead as well, excellent. I wasn’t sure what happened to Marco Andretti’s early run, I guess the car went away from him just as TK’s was coming to him. Needless to say the ‘red cars’ were all up there in contention throughout, but I do think Andretti Autosport are regaining the relative pace they had against them some time ago. Good to see.

Sprint Cup, Sonoma 2010 *live*
Again I wanted to see how the stock car people handled the road courses. I expected something more professional than the Nationwide race and that’s largely what we had, after all most of them have driven at Sonoma for some years now. It was a pretty good race with a mixture of strategies throughout the field, it was great to see DTM driver Mattias Ekstrom lead the race for a while on his debut but it was former V8 Supercar driver Marcos Ambrose who was in control much of the time – until he threw it away with a driver error under caution, allowing Jimmie Johnson to win. It was interesting to see how the race turned into a knife fight in the closing stages, it was like a 25-minute BTCC race with cars being pushed all over the track and spun around. This race also had a red flag period caused by a multi-car shunt, thankfully it was cleared up significantly faster than in the Nationwide event. There was the usual problem of going full-course yellow for someone spinning and resuming within 30 seconds, though it wasn’t as bad as usual and some incidents were allowed to develop and recover before the safety car was called so there is some progress.

Formula 1 – European GP 2010 *live*
A moderately interesting race, it was better than I was expecting for this circuit so that is a small victory. Mark Webber was exceedingly lucky and that’s a huge victory. Kobayashi really proved his worth by staying out on one set of tyres for that length of time when nobody else seemed able to, then using his fresher tyres to put a move on Alonso. Well played, Kamui. There was that dodgy safety car call with Hamilton and his penalty, we’re a few days on and now I’m a bit talked-out about it but you can read more here.

The World Cup
A lot of prime motorsport viewing time has been taking up with the World Cup instead. Some of it really wasn’t worth bothering with and I’m by no means a fan of the game, yet others have been enjoyable. There was a game last Tuesday between Japan and somebody which was the best game I’ve seen in ages.

Looking Ahead
Le Tour de France starts this weekend and over the next couple of weeks I’ll be watching the nightly highlights on ITV4 if they are as they were last year. I’m also heading to Goodwood for the Festival of Speed on Sunday.

Blog note.
You may have noticed I’m not very good at sticking to ideas, the weekly review each Monday/Tuesday hasn’t happened lately due to one thing and another (mainly the World Cup) so I’m reworking it into an ad-hoc approach to be done whenever I feel like posting an update. Better to be more ‘organic’ that way rather than doing a post for the sake of it.

2010 Race Calendar

During the 2009 season I thought it would be a great idea to create a race schedule in Google Calendar featuring different racing series. I was busy with accounts studies at the time and I never got around to taking it further. Early last month I decided it was worth exploring so I set up a trial with F1 and IndyCar dates. I’d add more later if I decided it looked okay. Again I let it drop when other things got in the way.

Christine from Sidepodcast recently created a calendar highlighting F1 events and the SPC / F1 Minute podcast schedules and she did a great job, enough to inspire me to get on and finish my idea.

Here it is!

(note – WordPress doesn’t allow the iFrame code that makes the embed work so I have had to leave it out for now)

My schedule includes F1, F2, GP2, IndyCar, Le Mans 24hr, ALMS, LMS, MotoGP, WRC, IRC and WTCC. I’ve also put in Dakar, Goodwood and a couple of other things. I’ll add NASCAR Sprint Cup and DTM soon – there are categories already so if you add them the events will hopefully appear in your calendar automatically.

Christine’s calendar is F1-specific and it includes Free Practice, pre-season testing and car launches. My calendar includes none of these things, only qualifying and race. I highly recommend adding Christine’s F1 calendar if you would like this extra information.

Click the “+GoogleCalendar” button to add to your own Google Calendar account. I have split events by race series so you can just pick the ones you want. I think there is a way to get them into iCal and other systems, though I don’t know how.

The calendar is set to UK time because that’s where I am and that’s most useful to me. I’m not sure but I believe when you import it, it will adjust it to your own default timezone. Have a play with it and see.

Race start times are estimates apart from F1 and Le Mans. This information is surprisingly hard to find. E.g. IndyCar.com only lists TV start times, not race starts. Many sites only give the dates and I’ve had to improvise. Then there’s the issue of timezones which I may have got wrong. I plan to make each forthcoming weekend as accurate as I can, beyond that just use this as a guide.

I’ve included qualifying for F1, Le Mans 24Hrs and IndyCar (times estimated). I don’t intend to include any more qualifying.

I hope you find this useful and please let me know if there is anything you would like to add. If the demand is there and I think it warrants adding, I’ll do so. I’m already considering Indy Lights.

As you can see I’ve also added a list version to the sidebar. When I create the new site I will have a version similar to the one above on its own page.

EDIT – WordPress does not allow embeds so I have linked them on the sidebar. This means you can pick and choose the series you are interested in! I’ve also since created calendars for Indy Lights and GrandAm.

The Passing of Henry Surtees

I am sure readers of this blog will know by now that Henry Surtees died yesterday from injuries sustained during a Formula 2 race at Brands Hatch, he was 18.

Will Buxton reminds us of Mario Andretti’s words upon the death of his Lotus team-mate Ronnie Peterson in an accident at Monza.
“Unfortunately, motor racing is also this.”

Despite all of the great strides forward in motor racing safety over the last thirty or more years, it unfortunately remains the case.

These cars are compliant to 2005 F1 safety regulations, including wheel tethers. No doubt there will be an investigation, hopefully the cause of the apparent tether failure will be found and rectified. I have now seen footage of the incident. That wheel should not have come off.

As for the wheel assembly striking the car, this was nothing more than a freak accident and there is no way anybody can legislate for that, freak accidents will always happen.

The driver is as safely cocooned within the bodyshell as is possible without enclosing him – some are suggesting the latter should be the next move, but in my opinion this would bring about other problems, such as extrication from the car in an emergency. Given the very low number of times an accident such as this happens it would seem counterproductive to run closed-top formula cars.

Henry Surtees

Anybody who attended a BTCC meeting in recent times and stayed trackside for the support series will have seen Henry Surtees race, even if they didn’t realise it at the time. He competed in Formula BMW in 2007 and Formula Renault in 2008, both on the BTCC support package. (Ginetta Juniors was not yet on the package when he ran in it, and FBMW has since merged to become pan-European). His name was known to most who follow the junior ladder in this country and perhaps further afield.

On a personal level, I was at a wet and windy Silverstone last year when he took a podium finish in the afternoon race. I don’t recall much of the race apart from a few spinners and a driver who lost a wing and kept driving (not Surtees), and I didn’t watch him specifically though I was very much aware he was there and I remember being pleased that he scored a good result because it confirmed he was more than just a ‘name’ driver, more than just the son of someone famous.

**
It should be noted that Sunday also saw the death of co-driver Flavio Guglielmini on the Rally Bulgaria, while driver Brain Lavio is in a ‘stable’ condition. Rally Bulgaria has been on the FIA European Rally Championship schedule for 20 years and this year was a Candidate Rally for the 2010 WRC, for which a decision will be made in September.

Also on this dark weekend, Ricardo Londono was shot and killed in Colombia. Londono was entered for the Brazilian GP some 28 years ago but was not able to qualify despite reportedly setting some good times earlier that week.

My thoughts go to the families and friends of each of them.

Weekend Preview: 18-19 July 2009

Feature Events

MotoGP

– Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland
– Sachsenring, Germany
– (9/17)
www.motogp.com

Last weekend we had the German F1 GP, the 9th race of 17, and either due by design or coincidence this week sees the German MotoGP, also the 9th race of 17 but this time on the opposite side of the country to the Nurburgring over at the Sachsenring circuit between Dresden and Leipzig.

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on BBC Two at 12.50pm Sunday, race starts at 1pm
(qualifying on BBC Red Button on Sat)
USA – LIVE on SPEED at 6pm ET Sunday
(amazing, the US gets a live MotoGP race!)

Support races are live on Eurosport and the BBC Red Button from 9.30am.


American Le Mans Series

– The American Le Mans North East Grand Prix
– Lime Rock Park, Connecticut, United States
– (5/10)
www.americanlemans.com

The long hiatus to allow teams to compete at Le Mans – and recover – is finally over! This is a 2h45m event on the little Lime Rock circuit which last year was just a little bit frantic! Slightly fewer cars this year of course, but those up front will be trying just as hard.

TV Guide:
UK – Heavily Delayed on MotorsTV at 9.30pm on Monday 27th July
USA – LIVE on SPEED at 2pm ET Saturday

UK fans if you want to follow this event live I suggest listening to www.radiolemans.com instead! Should be at 7 or 8pm Saturday?

Other Events


FIA World Touring Car

– Brands Hatch
– Kent, England, UK
– (8/12)
www.fiawtcc.com

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on Eurosport
– Race 1 @ 11.45am Sunday
– Race 2 @ 1.30pm Sunday


FIA Formula 2

– Brands Hatch
– Kent, England, UK
– (4/)
www.formulatwo.com
– with Formula Master

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on Eurosport
– Race 1 DELAYED @ 6.45pm Saturday
– Race 2 LIVE @ 12.30pm Sunday

Elsewhere – Live streaming on www.formulatwo.com
Race 1 starts at 2pm on Saturday, Race 2 at 12.45pm Sunday

DTM

– Zandvoort
– Holland
– (4/10)
www.dtm.com for news
www.dtm.tv for live streaming and other video

The annual visit to Holland for the Germans appears likely to receive no UK TV airing following the collapse of Setanta Sports, as unlike GP2 no other broadcaster has stepped in to pick up the rights.

There should be live streaming on www.dtm.tv though! It is due to kick off at 1pm UK time.


Superleague Formula

– Zolder
– Belgium
– (6/11)
www.superleagueformula.com

No TV deal here either for the same reasons as DTM, although I’m a little less bothered about this one!


World Series by Renault

– Le Mans Bugatti
– Le Mans, France
– (6/9)
www.worldseriesbyrenault.com

There is a 30 minute update at 10pm Sunday on Eurosport, otherwise coverage seems as patchy and randomly-timed as ever.


Atlantic Championship

– Lime Rock Park
– Connecticut, USA
– (4/10)
www.atlantic-championship.com


Grand-Am Rolex Series

– Barber Motorsport Park
– Alabama, USA
– (8//12)
www.grand-am.com


Formula 3 Euroseries

– Zandvoort
– Holland
– (4/10)
www.f3euroseries.com


NASCAR Nationwide Series

– Gateway International Raceway
– Madison, Illinois
www.nascar.com


NASCAR Camping World Trucks

– Kentucky Speedway
– Sparta, Kentucky
www.nascar.com
– with ARCA Re/Max

* * * *

I think that’s everything, if you spot anything I’ve missed or if you are attending any of these events be sure to leave a comment!

For those in the UK who missed the Goodwood Festival of Speed show on Tuesday, it will be repeated on ITV4 on Sunday at 5pm – don’t miss it!

Weekend Preview: 27-28 June 2009

Feature Events

IndyCar Series

– SunTrust Indy Challenge
– Richmond International Raceway, Richmond, Virginia, USA
– (8/17)
– 300 laps
www.indycar.com

A Saturday evening race as darkness falls at the short oval where traffic will be an issue, it could cause problems or it could help the racing as the better drivers through lapped traffic will run well.

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on Sky Sports 1 at 1:30am Sunday morning
USA – LIVE on VERSUS at 8pm ET Saturday night for an 8.45pm green flag (why not a nice easy 9pm??)

Support races: USAC Silver Crown, USAC Sprint Car


MotoGP

– Alice TT Assen
– Assen, Holland
– (7/17)
www.motogp.com

MotoGP is also on a Saturday as is the tradition at Assen.

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on BBC Two at 12:40pm Saturday afternoon
Delayed on Eurosport

Support races: 250cc and 125cc available on the BBC Red Button

Other Events


NASCAR Sprint Cup

– Lenox Industrial Tools 301
– New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, New Hampshire, USA
– (17/36)
www.nascar.com

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on Sky Sports 1 at 7pm Sunday
USA – LIVE on TNT at 1.30pm ET Sunday

(The Nationwide Series at Loudon on Saturday night, Trucks are at Memphis also on Saturday)

For all other events I will list the UK time (BST not GMT) and channel only, if you are elsewhere you will have to look it up (check their website).


World Rally Championship

– Rally Poland
– (5/10)
– Eurosport and Dave
www.wrc.com
This is the first time Rally Poland has been a part of the WRC.

DTM

– Norisring
– Nuremburg, Germany
– (3/8)
– live web streaming: just before 1pm Sunday
www.dtm.tv
The UK TV deal collapsed when Setanta Sports did, let’s hope someone else picks it up. Check the webstream if you can, Norisring is nuts!
(supported by F3 Euroseries)

Superleague Formula

– Magny-Cours, France
– (1/6)
– Eurosport 2: Race 1 at 10am, Race 2 at 1pm followed by the new ‘extra time final’
– there may be live streaming on the website? I refuse to look at it.
www.superleagueformula.com
The whole idea is a bunch of hokum clearly, but it features interesting if unspectacular drivers such as Enrique Bernoldi, Giorgio Pantano, Antonio Pizzonia, Yelmer Buurman, Adrian Valles, Tristan Gommendy and Ho-Pin Tung, all in powerful V12 single-seaters.

(also on the bill: Euroseries 3000, this is the series which picked up the old Lola A1 cars, no telly coverage as far as I know)

FIA Formula 2

– Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
– (3/8)
– Eurosport: Race 1 live 12pm Saturday, Race 2 delayed 11:30pm Sunday night but there is live streaming online
www.formulatwo.com
The first visit to Spa for this series should be a bit of fun!
(with the International GT Open and the Dutch Supercar Challenge)


Formula Nippon

– Fuji, Japan


Grand-Am Rolex Series

– Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio, USA
– (6/12)
www.grand-am.com


Super GT

– Sepang, Malaysia
– (4/9)
www.supergt.net/en

* * * *

For those in the UK, don’t forget Top Gear on BBC2 at 8pm Sunday!

I will be quiet on the blog and on Twitter for a few days because I’ll be offline, if anything crazy happens I’ll text it in but won’t see responses until Sunday at the earliest. Enjoy the weekend!

Weekend Preview: 30-31 May 2009

Feature Events

IndyCar Series

– ABC Supply / AJ Foyt 225
– Milwaukee Mile, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
– (5/17)
– 225 laps
www.indycar.com

Just one week after the Indy 500 the teams and drivers head to the traditional follow-up event at the Milwaukee Mile – this will be the 52nd time Milwaukee directly follows Indy in the schedule and the 3rd time under IRL sanction, it really is one of those long-time Indy-racing traditions. According to IndyCar.com the last driver to win both events back-to-back was Juan Pablo Montoya in 2000.

I like Milwaukee, it can be a lot of fun and it is a different kettle of fish to the 1.5 milers the IRL usually uses.

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on Sky Sports 1 at 11pm BST
USA – LIVE on ABC at 3:30pm EDT

Support races: Firestone Indy Lights

Other Events

MotoGP

– Gran Premio d’Italia Alice
– Mugello, Italy
– (5/17)
www.motogp.com

To Italy! I still haven’t caught up with MotoGP so I really have no idea what’s going on, but this track ought to sort them out.

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on BBC Two at 12.30pm
USA – Delayed on SPEED at 4pm ET

Supports: 250s, 125s, etc.

 


NASCAR Sprint Cup

– Dover 400
– Dover, Delaware, USA

– Charlotte, South Carolina, USA
– (13/36)
www.nascar.com

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on Sky Sports 1 at 7pm Sunday
USA – LIVE on FOX at 1.30pm ET Sunday

Support races: Nationwide Series (Saturday), Camping World Trucks (Friday)

DTM

– EuroSpeedway Lausitz
– Lausitz, Germany
– (2/10)
www.dtm.com (news/results)
www.dtm.tv (video interviews, live streaming)

The German tourers head to the road course layout at the EuroSpeedway. Turn one is always fun but to be honest this isn’t my favourite DTM race of the year because the huge stands make the place look empty and the track itself isn’t very interesting. There is always a bit of fun at turn one at the start, otherwise there isn’t much to be said.

The good news is that we in the UK return to live coverage for this event, so if you have Setanta be sure to check it out.

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on Setanta Sports 1 at 12.30pm.
Worldwide – LIVE on www.dtm.tv from 2pm CET / 1pm BST / 8am EDT. When you follow that link it will ask you to choose one of two sites, pick the right-hand one. The live link is on the top right of the page.

Support races: F3 Euroseries

WTCC

– Valencia
– Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain
– (5/12)
www.fiawtcc.com

I’ve never liked this circuit. It can produce the odd reasonable race but I just don’t like it! In many ways it shares several characteristics with Lausitz. Lots of tight turns, a long straight, lots of seats that aren’t filled..

TV Guide:
LIVE on Eurosport at 11.45am (race 1) and 1.45pm (race 2).

Support races: International Formula Master


Formula 2

– Valencia
– Circuit de Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain
– (1/8)
www.formulatwo.com

The return of the F2 name to the contemporary motorsport scene, except this time rather than being an open formula it is a spec series run to a budget. It is pitched as a Formula 1 feeder but in all honesty it’ll find itself competing with FR3.5 to get people into GP2 with the odd guy getting a test & reserve deal in F1 – not to mention this is yet another fracture of the development ladder! Still, if it give opportunities to talented drivers who can’t afford the alternatives then it will have served its purpose well, and perhaps it is other series that need to be cut back. Time will decide that one.

TV Guide:
Eurosport at 5pm Saturday (delayed race 1) and 12.45pm Sunday (LIVE race 2).
Note race 2 slots directly between the two WTCC races in the Eurosport schedule!
There is also live coverage on the series website at 2.20pm CET Saturday and 1.50pm CET Sunday.


BTCC

– Oulton Park
– Cheshire, England, UK
www.btcc.net

Oulton Park is an excellent and deceptively tricky circuit which is a lot of fun to watch!

Formula Nippon

 

– Fuji, Japan


V8 Supercars

– Symmons Plains, Australia


British F3 & GT

– Rockingham, England

* * *
That’s it, if ever if you think I’ve forgotten something please point it out in the comments. Enjoy your weekend!