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Varsha at the 2010 Legends of Motorsport event at Barber Motorsports Park
|Born||April 21, 1951|
|Alma mater||Dartmouth College
Emory University School of Law
Bob Varsha (born April 21, 1951 in Northport, New York) is an American motorsport announcer who worked for the now-defunct Speed Channel. He was one of the on-air personalities for the network's Formula One live coverage.
Varsha graduated from Dartmouth College in 1973 with a bachelor of arts degree in foreign language. While attending Dartmouth, Varsha won varsity letters in cross country and track. He made the finals of the U.S. Olympic Trials marathon event twice, doing so while attending Emory University School of Law. Varsha won the inaugural Peach Bowl Half Marathon in 1980 at a time of 1:08:23.
Varsha practiced law in Atlanta, but his life took a different direction when TBS asked him to cover the Peachtree Road Race, which he headed as part of the Atlanta Track Club in 1980. He did so well that TBS offered him a part-time job. In 1986, Varsha joined ESPN, where he hosted the network's Formula One coverage as well many other international sports events including gymnastics, figure skating, track & field and 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Speed and Fox Broadcasting
In 1999, Varsha moved to Speed, then known as SpeedVision. In 2002 and 2003, Varsha was the host of Speed's Champ Car coverage. Rick DeBruhl took over Varsha's Formula One host chair for that period. In 2004, Varsha returned to his Formula One hosting duties. In 2004, Varsha was also a part-time host/narrator for Speed's coverage of the World Rally Championship, even reporting on-site from the WRC's inaugural event in Mexico. Varsha also commentated on the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction on Speed Channel in Scottsdale, Arizona, Palm Beach, Florida, Orange County, California and Las Vegas, Nevada annually.
At the end of the 2012 Formula 1 season, it was announced that Speed would no longer present the entire live Formula 1 schedule for the United States market. Varsha, who was under contract to Speed, was quoted as saying that this merely represented "one single apex in a life of innumerable apices." Varsha is the lead broadcaster for the Tudor United Sports Car Series on Fox Sports 1 & Fox Sports 2. He is also leader of the networks FIA World Endurance Championship coverage, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
CBS "borrowed" Varsha and other talent from Speed when they broadcast Champ Car races in 2002 & 2003.
Varsha was permitted by Fox to host three F1 races during the 2013 season for the NBC Sports Network (the three races that are on the same day as an IZOD IndyCar Series race--Malaysia, Belgium, and Korea--as regular lead host Leigh Diffey was also lead host on IndyCar broadcasts for NBCSN), which now carries F1 in the United States. In 2014, Varsha was again permitted to work with NBCSN's coverage-but NBCSN decided instead to have Varsha be lead broadcaster for the Verizon IndyCar Series races instead of Formula 1, where Diffey remained lead broadcaster for the entire season. In 2014, Varsha worked Carb Day, the Pocono, and the Toronto IndyCar race weekends. In 2015, there are five Formula 1 & IndyCar schedule conflicts, but no announcement has been made yet in regards to coverage (Brian Till has also filled in as lead announcer on NBCSN when Varsha was unavailable).
Varsha called the 2016 Belgian Grand Prix on NBCSN with Steve Machett and David Hobbs filling in for regular F1 announcer Leigh Diffey who was ill.
In January 2002 Varsha joined Focus On Racing Radio, syndicated by Westwood One. The show originates from Memphis, Tennessee, but Varsha hosts from Atlanta, Georgia and from the Speed TV studios in Charlotte, North Carolina Varsha's co-host on the show is Forrest Goodman of Memphis, Tennessee. The radio program is delivered in a magazine-style format and features interviews with top drivers from all forms of motorsports. The show's slogan is "The Fastest Hour In Radio!"
Varsha was play-by-play radio announcer for the 2014 United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.