IMSA SportsCar Championship at Indianapolis Motor Speedway: How to watch on NBC, start times, entry list
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend for the first time in nearly a decade with many in the 48-car field feeling back home again.
IMSA’s premier prototype division raced on the IMS road course from 2012-14 in conjunction with NASCAR’s Brickyard 400 weekend, and there are at least four winners from that stretch in the field for Sunday’s Battle on the Bricks: Sebastien Bourdais (who also is a nine-time Indy 500 starter), Joao Barbosa, Ryan Dalziel and Jack Hawksworth, who made his IMSA debut at IMS in 2014.
During his rookie IndyCar season in 2014, Hawksworth was offered a Prototype Challenge ride a few months after qualifying second, leading 31 laps and finishing seventh in the first IndyCar race on the IMS road course.
Behind the wheel of a prototype for the first time on the same track, the Englishman charged to a victory in the Prototype Challenge, taking the lead with a few minutes left for Paul Gentilozzi’s team.
“I remember it being a bit mad, to be honest,” Hawksworth told the IMSA Wire Service this week. “This thing had come up so last minute, and then I’ve not done a sports car race before … then winning and I’m like, ‘Wow, that was quite the weekend!’ It was an amazing weekend and really good memories from it, and the way it worked out long run has kind of been amazing as well.”
After his full-time IndyCar run ended in 2016, Hawksworth joined Gentilozzi’s team in the brand-new Lexus program in the GT Daytona class. Hawksworth has become a Lexus mainstay since, moving to the Vasser Sullivan team in 2019 and racking up 10 GTD and GTD Pro victories. He and co-driver Ben Barnicoat lead GTD Pro by 144 points in the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 as IMSA returns to the track where a sports car career all started for Hawksworth.
“I always look back and think it’s amazing where one race and one moment can lead you,” he said. “It’s like the butterfly effect, like one thing happens, and then that can lead you to a completely different destination to maybe the one you thought you were on at the time but an equally good one. I didn’t know it at the time, but that was the start of my kind of journey with Lexus as well.”
Barbosa won in 2014 with Christian Fittipaldi on the way to the prototype championship. This weekend at IMS, Barbosa will race the No. 33 SCM Focal One Ligier JS P320 with co-driver Lance Willsey in LMP3 for Sean Creech Motorsport, whose team owner also has a connection to Indy. After starting his career as a driver and mechanic in IndyCar feeder series, Creech was on a path to race Formula Atlantic in 1994 when his transporter was stolen (with the race car inside). That turned Creech toward sports cars, though he still keeps in touch with many in the open-wheel industry such as Dominic Cape, whose Cape Motorsports is the winningest team in USF2000 series history (and now races Indy NXT).
“We were good friends back in the day, racing against each other and cooking out together in the evenings,” said Creech. “He had a Formula Ford, I had a FF2000 and we hung out, working on the cars. I got to know his brother Nicholas and father Reggie as well ... We’ve enjoyed seeing their success over the years. It will be great to have them out to the speedway this weekend and compare notes.”
Here are the start times, schedule and TV info for the IMSA Battle on the Bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (all times are ET):
IMSA Indianapolis Motor Speedway start times, schedule, TV info
WHEN: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (NBC, Peacock)
RACE DISTANCE: Two hours, 40 minutes on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course
FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 70 degrees with a 17 percent chance of rain at the green flag.
QUALIFYING: Saturday, 12:55 p.m. ET (Peacock, IMSA.com/TVLive)
ENTRY LIST: Click here for the 48 cars entered over five divisions (GTP, LMP2, LMP3, GTD Pro, GTD) for the IMSA Battle on the Bricks
TV: NBC will have coverage of the event from 1-4 p.m., and the race also is streaming on Peacock, the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com. Leigh Diffey will be the announcer with analyst Calvin Fish. Kevin Lee, Matt Yocum and Hannah Newhouse will be the pit reporters.
IMSA RADIO: Select sessions are live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage will begin Sunday at noon (XM 207, Sirius XM Web/App 992).
DAILY SCHEDULE IMSA INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Friday, Sept. 15
10-10:30 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup practice
10:45-11:30 a.m.: Lamborghini Trofeo practice
11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice
2-2:40 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup practice
2:55-3:40 p.m.: Lamborghini Trofeo practice
3:55-4:40 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice
4:55-6:25 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice
6:45-7 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup qualifying
8-8:30 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice
Saturday, Sept. 16
8-8:35 a.m.: Lamborghini Trofeo qualifying
8:55-10:40 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice
11-11:35 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge quafliying
11:50 a.m.-12:40 p.m.: Lamborghini Trofeo Race 1
1-2:10 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying
2:30-3:10 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup Race 1
4:30-8:30 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge race
Sunday, Sept. 17
9:40-10:20 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup Race 2
10:40-11:30 a.m.: Lamborghini Trofeo Race 2
1-3:40 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Battle on the Bricks (NBC, Peacock)
2023 SEASON RECAPS
ROUND 1: Meyer Shank wins second consecutive Rolex 24 at Daytona to open GTP era
ROUND 2: No. 31 Cadillac wins Twelve Hours of Sebring after rebounding from mishap
ROUND 3: Porsche Penske Motorsport earns first victory at Long Beach
ROUND 4: Emotional victory for the No. 01 Cadillac at Laguna Seca
ROUND 5: BMW earns first GTP victory after Porsche fails postrace inspection
ROUND 6: Mike Shank dedicates victory to team’s critics
ROUND 7: No. 7 Porsche captures first victory of season