Motorsport Weekend Guide: June 27 to June 29

MWG Welcome to Hooniverse’s weekly look ahead to who’s racing what and where this weekend. This weekend features America’s two biggest hill climbs, a bit of sportscars, a lot of racing on dirt and gravel, and a wide variety of tin-tops. Read about these and more after the jump:

  • Pikes Peak & Mount Washington hill climbs

  • TUSC Six Hours at the Glen

  • IndyCar Grand Prix of Houston

  • MotoGP at Assen TT

  • And a whole boatload more!

PPIHC2014 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (Pikes Peak, Colorado) This weekend, 133 brave entries will attempt to navigate Pikes Peak’s 12.42 miles and 156 turns on the way to its summit more than two miles above sea level. While the whole course is now paved and the record obliterated last year by Sebastian Loeb, new frontiers remain to be conquered. Pikes Peak superstar Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima will run his bespoke electric racer up the mountain as one of seven electric-only car entries. In the “Open” category, drifter Danny George will hoon his Miata up the mountain while sportscar racer Mike Skeen races up it in his modified Nissan GT-R, an “extra” that was lying around the shop. The Unlimited Division will see Porsche 24 Hours of Le Mans driver Romain Dumas trying to upset Loeb’s applecart with a Norma M20 while 24 Hours of LeMons driver and judge Dave Carapetyan will hope to better his outing last year when a failed turbo limited his Mitsubishi Evo’s climbing ability. And, of course, Mike Ryan’s billion-horsepower Freightliner will make its annual appearance on the hill. That’s only a smattering of the entry list, which includes nearly as many two-wheeled entries (including the insane Sidecar class) as cars. Spectators are now limited to only a few areas to mitigate potential safety hazards, but don’t expect that to limit fan alcohol consumption where the thin air renders the booze more potent. Whatever your poison, Pikes Peak remains one of the most smashing events on the motorsports calendar. Website: Pikes Peak site. Entry list. Spectator guide with weekend schedule.  Live coverage: Live streaming on PPIHC site. Live timing on PPIHC site.   Mount Washington Hill Climb (Mt. Washington, New Hampshire) Pikes Peak’s rival climb runs on the Northeast on the same weekend as part of the Rally America schedule. This means that the field will include current Climb to the Clouds record holder David Higgins, who also happens to lead the Rally America championship. The entry list doesn’t see quite as many berserker-style builds as Pikes Peak, but the 7.4-mile course presents immense challenged to those facing it. There are also a few pre-War cars to whet the appetite of the Finer Things Appreciators. Website: Rally America site. Mt. Washington site. Event page. Weekend schedule. Entry list. Live coverage: Tape-delayed coverage on NBC Sports Network.   Tudor United SportsCar Championship: 6 Hours at the Glen (Watkins Glen International) TUSC returns to four-class racing for the first time in nearly two months at the Glen, one of America’s most history-rich courses. The six-hour race was a staple of the former Grand-Am series and TUSC have elected to maintain it as part of the four-race Tequila Patron Endurance Cup , a sort of series-within-a-series. The six-hour race will mark the first time the GTLM class has raced since Laguna Seca in May, so they’ll be chomping at the bit. With 55 entries on The Glen’s full 3.4-mile course, traffic management will be paramount for the faster classes. Website: TUSC site. WGI site. Event page. Weekend schedule. Entry list. Supporting series: Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Porsche GT3 Cup USA. Cooper Tires Prototype Lites. Lamborghini Super Trofeo Series. Live coverage: Sunday @ 11:00 a.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 (TV) and Motor Racing Network (Radio/Streaming Audio). Continental Challenge race – Saturday @ 11:35 a.m. ET on (Streaming).   Houston_Indycar IndyCar: Grand Prix of Houston After two weekends off, IndyCar heads into the season’s whirlwind second half. With three doubleheader weekends and a season finale before September (to avoid TV clashes with football), IndyCar’s drivers will average one race per weekend until the final race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. This weekend’s two races offer the chance for some drivers to climb back into the championship standings, where Will Power leads Helio Castroneves by 39 points with Ryan Hunter-Reay and Simon Pagenaud in the hunt, too. Houston’s hellish heat and humidity may cause concern among those who’ve visited in the summer; the driver who manages his own physical condition best may emerge victorious in either or both of the two races this weekend. Website: IndyCar site. Houston GP site. Event page. Weekend schedule. Supporting series: Pro Mazda. Mazda MX-5 Cup. Spec Racer Ford. Live coverage: Two races, Saturday @ 3:30 p.m. ET & Sunday @ 3:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network (TV) and Sirius 213/XM 209. Streaming audio and live timing on IndyCar Race Control.   NASCAR Sprint Cup: Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts (Kentucky Speedway) NASCAR is quite a spectacle, I learned last weekend at Sonoma Raceway during the Sprint Cup race there. The Show is endless and tightly coordinated, the drivers are shuffled about from event to event, and the racing can even be pretty good. But more on that another times. This weekend finds all three of the big NASCAR series running on Kentucky’s 1.5-mile tri-oval. Sprint Cup has only run three races at Kentucky with three different winners, but the 2013 winner was Matt Kenseth, who is still searching for a win to punch his ticket to the season-ending Chase playoff thing. It’s worth noting, however, that Joey Logano won three straight Nationwide races there and Brad Keselowski has three wins, too (two in Nationwide and the 2012 Sprint Cup win). What does that mean? Probably nothing. The last time I went to the trouble of finding out who’d won in the past, none of them even sniffed Victory Lane. Website: NASCAR site. Kentucky Speedway site. Weekend schedule. Supporting series: John R. Elliott Hero Campaign 300 presented by Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over (Nationwide). UNOH 225 (Camping World Truck Series) Live coverage: Sprint Cup – Saturday @ 7:30 p.m. ET on TNT (TV) and Performance Racing Network (Radio/Streaming audio). Nationwide – Friday @ 7:30 p.m. on ESPN (TV) and PRN (Radio/Streaming). Camping World Trucks – Thursday @ 8:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 (TV) and Motor Racing Network (Radio/Streaming).   MotoGP: Assen TT (Netherlands) Two weeks ago, Marc Marquez won again at Catalunya by a half-second from MotoGP’s elder statesman Valentino Rossi. The win renders Marquez 7-for-7 this year, but Rossi’s runner-up finish vaulted him to second in the championship ahead of Marquez’s teammate and countryman, Dani Pedrosa. The series now moves on to Assen in Holland, a great motorcycle track with a tradition of Saturday races. Few will be surprised to see Marquez win, but Rossi and his teammate Jorge Lorenzo have nipped at the Spaniard’s heels of late and are both former winners at Assen. Website: MotoGP site. Assen site. Event page with weekend schedule. Supporting series: Moto2. Moto3. Live coverage: Saturday @ 7:00 a.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 (TV).   DTM_Norisring DTM: Norisring Of all the street circuits in the world, the Norisring might be my favorite. It occupies just 1.4 miles of Nuremberg’s streets and while it officially has eight turns, the real number is closer to about 5-1/2 turns. DTM turn 50-second laps and have three real passing opportunities on the short course, meaning lots of action. It saw one of the wildest race finishes in 2012 and then saw the exclusion of the 2013 race winner after his father poured water into his race suit’s pockets. You can’t make this stuff up. Website: DTM site. Norisring site. Event page. Weekend schedule. Supporting series: FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Porsche Carrera Cup Germany. Volkswagen Scirocco-R Cup. Live coverage: Tape-delayed coverage in the U.S. during the “offseason.”   British Touring Car Championship: Croft Circuit With any British racing circuit, you can make a pretty good guess that it’s based around an old RAF airfield or even a current operating airport. With Croft, you’d be spot-on as its two miles outline part of the decommissioned RAF bomber base in Yorkshire. I’d suggest it’s a tough course on which to pass, but BTCC drivers seem not to mind such minor inconveniences, nor do the Clio Cup drivers who are supporting the main event. BMW driver Colin Turkington leads the drivers’ championship currently from Gordon Sheddon and defending champion, Andrew Jordson, both in Hondas. Website: BTCC site. Croft site. Event page. Weekend schedule. Supporting series: Porsche Carrera Cup UK. Renault UK Clio Cup. Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain. Ginetta GT4 Super Cup. Ginetta Junior Championship.  Live coverage: ITV sport in the UK. Live timing and audio on BTCC site.   FIA World Rally Championship: Poland The last WRC round in Sardinia saw early challenges to Volkswagen’s dominance fall by way of attrition, giving Sebastien Ogier another VW victory and extending his championship lead. The series now runs headlong into Poland, which hasn’t been on the WRC calendar since 2009. The stages mostly cover asphalt and some gravel with tall grass lining many roads to mask rocks and upcoming road features. Some of the stages actually run through Lithuania, so that’s neat. This is Robert Kubica’s home rally, so expect him to crash out in more spectacular fashion than usual. Website: WRC site. Rally Poland site. Event page. Weekend schedule. Entry list. Maps. Live coverage: Saturday @ 8 a.m. ET & Sunday @ 6 a.m. ET on MAVTV. Streaming radio and updated stage times on WRC site.   FIA World RallyCross: Finland (Kouvala) It may not be Finnish folk racing, but the FIA’s rallycross series heads to that special corner of the world where former WRC drivers’ 8-year-old sons can outhoon you. Interestingly, only one Finn, Toomas Heikkinen, drives in the RX top class, but like the last round in Hell, Norway, expect this to draw well. Website: World RallyX site. Event page with weekend entry list. Live coverage: Livestream on RX site.   Blancpain Endurance Series 2013 Paul Ricard Blancpain Endurance Series: Circuit Paul Ricard Paul Ricard remains one of the most unmistakable courses in the world with its tricolor FIA curbing and immense paved runoff. It’s a fast circuit and one that makes for excellent GT racing, meaning Blancpain’s three-hour race should create a world-class battle. Sadly, the recent acquisition of the broadcast rights stateside means that it’s unlikely to be found streaming live for free in the U.S. Website: Blancpain site. Paul Ricard site. Weekend schedule. Entry list. Supporting series: Lamborghini Super Trofeo Series. Live coverage: Livestreaming on series site, possibly now geoblocked in the U.S. due to tape-delay TV coverage on CBS Sports Network.   The Off-Road Championship (TORC): Crandon International Off-Road Raceway (Crandon, WI) TORC in some ways resembles Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks, except instead of running in stadiums and in support of road-course races, TORC runs on dirt-only circuits. You still get big, high-triple-digit horsepower, massive jumps, and plenty of entertainment. Website: TORC site. Crandon site. Event page with eekend schedule. Live coverage: Tape-delayed broadcast July 13 @ 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.   NHRA: O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 Nationals (Route 66 Raceway | Joliet, IL) The NHRA rolls through Joliet to Chicago’s motorsports corner, where Route 66 and Chicagoland Speedway sit adjacent and Autobahn Country Club resides a few miles down the road. The Route 66 Nationals mark the season’s halfway point with big points leads in the three car classes (Doug Kalitta in Top Fuel, Robert Hight in Funny Car, and Erica Enders-Stevens in Pro Stock). Website: NHRA site. Route 66 Raceway site. Event page. Weekend schedule. Entry list. Live coverage: Live coverage Sunday @ noon ET on (Live streaming) and replay at 3:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.   CRC_RallyeBDC Canadian Rally Championship: Rally Baie des Chaleurs Canada has its own rally championship and you’ll see Rally America regular Antoine L’Estage tackle Quebec’s BDC rally in his Mitsubishi Evo alongside 26 more entries, many of whom will run two-wheel-drive entries. I don’t know much more about it, but if you’re in this area of Quebec, the scenery looks worth the trip alone. Website: CRC site. Rally BDC site. Weekend schedule. Live coverage: None in the U.S.   World Series by Renault: Moscow Raceway The top levels of WSBR represent a training ground for Formula One drivers. The race at Moscow eschews some of the classes for the top Formula Renault 3.5 cars and the 2.0-liter open-wheelers. Like most development series, only a handful of drivers Website: WSBR site. Moscow Raceway site. Event page with weekend schedule. Supporting series: Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0.  Live coverage: None in the U.S.    ChumpCar World Series: Texas World Speedway ChumpCar is not immune to the nostalgia of TWS, offering it as a last chance to race the circuit before it closes at the year’s end. This weekend sees the burgeoning 12+6 two-race format, which will likely draw many of the Texas Chump regulars. Website: CCWS site. TWS site. Supplemental regulations with schedule. Live coverage: Live timing on CCWS site or on RaceMonitor for smartphones and devices.   SCCA National Challenge RallyCross: Isanti County Fairgrounds (Cambridge, Minnesota) The SCCA’s rallycross (think autocross on dirt rather than the FIA RallyCross or Global RallyCross) hosts the Central National Challenge, the sixth of nine regional events for qualification into the SCCA’s RallyCross National Championship in October at Iowa’s I-80 Speedway. Turnout appears pretty low, but the short entry list reads like its from a crapcan race: a Nissan Maxima, a Saturn SL2, and a Honda Civic sponsored by Glittery Unicorns. Website: National RallyCross site. Entry list. Live coverage: None.   [Lead photo copyright 2014 Hooniverse/Eric Rood | Other photos: Pikes Peak IHC,  Grand Prix of Houston, DTM, E. Fabre/Circuit Paul Ricard, Rallye BDC]

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