Motorsports Weekend Guide: September 5 to September 7

MWG

Welcome to Hooniverse’s weekly look ahead to who’s racing what and where this weekend. Last weekend, Will Power claimed his first IndyCar championship and while this coming weekend won’t crown any champions, it will see a number of quality racing series visiting southern and western Europe. Stateside, race fans will be off to see stock cars personalities, autocrossers, vintager racers, air racers, rally racers, and crapcan wrenchers. The cheat sheet is below with more after the break:

  • The rolling soap opera of F1 at Monza

  • The rolling soap opera of NASCAR in Virginia

  • All the GT racing you can handle in Yurp

  • The SVRA at the host of the former U.S. Grand Prix

  • And more races!

F1_Mercedes Formula One: Italian Grand Prix (Monza Circuit) Formula One runs its second consecutive historic racetrack, Monza’s high-speed 3.6-mile circuit, after running Spa Francorchamps upon returning from the series’ summer break. Spa brought out the somehow-more-newsworthy-than-the-actual-results intrateam rivalry at Mercedes between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, where…You know what? I’m not even going to attempt to describe it. Whether I care about it (or you do or whatever), everyone in the F1 press pool will be asking about the Nico-Lewis “issue” and shouting for suspensions and making accusations of Attention Deficit Crybaby Syndrome and…Hmm…I seem to have lost the point now. Let’s start over. There’s a race on this weekend at Monza. Fast cars, lots of technology, big crowds, and so forth. Website: F1 site. Monza site. Event page. Supporting series: GP2. GP3. Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Live coverage: Sunday @ 8 a.m. ET on NBC Sportsn Network.   World Superbikes: Circuito de Jerez Meanwhile, World Superbikes returns to action after eight weeks off for their own summer break. Defending champion and Kawasaki rider Tom Sykes made a strong showing at the last round at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with a third-place finish and a win. Aprilia rider Sylvain Guintoli racked up a pair of second-place finishes and while he gained no ground on Sykes, he did put some distance between himself and Honda’s Jonathan Rea in third place. This weekend finds SBK in the motorcycle-racing hotbed of Spain at the Andalusian paradise of Jerez, where the circuit’s 2.751 miles wind through the hills overlooking the Mediterranean. Website: SBK site. Jerez siteEvent page with weekend schedule. Supporting series: SuperSport World Championship. SuperStock 1000 Cup. SuperStock 600 European Championship. European Junior Cup. Live coverage: Sunday @ 8 a.m. ET on beIN Sports (TV).   NASCAR Sprint Cup: Federated Auto Parts 400 (Richmond International Speedway) This is the 800th race of the NASCAR season or so it seems and it’s an important one for those who follow the series because it’s the last “regular season” before the 300-race Chase. Fourteen drivers have already clinched a spot and a winless driver could grab a 15th if he (or she) nabs a victory. As it sits, Ryan Newman, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, and Kyle Larson could be fighting for the last two spots, which will fall to whoever of the four has the most season points after Saturday night’s race. A bunch of others have an outside chance, too, but I’ve already spent enough effort to get that information. The venue for all of this shenanigans is Richmond International, a 3/4-mile oval that has been a staple of NASCAR’s schedule since 1953. This weekend’s Nationwide and Sprint Cup races mark the 208th and 209th NASCAR-sanctioned races at Richmond. Website: Sprint Cup site. Richmond siteWeekend schedule Supporting series: Virginia529 College Savings 250 (NASCAR Nationwide) Live coverage: Saturday @ 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC (TV). Nationwide – Friday @ 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 (TV).   SCCA Solo Nationals Autocross: Lincoln, NE And now for something completely different. The weeklong celebration of cone-dodgers and parking-lot warriors convene for their annual gathering in Nebraska. The event began last weekend, actually, but will run through this Saturday with more than 1,100 entries that span the spectrum from production econoboxes to purpose-built, ultra-lightweight custom autocross machines. You can find full results on the links posted below. Website: SCCA Solo site. Nationals site. Weekend schedule. Entry list. Live coverage: Live timing and results posted on the SCCA Solo site.   [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVe5b7iu_Eg[/youtube] SVRA: U.S. Vintage Grand Prix (Watkins Glen International) While we’re on the subject of big-time amateur racing, the U.S. Vintage Grand Prix at one of the country’s oldest circuits is high on my list of weekends to attend someday. This also sees a wide variety of racers flogging everything from rudimentary British sportscars to late-model Le Mans Prototypes like the Porsche RS Spyder, all in the famed locale of New York’s Finger Lakes racing circuit. Website: SVRA site. WGI siteEvent page. Weekend schedule. Entry list. Live coverage: Live timing on Race Monitor app for smartphones and devices.   Creventic 24H Series: Barcelona 24 Hours (Circuit de Catalunya) The Creventic events aren’t so much a series as a loose collection of endurance races under one sanctioning body and it shows in who turns up to race. The Dubai 24H in January kicks off the racing season and sees top-level talent peppered throughout the field, though most compete in the top-heavy, GT3-based A6 class. While Catalunya will have a few GT3 car entries in A6, the real gems of the field are the lower classes like the A2 class with 18 entries, most of which are 2.0-liter production cars like the BMW 235i and Renault Clio Cup. Any endurance race is grueling and the hundreds of trips around Catalunya will tax driver and car alike. Hofor-Racing’s Mercedes SLS GT3 is likely the favorite, but you can’t count out the Kessel Racing Ferrari 458, which made its own run in 12 parsecs. Website: 24H site. Catalunya siteEvent page. Weekend schedule. Entry list. Live coverage: Live streaming coverage of all 24 hours on the 24H website.   Blancpain Sprint Series: Algarve Circuit (Portimao, Portugal) While Creventic run around Catalunya for a day, the Blancpain Sprint Series runs just a few miles west of the World Superbikes with their own race at Portugal’s Portimao circuit, Algarve. This is where the best of the continent’s GT drivers will be and while the four-car Belgian Audi Club Team WRT (which is about as club-level as Bayern Munich at a junior-high AYSO tournament) lead the team standings by a wide maring, the driver championship is absolutely bonkers. HTP Motorsports and Mercedes SLS driver Maximilian Buhk currently leads the championship by five points over WRT Audi driver Laurent Vanthoor with Buhk’s teammate Maximilian Goetz in third place. However, Buhk will serve a one-race suspension this weekend for failure to comply with a black flag at the last round, meaning that who knows what will happen with the championship in its penultimate round? Madness. Or Audi will just be adding to their trophy case, perhaps. Website: Blancpain site. Algarve siteEvent page. Weekend schedule. Entry list. Supporting series: Legend Cup. Challenge Desafico Unico, Trofeo Abarth 500, CNCC, CNV, Super Seven by Kia. Live coverage: Replay on CBS Sports Network @ 3 p.m. ET (TV). Live streaming outside the U.S. on Blancpain’s website.   GT_Open_Spa International GT Open: Spa Franchorchamps Are you not yet entertained by GT racing? Well, fret not, you can have more and, like the Creventic series, this one’s free to watch (Blancpain was free, too, until the series scored a deal with CBS SN, who promptly geoblocked live streaming of it). GT Open still runs GT3-spec cars, but the quality of drivers is generally a half-step below those in the Blancpain series. That said, some of the names on the standings sheet will sound familiar to GT racing fans: Nicky Pastorelli, Daniel Zampieri, Paolo Ruberti, Nick Catsburg, Michele Rugolo, Matt Griffin, and Darren Turner. This is a series for veteran drivers to stay sharp and for young GT pilots to cut their teeth. Young Brit Archie Hamilton (whose grandfather won Le Mans in a Jaguar C-Type in 1953) does his racing in GT Open, too.. Website: GT Open site. Spa siteEvent page. Weekend schedule. Supporting series: Radical European Masters. European F3 Open. Belgian Racing Car Championship. Live coverage: Streaming live on GT Open’s YouTube channel.   British Touring Car Championship: Rockingham Rockingham boasts one of the few large ovals in Europe, but the oval seldom gets used. Indeed, BTCC will use the long road course that only uses a small section of the oval. Just three rounds remain and while BMW driver Colin Turkington leads comfortably, don’t count current runner-up Gordon Sheddon out of the season championship yet. There’s not much else to add; if British Touring Cars is your jam, you already know what to expect from the series’ usually bump and grind around the narrow British circuits. Website: BTCC site. Rockingham siteEvent page with weekend schedule. Supporting series: Ginetta GT Supercup. Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain. Renault UK Clio Cup. Live coverage: None stateside.   Red Bull Air Races: Fort Worth (Texas Motor Speedway) The Red Bull Air Races head to Texas Motor Speedway for the first of two races above U.S. soil. The TMS layout will fly over the track’s infield with gates making up a two-lap circuit. The two American pilots in the championship, Kirby Chambliss and Michael Goulian, currently occupy the bottom two positions in the championship, but there’s certainly no place like home when you’re having a rough season. At the front of the championship, Austrian Hannes Arch leads Britain’s Paul Bonhomme by just two points after the Brit won his home race over countryman Nigel Lamb, who sits third in the championship by eight points. Website: Air Races site. TMS siteEvent page with weekend schedule. Entry list. Live coverage: Tape-delayed broadcast on Fox.   FIA World RallyCross: France (Loheac-Bretagne) I feel like I should get more excited about the World RallyCross championship, but they really are getting blown away in terms of entertainment value by the America-only Red Bull Global RallyCross. I suppose that’s just my opinion when all you want is to know there’s a race happening and maybe a nugget or two for its enjoyment. So here goes: Loheac-Bretagne is a purpose-built rallycross circuit designed with spectators in mind. It’s also built at an auto museum, which is a pretty cool place to hold a race, one supposes. Website: WRX site. Loheac-Bretagne siteEvent page with weekend schedule and entry list. Supporting series: Super 1600. Touring Car. Live coverage: Streaming video on RallyCross website.   Rallye_Defi Canadian Rally Championship: Rallye Defi Canada’s national rally circuit may seem like a strange place for a debut, but Martin Rowe will pilot a brand new 2015 Subaru WRX STI in the Quebec rally. He’ll face some stiff competition with American rally regular Antoine L’estage currently undefeated in Canadian rally this year. The entry list is predictably full of Subarus, Evos, and some front-wheel drive hatches, but it also will include a 1973 Toyota Corolla and a 1991 Nissan 240SX. So that’s pretty neat. Website: CRC site. Ralley Defi siteWeekend schedule. Entry list. Live coverage: None.   NASCAR K&N Pro Series East: Greenville 140 (Greenville Pickens Speedway) Greenville Pickens was, for NASCAR’s first two decades, a regular host for the top stock car classes, but the half-mile oval dropped off the NASCAR schedule in 1972. The K&N East series picked it up again in 2006, then made it a two-race-per-season venue in 2011. Current points leader Ben Rhodes won the first 2014 visit there from pole in March. Rhodes, who is just 17 years old, leads the championship by a wide 65-point margin with just two races left and he could be the next big star to come out of a series that has produced NASCAR regulars like Joey Logano and Austin Dillon. Website: K&N East site. Greenville siteEvent page. Entry list. Live coverage: Possibly streaming on FansChoice.TV.   NASCAR Canadian Tire Series: Wahta Springs 300 (Barrie Speedway | Oro, ON) Just as the K&N East series only has two races left, so two does NASCAR north of the border. The top three in the points (L.P. Dumoulin, J.R. Fitzpatrick, and Andrew Ranger) are all best on road courses while the next two (D.J. Kennington and Scott Steckly) are the only two multiple winners on Barrie’s third-mile oval. Dumoulin and Fitzpatrick have a substantial gap in the points back to third place, but if things go pear-shaped, expect the two oval specialists to pounce. Website: CTS site. Barrie siteEvent page. Weekend schedule. Entry list. Supporting series:  Live coverage: Tape-delayed on TSN September 13 @ 2 p.m. ET.   24 Hours of LeMons: High Plains Raceway LeMons heads to “High” Plains Raceway. I’m sorry for that; I refrained from any cannabis references in the preview for the race, but I had to toss one in there. This promises to be a great field, if a little small, but it’s certainly not lacking for LeMons appeal. OK, no more pot jokes. Website: LeMons site. High Plains siteEvent page. Hooniverse preview. Live coverage: Live timing on Specialty Timing website and on Race Monitor for smartphones and devices.   [Lead photo copyright 2014 Hooniverse/Eric Rood | Other photos: Formula1.com, SVRA YouTube Channel, GTOpen.net, RallyeDefi.com]

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