By David Phillips
Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around fall Sunday afternoons in the Steel City. During the brief overlap of NFL and MLB schedules, I sat beside my father as he listened to the Steelers on the radio and watched the Pirates on TV while doing the Sunday crossword puzzle. Is it just my imagination or do I recall him simultaneously keeping a box score of the baseball game?
Imagine if he were alive today and an IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship fan. While he couldn’t attend this weekend’s Michelin GT Challenge at VIR – like just about every other non-participant – he could put his multi-tasking talents to good use following the action on a plethora of platforms from the Internet to the radio to television, not to mention social media platforms.
Not the same as watching trackside at Oak Tree Bend, but the times they are a changin’ eh? The venerable Oak Tree succumbed to Father Time years ago, and paying spectators are but a fond memory for VIR’s Connie Nyholm during the Age of COVID-19.
The good news? There is more information, data, expert analysis and eye candy available to multi-tasking fans on the tube, radio, laptop, tablet and smartphone than ever before; oodles more than you’d ever be able to access trackside.
For example . . . WeatherTech Championship qualifying will be streamed live on IMSA.com on Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET, with IMSA.com live streaming of both the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America (Saturday at 11:45 a.m. ET and Sunday at 12:50 p.m.) and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama (5:05 p.m. Saturday and 11:40 a.m. Sunday) also on tap.
Looking for live coverage of Saturday’s two-hour, 40-minute WeatherTech Championship Michelin GT Challenge? The new-for-2020 TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold platform has it beginning at 1:55 p.m. ET, along with Sunday’s live streaming of the IMSA Prototype Challenge (9:30 a.m. ET) and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge (2:50 p.m. ET) races.
You can find out more about TrackPass here. It’s a must have for any diehard IMSA fan, and a relative bargain at less than $20 per year or $3 per month if you prefer to go that route.
Prefer “conventional” television? The WeatherTech Championship will be televised on NBCSN beginning at 10 a.m. ET Sunday morning, with “play-by-play” by Brian Till, expert analysis from Calvin Fish and AJ Allmendinger, and Jon Beekhuis prowling the pits. It’s the perfect kick off to another big day of racing on NBC’s family of networks.
Out and about? Tune-in to the dulcet tones of IMSA Radio’s John Hindhaugh, analyst Jeremy Shaw and pit reporter Shea Adam on SiriusXM Radio and IMSARadio.com.
More? Live Timing & Scoring is available on IMSA.com and the IMSA App for every on-track session throughout the weekend. IMSA.com and the IMSA App also has scores of in-car cameras in one or more cars from virtually every automobile manufacturer (as well as Michelin) competing in the WeatherTech Championship and Michelin Pilot Challenge races. And in your spare time, be sure to follow your favorite drivers, teams and manufacturers’ progress on social media, before, during and after the races.