Thursday Thoughts: Borrowing Ideas

This week’s Thursday Thoughts question comes from the intriguingly-named Turkey Machine:

What features or regulations from other racing series would benefit F1, and why?


Sounds like my kind of question! Generally-speaking F1 does a good job, yet there are areas from other series it can learn from.

Openness
F1 is notorious for its secrecy. On the one hand it has been an integral part of the game for many years. On the other, we are in a different era now and fans expect a certain degree of openness, and thankfully some F1 teams and drivers are responding, with Twitter accounts and roadshows and so forth. But what at a GP weekend? BMW had the Pitlane Park, and I think it was Indianapolis that pioneered the pitlane walkabout at an F1 race (it having being commonplace in US racing for years).

Other series are still far better at this than F1. I recognise this is semi-deliberate in order to retain F1’s percieved ‘superiority’ and ‘exclusivity’ compared to other series, yet I feel it can be more open while still remaining top of the pile. How?

Let’s have a pitlane walkabout at EVERY Grand Prix, and on EVERY DAY of that GP. There isn’t a packed race schedule at most events (exceptions I think being Albert Park and Silverstone) so time can be found. You can mandate that teams must leave their garage doors open and unobstructed during the walkabout – because as we already know from past walkabouts, some teams put up screens. Some time before an ALMS race starts they line the cars up on the pit straight and allow the fans to walk up and down the straight, taking photos and meeting team personnel and drivers. I’m not necessarily suggesting going that far, but it could be an option.

Then let’s bring in mandatory driver signing sessions in an area outside Bernie’s security wall, with a fine for those who don’t show. This seems to go down very well in IndyCar and NASCAR. I’ve read reports of murmurings from some drivers that ‘extras like this aren’t part of their job’. If any drivers still feel this way, they need to have their attitude adjusting. They are paid millions in order to show their teams and sponsors off to the paying fans, they should give an hour of their time on a Sunday morning to meet them and let the fans get to know them. I argue that if a fan gets to meet their favourite driver they are more likely to associate themselves with that driver’s sponsor/s, whereas if the driver brushes them off that fan may decide to lessen their support or even drop it completely.

Media
HD TV needs to come in and it needs to happen immediately, from Bahrain onwards. No more testing the systems or whatever they are doing. We’ve been promised it every year for the last three or four and the excuses are wearing thin. IndyCar, NASCAR and even World Touring Car are in HD. Admittedly the other series that have gone HD have close relationships with broadcast partners, and F1’s coverage is produced in-house by an subsidiary of FOM – yet surely FOM makes enough revenues to be able to make this investment. I know, because they’ve blogged and tweeted about it, that the broadcasters are pushing hard to have an HD feed released to them – they can’t show what isn’t there. HD channels are currently ‘upscaling’ the standard feed.

The F1.com website needs improving. It is getting there, yet other series sites have tons of photos and videos available, either free or paid-for. Live timing is reasonably good though there’s room to include more information as some other series do.

Consistency of Rulings
Okay, I know you’d be hard-pressed to find a series anywhere that has consistent decision-making when it comes to things like penalties for blocking or running someone off-track. Wishful thinking. It would be nice if they could keep the decisions consistent, whatever those decisions are.

Finally, I’d make the numbers on the cars bigger. Maybe take up the whole rear-wing endplate like in IndyCar. Have you tried identifying drivers by looking at helmets? It’s not always easy.

TM went on to expand to a further question, let’s see if we can answer that as well:

If you can’t think of any that way, what about vice-versa, i.e. what’s F1 got that would benefit other borefests (sorry, motor racing series) around the world?

Certainly with IndyCar and NASCAR I’d bring in the yellow flag rules – don’t throw a Safety Car out there just because a car slowed down for 10 or 20 seconds and cleared the track immediately. I can see why you would do this on ovals where the speeds are so high and laptimes are 25 seconds – on road courses you definitely shouldn’t be going to a full-course yellow unless there’s a car in a dangerous position. It seems both IRL and NASCAR apply their rules to both types of track rather than making adjustments for each, which is a mistake. On a road course you usually have a bit more time and a bit more leeway to let the incident develop and see if it clears itself.

I wouldn’t necessarily take F1’s safety car procedure though, F1 has never really got the hang of when to deploy the car, or run the wave-by.

The producers of the TV feed for most series could probably learn how to cover a race, certainly a road course race, from the FOM crew. The way F1 races are shot is generally very good these days, this has been one of the biggest improvements F1 has made over the last ten years I think and that’s all down to bringing it in-house, not relying on ‘host broadcasters’ as we used to.

Great question. There’s bound to be plenty of other suggestions, feel free to add them either here or in a blog post of your own.

Race Review: NASCAR Auto Club 500

2009 Auto Club 500
California Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, California, USA
22 Feb 2009
Round 2 of 36

I watched the 1 hr highlights edition and will note edits with “[jump]”. There are a lot of edits.

I’ve decided to post this just for the hell of it – since I’m watching these short shows anyway in order to learn NASCAR for the 2010 season I may as well blog about them!

Green Flag

This is a fast 2 mile superspeedway, Jamie McMurray started on pole but fellow front-row man Jimmie Johnson takes the lead from the start. The guest starter is getting very animated on the stand!

After only two laps we jump to Lap 72.

[jump]
L72 – Johnson leads with Jeff Gordon in 2nd after Jeff passes Kurt Busch who was running a very high line.

L73 – Pit report saying Tony Stewart’s car is a little ‘loose’ but the commentary guys say it should get better as the track will come towards them later. He’s 6th.

Another pit report mentions the word ‘carburettor’. I chuckle.

L76 – Ex-F1 driver Scott Speed is in this race and he has been lapped, yet we’ve just been told 38 cars are on the lead lap. Oh dear.

L78 – Jeff Gordon takes the lead from his teammate, on-track pass.

[jump]
L119 – 21 of the 43 starters are on the lead lap, 41 cars are running. Replay of someone sliding the back end to avoid the wall!

Talk of the Chevrolets and Fords getting the best fuel mileage, and the Dodges and Toyotas not being as good. Interesting. This is what I like about multi-manufacturer competition, even if they are tightly controlled. I wonder which develops more power?

[jump]
L177 – Restart after a mystery yellow (we are not shown or told why). 73 laps to go, Matt Kenseth leads. Mark Martin’s car slides and his tyre smokes, he has to pit.

Johnson and Gordon are still in contention changing position between themselves.

Apparently they are using the brakes here more with the new car than they did with the old regulations. I’m surprised at this, I wouldn’t expect them to even touch the brakes here.

Even though these are heavily-edited highlights I can tell this race was pretty boring.

60 to go – Nice to see Montoya working his way up to 9th.

[jump]
L215 – Kenseth takes another restart. Again we do not see the reason for it. 35 to go. Now we talk to Dale Earnhardt Jr who is talking about something breaking with the engine, he’s very disappointed…

Kenseth builds a lead on the restart, then Gordon reels him in again when his tyres are up and working properly.

26 to go. Some good advice from the commentary for the rookies, stop trying to imitate the established stars and just drive the car the way you want to.

[jump]
15 to go – Nothing has changed except the gaps are growing. This is like an F1 race! We are told Gordon is cooling his tyres ready for another push at the end.

8 to go – Hamlin takes 4th from Kurt Busch.

We are told about a ‘Monster Moment’ and hear swooshy noises for graphics, no graphics appear on screen. This happens often on these highlights packages.

7 to go – The rookie Eric Almirola slows down with an apparent engine problem.
5 to go – Gordon is now pushing hard and catching Kenseth.
4 to go – ..and they are among lapped traffic.
2 to go – Kenseth has used the traffic to build a bigger gap, nicely played!

Final Lap

Matt Kenseth wins!! 2nd race win in a row after winning the Daytona 500, only the 4th driver to achieve feat of winning both Daytona and the race that followed it, the last time was in 1997.

Result (top 10):

1. Kenseth (Roush Fenway)
2. J.Gordon (Hendrick)
3. Ky.Busch (Gibbs)
4. Biffle (Roush Fenway)
5. Ku.Busch (Penske)
6. Hamlin (Gibbs)
7. Edwards (Roush Fenway)
8. Stewart (Stewart-Haas)
9. Johnson (Hendrick)
10. Vickers (Red Bull)

I’ve decided to include the teams rather than the manufacturers as NASCAR does it as I think it is more telling, and in any case that’s what I’m used to in other series.

Points (top 12):

1. Kenseth 385
2. J.Gordon -81
3. Ku.Busch -91
4. Stewart -91
5. Biffle -117
6. Bowyer -119
7. Waltrip -121
8. Ragan -123
9. Edwards -125
10. Montoya -129
11. Sadler -137
12. Reutimann -137

Still early days at this stage of course.

The next races were at Las Vegas and Atlanta but I don’t have those, so the next race I’ll see is the first visit of the year to Bristol.

Race Review: NASCAR Daytona 500

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Daytona 500

Daytona International Speedway, Daytona, Florida, USA
(1/36)
Held: 15 Feb 09
Watched: 1 Nov 09
Coverage: FOX 1hr edit*, aired on Five

* I watched the 1-hour highlights edition which is obviously heavily edited from the original race coverage. I’m not sure who does the editing, if it is from NASCAR, FOX or Five.

200 laps scheduled

Green flag. These cars may not be impressive but their speeds and car control required are, look how much they move around! Takes some doing to keep them off the wall, I should think.

Kyle Busch leads the early running, Harvick is also quick but some way back.

Spin on lap 8. Almirola. Replay: He had to lift in traffic and the car behind tagged him gently. Yellow flag.
L11 – Restart.

[jump]
L40 – Kyle Busch and Dale Jr side by side for the lead. Busch pulls ahead. Two lines of traffic all the way back, typical restrictor plate stuff, exciting for a while if you are new to it like I am… but then very boring when nothing changes.

[jump]
L60 – Restart, my highlights don’t show why it was yellow in the first place. Man in the pits shows us a tyre, VERY worn right down to the cords. Dangerous stuff.

L65 – All the cars are bunched up still. Commentary saying 33 cars covered by 3 seconds… while that is quite impressive, it really is just an accident looking for somewhere to happen. You’re watching through your fingers because a big crash is inevitible, that’s not what this should be about.

[jump]
L86 – Something of a bad edit and we’re on another restart, not told why, not our business. This is a need-to-know operation and we don’t need to know.

Chat with Joey Logano, apparently he was in an accident.

L90 – The weather has changed, teams are racing to halfway in case of rain. If rain arrives any time after half distance (lap 100) the race will be declared as finished with full points awarded. Rain is due soon so no more waiting until lap 180 to then race to the end, got to go now..

L93 – Earnhardt Jr missed his pit stall last time, had to go around and came out last but he’s working his way up the order again, he’s into the top 15.

[jump]
L111 (89 to go) – Single file most of the way back, four car break up front: Kyle Busch, Hamlin, Edwards, McMurray. Finally someone breaks away!

86 to go – Jeff Gordon pits after a long green flag run, commentary says people will now follow him in. Jeff goes a lap down with a green flag stop.
Indeed they do start pitting.. most of the leaders stay out.
During the pit sequence a tyre blows on the track, yellow for debris.

[jump]
L124 (77 to go) – Restart but no, here’s the big one straight away.
Earnhardt Jr turns someone into the field who try to avoid the car, but many fail.. Kyle Busch, dominant all day, is taken out of the race along with about ten other cars.

Dale was pushed to the inside below the line, coming back in he caught the back end of Vickers’ car when he ought to have lifted slightly to get more space. Okay so he shouldn’t have been blocked, but once he was he shouldn’t have moved up until he was clear.

[jump]
L163 RED FLAG
The rain has arrived. Replay of Kenseth taking the lead from Sadler.

Official – the race is over due to rain.

Result (top 10):
1. Kenseth (Ford)
2. Harvick (Chevy)
3. Allmendinger (Dodge)
4. Bowyer (C)
5. E.Sadler (D)
6. Ragan (F)
7. Waltrip (Toyota)
8. Stewart (C)
9. Sorenson (D)
10. Ku.Busch (D)

Not necessarily representative of the pace of the race. Harvick did pull himself to the front but Kyle Busch ought to have been up there. That’s just how this style of racing goes.

Points (top 12):
1. Kenseth 190
2. Harvick -20
3. Allmendinger -25
4. Bowyer -30
5. E.Sadler -30
6. Ragan -40
7. Stewart -43
8. Waltrip -44
9. Sorenson -52
10. Truex Jr -55
11. Ku.Busch -56
12. J.Gordon -61

I do not understand this points system, I assume points were accrued through bonuses.

Summary:
Interesting stuff from my perspective, the style of racing is completely different to anything I’m used to. I couldn’t watch it for three hours or more although I did try to do so live at the time, but this highlights form really works for me. The editing could be better – we need to know why things like restarts are happening, not just that they are.

I’ll continue this series of race reviews over the off-season, although I’ll only promise to cover IRL, GP2 and MotoGP races, there will be a lot more but the coverage will be patchy.

Weekend Preview : 1-2 August 2009

Feature Events


IRL IndyCar Series

– Meijer Indy 300
– Kentucky Speedway
– Sparta, Kentucky, United States
– (12/17)
www.indycar.com

Changes to the aero rules for this race (see previous post) should mean an improvement in the racing on this 1.5 mile oval, as it has been fairly bad on ovals earlier this season. Since side by side open-wheel racing on ovals is the hallmark and unique selling point of this series, let’s hope they work.

Note this is a Saturday night race under the lights.

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on Sky Sports 1 at 2am Sunday
(repeated 11.30am and 4.30pm on SS Xtra)
USA – LIVE on VERSUS at 8pm ET Saturday

Other Events


Le Mans Series

– 1000KM do Algarve
– Portimao
– Algarve, Portugal
– (3/5)
www.lemans-series.com

The is the first evening/night race for the Le Mans Series in Europe, and also the first visit of the series to this new circuit. The race will begin at 7.15pm local (and UK) time and run for the usual LMS distance of 1000km or six hours.

TV Guide:
UK – Eurosport at 7pm for 1h30m.


Formula Renault 3.5

Portimao
– Algarve, Portugal

Supporting the LMS, both races are on Saturday afternoon.

TV Guide:

Race 1 on Eurosport at 12pm Saturday.
Race 2 doesn’t appear to be covered.

NASCAR Sprint Cup

– Pennsylvania 500
– Pocono, Pennsylvania, United States
www.nascar.com

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on Sky Sports 3 at 7pm Sunday
US – LIVE on ESPN at 1pm Sunday


NASCAR Nationwide Series

– Iowa Speedway
– Iowa, United States
www.nascar.com

NASCAR Camping World Trucks

– Nashville Speedway
– Tennessee, United States
www.nascar.com


DTM

– Oschersleben
– Germany
www.dtm.tv / www.dtm.com

dtm.tv should have live coverage from 1pm UK time.

V8 Supercars

– Norton 360 Sandown Challenge
– Sandown, Australia
www.v8supercar.com.au


Indy Lights

– Oschersleben
– Germany


F3 Euroseries

– Kentucky Speedway
– Kentucky, USA

Superleague Formula

– Donington Park
– Leics., England, UK

World Rally Championship

– Rally Finland
www.wrc.com

Kimi Raikkonen has entered his home round of the WRC in a Super 2000 spec Abarth. After the first day’s stages he’s performing among the top runners in his class and in the top 20 overall!


Intercontinental Rally Challenge

– Rally Vinho Madeira
– Madeira, Portugal
www.ircseries.com


British Touring Car Championship

– Snetterton
– Norfolk, England, UK

TV Guide:

UK – The usual six hours (3 x BTCC plus lots of support races) on ITV4 from 11.30am!

* * * *

Sources:
Live Sport on TV
RadioTimes.com
and several of the series sites mentioned above

Weekend Preview: 25-26 July 2009

Feature Events

FIA Formula 1 World Championship

– Formula 1 ING Magyar Nagydig
– (ING Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix)
– Hungaroring, nr.Budapest, Hungary
– (10/17)
www.f1.com

F1 returns to the dustbowl of the Hungaroring, where as usual the forecast is for high temperatures. The dust of the surrounding area has a tendency to get all over the track and make grip very hard to come by, it is this in combination with the circuit layout itself that tends to prevent good racing at this notoriously boring race track – though the changes to turn one a few years ago have created a divebomb-braking opportunity for the brave/crazy (if not in the F1 race, definitely in the GP2 support races!).

I am not a fan of this event although it did bring F1 to Eastern Europe as long ago as the mid-1980s, and track improvements over the last two decades have improved racing.. a bit..

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on BBC One at 12.10pm Sunday, race starts at 1pm
(qualifying on BBC Two at 12.10pm Sat)
USA – HEAVILY DELAYED on FOX at 3pm ET.


IRL IndyCar Series

– Rexall Edmonton Indy
– City Centre Airport, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
– (11/17)
www.indycar.com

This is the second visit to Edmonton for the IndyCars but the 5th (I think?) running of the event, with this being a former Champ Car venue – but any advantage the CC guys had has now been erased and there should be a nice level playing field, apart from the actual track surface of this bumpy airport circuit!

Of note this year is the first visit to the circuit of the supporting Indy Lights series.

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on Sky Sports 2 at 10.45pm Sunday (directly after NASCAR)

USA – LIVE on VERSUS at 5pm ET Sunday


FIM MotoGP

– British Grand Prix
– Donington Park, Castle Donington, England
– (11/17)
www.motogp.com

The final visit to Donington for the premier motorbike series, for now at least, as it moves in the opposite direction to F1 and will pitch up at Silverstone in 2010, with apparent mixed feelings from the riders. Some love Donny, some can’t wait to leave. I think it makes a great motorbike track with the sweeping curves.

Living in the UK I know the forecast for the weekend. Saturday is due to be warm and sunny so qualifying should be representative – but rain is due to appear for the race on Sunday.

(I can never remember if DP is in Northants or Lincs)

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on BBC ONE at 3pm Sunday (directly after F1), race start 3.30pm

USA – SPEED claims 6pm ET, which is not possible because the race starts at 8.30pm ET.


Other Events


GP2 Series

– Hungaroring
– Budapest, Hungary
– (6/10)
www.gp2series.com
– (F1 support with F.Master, FBMW Europe and Porsche Supercup)

TV Guide:
UK – Eurosport 2
– Race 1 @ 4.45pm Saturday (this may be slightly delayed due to MotoGP coverage)
– Race 2 @ 7pm Sunday (very delayed – I can’t see any live coverage)


World Superbikes

– Brno
– Brno, Czech Republic
www.worldsbk.com
– (with Supersport, etc.)

TV Guide:

UK – Eurosport
– Race 1 LIVE @ 11am Sunday
– Race 2 DELAYED @ either at 3.40pm or 6pm (Eurosport’s website sucks)

NASCAR Sprint Cup

– Allstate 400 at the Brickyard
– Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Speedway, Indiana, United States
www.nascar.com

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on Sky Sports 2 at 7pm Sunday
US – LIVE on ESPN at 2pm Sunday


NASCAR Nationwide Series

& NASCAR Camping World Trucks

– O’Reilly Raceway Park
– Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
www.nascar.com

Firestone Indy Lights

– Edmonton
– Alberta, Canada
– (IndyCar support)

IMSA Atlantics

– Autobahn Country Club
– Joliet, Illinois, United States
(with Star Mazda)


FIA GT

– Total 24 Hours of Spa
– Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
(with European GT4 and British F3)
www.fiagt.com


Super GT

– Sugo
– Sugo, Japan


Silverstone Classic

– Silverstone Circuit
– Silverstone, Northants, England, UK

A multitude of historic racing series at what used to be known as the Coys Historic Festival.
Featuring: GP Masters, Pre-66 F1, the David Leslie Memorial Trophy for 90s Tourers, BRDC Historic Sportscars, Classic Group C and a lot more.

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE all weekend on MotorsTV

* * * *

Sources:
Live Sport On TV
RaceFanTV
SkySports.com
Eurosport.co.uk
BBC.co.uk
SpeedTV.com

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: 20-21 June 2009

Feature Events

FIA Formula 1 World Championship

– Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix
– Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England, UK
– (9/17)
– 60 laps
www.f1.com

The final FIA Formula 1 British GP to be held at Silverstone, for the foreseeable future at least, as in 2010 this event is scheduled to move to Donington Park. Irrespective of how Donington will turn out, it will be a shame to leave Silverstone. The facilities for the crowd, the teams and the sponsors are not brilliant yet the actual racetrack is one of the best in the world. I absolutely love that camera position on the fence on the entry to Maggotts/Becketts, you really get a sense of the speed and the rapid direction change of these cars.

Quite what the motorsport landscape will look like by June 2010 is anybody’s guess – which teams will arrive at Donington? Will the circuit even be ready? Will FOTA organise their own British GP, held at Silverstone?

All this is for the future.

For now though, let us focus on this race meeting. We can reasonably expect the Brawns to be strong and today’s times from Free Practice suggest the recent Red Bull updates have strengthened that team. We could be in for a very competitive race!

While this is a home race for Jenson Button, it has historically been one of Rubens Barrichello’s stronger circuits, expect him to come into play here. As for the other teams.. forget it, they are scrapping for minor points.

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on BBC One at 12.10pm BST (race start 1pm)
, followed by the F1 Forum on the red button service
USA – DELAYED on FOX at 3pm ET (I’m not sure how much pre-race they’ll have, if none that’s still a SEVEN HOUR tape delay *shocked*)

Support races: GP2 Series, FBMW Europe, Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, Historic Sportscars

BEFORE THE RACE at about 11am UK be sure to head to www.sidepodcast.com and join the live Parade Lap! It is an online radio show loosely discussing F1 with a laid-back Sunday vibe. It will end as the BBC coverage begins and there is live text commenting! Stick around on the site to live comment the race.

I intend to both live comment the race on SPC, and live tweet on Twitter. If you follow my Twitter account and are located in the US (or elsewhere) and do not wish the result to be spoiled, you should avoid Twitter completely or un-follow me until you have seen the race. Sorry, the live audience isn’t going to wait for you!


IndyCar Series

– Iowa Corn 250 Presented by Pioneer
– Iowa Speedway, Newton, Iowa
– (7/17)
– 250 laps
www.indycar.com

The return to the fast 7/8ths of a mile oval in the Pressdog’s back yard, Iowa. Check his site for regular updates from the track during and after the weekend!
Iowa is a small oval but it is designed in such a way that the racing and the speeds are as they would be on a superspeedway. Craziness ensues! They haven’t been coming here long but it is turning into a must-see event, unfortunately year 1 was for all the wrong reasons will lots of crashes. Year 2 was much better with close racing everywhere. What will this year bring?

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on Sky Sports Xtra at 6pm BST
USA – LIVE on ABC at 1pm ET

Support races: Firestone Indy Lights, USAC..something or other

Other Events


NASCAR Sprint Cup

– Toyota / Save Mart 350
– Infineon Raceway, Sears Point, California, USA
– (16/36)
www.nascar.com

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on Sky Sports Xtra at 10pm Sunday
USA – LIVE on TNT at 4.30pm ET Sunday

For all other events I will list the UK TV channel only, if you are elsewhere you will have to look it up (check their website).

NASCAR Nationwide & Trucks

– Milwaukee (Saturday on ESPN2 and Friday on SPEED, respectively)


GP2 Series

– Silverstone
– Britain
– (4/10)
– Setanta Sports 1: Feature on Saturday at 2.55pm, Sprint on Sunday at 9.25am (both live)
www.gp2series.com

FIA Formula 2

– Brno, Czech Republic
– (2/8)
– Eurosport & live web streaming: Race 1 at 11am Saturday, Race 2 at 12.30pm Sunday
www.formulatwo.com

FIA World Touring Cars

– Marriott Race of the Czech Republic
– Brno, Czech Republic
– (6/12)
– Eurosport: Race 1 at 11.45am, then F2 at 12.30, then Race 2 at 1.45pm(both Sunday)
www.fiawtcc.com
– with F2, FMaster

FIA GT Championship

– Oscherseleben, Germany
– (3/8)
– Setanta Sports at 10:30am
www.fiagt.com
– with FIA GT3 European Championship, FIA GT4 European Cup, Formul’Academy, FRenault NEC, ATS F3


Australian V8 Supercars

– Hidden Valley, Australia
– (5/14)
www.v8supercars.com.au


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


Intercontinental Rally Challenge

– Ypres, Belgium
– (5/12)
– Daily updates on Eurosport
www.ircseries.com

 

I believe that’s everything, let me know if you spot something else worth noting.

For those in the UK, don’t forget the return of Top Gear on BBC Two at 8pm Sunday!

Finally, if you missed the Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark and Graham Hill docos on BBC Four earlier in the year, as I did, they are repeated in one lump on Saturday night from 8pm. Enjoy!