ESPN's Jack Arute to cover Motegi and Long Beach races
In his more than 20 years with ESPN, reporter Jack Arute has covered two college football games, and even two different sports, on the same day, on multiple occasions. However, he has never done anything approaching what he will do April 19-20.
With help from the 13-hour time difference between the two locations, Arute will cover two hemispheres and more than 5,000 miles in two days as he works as a pit reporter on live telecasts of two auto races on ESPN2.
Arute will cover the Firestone IndyCar 300 for the IndyCar Series at Motegi, Japan, with the telecast starting at midnight ET Saturday, April 19 (late Friday night). He will then fly from Japan to California and work the telecast of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the final race for the Champ Car World Series, at 5 p.m. ET. Both telecasts will be presented in high definition.
"Jack Arute has always brought a tremendous amount of passion to his work, and this is another example,' said Rich Feinberg, ESPN vice president, motorsports. 'He didn't have to do this, but he wanted to go the extra mile, or in this case, the extra 5,000 miles."
Arute looks forward to the challenge.
'This actually started as a lark, like 'wouldn't it be funny to do both Motegi and Long Beach,'' said Arute, a regular member of ESPN's IndyCar Series coverage team as well as a sideline reporter for ESPN and ABC's college football coverage. 'But then we started looking into it and saw that it could be done.'
Arute amazing journey begins Tuesday when he departs for Japan from Hartford, Conn., with a 13-hour flight from Chicago to Tokyo. The IndyCar Series race at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit will be run Saturday afternoon Japan time, after which he will travel two hours by bus to his hotel and spend the night. While at the hotel, he will use his laptop to study and prepare for the Long Beach telecast.
On Sunday, he will travel two more hours by bus to Tokyo's Narita Airport, then board a 3:45 p.m. flight to Los Angeles. His flight is scheduled to arrive 9.5 hours later at 9:15 a.m., still Sunday because of the time difference, in Los Angeles. After clearing customs, he will be driven to Long Beach, arriving at approximately 11 a.m. for the 2 p.m. local time telecast. Arute will catch a red-eye flight home to Connecticut after the race.
'This became something that I personally wanted to do, despite the sacrifice,' said Arute. 'I covered the first CART race at Long Beach, and this one is going to be very special as the last Champ Car race.
'Fortunately, I can sleep on airplanes with no problem,' said Arute. 'But I've asked one of the teams to have a cot in their pit at Long Beach, just in case I need it. And lots of coffee.'