Motorsports Weekend Guide: June 13 to June 15

MWG Welcome to Hooniverse’s weekly look ahead to who’s racing what and where this weekend. This weekend features one of the biggest motor races in the world just two weeks after the Indy 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix. You’ll also get some stock cars, some drag racing, one of the oldest road race weekends in America, and a couple more events in Europe. Follow the jump for the details.

  • The 24 Hours of Le Mans

  • Moto GP’s at Catalunya

  • RallyCross in Hell

  • The SCCA’s June Sprints at Road America

  • And a little bit more!


FIA World Endurance Championship: 24 Hours of Le Mans

  For endurance racing fans, this is really the highlight of the year: 24 hours around the massive 8.469-mile Circuit de la Sarthe. The race drips with history from some of the most iconic racecars of all time, but there’s little space for histories here. Bradley Brownell previewed the race nicely and succinctly for Hooniverse, so read his words for the skinny on it. And then poke around the rest of the motorsports press because most racing writers have an opinion and most people have something interesting to add. Whatever else you can say about the race, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • The new technologies mean that most of the motorsports world seems genuinely excited for this year’s race. None of the LMP1 cars has run an actual race (All have almost certainly run 24-hour tests) longer than six hours. Will the massively fast Toyotas outrun the rest of the field? Will the brand-new Porsches stay in one piece? Is Audi hedging on reliability issues plaguing the competition?
  • Keep an eye on the Garage 56 technological demonstration entry, the Nissan ZEOD, which will turn some laps under electric-only power, the first racecar to do so at Le Mans. This week will also see the Le Mans sanctioning body announcing next year’s Garage 56 entry, if there will be one.
  • Feel like an expert but unable to bet on the race because the United States’ laws about online gambling? Check out NA Sportscars’ Pick ’em contest, where you pick the cars you think will win the classes. Winner gets bragging rights for a year.
  • Le Mans always features a “Legends” race with historic Le Mans cars. This year’s race fittingly features the fan-favorite Group C monsters. Radio Le Mans usually does streaming commentary from these races and if you listen closely enough, you’ll hear the bellow of 12-cylinder Jaguar prototypes and Porsche 962s.
  • Look for more manufacturer announcements regarding LMP1 this week for future plans. Rumors are swirling that Ferrari and others may toss their hats (back) into the LMP1 ring.
  • If it’s not part of your pantheon of listening, turn on the streaming audio during the race’s formation lap (just before the flying start), when John Hindhaugh reads off RLM’s “Honor Roll,” a list of those from motorsports who have died in the time since the green flag at the previous year’s Le Mans. It’s been an exceptionally dreadful year with regard to racers lostincluding Allan Simonsen’s death early at last year’s racebut you owe it to yourself to listen to Hindhaugh pay tribute to the deceased with nothing but utter class.

Website: WEC site. Le Mans site. Event schedule. Entry List. Race preview on Hooniverse. Andy Blackmore’s NISMO Spotter Guide(s). Supporting series: Le Mans Legends: Group C. Porsche Carrera Cup UK. Porsche Carrera Cup France. Live coverage: We’ll break it down a bit:

  • FOX Sports will have flag-to-flag coverage on FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, and FOX Sports GO! starting Saturday @ 8:30 a.m. ET. See full schedule here.
  • Streaming audio commentary of practice, qualifying, and the race on
  • Live web streaming video, some of practice, qualifying, and the race, from: Audi, Corvette, NISMO YouTube Channel (ZEOD onboard, Oak Racing LMP2 onboard, and trackside coverage), and likely more. Sometimes compiled on LeMans TV, sometimes not. I’ll add links and cameras as I find out who’s running them this week.
  • Live timing on Le Mans site.


MotoGP: Gran Premio de Catalunya (Barcelona, Spain)


If you are one of the lucky souls who has FOX Sports 1 and not FOX Sports 2, you can thank MotoGP for bumping the closing 30 minutes of Le mans to another station for live coverage of MotoGP. Fret not if you have both channels; FS1 will replay MotoGP and all the supporting races so that you can follow up your exhausting Le Mans watching with two-wheel action. This round finds Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa on home ground again in Spain. Marquez looks to continue his perfect season in Barcelona, but he got his best challenge of the year from Yamaha’s own Spanish ace, Jorge Lorenzo. Marquez edged him out by just 0.141 seconds for his 10th consecutive win dating back to last year. Website: MotoGP site. Catalunya site.  Event page with weekend schedule. Supporting series: Moto2, Moto3. Live coverage: Live coverage of MotoGP Sunday @ 7:30 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 (TV). Replay on Sunday @ noon ET with all three series racing on FOX Sports 1.   MIS

NASCAR: Quicken Loans 400 (Michigan International Speedway)

  Dale Earnhardt Jr. became the fourth Sprint Cup driver to win multiple races last weekend and he is one of several with multiple career wins at MIS. Greg Biffle sits 14th in the championship points without a win, but he has four career victories (two truck wins, two Sprint Cup) on the two-mile oval and could be one to watch. Meanwhile, two-time winner Matt Kenseth has a pair of career wins of his own. Interestingly enough, the supporting ARCA race does not have title sponsors and Nationwide did not have a title sponsor until the very last minute. Website: NASCAR site. MIS site. Weekend schedule Supporting series: Ollie’s General Store 250 (Nationwide). Michigan ARCA 200 (ARCA). Live coverage: Sprint Cup – Sunday @ 1 p.m. ET on TNT (TV) and Motor Racing Network (Radio/Streaming Audio). Nationwide – Saturday @ 2 p.m. ET on ESPN (TV) and MRN (Radio). ARCA – Friday @ 5:15 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 (TV).  

NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series: Drivin’ for Lineman 200 (Gateway Motorsports Park)

  The St. Louis-area 1.25-mile oval hosts its first NASCAR race since closing and refreshing the facilities. Gateway last hosted NASCAR in 2010, when Kevin Harvick won the truck race. Website: Camping Trucks site. Gateway site. Supporting series: USAC Silver Crown Series. Live coverage: Saturday @ 8:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 (TV) and MRN (Radio/Streaming)  

FIA World RallyCross: RallyCross in Hell (Norway)

  What a tremendous marketing slant the FIA has taken, hosting a round in Hell, Norway. The series has sparked less enthusiasm than its American counterpart, but the Scandinavian-heavy entry list should feel at home in Norway, where the event is likely to draw very well. Website: FIA RallyCross site. Event page with weekend schedule. Entry list. Live coverage: Livestreaming on WRX site (Norway time is six hours ahead of U.S. Eastern time)   SCCA

SCCA Majors Tour: June Sprints, Road America

  For sportscar racing fans, Le Mans is the biggest June motorsports race, but for Midwestern (and some from farther afield) club racers, the June Sprints represents one of the deepest American motorsports traditions. This weekend’s trek through four miles of ups and downs at Road America is the same as it’s been since the Sprints first ran Road America in 1956, though the first Sprints were held elsewhere in 1948. Hosted by the SCCA’s Chicago Region, the Sprints will brag strong fields of Spec Miata and Spec Racer Ford (57 and 38 entries, repectively), making up nearly a third of the 304 entries in nine run groups. Want a Le Mans connection? The June Sprints are sponsored by WeatherTech, who also sponsor Cooper MacNeil, driver of the #79 ProSpeed Competition Porsche 911 in the GTE-AM category at Le Mans. Website: SCCA Majors site. Road America site. June Sprints site.  Event page. Weekend schedule. Entry list. Live coverage: Live timing on Majors site and on RaceMonitor app for smartphone and devices.  

NHRA: Thunder Valley Nationals (Bristol Dragway | Bristol, TN)

If the multitudes of oval and road racing do little for you, you can still catch the fastest cars in a straight line from Bristol. The TV schedule doesn’t really follow the actual schedule with the usual elimination rounds buried late Sunday night, but the tape-delayed coverage could provide a nice cap to a weekend full of motorsports. Website: NHRA site. Bristol siteEvent page. Weekend schedule. Entry list. Live coverage: Qualifying – Saturday @ 6 p.m. ET on ESPN2 (TV). Eliminations – Sunday @ 11 p.m. ET on ESPN2 (TV).  

British Truck Racing Association: Thruxton Motorsport Centre

With Le Mans dominating the continental motorsports conscious, only the fringe-y series really bother to run against it. The BTRA will always draw its dedicated fanbase, which may or may not overlap with endurance racing, and the 2.35-mile race circuit around an airport is a great locale for the big rigs. Website: BTRA site. Thruxton siteWeekend schedule. Live coverage: None stateside, unfortunately.  

NASCAR K&N East Series: Pensacola 150 (Five Flags Speedway | Pensacola, FL)

The K&N series runs on Pensacola’s half-mile oval with a big-time number of laps (300) to get to the finish. Seventeen-year-old Ben Rhodes leads the championship with three wins and six Top 5 finishes in seven races. He also debuted in the Camping Trucks series in March and will make more starts in the truck series. If you’re looking toward NASCAR’s future, keep tabs on Rhodes. Website: NASCAR K&N site. Five Flags site Live coverage: None.   TWS

World Racing League: Texas World Speedway

I was recently reminded about one of my favorite YouTube videos of all time: Douglas Adams discussing endangered species that he’d written about in his book Last Chance to See. And WRL’s visit is just that: A last chance to see (and race) Texas World Speedway before it shutters its doors. TWS received its death sentence recently in favor of a housing development. Nevertheless, endurance racers will get a chance to run two eight-hour races in WRL’s inaugural season before TWS closes. Website: WRL site. TWS site. Supplemental rules with weekend schedule. Live coverage: Live timing on RaceMonitor app for smartphone and devices.  

ChumpCar World Series: Gingerman Raceway

With 14 hours of racing on Saturday, ChumpCar rehashes a bit of their sparsely attended long-form race at Gingerman in 2010, driving until 10 p.m. This is followed by a six-hour “sprint” Sunday. BMWs have done very well at Gingerman races past, but the Michigan track breeds attrition with heavy braking zones and its fatiguing physical nature. Website: CCWS site. Gingerman site. Supplemental regulations with weekend schedule. Live coverage: Live timing on CCWS site and on RaceMonitor app for smartphone and devices.     [Lead photo copyright 2014 Hooniverse/Eric Rood | Other photos: WEC,, SCCA, City of College Station Flickr photostream]    

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