UK Monthly Highlights: September

FIA World Endurance Championship

After the conclusion of the summer break, the FIA WEC resumes for the second half of the season with a trip across the Atlantic for the North American double-header in Mexico City and Austin, Texas. Having won both races last year, championship leaders Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley will be in confident mood with Porsche’s new high-aero package, but after another humiliating defeat at Le Mans, Toyota will be a looming threat. The hot temperatures will make for a stern challenge for teams and drivers alike, with concerns looming over the cooling of the complex hybrid mechanisms at an altitude of 2,230 metres above sea level. However, one team looking forward to the heat is Aston Martin Racing with its normally-aspirated Vantage GTE. AMR benefitted from the unusually warm ambient temperatures at Le Mans to take a first GTE-Pro class victory of the season and heading into races which again ought to favour the operating window of the Dunlop tyres, the British team could take the challenge to the championship-leading Ford of Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell.

• LIVE Rd 5, 6 Hours of Mexico – Sunday 3 September at 17:45
• LIVE Rd 6, 6 Hours of COTA – Saturday 16 September at 17:45

Goodwood Revival

The annual historic festival based at the spiritual home of British motor racing is a rare opportunity to celebrate the sport’s rich heritage in a competitive environment, with famous faces from all different eras turning out in everything from powerful single-seaters, classic touring cars, sportscars and burly V8s, all in period dress!

• LIVE – Saturday 9 September at 08:30 and 16:10.
• LIVE – Sunday 10 September at 08:30.
• Delayed-as-Live – Sunday 10 September at TBC.

Australian Supercars

Get set for the season of Endurance in Australian Supercars, as teams and drivers battle for the championship-within-a-championship centred around the Bathurst 1000km. The prelude at Sandown is a tough race in its own right and provides an invaluable opportunity to get the co-drivers some mileage before heading to Mount Panorama. Hoping that Holden will continue the stretch of winning at the Melbourne racecourse in four of the five seasons, defending event winner Warren Luff joins Scott Pye at Walkinshaw Racing, while fellow veteran Steven Richards teams up with Jamie Whincup, who is looking for his fourth Sandown win. This year’s field includes a healthy crop of young talent too, with highly-rated Porsche Carrera Cup Australia champion Matt Campbell returning home from his Porsche Supercup campaign to partner defending champion Shane van Gisbergen, Richie Stanaway switching from Prodrive’s Aston Martin Racing WEC team to join Cam Walters and Dunlop series champion Garry Jacobson earning his big break alongside Jason Bright. Let the best pair win!

• Highlights Rd 10, Sandown 500 – Sunday 17 September at 04:00.

FIA World Rallycross Championship

Sebastien Loeb will look to end his 12-month dry spell as the FIA World Rallycross Championship heads to the Frenchman’s home turf in Loheac and Riga in Latvia, the scene of his first World RX win last year. Sitting fourth in points heading into the business end of the season, the nine-time World Rally champion has raised his game in his second full-season racing on mixed surfaces and will be in confident mood heading to two circuits that suit his clean style well, but his old WRC sparring partner Petter Solberg won’t let him have it easy. The Norwegian needs a big result to stop VW team-mate Johan Kristofersson running away with the title after missing the final in Norway and Sweden, and where better to do it than Riga, the scene of his controversial clash with Mattias Ekstrom last year? Talking of Ekstrom, the Swede knows his chances of defending his title are slim having missed Holjes, but the Audi man could still play spoiler for his championship rivals, as well as Latvian hopes Reinis Nitiss and Janis Baumanis.

• LIVE Rd 9, France – Sunday 3 September at 13:00
• Delayed-as-Live Rd 10, Latvia – Sunday 17 September at 17:00

FIM World Motocross Championship

The final month of the FIM World Motocross Championship sees races in two continents as the battle for the championship reaches its peak. A first visit to the United States kicks off September, followed by a return to Europe for races at Assen (Netherlands) and Villars-sous-Écot (France) to conclude the season. Tony Cairoli has built up a sizable, but not unassailable championship lead, but the tight battle for second rages on between Clement Desalle, Gautier Paulin and 2016 MX2 champion Jeffrey Herlings. Should Cairoli wrap up his ninth championship, he will move to one behind Stefan Everts’ current standing record.

• Delayed-as-Live Rd 17, USA – Monday 4 September at 18:00 (Race 1) and 20:00 (Race 2)
• LIVE Rd 18, Netherlands – Sunday 10 September at 12:00 (Race 1) and 15:00 (Race 2)
• LIVE Rd 19, France – Sunday 17 September at 12:00 (Race 1) and 15:00 (Race 2)

European Le Mans Series

After an Oreca dominated Le Mans 24 Hours, Ligier bounced back at the Red Bull Ring, with a second win of the season for United Autosports trio Filipe Albuquerque, Will Owen and Hugo De Sadeleer cementing their championship-winning ambitions. However, the Dragonspeed team scored its first win at the Ardennes circuit one year ago, and the #22 G-Drive Racing entered car will be optimistic of a repeat heading in to the penultimate round of the series. With the introduction of the Norma chassis into the LMP3 class, the Ligier contingent has faced far stiffer competition in recent rounds, especially on circuits that are more dependent on straight-line speed. Ligier agent United Autosports has maintained its 2016 championship winning form into 2017, but could the long Kemmel Straight favour the more aerodynamically agile Normas of M-Racing YMR and Duquiene Engineering? In the GTE class, championship newcomers TF Sport have led the way from the beginning, but armed with the latest model Ferrari 488 GTE, a resurgent JMW Motorsport squad coming off the back of wins at Monza and Le Mans will be sure to pose a threat as the season approaches its climax.

• LIVE Rd 5, Spa-Francorchamps – Sunday 24 September at 11:45

TCR International Series

Thailand’s Chang International Circuit in Buriram plays host to round eight of the TCR International Series as it builds towards its climax. The weekend was a SEAT benefit last year, as Craft-Bamboo Racing team-mates Pepe Oriola and James Nash – running a backup car after a practice smash which destroyed his original chassis – shared the honours between them. The team will need something similar this time to resurrect Oriola’s slim title hopes following a disastrous weekend at Oschersleben, with both drivers caught up in the race-two pileup instigated by championship rival Roberto Colciago. The sole consolation was that of the other title contenders, only Jean-Karl Vernay managed to record a podium, while a pair of top six finishes brought Stefano Comini to within nine points of the championship lead in fourth. After Gianni Morbidelli pounced on the final lap to steal a first win of the year away from Mat O’Homola and the DG Sport Opel team, could there be more late drama in store?

• LIVE Rd 8, Thailand – Sunday 3 September at 07:50

Red Bull Moto GP Rookies Cup

Celebrating ten years this year, the Red Bull Moto GP Rookies Cup is the established starting point for young riders hoping to make their mark on the motorcycling ladder and emulate the likes of Johann Zarco, Danny Kent and Brad Binder by becoming world champions. Riding on identical on equal KTM 250cc 4-stroke Moto3 bikes on the support for seven European rounds, these promising young talents will be hoping to impress the big team bosses and earn their shot at the big time for next season. With three wins from four races across the Assen and Sachsenring weekends, Can Öncü is sitting pretty atop the points standings heading into the final two rounds, but the Turk can ill-afford to relax with third-year rider Aleix Viu keeping up the pressure.

• LIVE Rd 6, Misano – Saturday 9 September at 15:25
• Delayed-as-Live Rd 7, Aragon – Saturday 23 September at 16:10 (Race 1) and Sunday 24 September at 16:20 (Race 2