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As it happened: WRC France, Houston IndyCar
By Pablo Elizalde, Matt Beer, Sam Tremayne, Mark Glendenning, Jamie O'Leary, Peter Mills, David Evans, Scott Mitchell and Dan Cross
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
Thu 16:00 Hello and welcome to AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live, where we could well be crowning a world champion early this evening.

Sebastien Ogier WRC 2013

Thu 16:10 WRC - France: We start on this late Thursday afternoon in Strasbourg, where Rally France kicks off with the power stage. The 4.55km stage could be where Sebastien Ogier wraps up the 2013 World Rally Championship.

Thu 16:11 WRC - France: Despite winning Rally Australia, Ogier was denied the title by Thierry Neuville's late move into second. So, here is a reminder of the points situation in France:

* Thierry Neuville must win this evening's power stage if he is to deny Ogier the title today.

* If he does, he also needs to win the rally and Ogier non-score. Ogier could earn points in the power stage today, but would need to finish the rally to have them added to his total.

* The Belgian M-Sport Ford driver would then need to repeat the performance in Spain and Great Britain to become world champion.

Thu 16:20 WRC - France: While the big hitters are not due out on stage for a little while yet, we've had quite a few runners so far - most recently WRC 2 frontrunners Elfyn Evans, who completed the stage in 3m33.1s, and Robert Kubica, who is quickest, having gone 4.9s than his rival.

Thu 16:21 WRC - France: And as Kubica finishes, we're into the final eight men, starting with Dani Sordo.

Neuville (who starts at 1733), Ogier (1738) and Loeb (1739) are our final three.

Thu 16:23 WRC - France: Michelin has revealed the tyre choice made by the teams. Citroen has opted for four hard tyres for all drivers, VW has gone for four soft tyres for Latvala and Mikkelsen, and two hard, two soft for Ogier. The Ford drivers will run on four soft tyres.

Thu 16:24 WRC - France: Speaking in the pre-event press conference, outgoing champion Sebastien Loeb admitted he didn't expect to start too strongly given his time away from the cockpit.

"In this sport especially, the rhythm is very important," Loeb said. "In Argentina I felt it at the start; here I don’t know how it will be."

He also insisted his retirement would be final - and that there would be no Sainz-esque one-off returns - adding: "The plan is not to come back; it was to find a new challenge. I hope I will not come back."

Thu 16:26 WRC - France: Ogier meanwhile had only kind words for his departing rival, despite their well-documented past acrimony.

"I will take a lot of good memories, even if everyone tries to remember the fights, the rivalry," he said. "There were exciting times. Whatever happens, I will always have a lot of respect for him.

"As we have seen during the recce he will have a big support and I think he deserves that. It must be very difficult to leave, but at the same time great to see these people have come here for him."

Thu 16:28 WRC - France: Ahead of his final rally, AUTOSPORT is paying its tribute to the legend that is nine-time WRC champion Loeb. Feast your eyes on the pictorial pleasure that is...

Loeb in the WRC: the best shots

Thu 16:30 WRC - France: Massive anticipation building in Strasbourg. Big, big crowds out here in Strasbourg. Big cheer going up every time Sebastien Loeb's name in mentioned. Wonder why that is...

Thu 16:33 WRC - France: We have our first meaningful times through. Martin Prokop completed the stage in 3m21.1s, which puts him top ahead of Kubica. Mads Ostberg only manages a 3m28.6s, and third.

Thu 16:34 WRC - France: The light's just beginning to fade here in France, but still nobody's using lights. Different spotlight strategies though... the M-Sport Fiestas running without spots, while Citroen's DS3 WRCs have the full pod.

Thu 16:36 WRC - France: And for those wondering about the weather, it's cloudy and overcast but it's not going to rain. Not until Saturday. And then it'll be cats and dogs.

Thu 16:37 WRC - France: Dani Sordo is quickest through so far, having just finished his power stage run in 3m20.8s. Novikov is through now, and we await his time...

Thu 16:38 WRC - France: It's second for Novikov, a 3m24.5s.

Thu 16:38 WRC - France: Lights, we have lights! Mikkelsen and Hirvonen both have lights on. Andreas main beam but no spots; Mikko main beam and bottom corner spots (but not the four across the bonnet). More light news later...

Thu 16:40 WRC - France: Sordo's hoping to repeat his breakthrough WRC win in Germany a few weeks back.

"Of course I want to do that, for me this rally is more important than Germany," he says. "It's France, Loeb and Ogier will be competing between [each other] and it'd nice if we can be in the fight."

Thu 16:41 WRC - France: Mikkelsen completes his run, but he's slightly slower than Sordo, 1.5s to be precise.

Thu 16:43 WRC - France: "The feeling was good. Citroen went for hard tyres and I think looking back at it now, the hard tyre would have been faster."

That will be music to the ears of Loeb, but Neuville's not going to be thrilled. He's up next...

Thu 16:43 WRC - France: But first, Mikko Hirvonen. He's also slower than Sordo, but pips Mikkelsen by 0.1s.

Thu 16:44 WRC - France: Thierry's in! Any kind of mistake from the Belgian here and we have ourselves a champion...

Thu 16:47 WRC - France: Latvala does a 3m23.4s...

Thu 16:47 WRC - France: Neuville is...

Thu 16:47 WRC - France: The tension builds...

Thu 16:47 WRC - France: He's not quickest!

Sebastien Ogier has won the 2013 World Rally Championship!

Thu 16:49 WRC - France: Just incredible! Neuville looks emotional himself. He looked quite ragged through the stage - really pushing hard. Amazing! And Ogier's just left the startline.

Thu 16:50 WRC - France: For the record, Neuville came through 0.7s slower than Sordo.

Thu 16:50 WRC - France: Loeb off the line now as well. For those interested, Ogier running without spots and Loeb with the corner spots ablaze.

Thu 16:51 WRC - France: We have two world champions on the stage right now.

Thu 16:51 WRC - France: Loeb's put all the lights on!

Thu 16:53 WRC - France: Ogier completes his run and that's some reception he's getting.

Thu 16:54 WRC - France: "I'm so happy," says Ogier, who comes through third fastest thus far. So the new champion should be!

Thu 16:54 WRC - France: Big hug from Nic Deschaux (FFSA) and now hugs from Capito. Loeb also out the car and giving him a hug. Hugs all round...

Thu 16:55 WRC - France: Loeb came through seventh, for those that still care about the power stage results!

Thu 16:56 WRC - France - power stage: 1 Sordo; 2 Neuville +0.7s; 3 Ogier +0.8s; 4 Hirvonen +1.4s; 5 Mikkelsen +1.5s.

Thu 17:00 WRC - France: Incredible emotion from Ogier and VW team. Brilliant, brilliant scenes for a team in its first full season at the highest level. Loeb super-cool too. Massive number of people around as well. Almost impossible for the cars to get away from the stage end.

How on earth can the rest of Rallye de France live up to this? It can. It's a straight fight: Ogier v Loeb now. New versus old. I can't wait!

Thu 17:15 WRC - France: Here's a picture of a French WRC champion. No, not quite that one (just yet). With all the fuss now, deservedly, surrounding Seb Ogier, here's one final tribute to the outgoing champion.

Seb Loeb was magnanimous as he witnessed the dawning of a new era for rallying. Just for that, let us leave you with David Evans' run through of nine of the best WRC memories the legendary Loeb has left us with.

Memories of life with Loeb

One cannot help but wonder how a similar list for Ogier might look in 10-15 years time...

Fri 07:12 Welcome back to AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live for Friday October 4 2013.

We already have a new world champion this weekend as Sebastien Ogier put the 2013 WRC title beyond doubt.

Now the focus is on who will actually win the rally. It's Sebastien Loeb's WRC farewell, so he'd hate to lose. Equally new king Ogier doesn't want his crowning weekend soiled by a win for his nemesis. The first proper day in France kicks off shortly.

And by the end of today, we may well also have a better idea of who will be IndyCar and Auto GP champions too.

Fri 07:14 WRC - France: Good morning from Strasbourg. Funny old morning here, lots of cloud, but some sun coming through every now and then. Lot of head scratching regarding tyre choices as rain expected in the late morning or early afternoon.

Fri 07:23 WRC - France: Ogier into SS2. Stage looks dry enough for hard tyres. Lots of junctions through the vineyards in this one. Michelin tells us Citroen and VW have four hards for all drivers plus one hard spare, while M-Sport drivers Mads Ostberg and Thierry Neuville are running two hards and two softs.

Fri 07:25 WRC - France: Neuville is 1.2s down on Ogier at first split. Ogier completes SS2. "It was OK. I had to force myself to concentrate, there was not so much sleep. I wasn't so late to bed, but it took some time to sleep..."

Fri 07:28 WRC - France: Neuville is 3.6s down at the end of the stage.

"I had a very good stage. I had one small slide where I lost some time. I brake later than Sebastien, it was quite on the limit," he says.

Fri 07:29 WRC - France: Latvala is quickest through the stage so far. He said: "The car feels very good. I like this stage. The road was dry and there wasn't so much cutting as I thought the boys would be doing in front."

Fri 07:30 WRC - France: Sordo is 0.2s faster than Ogier to the first split. Loeb is on the line...

Fri 07:33 WRC - France: Sordo is fastest so far. Lots of confidence from the rally-leading Spaniard. His team-mate Hirvonen is struggling with the car sliding too much and feels his Citroen might be too soft.

Simon PagenaudFri 07:35 IndyCar - Houston: Ahead of IndyCar's return to action following a five-week break in Houston this weekend, Honda has told AUTOSPORT that the series isn't sustainable without a third engine manufacturer.

Fri 07:35 WRC - France: Loeb is 0.2s slower than Sordo at the first split. Ostberg reaches the finish and reports the soft tyre at the rear is causing the the car to slide. The Norwegian is also wearing glasses through the stage for the first time.

Fri 07:36 WRC - France: Loeb goes fastest! He's back.

Fri 07:38 WRC - France: Now just two seconds behind his Citroen team-mate Sordo in overall terms, Loeb said: "Good start. I tried to push really hard and the feeling was good. it wasn't a difficult stage and the road was dry."

Fri 07:45 WRC - France: Romain Dumas through the stage in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC. The 2010 Le Mans winner said: "It was a difficult stage, it was a bit dirty and I'm not used to this."

Robert KubicaFri 07:51 WRC - France: Leading WRC 2 runner Robert Kubica is through in his Citroen DS3 RRC.

"It was OK," said the Pole. "It was more slippery than we expected. There was more gravel than I thought there would be."

Kubica's fellow former racer Tomas Kostka has stopped in the stage. The DS3 WRC is believed to be off the road - Kubica didn't see him anywhere in SS2.

Fri 07:56 WRC-France: Elfyn Evans unable to find rhythm and drops 10.8s to WRC2 leader Kubica. It's a different story to last year, when the Welshman clinched the WRC Academy title at the end of Klevener.

Fri 08:00 WRC - France: SS3 start delayed by 10 minutes.

Fri 08:05 WRC - France: Light drizzle on SS3, but the road is mainly dry except for the final mile which is damp.

VW bannerFri 08:07 WRC - France: AUTOSPORT had a great chat with Ogier this morning. He and Julien Ingrassia enjoyed a glass of champagne after service last night. He then ate a bowl of chicken and tomato pasta.

VW installed themselves a new banner in their corner of the service park...

Fri 08:07 WRC - France: The cars are on SS3.

Fri 08:09 WRC- France: Ogier is at the finish and reporting road damp under the trees. Neuville takes time out of the new world champion on the first two splits.

Fri 08:12 WRC - France: Neuville goes quickest by 1.6s. He said: "I pushed hard in there, but I think we can still do better - I am not so comfortable with the car and the settings."

Fri 08:14 WRC - France: Sordo is equal with Neuville through the first two splits.

Fri 08:16 WRC - France: Latvala goes 1s quicker than Ogier in SS3, but is still 0.6s down on Neuville.

Hirvonen is the first driver to report rain in the stage. The Citroen-driving Finn was also slowed when the headset he uses on the road section became dislodged and rolled around in the footwell.

Fri 08:19 WRC - France: Sordo slower than Neuville, but the Spaniard still leading. Ostberg drops 16s in the stage, reporting more significant rain.

Fri 08:20 WRC - France: Loeb at the finish with wipers on - but he's FASTEST! Even when it rains, he's still quicker than the rest! Awesome effort from the nine-time champion.

Fri 08:21 Auto GP - Brno: Practice for the Auto GP title decider at Brno is underway, and already the red flags are out for Ibiza Racing's Francesco Dracone who has stopped at Turn 1.

Fri 08:22 WRC - France: Loeb said: "At the moment it's going well. I was not so confident when I started, but I have done to two best times so far. It started to to be muddy for me in this one and then next stage will be difficult with the hard tyre..."

Fri 08:23 WRC - France: Weather-watch... rain all the way through SS3 now.

Fri 08:25 Auto GP - Brno: Championship outsider Narain Karthikeyan managed to set the fastest time before the stoppage.

The Indian, who is fourth in the drivers' standings, has recorded a quickest lap of 1m44.056s, 1.366s faster than Virtuosi Racing's Andrea Roda.

Fri 08:26 WRC - France: Sordo leads Loeb by two tenths of a second. Ogier third... 2.3s down on the Spaniard. Latvala third three second off the front with Neuville a further second back.

Fri 08:27 WRC - France: Mikkelsen slowest and very unhappy at the finish. "Disaster," he said. "I cannot push more without big risks. This is not the weather we hoped for. I had the wipers full on and we are on hard tyres. I cannot do more than this."

Fri 08:29 Auto GP - Brno: The session has restarted, and Meindert van Buuren has closed to within 0.030s of Karthikeyan's benchmark.

Championshp leader Vittorio Ghirelli is 12th, his nearest rival Kimiya Sato 16th and Sergio Campana, the third of the title protagonists, is eighth.

Fri 08:32 WRC - France: Dumas clear of the stage after a risk-free run in his Fiesta.

WRC 2 leader Kubica also at the finish:

"It was very slippery. It rained from the start, not a lot to begin with, but then it was difficult - it was very dark in the forest. It was difficult on the hard tyres."

Fri 08:33 WRC - France: More weather news... rain has been and gone through SS4. That doesn't mean it won't come back though. Or maybe it won't. Who knows?

Fri 08:33 Auto GP - Brno: Super Nova racer Karthikeyan has been in command throughout the opening practice session at a bright but cold Brno.

The former grand prix driver is the only man to have lapped in the 1m44s, and is 1.3s faster than Zele Racing's returnee Tamas Pal Kiss.

Fri 08:35 Auto GP - Brno: It is a Super Nova 1-2 at the head of the Auto GP free practice standings.

Championship leader Vittorio Ghirelli has closed to within 0.894s of Karthikeyan's 1m44.514s fastest lap.

Fri 08:37 WRC - France: WRC 2 driver Robert Barrable reported stopped in the stage, not too far off the startline. Elfyn Evans lost lot of time on the final split. The Welshman is moving, but is thought to have lost more than two minutes.

Fri 08:39 WRC - France: Evans stopped to change front-right puncture.

Fri 08:39 Auto GP - Brno: There's been a shake-up of the order moments before the chequered flag.

Ghirelli and Kiss have exchanged the second fastest time and series debutant Josef Kral has produced an impressive final lap to move into fifth.

Fri 08:41 WRC - France: Evans said: "I don't know what caused it the puncture. I'm disappointed." Barrable reported to be off the road.

Fri 08:43 Auto GP - Brno: FP1 results:

1 Narain Karthikeyan; 2 Vittorio Ghirelli; 3 Tamas Pal Kiss; 4 Robert Visoiu; 5 Josef Kral; 6 Andrea Roda.

Fri 08:43 WRC - France: Drivers approach start of SS4 and hoping for very different conditions. Neuville wants rain and lots of it for his soft Michelins, while all VW and Citroen men want dry for their hard covers.

Fri 08:52 WRC - France: Here are the overall standings heading onto the final stage of this first loop:

1 Sordo; 2 Loeb +0.2s; 3 Ogier +2.3s; 4 Latvala +3.0s; 5 Neuville +4.0s; 6 Hirvonen +13.1s.

The Vosges - Pays d'Ormont stage is also delayed by 10 minutes because of the knock-on effect from the earlier hold-up.

Fri 09:01 WRC - France: And Kubica already half a minute up on nearest WRC 2 rival, Rashid Al-Ketbi. Elfyn Evans 10th and last in the class. He's 2m46s behind Kubica's Citroen after stopping to change that puncture on his Fiesta.

OgierFri 09:10 WRC - France: Predictably huge coverage of Sebastien Ogier's second world rally championship title (first one was JWRC in 2008) here in Strasbourg. French newspaper L'Equipe giving over the entire cover and pages two and three to the Gap man.

For those interested... there's also a story on P9 with Bernard Laporte reporting that he doesn't want RFC Toulon to be seen as a retirement home for ageing rugby players. Bit of a backlash following the European champs' loss to Oyonnax last weekend.

Enough rugby, back to the rally.

Fri 09:15 Auto GP - Brno: Exhaust problems are reported to have hampered championship protagonist Kimiya Sato's FP1 efforts.

The Japanese racer, who is just 11 points adrift of championship leader Vittorio Ghirelli, struggled to 13th fastest time in FP1 this morning.

Fri 09:16 WRC - France: Problems for Ogier on SS4? He's dropped time on the early splits, with Neuville 13s quicker.

Fri 09:16 WRC - France: Conditions really changeable in SS4. It's not raining, but the start of the stage looks very wet from the live coverage. Sordo getting particularly out of shape braking for one square left. Having said that, as I type, rain arriving on Ogier's screen...

Fri 09:19 Auto GP - Brno: Manor MP Motorsport team manager Sander Dorsman reported his drivers Meindert van Buuren and Daniel de Jong were on "very old" tyres in FP1.

"I think Karthikeyan was on softs in that session, but we will try fresher tyres in FP2," said Dorsman.

"Hopefully we can then get closer, as at the minute Narain is miles away. The cold track temperatures are also causing problems, there is no grip. To be honest, it feels worse on the pitwall, it feels like some sort of punishment!"

Fri 09:20 WRC - France: Loeb is onto the stage too, and if the conditions are varying as much as they seem to be, that road position he was concerned about might turn out to be an advantage.

Fri 09:22 WRC - France: Neuville is storming this stage. He is now 17s up on Ogier on the splits and started the stage four seconds off the lead. But it's only Ogier dropping that much time.

Fri 09:24 WRC - France: Ogier reaches the finish and is immediately swamped by the French media. AUTOSPORT's memories of GCSE French 18 years allow us to know he found it "difficult".

Fri 09:25 WRC - France: Ogier's now onto the English media, and he says Neuville's pace is just because of his mix of hard and soft tyres, whereas the new champion wasn't comfortable on hards in what turned out to be pretty damp weather.

Fri 09:27 WRC - France: Neuville's in. While we have the traditional urge to throw biscuits at the new-for-2013 timing system, here's what he's saying:

"It was a good stage. I didn't push too much, I knew I had a good tyre choice. At the end I should've pushed a bit more in the dry section but the car started to slide. It's OK, that's a good time."

Fri 09:28 WRC - France: Latvala finishes the stage and equals Neuville's time. They're both a massive 19s quicker than Ogier.

The Finn was on hard tyres all round while Neuville had two of each type.

Fri 09:29 WRC - France: Bless Latvala. After the year he's had, he could be a bit cocky about trouncing his new champion team-mate by 19s over 34km, but instead he suggests his pace is just because his pre-rally test had some damp running and Ogier's didn't.

Fri 09:32 WRC - France: Hirvonen admits his stage was "really bad". He's not wrong, he's lost 34s to the leaders. Not for the first time this year, there's not much confidence in the cockpit of that Citroen.

Fri 09:33 Auto GP - Brno: Full report from this morning's opening practice session, in which title outsider Narain Karthikeyan set the pace.

Fri 09:33 WRC - France: Sordo is through and is no longer the leader as Latvala's blistering time puts him in front...

...but what will Loeb do?

Fri 09:37 WRC - France: Loeb is fastest on the stage and into the rally lead!

Fri 09:40 WRC - France: For most of the last decade, it's fair to say a lot of rally fans have sighed as Loeb took the lead of events.

But this weekend there is so, so much goodwill around the world for rallying's departing superstar. Anyone who actually beats Loeb to this win will probably be pretty unpopular.

We'll bring you the leading positions when the timing system remembers how to supply times.

Fri 09:50 WRC - France: Robert Kubica wasn't a huge fan of his performance on that stage but he remains firmly in control of WRC 2.

Fri 09:58 WRC - France - SS4 results:

Stage: 1 Loeb 19m08.7s; 2 Neuville +0.9s; 3 Latvala +0.9s; 4 Sordo +6.4s; 5 Ogier +20.2s; 6 Novikov +21.6s.

Overall: 1 Loeb; 2 Latvala +3.7s; 3 Neuville +4.7s; 4 Sordo +6.2s; 5 Ogier +22.3s; 6 Novikov +46.5s.

Sebastien LoebFri 10:05 WRC - France: Here's the full story of Loeb's charge to the front this morning.

Rally of France Friday morning report

Fri 10:06 WRC - France: In case anyone hadn't heard, that picture is Loeb - he's got a special livery for his final WRC outing.

Fri 10:16 WRC - France: We would list results in WRC 2 as well, but they can be shortened to...

1 Kubica; everyone else + several mins.

His nearest rival Rashid Al-Ketbi is 3m03s behind.

This isn't the strongest WRC 2 field of the season, but the main reason for the big gap is that Elfyn Evans - who should be Kubica's main rival - had a puncture this morning.

Robert Barrable would have been closer than that too but he's already crashed out.

Josef KralFri 10:48 Auto GP - Brno: Zele Racing team boss Michael Zele expressed his satisfaction with new recruit Josef Kral's free practice form.

The Czech, who is making his Auto GP debut, took a surprise fifth fastest in FP1.

"Josef was telling us he hasn't raced anything since September last year - not even club stuff," said Zele. "He's a quick driver, though, and it obviously helps that he knows his way around here."

Fri 10:51 WRC - France: On the weekend that Seb #1 departs and Seb #2 gets his first title, we should keep an eye on Seb #3.

Sebastien Chardonnet - yes, he's French and a Citroen protege - leads WRC 3 by 27 points over Keith Cronin.

But like WRC 2, drivers count six rallies each year, and this will be Chardonnet's sixth (courtesy of him being basically the only person in the category to bother turning up in Monte Carlo), where Cronin and most of the rest will still have one more to count in Spain or Wales.

Right now it's Quentin Gilbert leading by 12s from Chardonnet, with Cronin a minute adrift in third. These three and Christian Riedmann are WRC 3's class acts this year.

Fri 11:03 Auto GP - Brno: Auto GP championship leader Vittorio Ghirelli is confident there is more pace to come after trailing Super Nova team-mate and title outsider Narain Karthikeyan in this morning's opening free practice session.

"I didn't know the circuit, and I was just getting my reference points," explained Ghirelli. "I was also on very old mediums, which had done more than 80kms, so I am sure there is a good margin to improve."

Vittorio GhirelliFri 11:05 Auto GP - Brno: The cold temperatures at Brno also affected double 2013 Auto GP race winner and sometime GP2 driver Ghirelli's approach to practice.

"With it being this cold, the tyres don't come [into their optimum temperature range] until your sixth or seventh lap, and you can't push too hard or otherwise you'll [ruin] the tyres, scrub them, which is not good," said Ghirelli.

Fri 11:23 Auto GP - Brno: Free practice two is green. Ghirelli stated before the session that he will try a set of soft tyres that have covered 60km in preparation for qualifying this afternoon.

Helio CastronevesLooking further ahead this weekend, as well as following every stage of Sebastien Loeb's final WRC fling and all the action from Auto GP's four-way title fight at Brno, AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live will also be providing commentary on...Fri 11:32
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Fri 11:32 Auto GP - Brno: A little over a third of the way into the half hour session, FP1 pacesetting team Super Nova has maintained its morning form.

Narain Karthikeyan is fastest on 1m44.841s, just 0.018s ahead of championshp leader Vittorio Ghirelli.

Fri 11:36 Auto GP - Brno: Karthikeyan's current fastest time is 0.3s slower than his morning benchmark.

Kevin Giovesi trails Karthikeyan by 0.682s in third.

Fri 11:36 WRC - France: To complete our round-up of the feeder classes, Yeray Lemes is currently upstaging championship leader Pontus Tidemand by 8.5s in Junior WRC.

Tidemand is one to watch: he was mighty when he hopped into a WRC Ford for Sweden this year. At a time when the WRC is hungry for young stars, succeeding in the feeder series counts for a lot.

Last week, AUTOSPORT's rallying editor David Evans tackled the issue of the current WRC talent drought.

Fri 11:39 Auto GP - Brno: Euronova racer Kimiya Sato holds seventh spot, with 10 minutes of FP2 remaing.

Sato, who is second in the Auto GP drivers' standings, could only manage the 13th fastest time in FP1 after suffering exhaust issues.

"I only did two proper laps," said Sato, "and it wasn’t even enough to warm up the tyres properly, so that time was unrepresentative. I was aware of the exhaust problem almost immediately after I started my first lap."

Fri 11:44 Auto GP - Brno: Karthikeyan has posted two searingly fast laps in succession. The first eclipsed his morning's best time by 0.7s, and his second effort lowered the fastest lap to 1m43.604s.

Team-mate Vittorio Ghirelli remains second quickest, but is some 1.255s adrift of the Indian.

Meindert van Buuren has moved into third spot ahead of Kevin Giovesi.

Fri 11:51 Auto GP - Brno: Title hopeful Sergio Campana demonstrates his first flashes of pace of the meeting by moving up to fourth in the closing minutes.

Fri 11:56 Auto GP - Brno: FP2 result:

1 Narain Karthikeyan; 2 Tamas Pal Kiss; 3 Vittorio Ghirelli; 4 Sergio Campana; 5 Kimiya Sato; 6 Meindert van Buuren.

Narain KarthikeyanFri 12:38 Auto GP - Brno: Here's the full story of Karthikeyan's dominant Friday.

Brno Auto GP practice two report

Fri 12:43 Auto GP - Brno: Championship leader Vittorio Ghirelli explains what winning the Auto GP championship would mean for him.

"If I could win the Auto GP title this weekend, it would help to attract sponsors for 2014, but it's also about the [glory] of winning it," said Ghirelli, who is chasing his maiden crown in car racing.

"That's the objective. That's what drivers are here for; you race to win. If you finish second no one remembers. If you win, people remember and perhaps someone could look at you for a future opportunity. I am concentrating on bringing this home, let’s see how it goes."

Fri 12:48 WRC - France: The afternoon loop is underway as Sebastien Ogier completes the Klevener stage, although he's still not entirely happen.

He's down in fifth place and has a 22-second deficit to leader Sebastien Loeb.

Fri 12:50 WRC - France: A cracking start from Thierry Neuville as he goes 3.3s faster than Ogier through the stage.

"I hope that's the fastest time," he smiles, "it was a good one..."

Fri 12:52 WRC - France: Jari-Matti Latvala loses three seconds to Neuville so falls behind him to what should be third place.

Latvala reckons Neuville's choice of four hard tyres was just right for the drying stage and that mixing softs and hards wasn't a good move for VW.

Fri 12:57 WRC - France: Mikko Hirvonen had a tough morning but is happier despite only being fifth fastest.

"That was much better, but Neuville's time is incredible," he says.

Hirvonen's Citroen team-mate Dani Sordo is Neuville's nearest challenger on the stage now, he's just 0.2s adrift.

Fri 13:00 WRC - France: Sebastien Loeb is through, he's only third fastest and Neuville is now within two seconds of him.

Loeb is another one who reckons Neuville got the tyre choice spot on with his hards.

"I'm pushing hard now but with soft tyres on the front and hard on the rear, it was not possible to do better than that."

Evgeny NovikovFri 13:04 WRC - France: Evgeny Novikov has a great run with the third fastest time, something he credits to the wisdom of hour hard tyres too.

That will be handy in his battle for sixth with Hirvonen, Andreas Mikkelsen and Mads Ostberg.

Fri 13:12 WRC France - SS5 results:

Stage: 1 Neuville 6m02.8s; 2 Sordo +0.2s; 3 Novikov +1.4s; 4 Loeb +2.7s; 5 Latvala +3.2s; 6 Ogier +3.3s.

Overall: 1 Loeb; 2 Neuville +2.0s; 3 Sordo +3.7s; 4 Latvala +4.2s; 5 Ogier +22.9s; 6 Novikov +45.2.s

Fri 13:21 WRC - France: The field goes straight from SS5 onto SS6, and Ogier is already through Massif des Grands Crus. But he's still off Neuville's pace on the splits.

"You can't always be at your best in the car," says the new world champion, "but I'm pushing harder this afternoon."

Fri 13:23 WRC - France: Neuville is 3.6s faster than Ogier, that's going to be tough to be.

"We've had some really good information from our weather guy," said Neuville. "I'm just pushing..."

Fri 13:26 WRC - France: Conditions are pretty dry, and that's hurting those who have kept some soft tyres among their choices. Great news for Neuville and also his team-mate Novikov.

Latvala is 1.9s down on Neuville, so the gap is now 4.1s overall.

Fri 13:27 WRC - France: More self-flagellating honesty from Mikko Hirvonen as he completes the stage 9s down on Neuville.

"When it gets slippery I'm just not on the pace. I need to improve."

Fri 13:33 WRC - France: We have a change of lead! Loeb loses 4s to Neuville on this stage and that means M-Sport Ford's young Belgian moves ahead.

This rally was supposed to mark the ceremonial handover of WRC power from Loeb to Ogier... but Neuville is underlining that rallying isn't just about Sebastiens.

Fri 13:40 WRC - France - SS6 results:

1 Neuville 7m53.4s; 2 Latvala +1.9s; 3 Sordo +2.0s 4 Ogier +3.8s; 5 Loeb +4.6s; 6 Novikov +5.1s.

1 Neuville; 2 Loeb +2.6s; 3 Sordo +3.7s; 4 Latvala +4.1s; 5 Ogier +24.7s; 6 Novikov +48.3s.

Fri 13:50 WRC - France: The final stage of day one starts in just over 20 minutes.

It's a repeat of the 34 kilometres of Vosges, the rally's longest stage and the most eventful of this loop when it was run for the first time this morning.

With the top four covered by just 4.1s and the 2013 world champion trailing the lead pack, it's going to be a tense end to the afternoon.

Fri 13:50 Auto GP - Brno: Former GP2 race winner Josef Kral has prepared for his Auto GP debut this weekend by running a half-marathon three days ago.

The Czech, who is making his first start at Brno since competing in Formula Master in 2009, has been without a drive since September last year when he ended his GP2 season prematurely.

Fri 13:53 Auto GP - Brno: "We signed the contract on Monday," said Zele Racing's new recruit Kral. "It was a really last minute deal.

"It was big money for GP2 this year, and we couldn't really make it. That's why I haven't been doing anything.

"It doesn't really make sense to do a one-shot race, except here, which is a home race. I can bring some partners along, they will see me here racing again. It is a Czech race, with Czech fans, so let's see what happens for qualifying."

Bruno ThiryFri 13:56 WRC - France: The world is going to want to learn a lot more about Neuville in years to come, we reckon. Appropriately enough, there's a radio interview with the rally leader playing in the media centre now.

And fans of moderately successful WRC drivers of the 1990s and early 2000s will be pleased to learn that Neuville's hero growing up was Bruno Thiry. Here's his Skoda Octavia in Cyprus in 2001.

Thank you Thierry for not only giving us hope that Ogier will have a rival for the next 10 years, but giving AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live an excuse to run a picture of an Octavia WRC.

Fri 14:10 Auto GP - Brno: Comfortably fastest in Friday's two free practice sessions, Narain Karthikeyan played down expectactions of continuing his margin of superioty over the Auto GP field into qualifying at Brno.

"We set the [fastest practice] time on softs, although not new tyres," said Karthikeyan. "I like the track, it's not bad, but we don’t know what tyres everyone was on. We set the [best] time on softs, [but they were] not new. I think the others will close up in qualifying."

Fri 14:11 WRC - France: One minute to go until Vosges goes live.

Ogier is in first, then Neuville.

Fri 14:12 Auto GP - Brno: Karthikeyan is fourth in the Auto GP drivers' standings, and maintains slim hopes of taking the crown.

"To win the title will be difficult," conceded Karthikeyan. "I can continue my pole run [which stands at four consecutive poles] or win some races, but it doesn't matter, it is much better to win it. But at least no one can beat me on taking the most poles in the season."

Fri 14:14 WRC - France: The WRC field is splitting into packs. We've got Neuville, Loeb, Sordo and Latvala within 4s at the front, Ogier in a lonely no man's land, then Novikov, Hirvonen, Mikkelsen and Ostberg within 20s in sixth to ninth places, some distance back.

Fri 14:17 WRC - France: The drivers hoping for damper conditions to suit their mix of softs and hards reckoned their choice would pay off on this stage, but so far the indications are that it's pretty dry. That would play into Neuville's hands.

Fri 14:20 Auto GP - Brno: Qualifying for the Auto GP title-deciding meeting at Brno is underway.

Fri 14:22 WRC - France: First splits are in and it's looking better for Ogier.

On the last two short stages he'd lost a couple of seconds to Neuville within the first couple of splits, whereas this time they're just a few tenths apart.

Fri 14:24 Auto GP - Brno: The Italian trio of, title aspirants, Sergio Campana and Vittorio Ghirelli, as well as Andrea Roda are first to take to the track.

Romain DumasFri 14:26 WRC - France: A story worth reporting further down the field... 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours winner Romain Dumas is making another rallying appearance in a WRC Ford this weekend.

His co-driver is veteran Denis Giraudet, best known for his years alongside Didier Auriol. This is Giraudet's first WRC appearance since he suffered back injuries in Finland last year when working with Evgeny Novikov.

Dumas and Giraudet are currently 12th.

Fri 14:27 WRC - France: Neuville is stretching his legs now and at split four he's 3.4s up on Ogier.

But back at split two, it's Sordo who has been fastest of all through the opening partof the stage.

We haven't got anything through from Loeb yet.

Fri 14:29 WRC - France: Now we are getting Loeb's splits, and he's over a second up on Neuville and Sordo by split two. But it does look like Neuville raised his game as the stage went on.

Fri 14:29 Auto GP - Brno: Karthikeyan's second flying lap was a 1m44.777s, which briefly moved the Indian into provisional pole.

Super Nova team-mate Vittorio Ghirelli responded on the next tour to break into the 1m43s, recording a time of 1m43.913s.

Fri 14:31 WRC - France: It's closing up again in the final part of the stage. Neuville was over three seconds up on Ogier at split four. At split six that gap has come down to under two seconds.

Fri 14:33 WRC - France: Ogier completes the stage and confesses he wasn't properly focused this morning after his title-clincher last night.

"It was difficult to wake up this morning. I tried to react as I was too slow this morning, but we didn't have the right tyre choice."

Fri 14:34 Auto GP - Brno: The top six at the midway point of qualifying:

1 Vittorio Ghirelli; 2 Narain Karthikeyan; 3 Kevin Giovesi; 4 Tamas Pal Kiss; 5 Kimiya Sato; 6 Robert Visoiu.

Fri 14:34 WRC - France: Neuville finishes the stage and he's four seconds faster than Ogier.

That means our world champion will start day two of his home rally at least 28s off the lead.

Fri 14:35 WRC - France: Neuville reckons his amazing performance is down to M-Sport's weather crew:

"We had the best information today from our weather guy, he did a great job. We had the right tyre choice and after that I just pushed quite hard..."

Fri 14:36 WRC - France: Latvala drops 7s to Neuville and is kicking himself over his VW's set-up.

"I must admit I am disappointed with the performance on the long stage. I stayed too soft on the set-up. The conditions were so dry, I should've gone stiffer. It was my mistake.

"There was a three kilometre section of dampness that was a bit more demanding. Other than that it was dry."

Fri 14:37 Auto GP - Brno: Roberto La Rocca and Michela Cerruti are the only drivers on track, as the majority of runners fit fresh rubber.

Fri 14:37 WRC - France: Loeb was flying earlier on the stage, but at the halfway point he's lost four seconds to Neuville.

Fri 14:39 WRC - France: Here's another man who's dropping time to Neuville: Dani Sordo. He is 6s slower through the stage.

That means both Sordo and Latvala will be around 10s behind the Belgian at the start of Saturday's stages.

Can Loeb at least stay in touch?

Fri 14:40 WRC - France: Hirvonen's terrible day continues. He has now particular problems but is 35s slower than Neuville.

Fri 14:42 WRC - France: At the final split, even Loeb is 7s down on Neuville.

Fri 14:43 WRC - France: Loeb is 9s slower than Neuville on the stage and he's fallen down to fourth!

Fri 14:44 Auto GP - Brno: Karthikeyan moves into provisional pole, thanks to a great lap of 1m43.337s.

All 17 cars are on track, so more changes are surely to follow.

Fri 14:45 WRC - France: Loeb's summary at the end of the day:

""We expected the rain today but... no rain. Soft tyres and long dry stages... [Neuville] was fast and he had five hard tyres. For sure we couldn't match his speed."

Fri 14:49 Auto GP - Brno: Josef Kral has beached his Zele Racing machine at Turn 7, bringing out the red flags.

Moments before the stoppage, championship leader Vittorio Ghirelli grabbed provisional pole, ahead of Kevin Giovesi.

Fri 14:54 WRC - France - SS7 results:

1 Neuville 18m36.6s; 2 Ogier +4.0s; 3 Sordo +6.2s; 4 Latvala +7.7s; 5 Loeb +9.6s; 6 Novikov +15.3s.

1 Neuville; 2 Sordo +9.8s; 3 Latvala +11.8s; 4 Loeb +12.2s; 5 Ogier +28.7s; 6 Novikov +1m03.6s.

Fri 14:55 WRC - France: A safe run through for Robert Kubica, whose WRC 2 lead is probably now reaching Dakar proportions.

He's keen to point out that the lead wouldn't be that big if Elfyn Evans hadn't had a puncture, though, and he's committed to carrying on pushing as he doesn't think going slowly is any good for learning. Good man.

Fri 14:58 Auto GP - Brno: Kral's car has been cleared away behind a tyre wall and the session has restarted. The provisional top six:

1 Ghirelli, 1m42.833s; 2 Giovesi, 1m43.082; 3 Karthikeyan, 1m43.337s; 4 Robert Visoiu; 5 Sergio Campana; 6 Kiss, 1m44.134s.

Fri 15:04 Auto GP - Brno: There were no changes to the order on the restart, so Vittorio Ghirelli confirms his status as title favourite by securing pole position.

1 Ghirelli; 2 Giovesi; 3 Karthikeyan; 4 Visoiu; 5 Campana; 6 Kiss.

Fri 15:06 WRC - France: The full story of how Neuville stole the Sebastiens' thunder.

Rally of France Friday afternoon report

DysonFri 15:11 As the European racing day ends with Neuville leading the WRC's rally of the year and Ghirelli shading his Auto GP title rivals, AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live will be taking a break until the American action kicks off in earnest.

We'll be back from 8.15pm BST with American Le Mans Series qualifying at Virginia, where Dyson's top drivers are back to try to beat Pickett, and second IndyCar practice from the revived Houston street track. See you then.

Fri 15:43 Auto GP - Brno: Championship outsider Narain Karthikeyan has expressed his frustration at missing out on a fifth consecutive pole position.

The Indian was lighting up the timing screens with purple sectors when the red flags were flown for an incident involving debutant Josef Kral with three minutes of qualifying remaining.

Fri 15:45 Auto GP - Brno: "Did they really need to stop that session?" asked Karthikeyan, who will start Saturday's race from third on the grid.

"I was fastest in the first sector, only 0.1s off my best time in the middle sector and was likely to improve. For sure that lap was good enough for pole. Of course, the championship is not over until it's over!"

Fri 16:14 Auto GP - Brno: Championship protagonist Kimiya Sato has reportedly complained to his team that he suffered traffic problems in qualifying, according to Euronova Racing's Taki Inoue.

Sato is set to start from eighth on Saturday's race one grid, after ending Friday afternoon's qualifying session 1.571s adrift of pole-sitter Vittorio Ghirelli.

Fri 16:16 Auto GP - Brno: Former grand prix driver Inoue told AUTOSPORT: "I don't think we'll complain to the stewards, as what has happened has happened, but Kimiya said not one lap wasn't adversely affected by traffic.

"Kimiya let Ghirelli go to get some clear space, and then Josef Kral slotted in between them and started weaving to warm up his tyres."

Fri 16:34 Auto GP - Brno: Auto GP championship favourite Vittorio Ghirelli gave his reaction to securing his second pole position of the season on Friday, in a qualifying session disrupted by a late red flag.

"There was only one lap [possible on the retsart], everyone knew it, and there was not enough time to bring the temperatures in on the tyres," said Ghirelli.

"I was on a good lap when the red flag came out and had done two good ones before. I was there [on the pace] straightaway. In practice we focused on setting up the car rather than doing a super lap. I gave it all I had and it’s a good result."

Fri 16:38 Auto GP - Brno: Looking ahead to the weekend's races, Ghirelli revealed he would be unconcerned if front row starter Kevin Giovesi won on Saturday.

"If I do a good start, then the race should be all downhill," said Ghirelli. "Even if Giovesi wins, it is not a problem, as he is behind in the championship, but my main objective is to finish in the top-three.

"I could win the championship tomorrow, which would be even better. In that case, everyone can go out and party on Saturday night! But now we have to stay focused on everything and hopefully it will go well."

Fri 17:00 AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live will return this evening at 8pm BST for coverage of IndyCar practice at Houston, as well as NASCAR and ALMS qualifying

Fri 19:15 Welcome back to Race Centre Live's continued coverage of this motorsport weekend. Friday night (if you're in Europe) takes us to Virginia and Kansas for ALMS and NASCAR qualifying respectively.

Fri 19:20 IndyCar - Houston: Before we start, though, there's been plenty of noise coming out of the latest IndyCar round at Houston.

First practice was delayed by three hours as organisers sought to address a serious issue with the track on the approach to Turn 1 that had caused Pirelli World Challenge cars to launch into the air.

That's been rectified by the installation of a temporary chicane, which allowed first practice to take place, and be topped by Will Power.

However, the delays mean qualifying has been postponed until Saturday morning.

Fri 19:29 IndyCar - Houston: Schedule alterations aside, there was also huge 2014 news confirmed.

Chip Ganassi Racing will expand to a four-car team next year, with the arrival of Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan.

That will coincide with the team switching from Honda power to Chevrolet, aligning the manufacturers for Ganassi's IndyCar and NASCAR programmes.

The 2013 season's not even finished yet, and already next year looks like a mouth-watering prospect.

Fri 19:33 ALMS - Virginia: Second practice has finished in Virginia, with Klaus Graf on top for Pickett Racing, setting a best time of 1m32.226s. Ryan Briscoe (P2); Mike Guasch (PC); Marco Holzer (GT) and Nelson Canache Jr (GTC) set the pace in their respective classes.

Fri 19:41 ALMS - Virginia: Some of the drivers are getting a bit ahead of themselves. We've not even started qualifying yet, and even before practice Ryan Briscoe was looking ahead to tomorrow's race.

@Ryan_Briscoe: "So far so good at VIR for @almsnotes. This place is pretty crazy, super fast and fun! Traffic will be torture in the race."

Fri 19:52 ALMS - Virginia: Qualifying is now well underway, with the GTC element up first. Jeroen Bleekemolen heads Damien Faulkner by 0.21s with half the session remaining.

Fri 19:58 ALMS - Virginia: Faulkner has nicked ahead to take provisional GTC pole with a 1m52.213s. Spencer Pumpelly had slotted into second ahead of Bleekemolen, but the latter's managed to regain that spot on the class grid despite a scruffy lap.

Fri 20:02 ALMS - Virginia: Faulkner hangs on for the GTC pole, 0.40s clear of Bleekemolen. Pumpelly winds up third.

ALMS Virginia GT ALMS - Virginia: The GT session begins. Will it be a Corvette, Ferrari, Viper, Porsche or BMW on pole?

Fri 20:13 ALMS - Virginia: The first flying laps are in, and Matteo Malucelli is atop the times in the Risi Ferrari. 1m46.113s is the benchmark, which Dirk Muller has fallen 0.06s shy of in his BMW Z4.

Fri 20:14 ALMS - Virginia: Well, Malucelli was atop the times! Maxime Martin brings the second BMW onto provisional GT pole with a 1m45.978s.

Fri 20:18 ALMS - Virginia: Tommy Milner's crashed in one of the Chevrolets, and looks like there was fluid at fault. One of the SRTs spun too, and the session's been red-flagged.

Fri 20:19 IndyCar - Houston: More scraps of news from Houston, this time concerning next year's edition of the race. Word is that like this year's, it will probably be a double-header. Unlike this year's, it could be under lights. This would be a welcome development: it's ridiculously hot today.

Fri 20:21 ALMS - Virginia: Seems Malucelli's Ferrari was the cause of that fluid being dropped on the track. Maxime Martin claims the pole as the session will not restart. Malucelli and Muller make it a trio of Ms at the front.

Fri 20:31 ALMS - Virginia: Clean up operation is still going on. Malucelli looks set to lose his fastest time, but his second effort is still good enough to split the BMWs nonetheless.

Fri 20:38 IndyCar - Houston: Indy Lights are on track for what will be their only practice session of the day. After 20 minutes, the current leader is Sage Karam. The series has a 12-car field this weekend.

Fri 20:40 ALMS - Virginia: Cars are back on track. I repeat. There are cars back on track at Virginia International Raceway. It's qualifying time for the Protoype Challenge gang.

Fri 20:45 ALMS - Virginia: Dane Cameron leads the early running for LMPC pole on a 1m42.272s.

Fri 20:50 ALMS - Virginia: Tom Kimber-Smith takes pole! The Brit's displaying his talent in a variety of vehicles in the ALMS this year. But then Cameron takes it back with just two minutes to go! Great fight for LMPC pole.

Fri 20:53 ALMS - Virginia: Kimber-Smith cannot usurp Cameron and he has to settle for second. That bodes well for the race!

Fri 20:58 IndyCar - Houston: Peter Dempsey has stopped out on the track at Turn 6. There are 18 minutes of Lights practice left, with Jack Hawksworth currently leading the times.

Fri 21:00 ALMS - Virginia: After that enjoyable LMPC pole battle, it's time for the big boys of the ALMS.

Fri 21:03 ALMS - Virginia: Early running and Scott Sharp has crashed at the final corner of his out-lap in the LMP2 championship-contending #1 Extreme Speed car. He's reversed and is back on track, but there's damage to the front.

Fri 21:07 ALMS - Virginia: Guy Smith is beating Klaus Graf in LMP1 at the moment. That's a good early effort in the Dyson Racing Lola. 1m36.347s is Smith's benchmark.

Fri 21:08 ALMS - Virginia: As for LMP2, there's a lot of working going on to get Sharp back out, while Briscoe is quickest of the three runners just ahead of Franchitti.

Fri 21:10 NASCAR - Kansas: Qualifying is coming up in Kansas, where Landon Cassill will be the first car on track.

Fri 21:10 ALMS - Virginia: Graf has closed to 0.20s behind Smith now. A few minutes still remain, game on!

Fri 21:12 IndyCar - Houston: Conor Daly, who is making a Lights cameo appearance this weekend, jumps to P1 with three minutes remaining.

Fri 21:12 ALMS - Virginia: Graf has been rumbled. He can't go quicker than Smith at the moment and makes a big mistake on his most recent effort to do so.

Fri 21:13 ALMS - Virginia: Graf pits! That's pole for Guy Smith and the Dyson team. Cracking stuff.

Fri 21:15 ALMS - Virginia: Just as an update, Briscoe takes the LMP2 pole in third overall. Sharp did get out, and managed to climb to 10th overall, three places ahead of the DeltaWing.

Fri 21:19 IndyCar - Houston: Lights practice sends with Karam back on top ahead of Hawksworth and Daly. IndyCar's second practice session should start shortly.

Fri 21:20 ALMS - Virginia: So, these are your polesitters for the race at Virginia International Raceway tomorrow:

LMP1: Smith/Mowlem (Dyson Racing)
LMP2: Briscoe/Tucker (Level 5)
LMPC: Cameron/Guasch
GT: Martin/Auberlen (BMW)
GTC: Faulkner/Keating

Fri 21:21 NASCAR - Kansas: After the first few drivers have set a time, Dale Earnhardt Jr has shot into provisional pole with a time of 29.021s. He's just ahead of Martin Truex Jr and Jeff Gordon.

Fri 21:33 NASCAR - Kansas: Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Jimmie Johnson have bumped Earnhardt down to third now. Kenseth and Hamlin lie fourth and fifth after their runs.15 drivers have set a time.

Fri 21:34 IndyCar - Houston: The second IndyCar practice session is underway. The reason we know this - apart from the noise - is that Ed Carpenter's car is in an escape road instead of pitlane.

Fri 21:35 IndyCar - Houston: And now he has stalled, bringing out the red flags. It's been quite a week for Carpenter, whose team transporter caught fire on a highway a few days ago.

Fri 21:40 IndyCar - Houston: Back underway.

Fri 21:43 IndyCar - Houston: Spin from Helio Castroneves in the Turn 2 chicane. That's where Ryan Hunter-Reay crashed earlier this afternoon, but Helio has managed to avoid the wall.

Fri 21:46 IndyCar - Houston: And another restart. While Castroneves was spinning into red flag-dom, we neglected to mention that he is also the early session leader.

Fri 21:52 NASCAR - Kansas: Stenhouse is still atop the times, Johnson is still second. Outgoing champion Brad Keselowski slots into third. It's all quiet other than that, nobody threatening the top.

Fri 21:52 IndyCar - Houston: Power is P1. Carpenter is spinning again. Situations = normal.

Fri 21:53 IndyCar - Houston: And it's another red flag to allow for Carpenter's car to be rescued.

Fri 21:53 NASCAR - Kansas: I should have typed that sooner. Harvick rockets up to top spot with a 28.796s lap.

Fri 21:57 IndyCar - Houston: Ganassi's official Twitter account has tweeted a photo celebrating Tony Kanaan's imminent arrival, and highlighting his major achievements. We know they're excited, so we haven't the heart to tell them that TK won the IndyCar title in 2004, not 2005.

Fri 21:59 IndyCar - Houston: OK, let's try again. Ed Carpenter fact - he has a new engine this weekend due to the aforementioned fire, but will not incur a penalty due to the 'Act of God' clause. Apparently he's the first driver to benefit from this rule.

Fri 22:02 IndyCar - Houston: Another spin in Turn 2 but this time the culprit was James Hinchcliffe, who may have been momentarily blinded by the bright pink paint job he's running this weekend.

Power is still P1. We suspect this is partly because nobody is getting enough time between the red flags to actually get up to speed.

Fri 22:06 NASCAR - Kansas: This is the top five with just a handful of drivers remaining:

1 Harvick; 2 Stenhouse Jr; 3 Johnson; 4 Keselowski; 5 Logano.

Fri 22:06 IndyCar - Houston: What year was it that Jenson Button won in Monaco and then ran the full length of pitlane still in his helmet and race suit? Anyway, James Hinchcliffe is doing a decent impression of that right now as he hustles back from Turn 2 to pitlane. Given how hot it is, that's pretty impressive.

Fri 22:07 IndyCar - Houston: Hinchcliffe is reporting that his car suffered a battery failure.

Fri 22:08 IndyCar - Houston: Green flag, seven minutes left.

Fri 22:15 IndyCar - Houston: Turn 2, again. Helio Castroneves, again. No contact with the wall, again. Red flag, again.

With just 90s left on the clock that will also end the session. Justin Wilson jumped to the top right at the end.

Fri 22:51 That's it for AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live's Friday night Stateside coverage. Join us again tomorrow morning at 8.15am BST for resumed coverage of Rally France. Goodnight!

Sat 07:31 Good morning from AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live on a wet Saturday October 5 2013 in France.

Sat 07:32 WRC - France: There's a slight delay to our first stage of the morning due to crowd congestion on the Hohlandsbourg test.

Thierry NeuvilleSat 07:36 WRC - France: As expected, rain has arrived. Yesterday was damp in places but generally fairly dry, and it was Thierry Neuville who got the tyre choice just right and opened up a lead.

And at the end of day one of a rally that was supposed to be all about Sebastien Loeb and Sebastien Ogier, neither of the home heroes was even in the top three...

Rally of France Friday pm report

Sat 07:40 WRC - France: Neuville, Dani Sordo, Jari-Matti Latvala and Loeb are all onto the stage, with Ogier heading for the startline.

Sat 07:41 WRC - France: The stage doesn't look as sodden as overnight forecasts suggested would be the case today, but it is very, very misty on the higher sections.

Sat 07:46 WRC - France: Based on the splits so far, Neuville is on course to extend his lead a little bit.

Sat 07:50 WRC - France: Neuville completes the stage and says some of the bollards put in to prevent corner-cutting have already gone missing.

"There were more cuts than I expected, it changed a lot compared to the recce. I don't know if the spectators changed the bollards or the organisation, but we had to change the pace notes a little bit."

Sat 07:51 WRC - France: Sordo comes through five seconds slower than Neuville. He wasn't enjoying the foggy sections.

Sat 07:54 WRC - France: Latvala is 3.1s slower than the flying Neuville.

The VW man says he wasn't confident in the early part of the stage as he wasn't sure how much the tyres would've cooled during the delay before the start.

Sat 07:54 WRC - France: And Loeb is slower than Neuville too! He loses four seconds. The M-Sport Ford man is driving an incredible rally.

Sat 07:56 WRC - France: Loeb has a bit too much oversteer, and asked if he can catch Neuville, he replies "at the moment... no."

Sat 07:58 WRC - France: Ogier is back in the hunt. He takes the stage win by 1.5s over Neuville.

That still leaves the champion, who is much happier with his VW today, 27s off the lead, but now he's only 10s behind fourth-placed Loeb.

Sat 08:00 WRC - France: Evgeny Novikov loses half a minute on that stage. He says he was very careful in the foggy and wet conditions. Let's see if pursuers Andreas Mikkelsen, Mikko Hirvonen and Mads Ostberg are able to gain ground on him.

Sat 08:02 WRC - France: No worries for Novikov from Mikkelsen, he's short on confidence in an understeering VW and loses a second to the Russian.

Sat 08:04 WRC - France: Hirvonen passes Mikkelsen on that stage and takes 12s out of the gap to Novikov, but he's very unhappy with the missing bollards and how much their absence has changed the stage compared to the recce.

Sat 08:06 WRC - France: Ostberg is another driver who finds the disappearance of the anti-corner-cutting bollards puzzling. He thinks they must've been removed by officials rather than spectators or cars ahead.

"It must've taken them all night..." Ostberg muses.

Sat 08:10 WRC - France - SS8 results:

Stage: 1 Ogier 14m37.7s; 2 Neuville +1.5s; 3 Latvala +5.0s; 4 Loeb +6.0s; 5 Sordo +6.6s; 6 Hirvonen +17.5s.

Overall: 1 Neuville; 2 Sordo +15.0s; 3 Latvala +15.3s; 4 Loeb +16.7s; 5 Ogier +27.2s; 6 Novikov +1m31.7s.

Robert KubicaSat 08:13 WRC - France: Robert Kubica isn't quickest in WRC 2, but he doesn't have to be as he is over three minutes clear of second-placed Eflyn Evans following the Welshman's tough Friday. Evans is 12s faster on the stage.

Sat 08:20 WRC - France: It's straight onto SS9, Vallee du Munster, and the top cars have begun the stage.

This morning's three stages are repeated this afternoon, along with the bonus Mulhouse spectator stage to round things off.

Sat 08:22 WRC - France: This stage looks wetter than the previous one. And the bollards have not gone missing!

Sat 08:26 WRC - France: Ogier blasts off the line. Early splits have Neuville slightly quicker than the other drivers on the stage.

Sat 08:27 WRC - France: Although take those splits with a pinch of salt as they keep changing and Neuville says he was getting no info from the timing system...

He also found the stage pretty challenging.

"A very dangerous stage. Very fast and the Tarmac was like ice in some places."

Sat 08:29 WRC - France: Sordo loses another second to Neuville on that stage. Latvala heading to the finish now.

Sat 08:30 WRC - France: Latvala's time is between Neuville and Sordo, and he didn't find the slippery road too bad.

"Better than I expected. Surprisingly good in some places."

Sat 08:32 WRC - France: Problems for Loeb, he spun on the exit of a hairpin and had to reverse back into place.

Sat 08:34 WRC - France: That spin cost Loeb 9s, and as Ogier takes another stage win, they swap positions.

Ogier is now just one tenth ahead of Loeb in fourth place.

Sat 08:44 WRC - France - SS9 results:

Stage: 1 Ogier 8m27.4s; 2 Neuville + 1.1s; 3 Latvala +2.4s; 4 Sordo +2.8s; 5 Loeb +10.6s; 6 Novikov +11.3s.

Overall: 1 Neuville; 2 Latvala +16.6s; 3 Sordo +16.7s; 4 Ogier +26.1s; 5 Loeb +26.2s; 6 Novikov +1m41.9s.

Sat 08:46 WRC - France: After being a bit over-cautious on SS8, Novikov has now woken up and instantly fought back against the chasing Hirvonen.

He outpaced the Finn by 8.7s on that stage so the gap between sixth and seventh is back up to 26s.

Andreas Mikkelsen slid off the road under braking on that stage, so he's now fallen to ninth behind Mads Ostberg.

Sat 08:47 WRC - France: Kubica's uneventful but dominant WRC 2 run continues through SS9.

He's 11th overall so also stands to score an overall point if any of the WRC field drops out.

Sat 08:49 WRC - France: So Neuville is looking more and more comfortable, Latvala and Sordo are just a tenth apart in second and third, Ogier and Loeb are just a tenth apart in fourth and fifth, Novikov is lonesome, and then only nine seconds blankets Hirvonen, Ostberg and Mikkelsen.

The Soultzeren stage starts in a few minutes and will round the morning off.

Vittorio GhirelliSat 08:58 With Loeb saying goodbye, Ogier becoming champion and Neuville being a downright superstar, the Rally of France is naturally monopolising AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live's attention today.

But there's single-seater action coming up too, with the first race of Auto GP's four-way title decider at Brno later this morning.

Points leader Vittorio Ghirelli (pictured) took pole yesterday, leaving season-long title combatants Sergio Campana and Kimiya Sato on the back foot.

And keep an eye on long-shot contender Narain Karthikeyan too: third on the grid and winner of three of the last five races.

Sat 09:09 WRC - France: SS10 is now up and running. Looking less slippery than the previous two.

Sat 09:11 WRC - France: ...but now rain is starting to fall on the middle of the stage. This one's going to be a mixed bag.

Sat 09:16 WRC - France: Neuville comes through OK despite a minor scare:

"I was a bit lucky there, it was much more slippery than I expected and I went wide and had to take the handbrake."

Sat 09:17 WRC - France: That small error has hurt Neuville a bit, with Sordo coming to the finish 2.5s faster.

Sat 09:19 WRC - France: Some of the splits are suggesting Loeb is blowing everyone away by 10s. Some aren't. We're inclined to feel this is the timing system being bonkers again.

Sat 09:20 WRC - France: Good time from Latvala, he's quickest so far, a second up on Sordo and 3.5s faster than Neuville.

That's despite Latvala feeling he was being too aggressive in the downhill braking errors and costing himself time.

Sat 09:21 WRC - France: Ok, that is a great time from Loeb. He beats Latvala's time by 2.9s, so is nearly 6s faster than Neuville.

If only he hadn't spun 9s away on the last stage...

Sat 09:22 WRC - France: "Much better," says Loeb, "the first stage this morning where we've had no problems. And a good drive.

"I don't need any points, I'll just drive how I feel."

Sat 09:22 WRC - France: Ogier is a bit slower than Loeb, so that could be Loeb's 900th WRC stage win...

That puts Loeb back ahead of Ogier in fourth.

Sat 09:32 Auto GP - Brno: Indications from the Brno paddock suggest that next year's Auto GP calendar will again be European-based.

Earlier this year, organisers had revealed they were investigating staging long-haul events in China and Japan for 2014. More details are expected to emerge over the weekend.

Sat 09:35 WRC - France: Both Mikkelsen and Ostberg were unhappy with their set-ups on that stage. But Ostberg's descriptions had more entertaining whimsy to them and he was also the faster of the pair.

Sat 09:36 WRC - France - SS10 results:

Stage: 1 Loeb 9m47.2s; 2 Latvala +2.9s; 3 Ogier +3.7s; 4 Sordo +3.9s; 5 Neuville +6.4s; 6 Novikov +16.5s.

Overall: 1 Neuville; 2 Latvala +13.1s; 3 Sordo +14.2s; 4 Loeb +19.8s; 5 Ogier +23.4s; 6 Novikov +1m52.0s.

Sat 09:40 Auto GP - Brno: The grid for this afternoon's potentially title-deciding Auto GP race has been released. There are no changes from Friday's qualifying result.

Romain DumasSat 09:58 WRC - France: A quick round-up of what's going on outside the top 10 as the cars head for service...

Robert Kubica is holding a 3m17s lead over Elfyn Evans in WRC 2.

Quentin Gilbert has stabilised a half-minute cushion over Sebastien Chardonnet in WRC 3, with Keith Cronin still third.

Yeray Lemes has pulled a minute clear in Junior WRC, but second place is still good for points leader Pontus Tidemand.

Le Mans 24 Hours winner Romain Dumas (pictured) is running 13th in a Ford Fiesta WRC co-driven by Denis Giraudet.

Sat 10:10 Auto GP - Brno: The field has lined up on the dummy grid, all are present and correct. Kimiya Sato is the only one of the four title contenders to opt for a mix of medium and soft compound Kumhos.

Sat 10:12 WRC - France: Anyone wondering where WRC 3 contender Stephan Consani is this weekend?

He's been thrown out of the championship after confessing to recceing one of Rally France's stages last month.

Story goes that Consani realised he was being followed by representatives of the rally organisers, panicked and then tried to make a getaway, but was then involved in an accident and the game was up.

Consani was seventh in the championship standings, but has now had his points deleted and he's suspended from the last two rounds of the season.

Naughty boy.

Sat 10:15 Auto GP - Brno: We're green for 16 laps of action, in this penultimate race of the season.

Third-starter Karthikeyan makes a flier to lead into Turn 1 from Kevin Giovesi. Pole man Ghirelli is fourth.

Sat 10:15 Auto GP - Brno: Giovesi has hit trouble on the opening lap and is running very slowly.

Sat 10:19 Auto GP - Brno: Title outsider Karthikeyan has already extented a lead in excess of 2s over Robert Visoiu.

The Romanian's team-mate Giovesi is a first lap retirement with what appears to be a technical failure.

Visoiu is pinning back third-placed championship leader Ghirelli.

Sat 10:22 Auto GP - Brno: After a strong start, title hopeful Kimiya Sato dropped behind Tamas Pal Kiss to sixth on lap three. The Japanese has pitted at the end of lap four to change his medium compound rears.

Sat 10:25 Auto GP - Brno: Tamas Pal Kiss has got passed the relatively tardy Meindert van Buuren to move into fourth. The Zele Racing driver is 10s adrift of leader Karthikeyan.

Sat 10:28 Auto GP - Brno: Sergio Campana pits from sixth at the conclusion of lap seven.

Up front, second-placed Robert Visoiu has pegged the deficit to leader Karthikeyan at 2.4s.

Sat 10:30 Auto GP - Brno: Sato, the leading driver to have pitted, is lapping 0.2s off Karthikeyan's pace in ninth.

Sat 10:37 Auto GP - Brno: A mistake from Karthiekyan who puts two wheels on the grass exiting the last corner. The Indian's lead is 2.2s.

Ghirelli has pitted from third and rejoined in fourth, ahead of early-stopper Sato.

Sat 10:41 Auto GP - Brno: The leaders have now made their mandatory stops. Ghirelli has passed Robert Visoiu for, effectively, second. A Super Nova one-two appears likely, as there's just two laps remaining.

WRC - France: Markku AlenSat 10:42 We've just been looking through the record books following Loeb's 900th stage victory earlier today.

The French rally ace tops the all-time rankings, ahead of Markku Alen on 801 and Carlos Sainz on 756, which seems like a good enough reason to post a picture of Alen getting his Lancia Delta rather dirty.

Sat 10:46 Auto GP - Brno: 1 Narain Karthikeyan; 2 Vittorio Ghirelli; 3 Robert Visoiu; 4 Kimiya Sato; 5 Tamas Pal Kiss; 6 Sergio Campana.

Sat 10:50 Auto GP - Brno: Karthikeyan's win vaults the Indian from fourth to second in the drivers' standings.

Provisional points: 1 Ghirelli, 210; 2 Karthikeyan, 195; 3 Sato, 192; 4 Campana, 182.

Early season championship leader Sergio Campana's hopes of lifting the title appear over, as a maximum score of 21 points is available in tomorrow's final race of the season.

ALMS - Virgina: Sat 11:23 You may have missed this last night while you where in the pub or alseep or whatever, but Pickett's streak of ALMS poles came to end yesterday.

Dyson Racing's Guy Smith was the one to break their stranglehold and will start the penultimate ALMS race from the front of the field.

Sportscar ace Maxime Martin claimed his second series pole in the GT category whose session was truncated after several competitors spun on oil that had been deposited on the track.

Dyson's Guy Smith ends Pickett's pole streak

Sat 11:29 NASCAR - Kansas: Over in NASCAR, Kevin Harvick managed to break his pole drought at Kansas. It's his first in seven years!

Kevin Harvick claims pole for Childress

Sat 11:34 IndyCar - Houston: Just Wilson led the opening day of practice at Houston. The Brit pipped Will Power by 0.3s towards the end of the session while Ed Carpenter had the ignominy of causing two red flag periods.

Justin Wilson fastest in stop-start second IndyCar Houston practice

Sat 11:44 Auto GP - Brno: Auto GP debutant Josef Kral's race was compromised when his Zele Racing machine's engine cut out during his mandatory pitstop. The former GP2 race winner finished a distant last.

Sat 11:45 Auto GP - Brno: Meindert van Buuuren also had pit dramas. The Dutchman was a candidate for a top-six result before encountering a lengthy delay caused by a problematic right-rear wheel during his tyre change.

Sat 11:52 WRC - France: Not long until the second loop of stages gets underway here in France. Neuville continues to lead the way with a 13.1s advantage over Jari-Matti Latvala who has Dani Sordo hot on his tail.

The Hohlandsbourg - Firstplan test should begin in about five minutes, which is just enough time for you to catch-up on what happened this morning.

Thierry Neuville extends Rally France lead

Sat 11:59 WRC - France: Long interview with French rally legend Guy Frequelin during the break between stages. Fascinating insight into his time with Sebastien Loeb at Citroen - read all about it in next week's AUTOSPORT.

Sat 12:01 WRC - France: Massive moment for leader Neuville through very wet medium-speed right-hander. He looks to have got away without any damage on the car and continues at full speed in the stage. Pressure?

Sat 12:04 WRC-France Spin for Neuville! Too quick in a long right-hander - 360 and carried on. Another moment in a left-hander. The rally leader is right on the ragged edge!

Sat 12:08 WRC - France: Left-rear puncture for Neuville. Maybe damage from the first moment in the stage. He will lose the lead, 14s down on Sordo at split 3.

Sat 12:16 WRC - France: Neuville drops 1m22 to Sordo. Left-rear tyre completely gone.

The former leader said: "I hit a stone or something, knocked the tyre off the rim and that was it."

Sat 12:22 WRC - France: Latvala is next home and finishes 4s slower than Sordo. The pair have been engaged in a fierce battle all day, even more so now that Neuville has dropped down the order.

Sat 12:23 WRC - France: Loeb goes quickest with a time of 14m44.4s.

"It was quite a good stage," he says with a large dollop of understatement.

Sat 12:24 Auto GP - Brno: Narain Karthikeyan gives his reaction to a superb victory at Brno this afternoon, and explains his late race trip across the grass exiting the final corner.

“We were slightly too ambitious by taking off a bit too much rear-wing before the start,” said Karthikeyan. “I had a mega start and the car was really fast in the early laps, but I knew as my rears went off the car was going to get increasingly nervous.

Sat 12:25 Auto GP - Brno: "That didn’t contribute to my moment on the grass, which happened when I looked down in the cockpit to find the brake bias," continued Karthikeyan.

"I am used to the F1-style adjuster, you know! But I am happy I am still alive as far as the championship is concerned.”

Sat 12:26 WRC - France: Ogier's a different man today after his lacklustre performance yesterday. The newly-crowned World Champion has pipped his compatriot by 2.9s!

Sat 12:30 Auto GP - Brno: Championship leader Vittorio Ghirelli has identified his start technique as a key area he will be reappraising ahead of tomorrow's season finale.

“We need to look at our starts again for tomorrow,” said Ghirelli, who from pole dropped three places away from the lights in this afternoon's opening race at Brno.

“I was down in fourth position exiting the first corner. I just had too much wheelspin.”

Sat 12:32 WRC - France: Mikkelsen is next to roll across the finish line with a time of 15m07.6s.

"It's a bit better out there this afternoon," he says."Still very slippery with a lot of gravel on the road.

"The road is dry in some places, but very wet in the forest section - very tricky!"

Sat 12:36 WRC - France: Hirvonen sets a time of 14m58.7s, which is 17.2s slower than team-mate Sordo. The Finn is very much under the weather this weekend and sounds full of cold.

Sat 12:41 WRC - France: Well that was hectic. Neuville's mid-stage incident drops him down to fifth overall with over a minute to (somehow) make up.

Sordo's been in sparkling form this weekend and now leads, ahead of Latvala and the two Sebs - Loeb and Ogier respectively - and just 5.2s covers the top four!

Sat 12:43 WRC - France - SS11:

Stage: 1 Ogier; 2 Loeb +2.9s; 3 Sordo +4.0s; 4 Latvala +8.0s; 5 Novikov +17.1s; 6 Hirvonen +17.2s.

Overall: 1 Sordo; 2 Latvala +2.9s; 3 Loeb +4.5s; 4 Ogier +5.2s; 5 Neuville +1m07.8s.

Sat 12:48 WRC - France: Second run through Valle de Munster is underway. Plenty of mud on some of the corners which will make this 16.37-kilometre test all the more tricky.

As a guidance, Ogier set the quickest time through the stage this morning with a time of 8m27.4s.

Sat 12:51 WRC - France: Neuville comes through unscathed and sets a time of 8m36.3s

"I took it steady," says the erstwhile rally leader. "I must stay on the road now."

Sat 12:53 WRC - France: Sordo arrives at the finishing line and seems bemused by reporters asking him about his moment in the stage.

"We went a little off," he says."But it's not important."

The Spaniard's time is 8m32.0s.

Sat 12:57 WRC - France: Latvala sets the pace with a 8m31.7s. The Finn says the mud on road made life a little difficult for him. Not that difficult, obviously...

Sat 13:00 WRC - France: Loeb says he suffered from understeering in the stage which cost him 3.3s on Latvala.

Sat 13:02 WRC - France: Second consecutive stage on which Ogier has been quickest. The Frenchman sets a time of 8m31.4s which moves him up to third overall, ahead of Loeb.

Sat 13:11 WRC - France: Hirvonen's day continues to go from bad to worse as he loses 11.7s on the overall lead.

Sat 13:14 WRC - France: Ostberg coming towards the finish. The M-Sport Ford man looked on course to set the fifth-quickest time of the stage but seemed to slow down in the final split.

His time at the end is 8m43.2s.

Sat 13:14 Auto GP - Brno: Following this afternoon’s tense penultimate race of the season, three drivers remain in contention for the Auto GP crown.

Kimiya Sato goes into tomorrow's title decider third in the drivers' standings, 18 points behind championship leader Vittorio Ghirelli. What permutations could result in the Japanese driver lifting the crown?

Sat 13:16 Auto GP - Brno: Should Sato achieve a maximum score by winning race two at Brno, and earn the bonus point for fastest lap, a meagre seventh place finish by Ghirelli would suffice for the Italian to eclipse the Euronova driver’s points tally. (Ghirelli is set to start from seventh on the grid).

Complicating matters, Saturday's race one winner Narain Karthikeyan is also well in the mix.

Should Sato take maximum points, Karthikeyan would require a fourth place to overtake the Japanese driver’s points haul.

Sat 13:20 WRC - France - SS12: Ogier's stage victory puts him provisional third, behind Sordo and Latvala.

Stage: 1 Ogier; 2 Latvala +0.4s; 3 Sordo +0.7s; 4 Loeb +3.7s; 5 Neuville +4.9s; 6 Novikov +8.8s.

Overall: 1 Sordo; 2 Latvala +2.6s; 3 Ogier +4.5s; 4 Loeb +7.5s; 5 Neuville +1m12.1s; 6 Novikov +1m59.0s.

Sat 13:20 Auto GP - Brno: Still with us? If Ghirelli finishes outside of the points and fails to take the fastest lap, a second place would hand Karthikeyan the title – given the proviso that Sato doesn’t win.

Sat 13:25 IndyCar - Houston: Another warm and humid morning here in Houston, where AUTOSPORT has arrived bright and early for a 'major 2014 announcement' by a team that we're not going to name, only for said team to not show up.

Sat 13:29 WRC - France: Third stage of the afternoon has just begun. Loeb set the pace in the first run through this morning with a time of 9m47.2s.

Conditions are much drier on Soultzeren this afternoon as Neuville winds his way through the first stage split.

Sat 13:31 IndyCar - Houston: IndyCar has confirmed the qualifying format for today and tomorrow: The field will be split in half for the 30 minute sessions, with each getting 12 minutes of track time.

The schedule for the weekend was thrown into disarray yesterday when three hours of running time were lost due to problems with the track surface at the end of the main straight.

Sat 13:34 WRC - France: In case you are just tuning in and wondering what happened Neuville...

Thierry Neuville hits trouble

Sat 13:36 WRC - France: Belting it down in the service park at the moment. Not quite so bad on the stage at the moment as Latvala has his wipers on intermittent speed at the moment.

Sat 13:39 WRC - France: Neuville battles through the drizzle to set a time of 9m49.4s.

"I had a good rhythm on this stage," he says. "I reckon my time won't be too bad."

We shall see...

Sat 13:41 Auto GP - Brno: Ghinzani Motorsport has revealed that clutch failure caused front-row starter Kevin Giovesi's opening lap retirement.

"It's a shame for Kevin, but I think the revs were too high at the start," team boss Piercarlo Ghinzani told AUTOSPORT.

Sat 13:43 WRC - France: Slow(ish) time by Sordo who is 2.7s down on Neuville.

"I lost time as some corners were a bit dirty and I lost a bit of confidence," he admits. "I'm happy at the moment and we'll see what happens tomorrow."

Someone tell him he still has the 4.65-kilometre Mulhouse stage to contend today!

Sat 13:46 WRC - France: Latvala's time is 0.7s slower than Neuville's, meaning he is now just 0.6s behind Sordo in the overall standings!

Sat 13:52 WRC - France: Loeb's set the same time as Latavala - 9m50.1s.

The other Seb comes through 0.1s slower than his fellow countryman and the top four are currently covered by just 5.5s overall.

Sat 13:55 WRC - France: Rain coming down much heavier now the last of the frontrunners are reaching the finish.

Novikiv explains it rather well: "It's been different for everybody because when we started it was dry, and then it (the rain) came."

His time is 10.3s off of Neuville's, which isn't so bad given the current weather conditions.

Sat 14:02 WRC - France: Hirvonen continues to struggle to match the pace of those ahead of him. The Finn's time in SS13 is 10m02.4s, which is exactly 13s slower than Neuville.

"It was wet and slippery out there, which made it tough to find a good rhythm," he remarks. "But I came through unscathed, so it's not so bad."

Sat 14:12 WRC - France - SS13: Sordo continues to lead Rally France as we now enter a brief lull before this evening's Mulhouse stage.

The Spaniard's advantage was 2.9 over Latvala after Neuville hit trouble in SS11, but that's now down to a minuscule 0.7s.

Stage: 1 Neuville; 2 Latvala +0.7s; 3 Loeb +0.7s; 4 Ogier +0.8s; 5 Sordo +2.7s; 6 Hirvonen +13.0s.

Overall: 1 Sordo; 2 Latvala +0.6s; 3 Ogier +2.6s; 4 Loeb +5.5s; 5 Neuville +1m09.4s; 6 Novikov +2m09.3s.

Sat 14:18 WRC - France: Kubica continues to dominate the WRC 2 category. The former Formula 1 driver isn't pushing nearly as much today but still enjoys a 3m16.7s advantage over Evans, who claimed a brace of stage wins this afternoon.

Sat 14:19 IndyCar - Houston: The track problem-related scheduling chaos continues this morning, with the scheduled Indy Lights qualifying session having been changed to a practice session, and the race grid being set by championship points. Sounds like the overnight repair work was a success, then ...

Sat 14:22 WRC - France: The last of today's stages gets underway at 18:00 local time, which is 17:00 BST.

Sat 14:40 IndyCar - Houston: The Lights practice session that used to be a qualifying session is over. Jack Hawksworth was quickest.

Sat 15:05 IndyCar - Houston: Just to keep everyone on their toes, the IndyCars have just headed out for their warm-up session.

What makes this interesting is that there isn't actually a warm-up session on the schedule. It's only for 10 minutes, and it's a safe bet that the teams want to test the reworked bump at the Turn 1 before they head into qualifying.

Sat 15:08 IndyCar - Houston: If the amount of air that Will Power and EJ Viso just got at the end of the straight is any guide, the overnight track work hasn't made much difference.

Sat 15:12 IndyCar - Houston: It's worth noting that the temporary chicane from yesterday has been removed, so it seems that the organisers were relying on the grinding work to solve the bump problem.

Random fact: Without even trying, AUTOSPORT has thought of two songs with the title 'Bump and grind'. One is by R. Kelly, the other is by David Lee Roth. Feel free to use either as a soundtrack to this weekend.

Sat 15:13 IndyCar - Houston: Session over. For what it's worth, Power was quickest.

Sat 15:50 IndyCar - Houston: It's not a bike race, but rather the drivers inspecting the track before the warm-up.

Sat 15:50 WRC - France: Ten minutes until the final test of the day gets underway, which is a short blast through the Mulhouse town centre.

Sat 15:51 IndyCar - Houston: A very quick lap of pitlane after that session revealed that most drivers think they can live with the bump at the end of the straight following last night's repair work. Star Mazda is racing on it right now, so far without incident.

And for those wondering, we've opted for the David Lee Roth 'Bump and grid' option.

Sat 16:01 WRC - France: No rain at the moment in Mulhouse, but there is a chill in the air as the wind has begun to pick up.

Sat 16:08 WRC - France: Neuville's first to complete the final stage of the day with a time of 3m37.7s. He's quickly followed by rally leader Sordo, who is 0.6s quicker.

"Today was a great day," says Sordo."I'm very happy with my performance and I'm hapy to be fighting with the best in the world."

Sat 16:10 WRC - France: All change in the overall classification as Latvala goes 1.0s quicker than Sordo to take the lead!

"It's pretty incredible," he says. "It's one of the craziest rallies I have ever been involved in."

Sat 16:13 WRC - France: Loeb's time is 0.1s slower than Latvala's and the gap covering the top four is now down to just five seconds.

Sat 16:15 WRC - France: Fastest time has just been set by Ogier, which is a 3m35.6s and means the newly-crowned champion is just 1.5s behind Latvala in third overall!

"It's a great battle," admits Ogier. "We had a perfect day and we pushed very hard today. Now we have to continue like this tomorrow."

Sat 16:17 WRC - France: Novikov remains in sixth place with his 3m43.8s. Mikkelsen is next through and sets a time of 3m38.7s.

Sat 16:20 WRC - France: Hirvonen rounds off a rather muted day by posting the seventh quickest time of the stage.

"It's been a tough day," he says. "I've been struggling to have a good feeling, but at least we haven't made any mistakes."

The Finn starts tomorrow 2m43.1s off the lead in seventh.

Sat 16:23 WRC - France - SS14:

Stage: 1 Ogier; 2 Latvala +0.5s; 3 Loeb +0.6s; 4 Sordo +1.5s; 5 Neuville +2.1s; 6 Mikkelsen +3.1s.

Overall: 1 Latvala; 2 Sordo +0.4s; 3 Ogier +1.5s; 4 Loeb +5.0s; 5 Neuville +1m10.4s; 6 Neuville +1m10.4s.

Sat 16:27 WRC - France: What fantastic end to the day here in France as Latvala leads overnight by just 0.4s!

The final day of competition tomorrow is the shortest of the event and ends on the streets of Hanguenau, birthplace of Sebastien Loeb.

Will the rally ace be able to make up his five-second deficit and claim a home win? Find out tomorrow when things kick-off again at precisely 09:23 local time, which is 08:23 BST.

Sat 16:28 IndyCar - Houston: Qualifying is finally underway ...

Sat 16:28 IndyCar - Houston: ... and Tristan Vautier is in the wall.

Sat 16:30 IndyCar - Houston: The Frenchman lost control in Turn 10, and made heavy contact with the wall. He's fine, but there are lots of bits missing from his car.

Sat 16:33 IndyCar - Houston: The two groups for qualifying were decided randomly. Drivers involved in this first group are Will Power, Justin Wilson, Luca Filippi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves, Dario Franchitti, Simona de Silvestro, Josef Newgarden, Sebastien Bourdais, Marco Andretti, and Tristan Vautier.

Sat 16:37 IndyCar - Houston: Tristan Vautier on his accident:

"I lost the car."

No kidding.

Sat 16:37 IndyCar - Houston: The cars are back on track.

Sat 16:42 IndyCar - Houston: Chequered flag already? There was supposed to be a guaranteed 10 minutes of green flag time, and yet this group only got five. There will be something said about that later.

Power is on provisional pole at 1m01.1524s. Behind him are Bourdais, de Silvestro, Filippi, Andretti, Wilson, Hunter-reay, Servia, Newgarden, Castroneves and Vautier. That's a disastrous start for Castroneves.

Sat 16:44 IndyCar - Houston: Drivers participating in Group 2: EJ Viso, James Hinchcliffe, Ed Carpenter, Mike Conway, Sebastian Saavedra, Takuma Sato, Scott Dixon, Charlie Kimball, Tony Kanaan, Graham Rahal, James Jakes and Simon Pagenaud.

Sat 16:45 IndyCar - Houston: And out they go.

Sat 16:50 IndyCar - Houston: Whatever else happens, Will Power will not be on pole for today's race: both Takuma Sato and Simon Pagenaud have just beaten his time.

Sat 16:52 IndyCar - Houston: Ed Carpenter tags the wall and returns to the pits. That's his first incident since ... well, since yesterday.

Sat 16:54 IndyCar - Houston: Correction - Carpenter did not hit the wall. He wandered into the path of Justin Wilson.

Sat 16:55 IndyCar - Houston: Sato, currently on provisional pole, returns to the pits with 90s remaining. If no-one can better his time, this will be a hometown pole for the AJ Foyt Racing team.

Sat 16:58 IndyCar - Houston: Sato on pole! Great effort from the Japanese driver. The remainder order was Dixon, Pagenaud, Hinchcliffe, Viso, Jakes, Conway, Kanaan, Kimball, Rahal (who has a 10 place grid penalty), Saavedra and Carpenter.

LatvalaSat 17:07 WRC - France: Here's the full story of how Latvala found himself in the lead of this weekend's fiercely contested rally.

Rally of France Saturday evening report

Our coverage for the event continues tomorrow morning shortly before the first stage gets underway at 09:23 (08:23 BST).

Sat 17:13 IndyCar - Houston: Takuma Sato upon his arrival in the post-qualifying press conference:

"Excuse my voice. I've had too much singing."

Sat 18:34 IndyCar - Houston: While AUTOSPORT was out talking to people in the paddock, the Lights race has gotten underway. At half distance Sage Karam leads from Gabby Chaves and Carlos Munoz. We're under full-course yellows right now after seperate accidents from Juan Pablo Garcia and Mathew di Leo.

Sat 18:36 IndyCar - Houston: Massive blow to Carlos Munoz's title hopes after his car slows to a stop behind the safety car. The Colombian looks distraught.

Sat 18:38 IndyCar - Houston: Three 10-place grid penalties will be issued for today's IndyCar race, all for unauthorised engine changes. The victims are Dario Franchitti, Sebastien Bourdais and Graham Rahal.

Sat 18:43 IndyCar - Houston: We've just seen a quote from Helio Castroneves about his catastrophic qualifying session earlier today, but it's really boring so we're not going to bother running it. Just make up your own quote about being 'really disappointed' but having faith because your team is the 'best in the business' and you'll be near enough.

Sat 18:44 ALMS - Virginia: We've just had the first pitstops in the penultimate race in American Le Mans Series history.

Klaus Graf holds a narrow overall lead in the Pickett HPD ahead of Johnny Mowlem in the Dyson Lola-Mazda, while in GT the Risi Ferrari and #93 SRT Viper chose to stay out during those stops so lead GT.

Bill Auberlen's BMW is the best of the GT cars that have pitted.

Sat 18:45 ALMS - Virginia: Big moment in the LMPC class as title contender Mike Guasch of PR1/Mathiasen and Ryan Booth of Performance Tech tangle.

Sat 18:46 IndyCar - Houston: On the Indy Lights commentary, Pippa Mann is talking about fortune cookies.

Meanwhile, Jack Hawksworth has been black-flagged for blocking, avoidable contact, AND taking a short cut. It's rare that you see a hat-trick of offences like that. And that's probably the end of the Brit's title hopes.

Sat 18:47 ALMS - Virginia: Replays show that Guasch and Booth tried to do a kind of Gilles Villeneuve/Rene Arnoux Dijon 1979 impression, but did it really badly and stuffed each other into the barriers.

Impressively, no full course yellow. Both cars are limping back to the pits.

Sat 18:49 ALMS - Virginia: Kuno Wittmer in the Viper takes the GT lead from Olivier Beretta in the Risi Ferrari.

The Miller Porsche is the other car that hasn't stopped yet and runs third.

All the other GT cars are in one long, wild, brilliant train among the traffic.

Sat 18:53 ALMS - Virginia: Graf is stretching the Pickett HPD's legs up front and now leads Mowlem's Dyson Lola by 8s.

In LMP2, leader Scott Tucker has been rapidly reeled in by Anthony Lazzarro and Stefan Johansson, the latter an addition to Tucker's Level 5 line-up for this weekend.

Sat 18:55 IndyCar - Houston: Peter Dempsey's car retires from third with a mechanical problem, and this race is going to finish under yellows.

Karam will be the winner, with Gabby Chaves and Conor Daly completing the podium.

Sat 18:57 ALMS - Virginia: Leader Graf is spinning over the grass at the Oak Tree bend!

Sat 18:59 ALMS - Virginia: Replays show Graf was trying to lap a GTC Porsche, got onto the outside grass and spun. That puts Mowlem and Dyson into a 7s lead.

The LMP2 lead has changed too as Lazzaro surged past Tucker, but Lazzaro is now struggling to pass the DeltaWing ahead.

Sat 19:01 ALMS - Virginia: Now Mowlem is off the road too! But his mistake is a smaller one, he just runs off-course briefly and allows Graf to get closer but stays ahead.

Sat 19:07 ALMS - Virginia: Graf tries to attack Mowlem for the overall lead as they come up to lap LMPC leader Chris Cumming and GTC Porsche.

Mowlem judges the three-abreast moment brilliantly, takes to the grass and emerges with a bigger lead. Bold but successful.

Sat 19:15 ALMS - Virginia: Pickett now into the lead as Mowlem pits to hand the Dyson Lola-Mazda over to Guy Smith.

Sat 19:19 ALMS - Virginia: Pickett pits, Graf hands over to Lucas Luhr, and they the HPD comes back out in the lead.

Quick fire on the #02 Extreme Speed HPD as Johannes van Overbeek gets in during a pitstop.

Carl EdwardsSat 19:20 NASCAR - Kansas: Carl Edwards was fastest in final Sprint Cup practice a little while ago, and the Nationwide race will soon commence with Austin Dillon on pole.

Sat 19:23 ALMS - Virginia: Unusual trouble for the #55 BMW as the door refuses to close during the Bill Auberlen to Maxime Martin driver change.

The crew hurry out with a spare door. That's pretty impressive.

More GT drama: a 60-second penalty for the Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner Corvette for a clash with a GTC Porsche.

Sat 19:28 ALMS - Virginia: Smith catches Luhr and drafts past to retake the lead.

Within mere seconds, Pickett's Twitter account is talking about the Lola-Mazda's alleged straightline speed advantage...

Sat 19:42 IndyCar - Houston: IndyCar has announced that it will use single-file restarts this weekend so as not to unfairly disadvantage drivers on the bumpy side of the track at Turn 1.

Sat 19:47 ALMS - Virginia: Just past halfway. Smith still holds off Luhr up front, with less than a second between them.

LMP2 is just as close with Scott Sharp just leading Ryan Briscoe.

The Risi Ferrari has a 12s lead in GT, Kyle Marcelli is in charge in LMPC and Damien Faulkner is up front in GTC.

Sat 19:48 ALMS - Virginia: Yellow for a novel reason: some trackside grass is on fire after the #44 Flying Lizard GTC Porsche parked on it for a while.

Sat 20:01 IndyCar - Houston: The cars are forming up on the grid for the start. Actually, no they're not. The start has been aborted. There will be a second attempt at a standing start. This is different to Toronto, where the abandoned standing start was replaced by a rolling start.

Sat 20:01 ALMS - Virginia: Restart, but then a massive crash between Marco Holzer and Edoardo Cisneros' Porsches.

Cisneros' GTC car rolled through the air and landed atop the barriers. He's got out OK under his own steam.

Sat 20:02 IndyCar - Houston: Looks like Charlie Kimball stalled. He's up and running again now, though.

Sat 20:04 IndyCar - Houston: Start ...

Sat 20:05 IndyCar - Houston: ... full course yellow. James Hinchcliffe stalled, Tristan Vautier did an amazing job to avoid him, but Ed Carpenter was less fortunate and hits the back of the Andretti car.

Sat 20:05 ALMS - Virginia: That was horrific. The two Porsches made contact heading into a corner and went straight into the barriers.

Cisneros' GTC Porsche rolled end over end down the barriers, getting a massive dent in the roof along the way, but landed on its wheels.

It looks like the marshals and TV crews down there are all OK, which is another miracle.

This is going to be a long yellow as the Porsche is still perched on the tyres and barrier repairs must be required. Wow.

Sat 20:06 ALMS - Virginia: Or as Dyson team boss/driver Chris Dyson just Tweeted from the pits:

"Lucky lucky lucky"

Sat 20:07 IndyCar - Houston: Still under yellows, with Sato being shown as the race leader. Apparently the start is under review; no word on why.

Sat 20:12 IndyCar - Houston: Hinchcliffe has made it back to the pits. You know how you often hear that he always has a smile on his face? Well, he doesn't right now.

"I'm just mad. I know what happened. I don't want to talk about what happened."

Asked whether he was mad at himself or the team:

"I'm ... just mad."

Meanwhile, we're seeing footage of Vautier's car being winched off the circuit. No idea what happened to him.

Sat 20:14 IndyCar - Houston: Whatever race control was investigating from the start, they've decided not to take action.

Sat 20:15 ALMS - Virginia: Most of the leaders are going to get pitstops out of the way during this yellow.

AUTOSPORT suspects there will be more of these to come as this yellow may well take up a lot of the remaining 50 minutes.

After all, we seemed to be under yellow for a long time for a small patch of burning grass, and this one is for a huge impact and a GTC Porsche tumbling down the barriers and ending up perched on the tyre wall.

To reiterate for any readers just joining Race Centre Live, Eduardo Cisneros and Marco Holzer both got out of their cars unhurt.

Sat 20:18 IndyCar - Houston: Drama! Race leader Takuma Sato pits to have a slow puncture on the right-rear repaired. That drops him to the back, and promotes Will Power to the lead ahead of Scott Dixon. We're still under yellows.

Meanwhile, Vautier's early exit was the result of a crash. So in about three hours, he's managed to trash both his race car and his back-up. Not a good day for the amiable Frenchman.

Sat 20:19 IndyCar - Houston: Restart. Power nails it, and opens a gap of a couple of car lengths over Dixon.

Sat 20:24 IndyCar - Houston: A couple of laps ago Graham Rahal pitted to go off-sequence - remember, he started from the back due to an engine penalty.

More significantly, championship leader Helio Castroneves has done the same thing. The Brazilian, who was 21st, will now be hoping like mad for a flurry of yellows later on.

Sat 20:25 ALMS - Virginia: Back to green. The Pickett HPD is in the lead as it pitted under the first of our two recent yellows and the Dyson Lola-Mazda pitted under the second.

But that means Dyson can definitely run to the end from here, whereas there might be a question mark over Pickett.

Sat 20:27 ALMS - Virginia: This isn't going well for Dyson. That stop dropped it into the traffic and Guy Smith is now 25s behind leader Lucas Luhr. Just over half an hour to go.

Sat 20:28 IndyCar - Houston: We're heading some radio transmissions from both Power's pitwall and Dixon's. Basically, they're complaining about each other. Situation normal, in other words.

On the track, the pair are split by about 0.6s, and third-placed Simon Pagenaud is about 3.0s behind them.

Sat 20:31 ALMS - Virginia: The CORE Porsche of Patrick Long got out in front in GT in that last round of pitstops, but Matteo Malucelli is hunting him down in the Risi Ferrari.

Sat 20:31 IndyCar - Houston: Spin from Tony Kanaan. He's kept it off the wall, but has gone down a lap. His team-mate Simona de Silvestro is currently fourth.

Sat 20:33 IndyCar - Houston: Kanaan's problem was caused by his brakes overheating. He's now in the pits while the team tries to figure out whether he can continue.

Sat 20:34 IndyCar - Houston: Castroneves is in the pits again, and this doesn't look good for the Brazilian. His crew are changing the gear cluster. He's going to be sitting there for a while.

Sat 20:37 IndyCar - Houston: Amazing pace at the front, where Power and Dixon are lapping 1.0s quicker than the rest of the field. Just under 9.0s behind them, de Silvestro has outbraked Pagenaud to move into third.

Sat 20:39 IndyCar - Houston: Scott Dixon just lost a lot of time behind Marco Andretti, and in less than a lap Power's lead has ballooned from 0.7s to 1.9s.

Sat 20:41 IndyCar - Houston: And somehow, Dixon has clawed all of that time back, and is now just 0.4s behind Power. The cameras didn't catch anything, but Power must have made a mistake.

Meanwhile in pitlane, Penske is firing Castroneves' car up again.

Sat 20:46 IndyCar - Houston: Power picks up another couple of tenths. Dixon is reporting to his team that his car is starting to fade, but the last thing he wants to do is pit before Power does.

Sat 20:47 IndyCar - Houston: But Dixon does just that, and trundles into the pits. Power will stop next time around.

Sat 20:48 ALMS - Virginia: Under a quarter of an hour to go and the leaders in all classes are in pretty good shape, with advantages ranging from a good few seconds to half a minute.

It's Pickett HPD in overall charge with Luhr, Briscoe leading LMP2 for Level 5, Malucelli's Risi Ferrari leading GT, Kyle Marcelli on top of LMPC for BAR1 and TRG's Faulkner on top in GTC.

Sat 20:50 IndyCar - Houston: More drama! Power is slightly delayed in the pits, and rejoins to see Dixon swooping past him into the first corner. Dixon's stop was 1.8s quicker than Power's, and he leads the Australian by 2.7s.

Sat 20:51 IndyCar - Houston: Dario Franchitti spins to a stop in Turn 3, so there goes Dixon's lead.

There is also more drama for AJ Foyt Racing, who has lost radio contact with Takuma Sato and is asking race control to black flag him so that he comes into the pits.

Sat 21:00 IndyCar - Houston: Restart, and Luca Filippi makes a great move to take third from Simon Pagenaud.

Sat 21:01 IndyCar - Houston: Pagenaud is giving positions away like candy: Bourdais and de Silvestro have also passed him, and Hunter-Reay is lining him up.

Sat 21:04 IndyCar - Houston: This is turning into quite an afternoon for Scott Dixon, who has extended his lead over Power to nearly 3.0s. Coupled with Castroneves being mired back in 20th, we could be seeing the championship getting kicked open again.

Sat 21:09 ALMS - Virginia: Wins secured for Pickett, Level 5, BAR1, Risi and TRG.

Sat 21:11 IndyCar - Houston: Pagenaud has awoken from his funk and reclaims a spot from de Silvestro. Up at the front the gap between Dixon and Power has stabilised at about 2.8s, while Luca Filippi is looking strong in third. Still 35 laps of racing to come, though.

Josef NewgardenSat 21:15 IndyCar - Houston: Hunter-Reay is in the pits with assorted Andretti mechanics poking around his car. He'd been reporting gearbox problems earlier, but right now they're working under the engine cowling.

Josef Newgarden pits. We mention this because he has a new paint scheme this weekend, and it looks rather awesome.

Sat 21:20 IndyCar - Houston: Drive through penalty for Sebastian Saavedra for a pitlane safety infraction. That's the first time we've noticed him all weekend.

Things are looking rather better for his team-mate Sebastien Bourdais, who is running in fourth.

Sat 21:22 IndyCar - Houston: Servia's car has stopped right on the racing line. Dixon takes the opportunity to stop under yellows.

Sat 21:29 IndyCar - Houston: Restart. Power and Filippi are 1-2 but both still have to pit. Scott Dixon is third.

Sat 21:34 IndyCar - Houston: Sato used all of his good mojo up on that pole position: a tough afternoon has just ended with him in the tyre stack after a battle with James Jakes.

Power pits from the lead. He has taken one for the team here - by claiming the point for leading most laps, he's denied Dixon one more point and given Castroneves a tiny bit of help. Help that the Brazilian could do with, given that we're now looking at his stalled car sitting in a run-off area along with Mike Conway's.

Sat 21:36 IndyCar - Houston: It looks like Conway and Castroneves were surprised by the sight of the recovery vehicle on the track - both ended up in the run-off as the result of taking late evasive action. Radios, anyone?

Sat 21:39 IndyCar - Houston: We've just seen Dixon run over a piece of debris. Hope for his sake that there's no puncture on the way.

Sat 21:39 IndyCar - Houston: Restart with 13 laps to go.

Sat 21:41 IndyCar - Houston: Sixth full-course yellow, and it's for Castroneves again. The current top three is Dixon, de Silvestro, and Wilson. de Silvestro could be on her way to her first IndyCar podium here.

Sat 21:44 IndyCar - Houston: Restart with 10 laps left.

Sat 21:45 IndyCar - Houston: How do you open a 2.7s buffer in just one lap? We don't know, but Dixon has just done it. de Silvestro has a 0.8s buffer over Wilson.

Sat 21:47 IndyCar - Houston: Dario has just been turned around again. Up front, Dixon gains another 0.5s on de Silvestro.

Sat 21:52 IndyCar - Houston: Conway gets out of shape while fighting Marco Andretti and ends up in the tyres. Two and a half laps to run.

Sat 21:54 IndyCar - Houston: Conway might have cost his team-mate a second place there: Wilson was all over the back of de Silvestro when the yellows came out.

Sat 21:56 IndyCar - Houston: The race finishes under yellows, and Dixon takes a critical win. He was 49 points behind Castroneves when he woke up this morning, and that gap is now just eight.

Behind him, Simona de Silvestro has finished second to claim her first-ever IndyCar podium, with Wilson in third.

Sun 07:04 WRC - France: Good morning from AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live on a soggy Sunday October 6 2013 in France.

Sun 07:05 WRC - France: It has rained all night here in Strasbourg and there is water everywhere, which should make this morning's loop of stages rather tricky to say the least.

LatvalaSun 07:10 WRC - France: Jari-Matti Latvala begins the final day with a slender lead of 0.4s and is one of four drivers that are in with a chance of claiming victory today.

He has erstwhile rally leader Dani Sordo for close comfort, while the Spaniard lies just 1.1s ahead of Sebastien Ogier, with Sebastien Loeb in his final rally a further 3.5s adrift.

Another way of putting it is that the top four are covered by just 5s with only six stages remaining, so today should be nothing short of thrilling!

Jari-Matti Latvala moves into the lead

Sun 07:14 WRC - France: The first stage of the day is a 14.6-kilometre test through Vignoble de Cleebourg and gets underway at 09:23 (08:23 BST).

The starting order is as follows: Sordo, Latvala, Ogier, Loeb, Neuville, Novikov, Hirvonen, Ostberg, Mikkelsen and Prokop.

Sun 07:25 WRC - France: Opening stage is live and Sordo is the first to tackle the slippery conditions. The rain has begun to ease off and it's now more a drizzle.

Sun 07:27 WRC - France: Sordo's time at the first split is 55.5s while Latvala is 0.4s slower.

Sun 07:30 WRC - France: Ogier's opening split time in the first stage is 0.6s quicker than Sordo.

Sun 07:30 WRC - France Loeb rolled!

Sun 07:32 WRC - France: Car upside down in a ditch in the first stage of the morning. Both crew out of the car but going nowhere.

Sun 07:34 WRC - France: Looks like he ran wide on a fast right-hander, got wheels on grass, slid into a ditch and roofed that gorgeous DS3 WRC. Unbelievable. This was not the way it was supposed to end.

Sun 07:35 WRC - France: Sordo finishes the stage with a time of 8m32.1s.

"Very easy to make a mistake," says the Spaniard. "There's a lot of standing water towards the end."

Sun 07:36 WRC - France: Live link switching between showing Loeb holding the OK board while on the phone to the team and scenes of utter disbelief in the Citroen camp.

Sun 07:37 WRC - France: Latvala's time is 6.1s slower than Sordo, but team-mate Ogier has clearly had his Weetabix this morning! The newly-crowned champion sets an incredible time of 8.23.7s!

Sun 07:38 WRC - France: Bad stage for Citroen continues as Hirvonen drops it under braking for a square-left. The DS3 spins into an escape road.

Sun 07:40 WRC - France: Ogier's stunning performance this morning means he is now leads the event by 7.3s, ahead of Sordo and Latvala.

Sun 07:44 WRC - France: Neuville is next to cross the finish line and sets a time of 8m34.4s. He's 1m19s off the overall lead in fourth but, with the way things are going at the moment, could well find himself back in the top three by the end of the day.

Sun 07:46 WRC - France: Hirvonen made a mistake mid-stage but, unlike his team-mate Loeb, came away unscathed. The Finn's time is 8m58.3s.

Sun 07:49 WRC - France: And here comes Ostberg, who is provisionally fourth quickest through the stage with a time of 8m35.7s.

"Very difficult conditions, that's for sure," says the M-Sport man. "But I had confidence in my pace notes.

"You see the best driver in the world made a mistake, so that must make me the best in the world now!"

Sun 07:55 WRC - France: Can this rally get any more exciting? The big news, obviously, is Loeb's misfortune which is a huge disappointment on his final day in the WRC.

Stage: 1 Ogier; 2 Sordo +8.4s; 3 Neuville +10.7s; 4 Ostberg +12.0s; 5 Latvala +14.5s; 6 Mikkelsen +24.6s.

Overall: 1 Ogier; 2 Sordo +7.3s; 3 Latvala +13.0s; 4 Neuville +1m19.6s; 5 Novikov +2m42.0s; 6 Ostberg +3m07.7s.

Sun 08:00 WRC - France: Kubica continues to lead the way in WRC 2. The former Formula 1 driver takes the stage win this morning - 4.8s ahead of Evans - to extend his overall advantage to 3m34.9s.

LoebSun 08:08 WRC - France: Here's the full story of how Loeb's swansong rally turned into a nightmare on the first of today's stages.

Sebastien Loeb crashes out of final rally

Sun 08:14 ALMS - Virginia: Pickett won another ALMS race yesterday. So far, so ordinary. But Dyson made them work particularly hard for this one!

The race also featured a rather hefty crash involving the Porsches of Marco Holzer and Eduardo Cisneros. Thankfully, both walked away unscathed.

Pickett overcomes Dyson for victory

Sun 08:15 WRC - France: The second stage of the day gets underway at 10:46 (09:46 BST) and is a relatively short 7.9-kilometre blast through the streets of Bischwiller - Gries.

Scott DixonSun 08:21 IndyCar - Houston: Scott Dixon claimed a critical win in the first race of Houston's double-header event yesterday.

The Kiwi was 49 points behind Helio Castroneves, but come the chequered flag that gap was reduced to just eight.

Scott Dixon's win transforms title battle

Race Centre Live will of course be providing coverage of the second race this evening at approximately 18:30 BST.

Sun 08:44 WRC - France: Here we go then, the second stage of the day. We can't have any more drama today, can we?

Sun 08:46 WRC - France: The good news for the drivers is that there is far less standing water present in this short 7.9-kilometre stage. Can Sordo make up the 7.3s deficit to Ogier and reclaim the lead?

Sun 08:49 WRC - France: Speaking of Sordo, he's the first to tackle the second of today's stages. Onboard shots show he's one determined driver and isn't leaving anything on the table.

Sun 08:52 WRC - France: Sordo seems pretty calm at the finish line. His time is 4m20.7s.

Sun 08:54 WRC - France: Latvala's 1.9s quicker than Sordo.

"It was a good stage," he says. "I liked it, even though it was pretty damp with puddles of water."

Sun 08:56 WRC - France: Team-mate Ogier is next through the finish line and sets a provisionally quickest time of 4m16.3s, which puts his lead over Sordo to 11.7s.

Sun 08:58 WRC - France: Neuville is making his way through the stage. He's currently 0.4s down on Ogier's pace.

Sun 09:01 WRC - France: The M-Sport man's time at the end is 4m17.2s, which is 0.9s slower than Ogier. Good stuff by the Belgian.

"I enjoyed the stage and the car is good," says Nevuille. "There was some standing water, but we managed fine."

Sun 09:04 WRC - France: Novikov comes home 8.6s off the ultimate pace. Hirvonen does a little better and loses 8.3s to Ogier.

Sun 09:07 WRC - France: Ostberg, who is 10.9s ahead of Hirvonen in sixth, posts a time of 4m22.2s to increase the gap between the pair by 1.5s.

"Very tricky conditions, but I think we're managing quite well," he says. "I think we are doing good, but I need to increase my speed."

Sun 09:14 WRC - France - SS16:

Stage: 1 Ogier; 2 +Neuville +0.9s; 3 Latvala +2.5s; 4 Sordo +4.4s; 5 Ostberg +5.9s; 6 Hirvonen +8.3s.

Overall: 1 Ogier; 2 Sordo +11.7s; 3 Latala +15.5s; 4 Neuville +1m20.5s; 5 Novikov +2m50.6s; 6 Ostberg 3m13.6s.

Sun 09:16 WRC - France: Not long until the last of this morning's loop of tests gets underway. If our watch is correct, it's only three minutes to go before the 5.74-kilometre Haguenau stage goes live.

Sun 09:20 WRC - France: Remarkably, our watch is correct and Sordo is almost at the end of the stage already.

Sun 09:24 WRC - France: Sordo sets a benchmark of 4m20.5s.

"It will be very difficult," he said when asked if he can catch rally leader Ogier. "But we will try."

Sun 09:28 WRC - France: Here comes Latvala, whose time is 0.4s quicker than Sordo's

"It's been the most difficult day of the rally," says the Finn. "The grip level keeps changing a lot, but everything is going according to plan."

Sun 09:30 WRC - France: And the time we're all waiting for comes up on the timing board, which is 4m18.5s set by Ogier, who extends his overall lead to 13.7s.

Sun 09:30 WRC - France: "It's going to be tough this afternoon," says the rally leader. "But we'll see what happens."

Sun 09:34 WRC - France: Neuville's time is 0.7s slower than Ogier's. Pity the Belgian suffered a puncture yesterday as he has been the only one keeping the rally leader honest today.

Sun 09:35 Auto GP - Brno: Manor MP Motorsport team manager Sander Dorsman believes the Dutch team's driver Daniel de Jong will concentrate exclusively on GP2 in 2014, rather than run a parrallel Auto GP campaign as was the case this year.

The team's Auto GP rookie Meindert van Buuren is keen to continue in Auto GP.

Sun 09:40 WRC - France: Hirvonen's found his form at long last as he sets a time 0.3s slower than Ogier. The Finn seems rather bemused where that time came from!

Sun 09:45 WRC - France: Ostberg's time is 4m24.3s, which isn't too bad given he had problems with his brakes mid-stage. Hopefully he'll be able to diagnose and fix the problem during the short interval before this afternoon's loop of stages.

Sun 09:51 WRC - France - SS17:

Stage: 1 Ogier; 2 Hirvonen +0.3s; 3 Neuville +0.7s; 4 Latvala +1.6s; 5 Sordo +2.0s; 6 Ostberg +5.8s.

Overall: 1 Ogier; 2 Sordo +13.7s; 3 Latvala +17.1s; 4 Neuville +1m21.2s; 5 Novikov +2m58.8s; 6 Ostberg +3m19.4s.

Sun 09:51 ETCC - Brno: Czech Petr Fulin has wrapped up the ETCC Super 2000 title after taking an 8.3 win over the only man who could have denied him the crown, Slovakian Mat'o Homola.

Sun 09:54 WRC - France: News reaches us that Prokop, who was running in ninth overall, has had a moment mid-stage and broken his suspension. He hasn't reached the end yet as the WRC 2 frontrunners begin filtering their way through.

Sebastien OgierSun 10:24 Here's what's coming up on AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live over the rest of the day...

The Rally of France resumes in 20 minutes for its final loop of three stages. Can anyone do anything about Sebastien Ogier?

The Auto GP title battle will be settled with race two at Brno in just over two hours. Vittorio Ghirelli has the advantages but Narain Karthikeyan is not out of it.

IndyCar has another qualifying session and race in Houston after Saturday's incredible events. Qualifying is 2.45pm BST, the race just after 6.30pm.

Round four of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase takes place at Kansas Speedway around 7pm BST.

Sun 10:49 WRC - France: No powerstage today - that was held at the start of the rally - but we still have a reversed top 12 running order for this final loop for live television reasons.

Sun 11:06 WRC - France: Problems for Mads Ostberg as he loses a minute to Mikko Hirvonen on this stage so far.

Sun 11:09 WRC - France: Ostberg explains that his ongoing brake issues contributed to that time loss, which did turn out to be about a minute.

"We really got stuck on a junction, we didn't really go off the road.

"We've had some problems with the brakes. We worked a lot on the road section but I still only had brakes on the rear.

"I went a little bit wide and just got stuck so we needed help from spectators."

Sun 11:10 WRC - France: Neuville had a big slide and half-spin on that stage but comes through fastest so far.

Sun 11:12 WRC - France: "That was like cross-country driving," says Neuville, "half the car on the road and half in a field..."

Sun 11:13 WRC - France: Latvala says the fight for second is over.

"I'm not good in these muddy conditions, I'm not confident," he said.

"Dani seems to have good pace so I think it's clear I will be third."

The VW is only fifth fastest, 9s off Neuville's pace.

Sun 11:15 Auto GP - Brno: There has been no sign of stress from championship favourite Vittorio Ghirelli this morning when AUTOSPORT encountered the Italian taking a very leisurely stroll down the Brno pitlane.

"I had a relaxed evening last night," said Ghirelli. "As long as I stay out of the mess at the start it should be alright. I am just aiming for a top-five."

Sun 11:16 WRC - France: Hang on, this rally isn't over yet...

Sordo takes three seconds out of Ogier on this stage and the gap is down to 10s with two stages to go.

Sun 11:17 WRC - France: Ogier plays down the time loss.

"Obviously I'm being cautious," he insists, "that's the strategy now."

Sun 11:24 Ghirelli's Super Nova team-mate and fellow title hopeful Narain Karthikeyan also appeared in a positive frame of mind.

The Indian has been forced to play catchup after failing to gel with his original team Zele Racing. Karthikeyan was still smarting this moring that he hadn't elected to switch to Norfolk squad Super Nova earlier in the season.

Sun 11:25 Auto GP - Brno: "So Vittorio just needs a fifth place, and I really need to win, is that it," said Karthikeyan. "If only I had made the switch to Super Nova one race earlier, that would have made all of the difference. Damn!"

Sun 11:29 Auto GP - Brno: In the camp of the third and final title protagonist Kimiya Sato, team boss Vincenzo Sospiri stated that divine intervention would be required for his charge to lift the Auto GP drivers' crown.

"The championship is already over," said Sospiri. "We need a miracle. Well, as Kimiya also needs to win the race [Sato will start from fifth] it’s really a double miracle."

Kimiya Sato and Vincenzo SospiriSun 11:35 Auto GP - Brno: Sospiri added that he would still view the year as a success even if Sato fails to land the title this afternoon.

"I know Kimiya is a very special driver," said Sospiri. "I am not disappointed that we probably aren't going to be champions, as I think he's had a great season.

"Perhaps we could have already won it if he hadn't made the mistake at Donington. He was one second quicker than the Super Nova drivers there, but to be fair to him that was the only mistake he has made this year."

Sun 11:49 WRC - France - SS18 results:

Stage: 1 Sordo 8m36.7s; 2 Neuville +0.4s; 3 Mikkelsen +2.8s; 4 Ogier +3.7s; 5 Novikov +7.2s; 6 Hirvonen +9.9s.

Overall: 1 Ogier; 2 Sordo +10.0s; 3 Latvala +23.7s; 4 Neuville +1m17.9s; 5 Novikov +3m02.3s; 6 Hirvonen +3m31.1s.

Sun 12:09 WRC - France: The hometown crowd won't get to see Sebastien Loeb in proper action on the Haguenau stage, but he and co-driver Daniel Elena have commandeered a Citroen DS3 cabriolet road car to do a parade through the final stage to meet their fans.

Sun 12:11 WRC - France: Meanwhile the Bischwiller stage is starting. Can Sordo take more time out of Ogier?

Sun 12:21 WRC - France: While a tearful Loeb signs countless autographs on the final stage, Andreas Mikkelsen is first of the top cars through Bischwiller.

Sun 12:22 WRC - France: Loeb talks to AUTOSPORT about crashing out of the final day of his WRC career.

Sun 12:26 WRC - France: Mikko Hirvonen and Mads Ostberg are both slower than Mikkelsen so far.

Sun 12:29 WRC - France: Novikov is slower than Mikkelsen too, but Neuville is 3.3s quicker to take over at the top of the stage standings.

Sun 12:32 WRC - France: Now Latvala comes through a second faster than Neuville.

First splits for Ogier and Sordo suggest Ogier is rebuilding his lead again.

Sun 12:33 WRC - France: Sordo is 3.2s slower than Latvala. That doesn't sound like a time that's going to make Ogier tremble.

"With Ogier, it's difficult," Sordo said. "I don't like this stage with big stones everywhere and a bit of understeer."

Sun 12:36 WRC - France: Ogier is third fastest as Latvala gets the stage win, so that means the VW man's rally lead is now 12 seconds going into the Haguenau finale in a couple of minutes.

Job done for Ogier? AUTOSPORT reckons so.

Sun 12:43 WRC - France: Our rally leader Ogier takes time to tweet as he lines up for the final stage:

"Now we must avoid pavements in Haguenau & pass the finish line. We must stay on race mood, it’s never finished before the finish line"

Sun 12:47 Auto GP - Brno: The field has set off for the formation lap.

On the grid, Super Nova boss David Sears predicted fireworks from his driver Narain Karthikeyan, who really needs to win in order to stand a realistic chance of overhauling team-mate Vittorio Ghirelli's championship lead.

"Narain is really fired up," said Sears. "But there are other drivers around him also on new tyres, so it's going to be an interesting race."

Sun 12:51 Auto GP - Brno: Polesitter Roberto La Rocca has bogged down away from the line. Andrea Roda led into Turn 1, but championship outsider Kimiya Sato has grabbed the lead midway around the opening lap.

Sun 12:51 WRC - France: While the drivers at the foot of the top 10 come through the stage, the big screens are showing a montage of Sebastien Loeb's epic career.

Sun 12:53 WRC - France: Audi Le Mans star Romain Dumas finishes the rally in what should be 10th place.

The particularly lovely thing about that is it's his popular co-driver Denis Giraudet's first rally back in the WRC since his nasty back injury while working with Novikov last summer.

Sun 12:54 Auto GP - Brno: Sato leads Sergio Campana by 0.6s on lap three. The top two are miles clear of third place Andrea Roda.

If the race finished in this order Sato would fall one point short of Vittorio Ghirelli in the title race. Ghirelli is eighth, two places behind Karthikeyan.

Sun 12:58 WRC - France: Robert Kubica finishes the stage and clinches his fourth WRC 2 win of the year.

That puts him back ahead of Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari by seven points.

They both have one rally left on their schedules each, Kubica in Spain and Al-Kuwari in Wales. So Kubica could wrap it up in three weeks' time.

Sun 12:59 Auto GP - Brno: Karthikeyan in fifth has been losing over a second a lap to leader Sato while stuck in traffic.

The Indian has just come in for his mandatory pitstop and changed his front set of Kumhos.

Sun 13:04 Auto GP - Brno: Ghirelli made his mandatory stop on lap six, rejoining behind team-mate Karthikeyan.

Euronova Racing brought race leader Sato in on the following lap. There was no obvious sign of delay in any of the stops.

Sun 13:05 WRC - France: Hirvonen is fastest of the cars through this final stage so far, 2.2s up on Mikkelsen.

Sun 13:07 WRC - France: Brake problems are still making Ostberg frown on this last short blast around the streets.

Sun 13:10 Auto GP - Brno: Campana leads Kuroda by 17.6s on lap 11 of 16.

Drama for fifh-placed Narain Karthikeyan who is sporting a damaged front wing, shortly after setting fastest lap.

Sun 13:12 Auto GP - Brno: Campana pits, handing the lead to Sato's Euronova team-mate Kuroda - who has not stopped. Sato should move up to second.

Sun 13:15 Auto GP - Brno: Fourth-placed Dracone, who has not stopped, is being very uncooperative and holding up Vittorio Ghirelli.

Sun 13:15 WRC - France: Neuville pushes to the very end, going three seconds faster than anyone else so far through Haguenau.

As he said before the stage start: "We showed this weekend that we could win this rally. I went 10 centimetres too wide and because of that I lost."

Sun 13:17 Auto GP - Brno: The mandatory stops are complete. Sato starts his last lap 10s clear of Narain Karthikeyan. Will the Indian's front-wing survive?

Karthikeyan has a 5s cushion over Campana.

Sun 13:20 Auto GP - Brno: Sato takes a dominant victory, but it is not enough to prevent Ghirelli, in fourth, from winning the 2013 Auto GP drivers' championship.

Sun 13:22 WRC - France: Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia clinch victory in France.

They jump onto the top of their VW and start spraying champagne.

Rather a lot of Loeb banners on the Haguenau town hall behind them...

Sun 13:23 Auto GP - Brno: Result of race two: 1 Sato; 2 Karthikeyan, +12.5s; 3 Campana, +15.6s; 4 Ghirelli, +21.6s [2013 AUTO GP CHAMPION]; 5 Roda, +22.6s; 6 Kiss, +25.3s.

Sun 13:25 Auto GP - Brno: Provisional championship points after round eight of eight:

1 Ghirelli, 220; 2 Sato, 213; 3 Karthikeyan, 210; 4 Campana, 194; 5, Kiss, 97.

Sun 13:27 WRC - France: Speaking of champions called Sebastien (as we were in France, we know Ghirelli's name is Vittorio), it's WRC 3 time now.

Quentin Gilbert takes the rally win, is Sebastien Chardonnet about to get the title?

Sun 13:28 WRC - France: Sure enough, Chardonnet takes second place and with that becomes WRC 3 champion.

"At the moment it's like I don't realise it, but it's a really, really good thing," he says.

So Ogier is WRC champion, Chardonnet is WRC 3 champion, Pontus Tidemand is Junior WRC champion. Just the Kubica/Al-Kuwari battle in WRC 2 to resolve now.

Sun 13:29 Still to come on AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live... another IndyCar qualifying session from Houston in about a quarter of an hour...

Sun 13:42 Auto GP - Brno: Super Nova team manager John Sears clarifies what happened to Narain Karthikeyan on the last lap, as the Indian was absent from the podium after finishing second on the road.

"Apparently he had a black and orange flag because of his damaged front wing," said Sears. "But our screens weren't working well and we had to leave him out for him to stand a chance of taking the title."

In the revised results champion Vittorio Ghirelli is promoted to third and Campana is second.

Sun 13:46 IndyCar - Houston: Houston is weird. The whole weekend up to this point has been about a million degrees, humid, and without a hint of a breeze. Today, it's cold, windy, and there are hilariously ominous storm clouds moving across the circuit. They look like bad CGI.

It has just started raining heavily in the last few minutes, too. As we wait for qualifying to start, the scene from pitlane is mostly one of umbrellas and rain tyres.

Sun 13:48 IndyCar - Houston: We should also mention that the series has confirmed that today's race will feature a standing start. We weren't expecting anything different, but there you go.

A couple of course cars have just left pitlane, presumably to assess the amount of standing water.

Sun 13:55 IndyCar - Houston: As with yesterday, the field will be split into two groups for qualifying. Whenever the session gets underway, this will be the line-up for group one:

EJ Viso, James Hinchcliffe, Ed Carpenter, Mike Conway, Sebastian Saavedra, Takuma Sato, Scott Dixon, Charlie Kimball, Tony Kanaan, Graham Rahal, James Jakes, Simon Pagenaud.

Sun 13:58 IndyCar - Houston: IndyCar has just announced that qualifying is on an 'indefinite hold' due to weather.

Sun 14:07 IndyCar - Houston: Despite the risk of having to spend the rest of the day in wet jeans, AUTOSPORT has just ventured outside to check the conditions - we don't have any windows in the media centre - and the rain is now only light. We suspect the problem is standing water rather than the rain itself.

On the TV screens, we're seeing images of race director Beaux Barfield wandering around pitlane with a soaked shirt and no jacket or umbrella. He's a Houston local, so you'd think he'd have known better.

Sun 14:13 IndyCar - Houston: A bit of news trickling out from the AJ Foyt camp about Takuma Sato, who has been carrying a wrist injury for most of the season. It seems that he further aggravated it yesterday, but intends to drive today anyway.

It's probably a bit of good fortune that Conor Daly is here in case they need a back-up. Daly made a cameo in this weekend's Lights race, and drove a second Foyt car at Indy this year.

Sun 14:23 IndyCar - Houston: Update from IndyCar: Qualifying has been abandoned, and the grid will be set by entrant points. This means that your pole-sitter is ... Scott Dixon. The Kiwi's weekend is getting better and better.

Sun 14:26 AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live will take a break now before the American races later today.

We'll be back for IndyCar race two from Houston and the NASCAR Sprint Cup from Kansas Speedway from 6.30pm BST.

Sun 14:54 Auto GP - Brno: Ghinzani Motorsport has identified an electronic failure as the cause of Robert Visoiu's non-finish in this afternoon's race.

Visoiu was the race's only retirement, after parking off the road at Turn 1 on lap eight.

Sun 14:58 Auto GP - Brno: Narain Karthikeyan has revealed his deranged front wing in the final race of the season was caused by a failure rather than contact with Francesco Dracone as his team Super Nova initially believed.

Sun 15:08 Auto GP - Brno: "I think a bolt sheared on the wing," said Karthikeyan, who was disqualified from second position this afternoon.

"I could feel the wing working loose from about lap three, so although I was very close to Dracone, I don't think we actually made contact."

The Indian, who has won five races in five meetings since joining Super Nova, is targeting an IndyCar deal for 2014.

Sun 15:13 Auto GP - Brno: Newly crowned Auto GP champion Vittorio Ghirelli has, in part, put his title success down to consistency. The Italian scored two wins in 2013, compared to five apiece for team-mate Karthikeyan and the third title rival at Brno this afternoon Kimiya Sato.

Sun 15:15 Auto GP - Brno: "After the third round of the championship in Hungary, I knew we would have a chance to fight for the title," said Ghirelli. "I scored two wins, but I have taken 11 podiums in total, so it has been a really good season.

"I knew I had good pace today, and coming from seventh to third I made some good passes along the way. I knew a top-five would be good enough for the title, so it's a fantastic result."

Narain KarthikeyanSun 15:30 Auto GP - Brno: Following the confirmation that second on-the-road finisher Narain Karthikeyan has been disqualified from this afternoon's Auto GP season finale, the Indian slips behind Sergio Campana to fourth in the drivers' championship.

The revised final standings are as follows: 1 Ghirelli, 222; 2 Sato, 213; 3 Campana, 197; 4 Karthikeyan, 195; 5 Kiss, 99; 6 Giovesi, 91.

Sun 17:30 IndyCar - Houston: We've just heard a very mellow, country-twanged version of the Star Spangled Banner by some guy named Clay, and the race start is not far away.

There are still a couple of damp spots on the track, but the sun is shining and the weather is expected to remain clear for the rest of the day.

Sun 17:31 NASCAR - Kansas: In about half an hour's time we'll hear how this week's NASCAR anthem singer can rival Clay's efforts, with round four of the 2013 Sprint Cup Chase not far away.

Sun 17:42 IndyCar - Houston: Start abandoned. Dario Franchitti failed to get away from his grid spot, and more amusingly, Takuma Sato didn't even get into his - he pulled into a spot on the wrong side of the track, then realised his mistake and tried too late to change to the correct pit box, only to end up at a weird angle across the row of cars behind him. Just to complete the hilarity, he then stalled.

Sun 17:44 IndyCar - Houston: We're away.

Sun 17:44 IndyCar - Houston: Everyone has made it through the first few corners cleanly, and Castroneves has retained his lead.

Sun 17:47 IndyCar - Houston: Simona de Silvestro, Graham Rahal and Tristan Vautier tried to go three-wide through Turn 8. It didn't work. Rahal's race is clearly over, and Vautier also appears to have damage but he has been able to continue on. He's been in the wars this weekend, but there wasn't much he could have done about that one.

Meanwhile, Marco Andretti has a drive-through penalty for jumping the start.

Sun 17:51 IndyCar - Houston: The more replays we see, the more it looks like de Silvestro was at fault there. Rahal was trying to go up the inside of Vautier, and they'd left each other enough room. The problem started when de Silvestro launched over the kerb to try to pass both of them at once.

Sun 17:52 IndyCar - Houston: Restart. Dixon is reporting that oil is coming from Castroneves' car.

Sun 17:53 IndyCar - Houston: Drive through penalty for de Silvestro.

Sun 17:55 IndyCar - Houston: Power is flying. Having started from eighth, he is now up to P3 and right behind Dixon.

Sun 17:57 IndyCar - Houston: Castroneves is done! Oil is pouring from the back of his car, and the whole rear area of his car appears loose. Dixon swoops past and into the lead.

Sun 17:58 IndyCar - Houston: Castoneves' car stops at Turn 6, and we're under a full-course yellow. What a horrible weekend this has been for the Brazilian.

Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch collideSun 18:03 NASCAR - Kansas: Matt Kenseth won yesterday's Nationwide race, but no one really noticed because a massive row between Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski erupted.

Keselowski ended up in the wall following contact between the two Cup stars, and afterwards declared "it's war" between them.

So keep an eye out for that in today's Cup race...

Sun 18:04 IndyCar - Houston: Restart. Castroneves' problem has been identified as a broken gearbox housing. That's the end of his afternoon, and another massive blow to his title hopes.

Sun 18:04 NASCAR - Kansas: Someone called something like Kaylee is currently being fairly cruel to the American national anthem while wearing a big scarf. At least she's practical, it is pretty cold.

Sun 18:05 NASCAR - Kansas: Note to Kaylee, when the anthem was composed, no one thought "this last 'free' needs to be a very, very high note held for about half an hour, ideally slightly off-key".

Can we quickly fire up some racing car engines now?

Sun 18:08 IndyCar - Houston: Dixon has opened a gap of 0.9s over Power, who in turn has Pagenaud about 1.0s behind him.

Deeper in the field, Filippi is doing a great job in the BHA car and has climbed from the rear of the grid up to 12th.

Sun 18:08 NASCAR - Kansas: We're expecting this to be a wild one.

The tyre/surface/temperature combination has proved pretty challenging so far, as suggested by five-time champion Jimmie Johnson spinning just a couple of minutes into opening practice on Friday.

Both Busch brothers crashed in Saturday practice and have to switch to back-up cars for the race, dropping them to the back.

Sun 18:11 NASCAR - Kansas: Temperature check: 14 degrees celsius right now. Brrr.

Sun 18:13 IndyCar - Houston: At the front, the race looks a bit like yesterday's. Dixon has extended his advantage over Power to 1.9s, and third-placed Pagenaud is about 6.0s further back now.

As I type that, the Frenchman loses his position to Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Kevin HarvickSun 18:14 NASCAR - Kansas: As the cars get rolling for the parade laps, here is the leading starting order:

1 Kevin Harvick; 2 Ricky Stenhouse Jr; 3 Jimmie Johnson; 4 Joey Logano; 5 Dale Earnhardt Jr; 6 Matt Kenseth; 7 Paul Menard; 8 Carl Edwards; 9 Denny Hamlin; 10 Brian Vickers.

And here are the Chase standings after three of 10 shootout rounds:

1 Matt Kenseth 2149
2 Jimmie Johnson 2141
3 Kyle Busch 2137
4 Kevin Harvick 2110
5 Jeff Gordon 2110
6 Greg Biffle 2108
7 Ryan Newman 2101
8 Clint Bowyer 2098
9 Kurt Busch 2094
10 Dale Earnhardt Jr 2092
11 Carl Edwards 2084
12 Joey Logano 2083
13 Kasey Kahne 2071

Sun 18:19 IndyCar - Houston: Filippi's superb start to the race ends with a less superb trip into the tyre barriers. Everyone pits, and we have Dixon and Power racing each other out of the pit exit. Dixon keeps his advantage.

Sun 18:22 NASCAR - Kansas: Green then yellow for a multi-car crash at the very first corner.

Looks like Danica Patrick's car bore the brunt of that.

Sun 18:23 IndyCar - Houston: Restart ... and Hunter-Reay immediately pulls off the racing line with a suspected gearbox problem.

Sun 18:25 NASCAR - Kansas: Looks like Patrick lost it by herself, tagged David Reutimann on her way to the wall and sent him into Cole Whitt, and then Kyle Busch spun sideways by himself while trying to dodge it all.

Patrick couldn't get her really quite mangled car back to the pits so she's walking away.

Sun 18:25 IndyCar - Houston: Yellows again, this time for Kanaan. The Ganassi-bound Brazilian has hit the wall at Turn 10 and trashed his front-right suspension.

Sun 18:26 IndyCar - Houston: The current top five under yellows is Dixon, Power, Saavedra, Jakes and Hinchcliffe. Saavedra and Jakes are off-strategy.

Sun 18:27 NASCAR - Kansas: Up front, Harvick held the lead over Keselowski, Stenhouse, Earnhardt and Johnson.

Still under yellow, Patrick's car dropped a fair amount of fluid.

Sun 18:34 IndyCar - Houston: Restart. Power much closer to Dixon this time around ... and passes him for the lead in Turn 3.

Sun 18:36 IndyCar - Houston: Heck of a move from Bourdais, who dives down the inside of Wilson, and braked so late that he ends up passing Jakes as well. He moves from seventh to fifth in one go.

Sun 18:37 NASCAR - Kansas: Back to green on lap 10. Harvick and Keselowski stay up front, as Menard makes a great getaway to vault to third.

Now he's working on Keselowski as Harvick escapes.

Sun 18:38 IndyCar - Houston: If you thought that Dixon would be content to let Power go and just score a swag of points, think again: he's all over the back of the Penske car.

Sun 18:40 IndyCar - Houston: Penske is preparing to get Castroneves back out onto the track again in the hope of salvaging some points. Why does this remind us of the scramble to get Power's damaged car back out at Fontana last year?

Sun 18:42 IndyCar - Houston: Castroneves rejoins, 28 laps down.

Sun 18:46 NASCAR - Kansas: Johnson slips past the battling Earnhardt and Menard in one move to take third.

Harvick and Keselowski are spreading out up front.

The Buschs are flying forward from the back. Kurt is now 18th, Kyle 27th.

OK, Kurt is flying, Kyle is ambling slightly grumpily, his Toyota having not enjoyed its first-lap trip over the grass.

Sun 18:48 NASCAR - Kansas: Johnson catches and passes Keselowski for second, and Earnhardt isn't far behind.

Points leader Kenseth is creeping forwards too, taking sixth from Menard.

Sun 18:51 NASCAR - Kansas: Keselowski pits from fourth, convinced he has a tyre problem.

Sun 18:53 NASCAR - Kansas: Ouch, that was bad timing for Keselowski. There's now a yellow after Michael McDowell had a brush with the wall.

Sun 18:56 NASCAR - Kansas: Everyone pits. A few drivers just do two tyres, including Harvick and Earnhardt, who get out first and second.

Keselowski should get a wave around and rejoin the lead lap now.

And it seems McDowell didn't hit anything, but one of the front wheels of his Phil Parsons Ford was on fire.

Sun 18:57 IndyCar - Houston: The leaders pit together. It's a slightly slow stop for Dixon, and Power easily beats him back out.

Sun 18:58 IndyCar - Houston: Just as the leaders rejoin, Ed Carpenter stops on the track and prompts the sixth caution period of the day.

Sun 19:01 NASCAR - Kansas: Green flag on lap 48, and Harvick leads Earnhardt, Gordon, Johnson and Almirola, with Kenseth in sixth the top drivers on four fresh tyres.

Kurt Busch slides wildly towards the wall, catches it, and continues rampantly overtaking people.

Sun 19:07 IndyCar - Houston: Green flag.

Sun 19:07 IndyCar - Houston: Debris in Turn 10, possibly from Newgarden's car. These cautions aren't getting tedious at all.

Sun 19:11 IndyCar - Houston: Green flag with 20 laps to go.

Sun 19:12 NASCAR - Kansas: Earnhardt has hunted Harvick down in this stint and is now right on the Childress man's tail as they work through traiffc.

Johnson is tagging along as well.

Sun 19:13 IndyCar - Houston: We've gone, like, a lap and a half without anyone hitting something, spinning, breaking a gearbox, or shedding bodywork. #onaroll

Sun 19:14 NASCAR - Kansas: Oh that didn't last long. Almost as if it got vertigo at the thought of winning a race again, Earnhardt's #88 Chevrolet falls away from Harvick again and loses second to Johnson.

Earnhardt is reporting that some debris has got lodged in his car's grille.

Sun 19:15 IndyCar - Houston: Newgarden tags Marco Andretti's rear and knocks the Andretti car into a spin. We're back under yellows.

Sun 19:15 NASCAR - Kansas: Johnson gets straight on Harvick and briefly noses into the lead.

But Harvick keeps momentum on the outside and inches in front again.

Sun 19:18 NASCAR - Kansas: That took a long, long time and a lot of great side by side racing, but finally Johnson gets clear of Harvick and into the lead.

Harvick comes into the pits next time around as green flag stops commence.

Sun 19:20 NASCAR - Kansas: Johnson goes several laps longer than Harvick then just as he points for the pits, the yellow comes out for debris.

Johnson didn't make it to the line in time so has to pass through the pits and rejoin. That'll hurt.

Sun 19:21 IndyCar - Houston: Green flag with 16 laps to go.

Newgarden has been issued a drive-through for running into Andretti.

Sun 19:23 NASCAR - Kansas: Earnhardt leads all those who hadn't previously pitted in for service, squeezing out ahead of Logano.

Harvick and Gordon had pitted before the yellow, Johnson lost that ground with the phantom pitstop.

Lots of radio rage from Johnson's crew chief Chad Knaus about that debris yellow, and same on Radio Harvick too.

Sun 19:24 NASCAR - Kansas: Harvick's wife is also enraged.

Sun 19:26 NASCAR - Kansas: So it's now Earnhardt leading Kenseth, Logano and Menard.

Johnson is now 17th, Harvick 25th, Gordon 26th.

We're back to green on lap 91.

Sun 19:27 NASCAR - Kansas: Kenseth straight past Earnhardt into the lead, Logano is looking to pass him as well, and Johnson is getting stuck in - up to 13th immediately.

Sun 19:31 NASCAR - Kansas: Johnson is back into the top 10, just behind another charger in Kurt Busch, who has made up 34 places now from his back-of-the-field start.

Sun 19:32 IndyCar - Houston: Two laps to go. Dixon has cut Power's lead down to 0.6s.

Sun 19:33 NASCAR - Kansas: Earnhardt is starting to gain on Kenseth again up front, having dropped Logano.

If they finish as they are now, Kenseth is going to be in very, very good championship shape, but there's still 165 laps to go so no need for Johnson or the struggling Kyle Busch (currently 19th) to panic.

Sun 19:35 IndyCar - Houston: Power wins from Dixon, but our attention is on a massive accident in Turn 5 involving Franchitti, Viso and Sato. No idea what happened, but all three cars have massive damage.

Sun 19:37 NASCAR - Kansas: Caution, problems for both Joe Nemechek and Landon Cassill.

Sun 19:39 IndyCar - Houston: This was a bad one. Sato got out of shape, Franchitti ran into the back of him and was flung violently into the air and along the fence. That looked like a bad oval shunt. Dario is still in his car, but appears to be moving.

The fence has been completely destroyed.

Sun 19:40 NASCAR - Kansas: Leaders all pit under this caution and Earnhardt gets to the line a few millimetres ahead of Kenseth to retake the lead.

Sun 19:43 IndyCar - Houston: The medical team has extracted Franchitti from his car. Both Dixon and Castroneves are reporting that they saw the Scot moving in the cockpit as they passed on their slowing down laps.

Sun 19:46 NASCAR - Kansas: Very briefly back to green as Dave Blaney spins on the restart lap.

Sun 19:50 IndyCar - Houston: Chip Ganassi reports that Franchitti is sore, but is conscious and talking. This is a huge relief: that was a really, really, big accident.

Sun 19:52 NASCAR - Kansas: Back to green on lap 123 and it's Logano who gets into the lead for the first time today now.

Kenseth has had two rough restarts and is back to fifth, complaining that his car is "the evilest". He even added "and I don't know if that's even a word..."

Sun 19:56 NASCAR - Kansas: Juan Pablo Montoya has been having a really good afternoon and has now reached third place.

A short time ago, the Earnhardt Ganassi team reported that he was laughing over the radio while sliding sideways...

Less laughter on the Childress radio, where Harvick is mostly swearing.

Sun 19:58 NASCAR - Kansas: Lead order as we pass half-distance:

1 Logano; 2 Earnhardt; 3 Montoya; 4 Kenseth; 5 Hamlin; 6 Menard; 7 McMurray; 8 Vickers; 9 Johnson; 10 Edwards.

Sun 19:59 NASCAR - Kansas: Yellow as Ryan Newman and Justin Allgaier collide.

Phoenix driver Allgaier lost it and hit the wall first, then slid down into the passing Newman. Stenhouse dodged through the middle of it all.

Sun 20:02 IndyCar - Houston: We'll bring you further updates from the Houston accident as we get news. For anyone just joining Race Centre Live, Dario Franchitti's team boss Chip Ganassi reported that he was conscious and escaped major injury.

Sun 20:03 NASCAR - Kansas: Frontrunners all pit and championship leader Kenseth gets a speeding penalty.

Logano had a drama too, almost running over one of his crew members, who tumbled to the ground as he tried to dodge out of the way.

Sun 20:09 NASCAR - Kansas: Harvick and Kyle Busch stayed out and move up to first and second.

Logano, Earnhardt and Montoya lead the group who did pit, and Kenseth is now 30th after that penalty. Still under yellow.

Sun 20:12 NASCAR - Kansas: Another immediate yellow on a restart lap. This time Travis Kvapil is the spinner.

Will PowerSun 20:16 IndyCar - Houston: Here's the full report from the second Houston IndyCar race, marred by a huge last-lap crash involving Dario Franchitti.

Sun 20:19 NASCAR - Kansas: Back to green on lap 152 and the out-of-sequence Harvick makes a break from Logano and Montoya, as Kyle Busch slides back to fifth behind Menard.

Sun 20:20 NASCAR - Kansas: Something seems to be on fire away from the racetrack near Turn 1, sending a lot of smoke over the track. Yellow again.

Sun 20:22 NASCAR - Kansas: It's a bush on an embankment above Turn 1 that has somehow caught fire.

Leader Harvick heads into the pits. Kenseth is pitting for yet more adjustments too.

Sun 20:26 NASCAR - Kansas: Back to green with 108 laps to go and it's Logano versus Montoya for the lead.

Montoya nearly makes it past but has to back out of it and is now being attacked by Kyle Busch and Menard.

Sun 20:31 NASCAR - Kansas: David Ragan crashes and causes a yellow. He's OK and taking his Front Row Ford back to the pits.

Sun 20:33 NASCAR - Kansas: Leaders all dive into the pits. Mostly four-tyre changes this tme by the look of it.

Sun 20:34 NASCAR - Kansas: Menard, Harvick and Earnhardt was the order off pitlane, but Keselowski was among a few who stayed out and now cycle to the front.

Denny Hamlin, Kenseth and Kasey Kahne are second, third and fourth on that strategy.

Sun 20:34 IndyCar - Houston: Local media is reporting that at least 13 fans were injured by a piece of debris fencing that landed in a grandstand after Dario Franchitti's last-lap accident. Most were treated at the scene, but two were reportedly taken to hospital.

Sun 20:38 NASCAR - Kansas: Back to green with 92 laps left and Keselowski resists Hamlin to keep lead.

Sun 20:41 NASCAR - Kansas: Another yellow as a chunk of Casey Mears' Germain Ford just dropped off following a tap of the wall.

Sun 20:47 NASCAR - Kansas: Hamlin has a big go at Keselowski on the restart, has a slide and loses ground, but blocks Harvick's momentum as he does so, leading to some three and four-abreast action in the group behind.

Sun 20:48 NASCAR - Kansas: Yellow as Kyle Busch's unhappy day gets worse in an incident with Montoya.

Busch was trying to fend off Montoya but was tapped into a spin. No one hit Busch but Mark Martin slid into the wall in avoidance.

Busch is quick to criticise Montoya over the radio, but he did come down and turn across him...

Sun 20:52 NASCAR - Kansas: Keselowski will have Kahne, Hamlin, Harvick, Martin Truex Jr, Earnhardt, Kenseth and Menard behind him on this restart.

Sun 20:54 NASCAR - Kansas: Lap 190, 77 to go, another restart...

Sun 20:55 NASCAR - Kansas: Keselowski holds the lead as Harvick bursts through to second.

Sun 20:58 NASCAR - Kansas: Yellow #12 is out on lap 196 as Marcos Ambrose, who had picked his way forward into the top 10, spins wildly off Turn 2. No contact with anyone or anything.

Sun 21:00 NASCAR - Kansas: Title rivals Kenseth and Johnson will restart together eighth and ninth.

With Kyle Busch back in 20th and not enjoying today very much, the top two have a chance to break clear in the points.

Sun 21:02 NASCAR - Kansas: Big crash for Kyle Busch on the restart lap.

He hops out of a very battered car unhurt.

So this is now a two-horse title fight.

Sun 21:03 NASCAR - Kansas: A brush with Carl Edwards triggered Busch's shunt, and he tapped Brian Vickers into a spin on his way to the wall as well.

Sun 21:10 NASCAR - Kansas: A big black cloud of disgruntledness sweeps around the paddock as Kyle Busch talks to reporters about his frustrating day.

Things Busch hates today: Kansas Speedway. Tyres. Miscellaneous rivals.

Sun 21:13 NASCAR - Kansas: OK, we've managed a restart and several laps without mayhem now.

Harvick made a better getaway than Keselowski and briefly led, but the 2012 champion got himself back in front.

Menard is third, Earnhardt made a bad restart and fell to 12th.

Kenseth lost a huge amount of momentum in a mid-pack jostle and is down to 18th.

Sun 21:17 NASCAR - Kansas: Hamlin, who has been in the lead group most of the day, pits under green. He's probably the first of the frontrunners who can now make it all the way.

Scott DixonSun 21:20 IndyCar - Houston: This is how the points now stand with 53 available at Fontana in a fortnight.

1 Scott Dixon 546
2 Helio Castroneves 521
3 Simon Pagenaud 491
4 Justin Wilson 460
5 Marco Andretti 457
6 Ryan Hunter-Reay 446

Sun 21:20 NASCAR - Kansas: Harvick grabs the lead from Keselowski as the Penske Ford abruptly runs out of fuel and has to trickle to the pits.

Sun 21:22 NASCAR - Kansas: That took a long time for Keselowski to get his car restarted and back out.

Now we have yet another yellow due to apparent debris in Turn 1.

Sun 21:28 NASCAR - Kansas: Everyone dived in for final pitstops in that yellow. Jeff Burton only took fuel and didn't change tyres, and that thrust him to the front, but with Harvick surely poised to pounce from second.

Sun 21:29 NASCAR - Kansas: Johnson is 14th, Kenseth only 30th. Back to green with 35 laps left.

Sun 21:30 NASCAR - Kansas: Sure enough, Keselowski is straight past Burton, with Jeff Gordon following him.

Gordon had pitted under the previous yellow so just needed a swift top-up that time.

Sun 21:33 NASCAR - Kansas: Johnson is charging forwards and already up to fifth, while Kenseth is 17th.

Sun 21:34 NASCAR - Kansas: A record 15th yellow here as Vickes has a big crash. He's OK.

Sun 21:36 NASCAR - Kansas: Vickers got into a solo spin and went head-on into the wall as he tried to catch it.

Sun 21:42 NASCAR - Kansas: Back to green with 19 laps to go, Harvick makes the best restart but it's Kurt Busch who surges through and takes second from Gordon.

Sun 21:43 NASCAR - Kansas: Muted restart for Johnson, he's sixth, Kenseth is now up to 14th.

Sun 21:45 NASCAR - Kansas: This is looking good for Harvick now. He's pulled out 1.3s on Kurt Busch and Gordon with just a dozen laps left.

Sun 21:49 NASCAR - Kansas: If this stays green, Harvick is sorted for the win, and it'll bring him back into the title hunt.

Johnson is working on Logano for fourth, and Kenseth is trying to pick his way into the top 10. The Joe Gibbs man will keep the points lead at this rate, but it'll be slender.

Sun 21:50 NASCAR - Kansas: Johnson's car slows, he reports that the engine is failing!

Sun 21:51 NASCAR - Kansas: Harvick takes the win, Kurt Busch is second.

Johnson's wilting car hangs on for sixth, and Kenseth is only 11th.

Sun 21:52 NASCAR - Kansas - results:

1 Harvick; 2 Kurt Busch; 3 Gordon; 4 Logano; 5 Edwards; 6 Johnson; 7 Menard; 8 Earnhardt; 9 Ambrose; 10 Almirola.

Sun 21:54 NASCAR - Kansas: Kurt Busch and Gordon are having a civilised but vehement (yes, that combination is possible) post-race conversation-argument about an incident somewhere along the way.

Sun 22:04 IndyCar - Houston: IndyCar medical staff have confirmed that Dario Franchitti has sustained two fractured vertebra, a fracture to his right ankle, and concussion. The Scot will be kept in hospital overnight.

Fri 10:00 WRC - Germany Meeke will also be pretty chuffed to be through Moselland. That's the stage where electrical gremlins ruined his mega, Sebastien Ogier-beating 2008 run in a Clio. Then three years and 200 metres up the road, his Mini was silenced with an electrical problem as well. Not this time though.

Please (please, please) don't let him have any kind of electrical trouble second time through. That would be just too weird.

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