February preview: Formula E, WRC, MRF Challenge

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February preview: Formula E, WRC, MRF Challenge
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Feb 1, 2019, 6:14 AM

While the traditional motorsport season kick-off may be a month away, several series have their races lined up in February. Have a look.

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MRF Challenge (Chennai) - February 8-10

MRF Challenge (Chennai) - February 8-10
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Photo by: MRF Racing

Some of the world’s best budding racers will converge in Chennai between February 8-10 for the final round of the 2018/19 MRF Challenge season.

Max Defourny has been leading the championship since the beginning of the season, but saw his lead trimmed down to 18 points by an overpowering Jamie Chadwick in the second round.

The two will go head-to-head for the title at the Madras Motor Race Track, the circuit where previous champions including Pietro Fittipaldi and Harrison Newey were also crowned.

A total of five races will be held across the weekend, each offering 25 points. Two bonus points will also be awarded for fastest lap and pole position each, giving plenty of opportunities to the two drivers to clinch the championship.

Formula E (Mexico E-Prix) - 16 February

Formula E (Mexico E-Prix) - 16 February
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Photo by: Joe Portlock / LAT Images

Formula E will make its next stop in Mexico as part of the South American leg of the series.

Mahindra Racing has emerged yet again as a potent challenger following three podium finishes in a row, including a victory at Marrakesh.

The Indian team currently sits second in the championship, just 12 points behind Virgin Racing, while Jerome d’Ambrosio also holds the same spot in the drivers’ table.

Mahindra is one of the several teams capable of scoring wins this season, blowing the predictions for Mexico wide open.

DS Techeetah and BMW Andretti are arguably the two strongest teams at present, with Mahindra, Audi, Nissan and Virgin next in line in no particular order.

WRC (Rally Sweden) - 15-17 February

WRC (Rally Sweden) - 15-17 February
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Photo by: McKlein / LAT Images

Sebastien Ogier’s return to Citroen yielded a victory in the Monte Carlo season opener, but the Frenchman must remains wary of his Toyota rivals, particularly Ott Tanak, at the next round in Sweden.

Hyundai should be very much in the game as well and it would be too early to rule out M-Sport, despite a dismal showing in Monte.

Of course, Sweden is the only rally of the year that takes place in snow, adding another degree of complexion.

World Superbikes (Australia) - February 22-24

World Superbikes (Australia) - February 22-24
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Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Australia’s Phillip Island Circuit will play host to the opening round of the 2019 World Superbike season on the weekend of February 22-24.

Ducati is bringing an all-new challenger to WSBK this year, but will it be enough to end Jonathan Rea and Kawasaki’s four-year winning streak? Only time will tell.

As for the Indian-owned NRT team that competed in the WSBK-supporting World Supersport championship last year and came close to winning the title, it seems its journey will end after a single season.

NRT was absent from the provisional list published at the start of last month and it’s unclear if the team’s Yamaha R6 bikes will be on the grid in Australia .

F1 pre-season tests (Barcelona) - February 18-21, February 26-March 1

F1 pre-season tests (Barcelona) - February 18-21, February 26-March 1
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Photo by: Sutton Images

New 2019 F1 cars will run in anger for the first time in Barcelona from February 18-21. The test will give fans a chance to see how the new cars look in flesh, while also providing some clues about the pecking order.

Both FOM (through F1 TV) and Sky Sports will be providing live coverage from the test, but neither of the streams will be available in India.

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About this article

Series WRC , World Superbike , Formula E , Indian Open Wheel
Author Rachit Thukral