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PREVIEW: Weekend of July 11-12-13-14/2019: British GP, IndyCar at Toronto, NASCAR at Kentucky

PREVIEW: Weekend of July 11-12-13-14/2019: British GP, IndyCar at Toronto, NASCAR at Kentucky

The big news this week was that an agreement has been reached between the BRDC, owners of the Silverstone circuit, and Liberty Media, owners of the F1 series, to extend their contractual relationship for a further five years – until 2024. The BRDC had signed a deal with the previous F1 ownership that had a provision for ever-escalating sanctioning fees as the years went on. The BRDC had invoked an escape clause to end that contract as of this year claiming they could not afford the rising fees –especially given that they had not government subsidy. Given that a new contract has been signed, one must assume that it was on better terms than the old one.

The British Grand Prix was the first-ever F1 race run when the formula began in 1950 and it has to be considered to be a foundation event for the whole Grand Prix legacy – and as such it remains an essential part of the Grand Prix heritage.

Given that it is said that, under the old contract, the hosting fees would have risen to 26 million pounds by 2026, you have to wonder how difficult it would have been for the BRDC to make a profit under the old terms. This year the club is expecting a sellout crowd of about 140,000 people on race day. If you think that, on average, they are making about 300 pounds per attendee, this amounts to a gate of around 42 million pounds this week, so even though they are allowed few other sources of revenue for this event, this sounds like enough for them to be profitable. So, things seem to be looking good for the continued success of the British Grand Prix for the next few years.

The first Indy car race at Toronto was run in 1986 and it has been run every year but one since. From 1986 to 2007 it was run as part of the CART/Champ Car series. Upon the collapse of this series, there was no race here in 2008 but the race was reinstated as a fixture in the unified IndyCar series in 2009. It has run ever since as the ‘Honda Indy Toronto’. This year’s event will be the 33rd race weekend here. In 2013 and 2014, the event was run as a double-header with two separate races each weekend.

Michael Andretti has won here seven times, the most of any driver while the Newman-Haas team has the most wins for a team – seven.

The Kentucky Speedway is a fairly recent addition to the lineup of NASCAR race tracks, having seen its first races here in 2000. The original owner was unsuccessful in his court challenge of two big track owners, ISC (France family) and SMI (Bruton Smith), trying to force them to grant him a NASCAR Cup date – and he sold the track to SMI in 2008. Subsequently, under SMI ownership, the track was granted a Cup race date for 2011. Kyle Busch won this first Cup race. This year’s race will be only the ninth Cup race run here

 Thursday, July 11

1. NASCAR Gander Outdoors Trucks Buckle Up In Your Truck 225, Kentucky Speedway
• TV: FSR at 7:30P
• 1.5 mi; 150 laps = 225 mi; Stages: 35/35/80 laps
• Brett Moffitt won the truck race here a year ago. Grant Enfinger was second and Sheldon Creed was third.
• The last race for the trucks was two weeks ago in Chicagoland where Brett Moffitt was the race winner over Brandon Jones and Stewart Friesen.
• Click HERE for the NGOTS Entry List

Friday, July 12

2. NASCAR Xfinity Alsco 300, Kentucky Speedway
• TV: TSN2 at 7:30P
• 1.5 mi; 200 laps = 300 mi; Stages: 45/45/110 laps
• Cole Custer was the race winner here last year. Garrett Smithley was second and Stephen Leicht was third.
• Ross Chastain continued his impressive season with a win at Daytona last week. Justin Haley was a deserving second-place finisher while Christopher Bell was credited with third. A.J. Almendinger took the flag in third place but his car was disqualified on technical grounds.
• Click HERE for the NXS Entry List

Saturday, July 13

3. NASCAR Pinty’s Series Pinty’s Grand Prix, Exhibition Place, Toronto
• online streaming: Fanschoice.tv at 5:30P
• 2.874 km (1.786 mi); 35 laps = 61.4 mi
• The winner of this race last year was Andrew Ranger; Alex Tagliani was second and J.F. Dumoulin was third. Local driver Gary Klutt finished fourth.
• The most recent race was run at Autodrome Chaudiere (near Quebec City) two weeks ago. The young hopeful Raphael Lessard, for whom this is his home track, scored a surprise up set in his first start in this series. He is not entered at Toronto. Kevin lacroix was second and Alex Labbe (back from running the Xfinity series in the US) was third.

• Click HERE for the Pinty's entry list.

4. NASCAR MENCS, Quaker State 400, Kentucky Speedway

• TV: TSN2 at 7:30P
• 1.5 mi, 267 laps = 400 mi, Stages: 80/80/107 laps
• A year ago here, Martin Truex was the race winner; Ryan Blaney was second and Brad Keselowski was third.
• Last week at Daytona, Justin Haley was the surprise winner when the race was cut short by rain. William Byron was credited with second place while Jimmie Johnson was third.
• Click HERE for the MENCS Entry List

Sunday, July 14

5. Formula 1 British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England
• TV: TSN3/5 at 9:05A
• 5.891 km (3.661 mi); 52 laps = 306.198 km
• Sebastian Vettel was the winner of last year’s race here while Lewis Hamilton was second, two seconds back and Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen was third
• The most recent Grand Prix was the Austrian race which saw Max Verstappen winning after an audacious pass over Charles Leclerc who had led for most of the race. This broke the stranglehold that the Mercedes drivers had had on race wins up to then this year. Mercedes second driver, Valtteri Bottas was third while Hamilton finished in fifth place behind Vettel.
• Click HERE for the British GP Entry List

6. NTT IndyCar Series Honda Indy, Exhibition Place, Toronto
• SN1/SN-World at 3:00P
• 2.874 km (1.786 mi); 85 laps = 244.29 km
• In 2018, Scott Dixon wan by a five-second margin over Simon Pagenaud and Robert Wickens. Wickens is not racing this year; he was seriously injured in a big crash at Pocono last August. He will drive a specially-equipped pace car here in Toronto, the first time he will have driven a car in public.
• The Indy cars ran last at Road America three weeks ago where Alexander Rossi dominated, leading practically the entire race. Will Power finished second while Josef Newgarden was third. That was the second time this year that Rossi has dominated a race; will he do the same here in Toronto this time?
• Click HERE for the IndyCar Entry List

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