The Boston Herald reports that plans have been settled for a Verizon IndyCar Series race on the streets of the Seaport District in South Boston on Labor Day weekend in 2016 “and possibly subsequent years.” The Herald, which first reported last summer that plans for the event were in the works, says an official announcement is expected on Thursday.
“The hope is that this will be an annual event in the city of Boston,” Grand Prix of Boston spokeswoman Kate Norton told the Herald.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh confirmed back in March that the city was working on a plan for a race in partnership with a group led by former IndyCar executive Mark Perrone.
“We’re working on it, we’re looking to see if it works for the city,” Mayor Walsh said. “Certainly it would be a great opportunity for promotion of the city.”
RULES AND REGULATIONS
- The league will run at 8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time on Monday Nights.
- Car used is the Ford Mustang Cobra Trans-Am
- It is highly encouraged that you test if you have time, during the week.
- Full damage will be used
- Manual Cautions will be used (only if 3 or more cars wreck a caution is called)
- Qualifying session will be 10 minutes long.
- More rules and regulations will come at the open test on June 1st at 8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time.
The day was May 1st, 1994, race day in Imola at the San Marino Grand Prix. Newly signed racing driver for Williams-Renault Formula One team, Ayrton Senna sat on his third consecutive pole in his Williams FW16 chassis powered by Renault alongside Germany’s Michael Schumacher in his Benetton Ford.
Before I continue this story from May 1st, 1994, I’d like to back track and recap the previous year’s in Senna’s career.
Ayrton Senna, then a British Formula 3 driver tests for Williams, McLaren and Toleman on July 19th, 1983 at Domington Park. He really impressed Williams owner Sir Frank Williams. Ayrton went on to complete 83 laps on a 1.9 mile circuit and his best lap time was a 1 minute. 82 seconds. This was the Brazilian’s first time a grand prix car. The car he tested for Sir Frank’s team was the Williams FW08C which won the Monaco Grand Prix with Keke Rosberg behind the wheel two months previous. The lap time Senna set was very comparable to what a racing driver would set at Domington Park.
Ayrton had this to say after his first test:
It was everything I could have wanted,” he told the watching media hordes afterwards. “I learned a lot, got some consistent laps in and benefitted from having Frank Williams there to watch over everything.
Sir Frank Williams had this to say after his first time seeing the flying Brazilian.
Ayrton came to see me quite a while ago and said, ‘look, all sorts of people want me to sign for the next 10 years’,” Frank admitted. “I told him that we don’t really take on young and inexperienced drivers but if ever you’d like to drive the car, it would be a pleasure to let you have the car just to get a feel for it. You then might be better equipped to make your own decision about the future when you’re ready
Watch Senna’s first ever Formula One test (after you finish reading the article!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xwZCqHpX7Q
1984: After Ayrton’s strong showing in his test this impressed Toleman Formula One team boss Ted Toleman and Mr. Toleman placed the young flying Brazilian in one of his racing machines alongside Venezulan motorcycle champion Johnny Cocetto. Since the Toleman F1 team didn’t have their 1984 car set and ready for the first race of the season in 1984, the Brazilian Grand Prix (Senna’s home race) the team was forced to use the much slower 1983 B chassis called the TGB 183B. The slowness showed at the Rio de Janiero circuit when Senna qualified 17th and his teammate right alongside in 18th. Ultimately, Senna retired from his first grand prix.
The next two grand prix races showed promise for the upstarting Brazilian with two 6th place finishes at South Africa and Belgium. Heading into the next race the team seemed to be on a high with Senna’s recent performances but the momentum swinged for him, he didn’t qualify for the San Marino Grand Prix, then that was followed by a retirement at Magny Cours for the French Grand Prix.
Heading into Formula One’s biggest race in the Streets of Monte Carlo, Monaco, the Toleman team finally finished the TGB 184 the new chassis that was expected from day one of the 1984 season for Senna and Cocetto. Senna qualified 13th, a mere 3 seconds off of the pole man, Alain Prost. The race was delayed by 45 minutes due to heavy rains but once the race got going a lot of drivers were having difficulties with the conditions. Nigel Mansell, who was running in second position spun off heading up the hill into Massenet and Casino Square. Giving Senna the effective 2nd position. He was setting fast lap after fast lap catching up to the leader of Alain Prost in a McLaren. The rain was coming down heavier on lap 30 and the race called but Prost stopped before the start/finish line and Senna crossed. Ayrton wildly waved his arms in the air thinking that he won but he was sadly wrong. While he was delighted to finish second in an under performing Toleman machine, you could see the emotion on his face of bitter disappointment at the same time.
After Monaco, was the Canadian Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villenueve, Senna just finished outside of the points in seventh position. That was followed by two straight retirements at Detroit and Dallas. After the United States races’, Formula One returned home to England and the Silverstone International Circuit for the British Grand Prix and Senna landed a 3rd place finish. After the fortunes in Silverstone, the bad luck came and it struck hard. 5 retirements in a row at Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Italy and Europe respctively.
The last race of the 1984 season was the Portugal Grand Prix at Estroil Circuit. Senna managed a 3rd place finish. He ended up 9th in points with 13 points.
1985: After a impressive rookie year at Toleman, Ayrton made a move to the Lotus team for 1985. He was paired with Ello de Angelis for the Renault powered team. The season started just how it did for the Brazilian at the Brazilian Grand Prix at Rio, a retirement in his Lotus 97T chassis.
Then at the next race in Portugal at the Estroil International Circuit, Ayrton Senna claimed his first ever pole position and won from the pole in the rain, a race that was similar, conditions wise to Monaco from the year before. He followed up his victory with a pole at Imola but then retired from the Grand Prix. Once again Senna sat on pole but this time it was Formula One’s crown jewel event the Monaco Grand Prix but he ended up retiring. The bad luck continued with four straight races out of the points in Detroit (a pole), France, Great Britain and Germany.
The bad string of luck stopped at the next three races with them all being podiums at Austria, Netherlands and Italy (2,3,3). Then another race victory took place at the Belgian Grand Prix after Senna started 2nd, behind Prost and followed up his win the next race in Europe with a pole and a 2nd place finish. Then to finish out the season, Senna had DNF’s at South Africa and Australia (pole). Ayrton Senna concluded his sophomore season in Formula One fourth in points with 38 and 2 wins.
For 1986 Senna was still at Lotus this time he was paired with Scotland’s Johnny Dumfries. The season started off with a bang for Senna, he scored 3 straight poles at Brazil, Spain and San Marino. Senna finished 2nd in Brazil, was the victor in Spain and didn’t finish in San Marino.
The next three events saw a good rebound in Senna’s step with a third place finish in Monaco, second in Belgium and a fifth in Canada. The next race was the Detroit Grand Prix at a street circuit in downtown Detroit. Ayrton sat on pole and won the grand prix.
After the Detroit Grand Prix, Senna was sitting in 1st in the World Drivers Championship on 36 points and two race victories. The points lead was shortly lived because the Lotus 98T failed in France (pole) and Great Britain. After that Great Britain race, Ayrton was sitting 3rd in points behind Frenchman Alain Prost and Brit Nigel Mansell by 11 points.
Two second place finishes followed the two DNF’s at Germany and Hungary (which he sat on pole at).
During the last five races of the 1986 season Senna had a mixed bag of finishes he had retirements in Austria and Italy and poles at Portgual (4th place finish) and Mexico (3rd place) and a retirement at the Australian Grand Prix at Adelaide Street circuit. Senna again finished the season 4th in points but this time it was on 56 points.
For the 1987 season the Lotus team had a few changes. Camel cigarettes replaced John Player as the teams sponsor and the team switched engine manufactures from Renault to Honda power. Senna also had his third different teammate in three years this time his partner in crime was 34 year old Japanese driver Satoru Nakajima. None of these changes really seemed to effect Senna’s performance in the 1987 season.
While the first races were a bit shaky, retirements in Brazil and Belgium split by a second place finish in San Marino, the first time he ever completed that grand prix and the entirety. The next two races were race victories in Monaco and Detroit.
After the two race victories, he finished fourth in France and third in Germany and Great Britain, then finished second in Hungary. Senna looked like a legitmate title contender. He followed up the Hungarian Grand Prix podium result with a fifth at Austria and a second at the Italian Grand Prix. Then he finished out of the points in seventh position at the Portugal race and then bounced back in the points at Spain with a fifth place.
The final three races saw disappointment for Ayrton. Retirement in Mexico, a second in Japan and getting disqualified at Australia. Although this rough luck dampered any opportunity at a World Championship, he did finish third in points with 57. Fellow countrymen Nelson Piquet won the championship that year.
The 1987 offseason heading into 1988 saw Ayrton Senna make a transition. He left the Lotus-Honda team to join Marlboro McLaren and partner two time world champion, Alain Prost. The 1988 season was the first with the Honda engine for McLaren.
While Senna understood there was pressure with being at a high profile team such as McLaren, he viewed this as a statement year. Also, he was not phased by his teammate and his credentials. Ayrton put his McLaren MP4/4 on pole for the first five races. He was disqualified at his home grand prix in Brazil. He followed that dismal race up with a win at San Marino.
Then the schedule came into full swing at Monaco. Ayrton was leading the race by almost 1 minute. He seemed to have the race in command and all he had to do was bring it home but he felt it was necessary to keep pushing and he stuffed the car into the wall. He walked off back to his apartment and didn’t want to talk to anyone at all because of the huge disappointment. This would’ve turned out to be Senna’s lowest finish of the season.
He bounced back in Mexico with a second place finish, only behind his teammate Prost, who had won his second straight race and third overall. This was the turning point in the 1988 season for Ayrton, he won the next 6 out of 7 races and in the race he didn’t win he finished second. It was almost his championship to lose at this point.
After his hot streak, he cooled down a bit with a tenth in Italy, a sixth in Portugal and a fourth in Spain. Heading into the Japanese Grand Prix, Senna had to win the Japanese Grand Prix or have Prost finish outside the points. Senna went on to win the Japanese Grand Prix after he slipped back to the teens off the grid. He followed up his championship clinching performance with a second in Australia. Overall, Senna ended up with eight wins and eleven podiums. He finished the season with 94 points. McLaren won the constructors championship by nearly 100 points. To this day the 1988 season is probably one of the most team dominated seasons Formula One has ever seen, maybe other than 2011 when Red Bull Renault destroyed the field.
For 1989, nothing really changed. Honda was still the engine. Prost was teammate but tension was growing between the two. Senna started off 1989 just like he did with 1988, five straight poles, a bad finish in Brazil, followed by a win at San Marino. Was this going to be another championship year?
Unlike the year before, he capitalized at the Monaco Grand Prix and then won the Mexican Grand Prix. While he sat on pole at Phoenix’s street circuit for the United States Grand Prix he retired.
The next string of races saw the same luck that United States had for Ayrton. Out of the points finishes in Canada, France and Britain. Senna then won the German Grand Prix, second in Hungary and won Belgium.
This seemed to put Senna back in title contention only behind teammate Prost. The clock stuck midnight again, two pole starts resulted in retirements at Portugal and Italy. This put more and more pressure on him to win races to get back in the hunt for the championship. He did that indeed with a win in Spain.
Once again the championship came down to Japan, the second to last race of the 1989 season. This time the consequences were reversed. Senna had to win the race and Prost had to finish out of the points. Most of the race Prost was leading Senna. Senna was buying his time and waiting to attack Prost for the lead. With 5 laps to go Senna went to the inside of Prost in the Casio Triangle chicane and Prost came over, they hit. Prost was out of the race. Senna continued but then was later disqualified because he didn’t go the race distance because he didn’t turn back into traffic and continue the race distance in full. This clinched Prost his third championship. Ron Dennis, president of McLaren was furious after this and defending Senna because turning back into traffic is very dangerous.
The last race in Australia didn’t really matter and Senna ended up retiring.
For 1990, Prost left McLaren to partner Nigel Mansell at Ferrari and Ferrari’s old driver, Gerhard Berger came over to partner Senna. While Senna didn’t sit on the pole at the season opener in the United States (Berger was on pole) Ayrton went on to win the race. As ESPN pit reporter John Bisignano said in the documentary Senna (which we will get to later in this article) he never saw Ayrton more relaxed as a driver after Alain Prost left the team to go to Ferrari. The relaxed Senna showed over the next bunches of races.
He followed up his win in the United States with five straight poles (Brazil, San Marino, Monaco, Canada and Mexico.) The results in those five races are as followed: 3rd, RET, WIN,WIN, 20th. Ayrton had full control of the 1990 Mexican Grand Prix until he had a wild flip in the final corner of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, he was unhurt but he thought to himself for the first time he could actually get hurt driving a F1 car.
After the wild events in Mexico, Ayrton was back on form at France and Great Britain with two 3rd place finishes. At this point Ayrton was 2nd in points behind Prost of all people. This was Prost’s first championship lead all year. This lead of Prost’s was shortly lived though.
Over the next 5 races, Ayrton had three wins, four poles and two second place finishes. After the 1990 Portugal Grand Prix, Senna had a 18 point lead over Prost with three races left. This was virtually impossible for Prost to make up. Senna retired in Spain after sitting on the pole and Prost won the race. This meant going into penultimate race in Japan the title would be on the line again.
Prost had to win the race and Senna had to finish outside of the points to force the championship to the final round in Australia. Senna sat on pole alongside his rival. Mysteriously the FIA president, Jean Marie Balestre moved the pole position to the dirty side of the race course. Balestre tended to play favorites with Prost (see 1989 Japanese Grand Prix). Ayrton lobbied for this to change in the drivers meeting the day before. The best quote from that drivers meeting was one of Nelson Piquet, Senna’s fellow countrymen. “Last year there was a big f*** up with Ayrton. Senna graciously smiled and agreed. Prost just looked back and glared.
Senna walked out of the drivers meeting in disgust after JMB decided not to listen to Ayrton’s case. He went up to other officials and made his case. The 1990 Japanese Grand Prix carried on with Prost technically starting first due to the clean line with Ayrton to the inside of the Frenchmen.
As the lights went out for the start of the penultimate race of the season, Senna got a horrific start as he anticipated. Prost took off flying into turn 1, a double apex right hander at the Suzuka Circuit. As Senna recovered a bit at the start, he went to inside of Alain’s Ferrari. Prost opened up the door and then slammed it but it was too late, Ayrton was there on the inside, they both crashed and went off into the gravel trap at turn 1.
As both drivers walked back to their team’s respective paddocks they exchanged a few words. Later, Prost is quoted by saying”I wanted to punch him in the face.” This quote was revealed in the documentary film Senna. As Senna was walking back to the McLaren paddock to watch fellow teammate Austrian, Gerhard Berger, he was stopped by ESPN F1 pit reporter John Bisignano. When Bisignano asked him ” How does it feel to be the World Champion again? Senna smirked and responded” It ain’t a bad feeling at all is it? You could tell his disgust even though he was World Champion.
So, once again the last race of the season didn’t matter at all to Senna. He sat on his third consecutive pole but retired once again for the third straight race. Senna won his 2nd WDC with 78 points and 6 wins.
Heading into the 1991 season, nothing changed for the McLaren team. Berger was still his teammate, the Honda engine was still there. Prost was still at Ferrari.
The season started off with a bang for Ayrton, four poles converted to four race victories giving him a huge advantage in the points including his third straight victory in the famed Monte Carlo street circuit race but before that race in Monaco, he finally won his home Grand Prix in Brazil. He ran the last 10 laps stuck in 6th gear and passed out after the race. He was very weak, he could hardly lift the trophy. After the hot streak to begin the season came a retirement at the Canadian Grand Prix.
The cold spell didn’t continue, Ayrton finished third in back to back races at Mexico and France. Fourth place followed at the British Grand Prix. He finished out of the points in a mere 7th at Germany.
The mediocre middle part of the season stopped. The flying Brazilian converted two poles at Hungary and Belgium into race victories and a second at Monza for the Italian Grand Prix. In Portgual he really added on to the points lead with another second place finish.
The last three races of the 1991 season were very consistent for Ayrton, a fifth in Spain, second in Japan, which clinched his third championship over Nigel Mansell. He sat on pole for the last race of the season in Australia and won the race. He finished the season with 96 points. The biggest story from 1991 was the Ferrari sacked Prost with two races left after he was talking bad about the team.
The 1992 and 1993 seasons were probably the worst in Ayrton’s time at McLaren. For 1992, they kept the Honda engine, Berger was still teammate but the biggest thing was that Alain Prost was not racing, he took a sabbatical after the Ferrari sacking from the previous year.
The Williams team was the team to beat in 1992, with their automatic electronic suspension that practically drove the car for the drivers all they had to was brake and punch the accelerator. The Williams duo of Great Britain’s Nigel Mansell and Italy’s Ricardo Patrese seemed unbeatable. Mansell sat on pole for the first five races and converted them to wins and Patrese was right behind in 2nd place except for the Spanish Grand Prix.
At this moment, Senna was sitting fourth in points, four races out of the points lead. Heading into his personal kingdom (Monaco) something had to give. Mansell sat on pole but had to make a pit stop due to a flat tire late giving Senna the victory, his fourth straight at the Monte Carlo Street Circuit.
The next week in Canada, he sat on the pole position for the first time of the ’92 season, he retired from the race, teammate Gerhard Berger went on to win the Canadian Grand Prix giving the McLaren-Honda team its second straight win and a bit of confidence.
This confidence was shortly lived though, Senna retired in the next two races, Mansell won both races. In Germany, at the Hockenheimring, Senna finished second but Mansell won from the pole position. This gave Mansell his 8th win in 10 races, virtually clinching him his first World Championship.
In the final six races, Senna won two races (Hungary and Italy), finished fourth in points behind Mansell, Patrese and Benetton’s Michael Schumacher. This was arguably the most difficult season in Ayrton’s 11 year Formula One career.
During the offseason before the 1993 season, many things were announced. The biggest thing was that both Mansell and Patrese were out at the Williams team. Prost had signed a contract with Williams in the middle of 1992. Thus forced, Mansell to the IndyCars to replace American Michael Andretti who had announced the same weekend that Mansell wouldn’t return to Williams that he had agreed to a deal with the McLaren team for 1993. Gerhard Berger returned to the Scuderia Ferrari team.
Senna was still unsure where to go, he was having talks with Williams to go there in 1993 but Prost had a clause in his contract saying Senna couldn’t sign with Williams as long as Prost was there. This left many options open for the triple world champion.
Fellow Brazilian, 2 time F1 champ, and CART IndyCar driver, Emerson Fittipaldi invited his compatriot to test his Penske-Chevrolet IndyCar in the offseason at Firebird Raceway in Arizona. Rick Mears, Roger Penske and Paul Tracy were also on hand. Ayrton was very close to taking this deal but it fell through, if he would of went to IndyCars he would have kept his friendly rivalry with Mansell.
McLaren prematurely announced that Michael Andretti would be paired with Finland’s Mika Haikkenen who came over from the Lotus team. At the eleventh hour Senna had announced that he would come back to the McLaren team but with one little twist, a race by race contract. This meant if he was unsatisfied he could back out at any moment.
The season started off with two wins in the first three races (Brazil and Europe). Senna won Monaco for the fifth consecutive year. Then it all went down hill from that point. At this moment he was leading the Drivers standings, I may add. Until the penultimate race of the season in Japan, Senna’s best finish in that stretch of races was fourth on two occasions and it was a spell filled with DNF’s. After the Italian Grand Prix, it was announced that Andretti’s contract would be terminated and he worked out a clause with Ron Dennis sending him back to CART with Chip Ganassi for 1994.
Also announced at Portugal, Alain Prost wouldn’t be racing in 1994 after clinching his fourth World Drivers Championship, thus opening the door for Senna in 1994 alongside Damon Hill.
He went on to win the final two races, the fact he finished second in the points was quite an amazing feat considering how much pace the car didn’t show and retirements. The 1993 Australian Grand Prix was the final race that both Senna and Prost were on the podium for in there respective careers.
As all expected, Williams made Senna official. Senna struggled with the FW16 chassis assembled by Sir Frank Williams team even though he qualified on pole for his first three races and his last three races. In Brazil, he was leading and Benetton and Michael Schumacher had an illegal pit stop leading to Schumacher taking the lead and while Senna was running second he spun. The next race, the Pacific Grand Prix saw Senna spin out in the opening corner.
Now to the worst part of this article, please brace yourselves. During Friday practice at the Imola circuit in preparation for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 29, Rubens Barrichello, a young Brazilian upstart crashed heavily into tire barriers and his car flew off the ground, he was okay. The next day, Saturday qualifying, Roland Ratzenberger of Simtek racing was killed in a qualifying crash.
Senna wanted nothing to do with the media that night. Many people were positive he wasn’t going to race that Sunday (May 1st). Now back to the story above.
At the start of the Grand Prix, there was a crash between JJ Lehto and Pedro Lamy collecting many other cars, this brought out the safety car out until lap 5. Senna was still leading his German rival on lap 7, as his car went into the Tamburello (corner) into an unprotected concrete wall. Telemetry shows he left the track at 310 km/h (190 mph) and was able to slow the car down by braking to 218 km/h (135 mph) in slightly under 2 seconds before hitting the wall. The suspension of the Williams broke on impact, the tyre flying backwards and hitting Senna on the head. The car slid to a halt on the circuit, with Senna motionless.
Senna’s close friend and the FIA’s Doctor, Sid Watkins tried all he could do. Senna was airlifted to a local hospital were he was taken off a ventilator and pronounced dead at the age of 34. The race carried on after a lengthy red flag and Schumacher won the race.
I never got to see Ayrton Senna race, I wasn’t even born at the time he was a Formula One driver. I didn’t even hear who this “guy” was until I started to research more about Open Wheel in the summer of my 7th grade year in middle school.
As I wrote this article, I had plenty of tears because I wished I would’ve got to see him race. I’ve watched his documentary, Senna, which most of this information is from but also have watched full races and clips on YouTube and Netflix.
No matter what people say, Ayrton Senna will always be a legend in the motor racing world. Twenty years after his death, he isn’t forgotten.
SOME CAREER STATS
- 41 wins
- 80 podiums
- 65 poles
- 19 fastest laps
No wonder why the called Senna the fastest man in the world. Ayrton Senna holds the record for most flag to flag victories while leading with 19. The most consecutive poles with 8. First driver to win a certain Grand Prix consecutively, Monaco (1988-1993.)
As I wrap up this article, I would like to thank you for reading almost 4500 words. This article is one of my biggest accomplishments in my young writing career. If it wasn’t for our fans of Open Wheels I wouldn’t even want to share my thoughts at all. I now leave you with some quotes from the best on Ayrton Senna de Silva.
John Bisignano: ”There’s only one word that describes Ayrton’s style, and that is: fast. He would take the car beyond it’s design capabilities. He would brake later, fly into these corners where the car was just over the edge, and somehow, he could dance and dance with that car, to where it stayed on track.”
Sid Watkins: [just after Ratzenburger’s death] You know Ayrton, you’ve been 3 times world champion, you’re the fastest man in the world, and you like fishing, so, why don’t you quit, and i’ll quit and we’ll just go fishing.
Ayrton Senna: Sid. I can’t quit.
The following was previously written on RACER.com and Autosport.
Formula 1 is set for its latest season start since 1988 next year, with the 2016 season-opening Australian Grand Prix scheduled for April 3 as a back-to-back with China.
As part of a surprise move to condense the F1 calendar, Melbourne announced that it has been awarded an April 3 race date next season.
The F1 season has begun in March every year since the 1988 championship started with the Brazilian GP at Rio on the same date. Melbourne’s shift from its recent mid-March date will force an earlier race start, as sunset will take place an hour earlier due to the clocks changing.
It is possible that the race time could shift forward to a 3 p.m. local time start, but this has not yet been finalized.
“The new date will see an earlier start time, and fans can expect the same great on-track action and off-track entertainment across the four days,” Australian GP CEO Andrew Westacott said.
The shift back in race date was decided by Formula One Management, and there has not yet been any official explanation about the reasons behind the move. However, the make-up of the provisional calendar is believed to be aimed at reducing lengthy gaps in the schedule to ensure that there is a regular run of races.
This year, for example, there was a two-week gap between Australia and Malaysia, plus a three-week gap between the Bahrain and Spanish Grands Prix. Such breaks between races will be minimized in the new schedule, with sources suggesting that China has been provisionally handed a slot as the second race of the campaign, taking place the weekend after Australia on April 10.
It is unclear why FOM has been pushing for a condensed calendar, but it could be a way of helping reduce costs for teams and F1 personnel. It would minimize the need for returns to Europe and maximise interest in the sport due to there being no downtime between events. There has been no word, however, on how many events the current 2016 calendar has, or if the Italian Grand Prix has kept its slot.
Such an early release of calendar information, which normally only comes around September, has prompted speculation that a condensed calendar could be used as part of a negotiating tactic to get teams to agree to more races. The calendar will likely be discussed at the next meeting of F1’s Strategy Group on May 14, and will still need ratifying by F1’s governing body later this year.
F1’S LATEST SEASON STARTS
May starts were commonplace in the world championship’s early years, although F1’s formative seasons also featured plenty of January kick-offs between the later-starting campaigns.
January season openers then became the norm for a spell in the 1970s and early 1980s, with South American and South African dates often scheduled just days into the new year. But except for a brief mid-1980s period when Rio’s race (pictured) happened in April, March starts have been standard for most of the last three decades.
1950: May 13, British GP (Silverstone)
1951: May 27, Swiss GP (Bremgarten)
1952: May 18, Swiss GP (Bremgarten)
1959: May 10, Monaco GP
1961: May 14, Monaco GP
1962: May 20, Dutch GP (Zandvoort)
1963: May 26, Monaco GP
1964: May 10, Monaco GP
1966: May 22, Monaco GP
1985: April 7, Brazilian GP (Rio)
1987: April 12, Brazilian GP (Rio)
1988: April 3, Brazilian GP (Rio)
This announcement is regarding the Sunday Night V8 SuperCar Championship. It will be postponed until Project Cars.
Thanks for everyone’s patience and I hope we can get a lot of momentum going for Project Cars coming out in May.
This post is informational post about our upcoming leagues for the future. Stay tuned for more information.
The following is a press release from NBC Sports regarding their plans for their motorsports coverage on NBC, NBC Sports Network and CNBC for Formula 1, IndyCar, NASCAR, MECUM Car Auctions, NASCAR K&N Pro Series, Global RallyCross and much more.
NBC SPORTS GROUP IS THE HOME OF MOTORSPORTS IN 2015
NEARLY 1,400 HOURS OF COVERAGE, INCLUDING NEARLY 800 HOURS OF LIVE COVERAGE
Coverage Includes NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula One, Mecum Auctions, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship and Red Bull Global RallyCross, & Original Programming
800 Hours of Race Coverage Begins This Sunday, March 15 with Formula One Australian Grand Prix on NBCSN
NBCSN Presents Nearly 100 Hours of IndyCar Coverage, Beginning April 12 with Inaugural Grand Prix of Louisiana in New Orleans
NASCAR’s Return to NBC Sports Group Features Nearly 400 Hours of Coverage on NBC and NBCSN; Coverage Begins July 4th Weekend in Daytona
STAMFORD, Conn. – March 10, 2014 – NBC Sports Group is the home of motorsports in 2015, providing nearly 1,400* hours of coverage in 2015, spanning NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula One, Mecum Auctions, the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship and Red Bull Global RallyCross. The total includes nearly 800 hours of live motorsports content airing across NBC, NBCSN and CNBC, NBCUniversal’s business channel, as well as on NBC Sports Live Extra. It all begins this week with comprehensive coverage of the F1 Australian Grand Prix, which opens the 2015 F1 season on Sunday at 12:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN.
This marks the first time a U.S. sports media company has broadcast NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One in the same year, and all three series championships will be decided on NBC or NBCSN.
NBC Sports Group’s 2015 motorsports coverage is highlighted by nearly 400 hours of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and XFINITY Series coverage, beginning July 4th weekend in Daytona; nearly 100 hours of the Verizon IndyCar Series on NBCSN, which begins April 12 in New Orleans with the inaugural Grand Prix of Louisiana; and more than 200 hours of the 2015 Formula One Season, beginning with the Australian Grand Prix this Sunday, March 15, at 12:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN.
|2015 NASCAR, INDYCAR AND FORMULA ONE PREMIERES NBC AND NBCSN|
|Sun., March 15||Formula One Australian Grand Prix||12:30 a.m.||NBCSN|
|Sun., April 12||IndyCar Grand Prix of Louisiana||3 p.m.||NBCSN|
|Sat., July 4||NASCAR XFINITY Series – Subway Firecracker 200 (Daytona)||7:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|Sun., July 5||NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – Coke Zero 400 (Daytona)||7 p.m.||NBC|
NBC Sports Group’s unprecedented motorsports coverage will also feature more than 300 hours of Mecum Auctions programming, as well as season-long coverage of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, Red Bull Global RallyCross, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR K&N Pro Series.
In addition, NBC Sports Group will present more than 250 hours of original motorsports programming, including weekday episodes of NASCAR AMERICA on NBCSN, as well as the NBCSN original series Mecum Dealmakers, Off The Grid, and /DRIVE on NBC Sports.
MORE THAN 200 HOURS OF FORMULA ONE COVERAGE BEGINS THIS SUNDAY WITH AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX ON NBCSN
NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive coverage of the 2015 Formula One season will feature more than 200 hours of coverage, and begins this Sunday, March 15, with the Australian Grand Prix at 12:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN.
NBC, NBCSN and CNBC will combine to present all 20 races of the F1 season. NBCSN will present 13 races, NBC four, and CNBC three. NBC’s coverage begins on Sunday, May 24 with the Monaco Grand Prix, and continues Sunday, June 7, with the Canadian Grand Prix. NBC’s coverage returns on Sunday, Oct. 25, with the United States Grand Prix from the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, and concludes on Sunday, Nov. 1, with the Mexican Grand Prix.
NBCSN’s coverage will feature iconic Grands Prix, including the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, the Singapore Grand Prix “under the lights” on the streets of Singapore, the return of the Mexican Grand Prix, and the season finale from Abu Dhabi.
In addition, NBC Sports Group will present comprehensive coverage of practice and qualifying of all 20 races across its family of networks and NBC Sports Live Extra.
Formula One is coming off its most-watched season ever for a single cable network, averaging 385,000 viewers for its 12 races on NBCSN, up 86% vs. 2013. For all 19 races, NBC Sports Group’s coverage averaged 477,000 viewers, up 30% vs. 2013 (366,000) and up 15% vs. 2012 (414,000; FOX/SPEED; 20 races). Click here for more information on last year’s record F1 viewership:http://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/2014/11/26/nbcsn-delivers-best-f1-season-ever-for-a-single-cable-network/
|2015 FORMULA ONE SCHEDULE|
|Sun., March 15||Australian Grand Prix||12:30 a.m.||NBCSN|
|Sun., March 29||Malaysian Grand Prix||2:30 a.m.||NBCSN|
|Sun., April 12||Chinese Grand Prix||1:30 a.m.||NBCSN|
|Sun., April 19||Bahrain Grand Prix||10:30 a.m.||NBCSN|
|Sun., May 10||Spanish Grand Prix||7:30 a.m.||NBCSN|
|Sun., May 24||Monaco Grand Prix||7:30 a.m.||NBC|
|Sun., June 7||Canadian Grand Prix||2 p.m.||NBC|
|Sun., June 21||Austrian Grand Prix||7:30 a.m.||NBCSN|
|Sun., July 5||British Grand Prix||7:30 a.m.||CNBC|
|Sun., July 19||German Grand Prix||7:30 a.m.||CNBC|
|Sun., July 27||Hungarian Grand Prix||7:30 a.m.||CNBC|
|Sun., Aug. 23||Belgian Grand Prix||7:30 a.m.||NBCSN|
|Sun., Sept. 6||Italian Grand Prix||7:30 a.m.||NBCSN|
|Sun., Sept. 20||Singapore Grand Prix||7:30 a.m.||NBCSN|
|Sun., Sept. 27||Japanese Grand Prix||12:30 a.m.||NBCSN|
|Sun., Oct. 11||Russian Grand Prix||6:30 a.m.||NBCSN|
|Sun., Oct. 26||United States Grand Prix||2:30 p.m.||NBC|
|Sun., Nov. 1||Mexican Grand Prix||1:30 p.m.||NBC|
|Sun., Nov. 15||Brazilian Grand Prix||10:30 a.m.||NBCSN|
|Sun., Nov. 29||Abu Dhabi Grand Prix||7:30 a.m.||NBCSN|
THIS WEEK’S F1 COVERAGE
This week’s coverage of the F1 Australian Grand Prix begins Thursday at 9:30 p.m. ET with Practice 1 on Live Extra, and will continue on Live Extra and NBCSN on Friday and Saturday (see grid below for full practice and qualifying air times). F1 Countdown kicks off race coverage Sunday at 12 a.m. ET, leading into the Australian Grand Prix at 12:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN. An encore presentation of the race will air Sunday at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
NBC Sports Group’s Formula One full announce booth returns for a third season, with lead race announcer Leigh Diffey providing live play-by-play commentary. Diffey is joined by veteran analyst and former racecar driver David Hobbs, and analyst Steve Matchett, a former race mechanic for the Benetton F1 team. Rounding out the broadcast team is F1 insider Will Buxton, who will provide live reports on-site for all 20 races this season.
Following is this week’s motorsports schedule:
|Mon.-Thurs.||NASCAR AMERICA||5 p.m.||NBCSN|
|Thurs., March 12||F1 Australian Grand Prix – Practice 1||9:30 p.m.||NBC Sports Live Extra|
|Fri., March 13||F1 Australian Grand Prix – Practice 1||12:30 a.m.||NBCSN|
|F1 Australian Grand Prix – Practice 2||1:30 a.m.||NBCSN|
|F1 Australian Grand Prix – Practice 3||11 p.m.||NBC Sports Live Extra|
|Sat., March 14||F1 Australian Grand Prix – Practice 3||12:30 a.m.||NBCSN|
|F1 Australian Grand Prix – Qualifying||2 a.m.||NBCSN|
|Mercedes: Race to Repeat (Encore)||11 p.m.||NBCSN|
|Sun., March 15||F1 Countdown||12 a.m.||NBCSN|
|F1 Australian Grand Prix||12:30 a.m.||NBCSN|
|F1 Extra||3 a.m.||NBCSN|
|F1 Australian Grand Prix (Encore)||6 a.m.||NBCSN|
|F1 Australian Grand Prix (Encore)||4 p.m.||NBCSN|
|F1 Extra (Encore)||6:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
NBCSN PRESENTS NEARLY 100 HOURS OF INDYCAR COVERAGE, BEGINNING APRIL 12 WITH INAUGURAL GRAND PRIX OF LOUISIANA IN NEW ORLEANS
NBCSN will present coverage of 11 races during the upcoming 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season, beginning on Sunday, April 12, with IndyCar’s inaugural race at NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans, La., for the Grand Prix of Louisiana.
Coverage will also feature the Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 19, and the final eight events of the season, including the Streets of Toronto on June 14; Auto Club Speedway from Fontana on Saturday, June 27; the annual race at the Milwaukee Mile on Sunday, July 12; a visit to Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 23; and the season finale at Sonoma Raceway on August 30.
Lead IndyCar play-by-play commentator Leigh Diffey returns for his third consecutive season calling IndyCar on NBCSN. Former IndyCar, Cart and Champ Car driver Paul Tracy returns for his second season as race analyst, and IndyCar driver Townsend Bell, who has raced eight times at the Indianapolis 500 and won the GT Class at last year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, is back for his third season in the booth.
NBCSN’s team of IndyCar pit reporters will include Marty Snider, Robin Miller, Kelli Stavast, Jon Beekhuis, Kevin Lee, who all return for the 2015 season. Katie Hargitt joins NBC Sports Group this year for her first season as an IndyCar pit reporter.
NBCSN’s coverage of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series averaged 378,000 viewers, the second-highest average for a season on NBCSN (formerly VERSUS) since IndyCar rights were acquired in 2009 (402,000 in 2011). NBCSN’s 2014 IndyCar coverage (12 races) was up 34% from the network’s average viewership for the 2013 season (282,000, 13 races), according to data provided by The Nielsen Company. Click here for more information on last year’s IndyCar viewership on NBCSN:http://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/2014/09/03/2014-verizon-indycar-series-on-nbcsn-delivers-second-best-viewership-since-2009/
Click here for NBCSN’s full IndyCar schedule:http://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/2014/10/30/nbcsn-to-present-12-races-during-2015-verizon-indycar-season/
NASCAR’S RETURN TO NBC SPORTS GROUP FEATURES NEARLY 400 HOURS OF COVERAGE ON NBC AND NBCSN; COVERAGE BEGINS JULY 4TH WEEKEND IN DAYTONA
NASCAR returns to NBC Sports Group this year with a combined 39 Sprint Cup Series and XFINITY Series races across NBC and NBCSN, beginning on July 4th weekend from historic Daytona International Speedway. The schedule is highlighted by exclusive coverage of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, including the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 22, on NBC. NBC Sports Group’s 2015 coverage will feature more than 250 hours of Sprint Cup Series action.
Of NBC Sports Group’s 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, seven will be carried on NBC, with 13 airing on NBCSN. Four of NBC Sports Group’s 19 NASCAR XFINITY Series races will air on NBC, with 15 airing on NBCSN. NBC Sports Group’s NASCAR coverage will visit numerous storied tracks across the country, including Daytona, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Watkins Glen International, Michigan International Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, and Talladega Superspeedway.
Rick Allen will serve as the lead race announcer for NBC’s coverage, alongside former driver and analyst Jeff Burton, and former Dale Earnhardt Jr. crew chief Steve Letarte. Marty Snider,Kelli Stavast, Mike Massaro, Dave Burns and Nate Ryan will provide coverage from pit road.Krista Voda will host NBC Sports Group’s pre- and post-race coverage, alongside Hall of Fame driver Dale Jarrett and veteran Kyle Petty. In addition, Rutledge Wood will serve as a reporter and host across NBC Sports Group’s multiplatform motorsports coverage, presenting features on NASCAR, as well as NBC Sports Group’s other motorsports properties.
Click here for more information on NBC Sports Group’s 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and XFINITY Series coverage: http://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/2014/08/26/2015-nbc-sports-group-nascar-sprint-cup-and-nationwide-series-schedules-announced/
NBC SPORTS GROUP PRESENTS MORE THAN 300 HOURS OF MECUM AUCTIONS COVERAGE IN 2015
NBC Sports Group will present more than 300 hours of Mecum Auctions coverage in 2015, providing comprehensive coverage of 12 Mecum auctions Coverage kicked off with 25 hours of Mecum’s Kissimmee auction, the largest car auction in the world, where more than $60 million dollars worth of automobiles were auctioned off.
Highlights on the 2015 Mecum Auctions schedule on NBCSN include the Houston auction from April 9-11, Indianapolis (May 14-19), Monterey (Aug. 13-16), Dallas (Sept. 16-20), Chicago (Oct. 8-11), and the final auction of the season in Anaheim (Dec. 10-17).
NBC Sports Group’s Mecum Auctions telecast team of Scott Hoke, John Kraman, Stephen Cox, and reporter Bill Stephens return for their second season. Rutledge Wood will also contribute to NBC Sports Group’s Mecum Auctions coverage throughout the season.
NBC SPORTS GROUP PRESENTS MORE THAN 100 HOURS OF LUCAS OIL PRO MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP, RED BULL GLOBAL RALLYCROSS, NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES AND NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR COVERAGE
NBC Sports Group will present more than 100 hours of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, Red Bull Global RallyCross, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR K&N Pro Series coverage in 2015.
NBCSN will air more than 50 hours of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Coverage includes all 25 K&N Pro Series races between the top developmental series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. NBCSN will present 14 races from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour schedules. NBSCN’s K&N Pro Series slate kicked off on Feb. 19, with the season-opener in New Smyrna, Fla.
NBC and NBCSN will combine to air 39 hours of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship coverage, including 11 hours of live coverage. NBC and NBCSN will air comprehensive coverage of the 2015 Red Bull Global RallyCross series, with all events premiering on NBC, and encore presentations airing on NBCSN. The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship season kicks off on NBCSN on Saturday, May 16, at the Hangtown Motocross Classic in Sacramento, Calif. The Red Bull Global RallyCross slate begins Saturday, May 31, on NBC in St. Petersburg, Fla.
NASCAR AMERICA, MECUM DEALMAKERS, OFF THE GRID, AND /DRIVE ON NBC SPORTSHIGHLIGHT ORIGINAL MOTORSPORTS PROGRAMMING
NBC Sports Group will present more than 250 hours of original motorsports programming in 2015, led by comprehensive NASCAR coverage on NASCAR AMERICA, NBCSN’s live daily show that provides viewers with the latest news, highlights and access to NASCAR’s dynamic stars and personalities.
This year’s original motorsports programming will also feature the return of Mecum Dealmakers,Off The Grid, and /DRIVE on NBC Sports, which all made their debuts in 2014.
- Off The Grid is NBC Sports Group’s original series that takes motorsports fans off the track and into sights and sounds of the culture that surrounds motorsports. Off The Grid will debut on Sunday, April 19, with Off The Grid: Melbourne, taking a look at the F1 Australian Grand Prix with F1 insider Will Buxton. In addition, NBCSN will also debut NASCAR editions of Off The Grid from Daytona and Talladega, featuring Rutledge Wood and Kelli Stavast, which will air later this year.
- /DRIVE on NBC Sports follows hosts Chris Harris, Matt Farahand Mike Spinelli as they travel the world to drive some of the world’s most iconic cars. The first of six /DRIVE on NBC Sports episodes premieres on Saturday, April 18, with a special from the Middle East, as the crew tours destinations including Dubai in some of the world’s fastest cars.
- Mecum Dealmakers, which dovetails off of the Mecum Auctions series on NBCSN, tells the story of President and Founder Dana Mecumand his son Frank Mecum, as the father-son tandem works together to manage the high pressure of the auction floor, where buyers and sellers hope to make the deal of a lifetime, often with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line. Mecum Dealmakerswill premiere Thursday nights at 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN, beginning on July 30 with Mecum Dealmakers: Kissimmee.
NBC SPORTS RADIO
NBC Sports Radio will provide coverage of this year’s NASCAR season across its more than 425 affiliated stations nationwide. Race recaps and previews will be featured every Monday and Friday as part of “Voices of the Game” with host Newy Scruggs. Numerous NBC NASCAR analysts will appear on the show, including Kyle Petty, Steve Letarte, and Jeff Burton.
NBC SPORTS GROUP STREAMING, DIGITAL AND SOCIAL CONTENT
NBC Sports Group will provide comprehensive streaming and digital coverage surrounding its motorsports properties via NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – and NASCARTalk and MotorSportsTalk, NBC Sports Group’s digital home for the latest motorsports news.
NBC Sports Live Extra will provide season-long live streaming coverage of all Formula One practices, qualifying sessions and Grands Prix, including exclusive coverage of practices that will not air on NBC or NBCSN. Live Extra will stream all live NASCAR and IndyCar content that will air on NBC and NBCSN (race coverage and some practice and qualifying). In addition, Live Extra will provide streaming coverage of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship and Red Bull Global RallyCross series.
NASCAR TALK: NBC Sports Digital has added NASCAR Talk to the already established SportsTalkfranchises on NBCSports.com. Fans can visit NASCAR TALK for the most comprehensive and up-to-date NASCAR coverage, including Sprint Cup, XFINITY, and Camping World Truck Series. The site also promotes videos from NBCSN’s NASCAR AMERICA. Fans can follow @NASCARTalkNBC on Twitter.
MOTORSPORTSTALK: MotorSportsTalk (@MotorSportsTalk) on NBCSports.com brings racing fans up-to-the-minute news, video and information on Formula One, the Verizon IndyCar Series, and other open-wheel and off-road racing from around the world. The site also serves as the destination for all news, analysis and video from NBC and NBCSN productions of IndyCar and F1, including contributions from on-air commentators.
Content on NASCAR Talk and MotorSportsTalk is provided by top racing journalists and expert analysts, including:
- Nate Ryan serves as lead writer on NASCAR Talk and an on-air reporter for NBC and NBCSN’s NASCAR coverage, following nine years with USA Today Sports as an auto racing writer. He will also contribute long-form stories to MotorSportsTalk and NBC SportsWorld. Ryan has covered 12 seasons of the Sprint Cup Series, and more than 300 races, beginning in 1997. Follow him on Twitter at @nateryan.
- Dustin Long joins NBC Sports Group as the managing editor and writer for NASCAR Talk, providing content focused on the Sprint Cup, XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series. Long is a former Motor Racing Network contributor and was named 2011 NMPA Writer of the Year. Prior to joining MRN, he spent 13 seasons covering NASCAR for the Landmark chain of newspapers that includes the Virginian-Pilot, theRoanoke (Va.) Times and the News and Record in Greensboro, N.C. Follow him at on Twitter @DustinLong.
- Luke Smith is creator and editor at Richland F1, which begins its second season this year. Smith works alongside Tony DiZinno in providing F1 content on MotorSportsTalk He’s on Twitter at @LukeSmithF1, primarily handling the F1 scene from Europe in great detail.
- Tony DiZinno has most recently served as web editor for RACER Magazine and provides open wheel coverage on MotorSportsTalk. DiZinno has more than seven years of experience in the industry. Follow him on Twitter at @TonyDiZinno.
- Jerry Bonkowski is a veteran NASCAR reporter with more than 30 years of experience, and works alongside Ryan, Long and Estrada on editorial content for NASCAR Talk. He has contributed toUSA Today, Yahoo! Sports and other websites over the course of his career. Follow him on Twitter @JerryBonkowski.
SOCIAL: NBC Sports Group will continue to provide comprehensive motorsports social coverage across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. On Twitter, fans can follow @MotorsportsTalk for all-encompassing content across NBC Sports Group’s motorsports properties. @NASCARonNBC and@NASCARTalkNBC share the latest NASCAR content, while @F1onNBCSports provides the latest news in Formula One. Prior to the start of the IndyCar season, NBC’s social team will launch @IndyCaronNBC to provide up-to-the-minute IndyCar news and highlights.
In addition, the NASCAR on NBC Facebook page will provide users with videos, interactive content and much more. Fans should also “like” NBC Sports on Facebook for the most up-to-date news, videos and commentary about NBC Sports Group’s motorsports properties.
*To date, NBC Sports Group has aired 150 of its nearly 1,400 hours of scheduled motorsports coverage this year.