Motorsports Weekend Guide: February 6 to February 8

February’s beginning brings the end of football and the start of racing season in earnest. This week’s racing is a huge variety with racing from short-and-fast to long-and-grueling and everything in between. Actually, there’s a lot of long and grueling. Anyway, follow the jump for the scoop on this weekend’s racing around the world.


NHRA: Circle K Winternationals (Pomona)

The National Hot Rod Association’s nine-month drag racing season begins in the same place the last season it ended: Pomona Raceway. This is the 55th annual Winternationals, dating back to the early days of organized drag racing with the first “Winter Nationals” held across the country in Florida before moving to its West Coast home. If you’ve somehow never seen NHRA drag racing,the fasest of these piston-engined missiles cover a quarter-mile in less time than it took you to read this sentence. That’s the end result of thousands of horsepower and unparalleled aural fury.
The storylines this year: Longtime Ford Racing stalwart and 16-time Funny Car champion John Force will run a Chevy Camaro-bodied car this year (although all Funny Car engines are Mopar-based). Erica Enders-Stevens, having become just the third female NHRA champion, will hope to defend her Pro Stock title. In the fastest Top Fuel class, Tony Schumacher claimed his ninth Top Fuel championship last year easily.
Website: NHRA site. Event page. Entry list. Schedule.
Live coverage: Qualifying: Saturday @ on Eliminations: Sunday @ on (live) & Sunday @ 7:30 p.m. (Delayed).

LiquiMoly Bathurst 12 Hours

The Bathurst 12 Hour race is Australia’s longest race and it’s fitting that the country’s most epic racing circuit, Mount Panorama, hosts the race. If you’re unfamiliar, the track scales the side of a mountain and then dives back down in spectacular fashion. While V8 SuperCars get more attention Down Under, the Australian GT series is oversubscribed this year meaning a big field in its six rounds.
The 12 Hours isn’t officially an Australian GT round, but most of the series’ drivers and teams will toss their hat in the ring with a vast array of GT3 cars in the top class. Last year’s finish went down to the wire with furious racing and, again like last year, international fans can stream the whole race from flag to flag.
Website: Bathurst 12H site. Mount Panorama site. Entry list. Schedule. Hooniverse preview with Eric Rood and Bradley Brownell.
Supporting series: Australian Formula Ford, Radical Sportscars. Improved Production.
Live coverage: Live streaming of the entire race starting Saturday @ 1:50 p.m. ET on Bathurst 12H site (video) and (Video and/or audio).

ULTRA4 Racing: King of the Hammers

In the world of offroad racing, Ultra4’s King of the Hammers is something of a unique beast. Southern California’s desert hosts the event, which centers around a pop-up city known colloqiually as Hammertown. From there, racers take their versatile off-roaders out into the desert for two laps around an 80-mile circuit, where competitors must traverse a variety of terrain from piles of rock over which they must crawl to flat-out sections eclipsing triple digits.
Website: Ultra4 site. KOH site. Entry list/Starting order. Schedule.
Live coverage: Streaming coverage on KOH site.

V8 Supercars: Super Test (Sydney Motorsports Park)

Just a couple hours away from the Bathurst 12 Hours, V8 SuperCars will hold their preseason open testing with free admission. The Clipsal 500 on the streets of Adelaide will be the first race of the year February 26.
Website: V8S site. Sydney Motorsport Park. Event page. Entry list. Schedule.
Live coverage: International coverage live on V8 SuperView (Pay subscription).

FIA European Rally Championship: Rally Liepaja (Latvia)

The ERC’s second round commences on the snow-and-ice-covered gravel roads near Liepaja, Latvia.
Website: ERC site. Rally Latvia site. Event page. Entry listRally guide with schedule and maps. Season points.
Supporting series: ERC 2, ERC 3, ERC Junior.
Live coverage: Live stage times posted on ERC Rally Latvia site.

Canadian Rally Championship: Rally Perce-Neige

The Canadian rally series opens in Quebec with this gravel rally, usually interrupted with ice and snow.
Website: CRC site. RPN site. Entry list. Schedule. Maps!
Live coverage: No live coverage. Stage times perhaps posted on CRC site.

24 Hours of LeMons: Shine Country Classic (Barber Motorsports Park)

LeMons takes its greasy, oil-dropping show (Speaking mostly of the drivers, not the cars) to one of the most pristine motorsports complexes in the country. Read Hooniverse’s full preview linked below.
Website: LeMons site. Barber site. Event page with schedule. Hooniverse preview.
Live coverage: Live timing on Specialty Timing site and on RaceMonitor app for smartphones and devices.

ChumpCar World Series: Road Atlanta

ChumpCar opens its season with an epic race: 14 hours on Road Atlanta’s challenging 2.54 miles carrying on past dark.
Website: ChumpCar site. Road Atlanta site. Event supplemental rules with schedule.
Live coverage: Live timing on CCWS site and on RaceMonitor app for smartphones and devices.
[Lead photo copyright 2014 Hooniverse/Eric Rood | Other photos: NHRA, Bathurst 12 Hours,]

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  1. acarr260 Avatar

    King of the Hammers is great! Their live stream last year was mostly good quality too.

    1. Eric Rood Avatar
      Eric Rood

      KOH stream has been pretty good, actually. Better than a lot of professional series I've seen.
      Here's the Bathurst 12H stream's direct link.:

      1. acarr260 Avatar

        I thought that KOH was on Saturday, as I remember watching it at home last year. I've caught a little here and there at work today, and their coverage is excellent, especially for being free. Thanks for the link for Bathurst – my fiancee won't like it, but that's why I have two tv sets.

        1. Eric Rood Avatar
          Eric Rood

          It sounds selfish and entitled, but it's also the truth: Free live coverage is absolutely what something like KOH needs to grow any kind of fanbase. Some sponsors or partners can go a long way toward making that happen.
          I'd suggest the WEC could benefit from that for a season or two to grow an audience rather than have a pay-per-view streaming service (more or less), but I'm not the one one in charge of stuff like that. As it is, the global WEC audience really isn't as big as the motorsports press likes to make it out to be. It still pales in comparison to F1 or probably even NASCAR on a global scale.

          1. skitter Avatar

            I'm really mad that South Park sold out. They used to be the model: I will happily watch your ads in order to see your entertainment. Which is the exact same model that radio, TV, and newspapers have used since dinosaurs roamed the earth. Take your desirable media. Wrap it in advertisements. Get it to as many people as possible. You get paid every single time I want to watch Free Wilzyx.
            Here's the problem: With newspapers, with the television, with the radio, the numbers can be inflated. The effects are indirect. It's not hard to avoid measuring them, and excusing the advertising costs away. With the internet, the counts are automated. The ads have the expectation of being clicked. And the deafening silence is impossible to ignore. If anything leads to a resurgence in old media, it will be advertising's ability to hide wasted effort.

          2. Eric Rood Avatar
            Eric Rood

            Yep. Even the idea of sponsored, free streaming then gets kicked to the curb often with second-tier TV contracts. I couldn't stream the Blancpain races for free last year after they inked a deal with CBS Sports Network, a channel that I don't have because I don't have cable.
            Exclusivity deals really suck; the broadcaster wants the eyeballs so screw any notion of simulcast. Of course, they seldom show the whole race, which is also geoblocked from the Blancpain YouTube site, on the TV because Why block out three hours for an endurance race? For me, paying for cable is a non-starter; there's just not enough I want to watch.

          3. skitter Avatar

            Paying by channel is the direction things are slowly moving.
            But the public is already ready to pay by the show.
            I'd throw $10 toward not having to watch commercials over a season.
            Shut up and take my money on my terms.

          4. Eric Rood Avatar
            Eric Rood

            Indeed. I'd love to pick channels (or shows or race series or whatever the case may be) a la carte.

          5. ptschett Avatar

            I still have the traditional cable subscription, but the pricing is getting out of hand between the channels that vote themselves a 300-500% raise out of the cable/satellite co. at each contract renewal (local broadcast channels in general, Fox news channels w/ Dish recently, etc.), and the sports channels that keep signing exorbitant contracts with stick'n'ball sports and the occasional more widely-known racing series.
            For example, my cable bill was $82 at the beginning of 2014, got up to $85 by September, was about $90 for the last quarter and into January, and will be practically $100 starting this month. This is TV-only, I get my internet through DSL. I didn't like paying $1000/yr for cable as it was, but they haven't added any value to justify my price being $1200/yr now. It's like these people want to destroy their own business model.