February 2022 Preview

This month is set to see both the World Rally Championship (WRC) and Formula E in action once again, while other racing series also get their 2022 season’s started this month.

WRC

The WRC heads to Sweden for its second event of the year having opened its season last month at the Monte Carlo Rally. Rally Sweden is due to take place between 24-27 February.

Rally Sweden was cancelled last season, and a shortened version of the rally was held in 2020 which was won by Elfyn Evans ahead of Ott Tanak and Kalle Rovanpera. The last time the full 19 stages of the rally were held, back in 2019, the event was won by Tanak ahead of Esapekka Lappi and Thierry Neuville.

The Championship for Drivers’ sees Sebastien Loeb at the top of the standings having won the season opener, where the Frenchman also finished fourth in the power stage. Loeb isn’t due to contest this month rally in Sweden.

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Second in the championship is Sebastien Ogier who is also not competing in a full season and is expected to replaced by Lappi for Rally Sweden. Ogier finished fifth in the power stage in Monte Carlo, he is eight points behind Loeb and two points ahead of third placed Rovanpera.

Rovanpera finished the season opener fourth but won the power stage, giving the Finn a two point advantage over Craig Breen who finished third in Monte Carlo, the Irishman has a four point advantage over Thierry Neuville who is fifth in the championship.

Formula E

Having begun its eighth season with a double header of races in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. Formula E will head to Mexico for the Mexico City ePrix which takes place on 12 February.

Last season Formula E did manage to contest a race in Mexico, but it was moved away from Mexico City and to Puebla. Therefore the last time the series raced around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez was in February 2020. The race was won by Mitch Evans ahead of Antonio Felix da Costa and Sebastien Buemi.

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Heading to Mexico this month the early championship lead is held by Edoardo Mortara, the Swiss driving finishing sixth in the first Diriyah race before going on to win the second. He has a four point advantage over second placed, and reigning Formula E world champion, Nyck de Vries who started his title defence with victory in the opening race in Diriyah before going on to finish tenth in the second.

Completing the top three in the drivers’ championship is Stoffel Vandoorne who followed teammate de Vries home in a Mercedes 1-2 in the opening race of the season. Vandoorne then went on to finish seventh in the second race, it means the Belgian goes to Mexico one point behind de Vries and three ahead of fourth placed Jake Dennis.

NASCAR

This month sees the NASCAR Cup Series begin its 2022 season with the Clash at the LA Coliseum on 6th February followed by the Duel at Daytona on 17 February, which all leads up to the first official round of the season, the Daytona 500, taking place on 20 February. The Cup Series will then conclude its action for the month by competing at the Auto Club Speedway on 27 February.

1344810072” by Georgia Peanut Commission is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson enters the new season as the reigning regular season champion and Cup Series champion. Michael McDowell will head into this season as the reigning Daytona 500 champion having finished ahead of Chase Elliott and Austin Dillon in last season’s edition of the race.

The Cup Series hasn’t held a race at the Auto Club Speedway since early 2020 which saw Alex Bowman claim victory ahead of Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch.

Extreme E

After its inaugural season last year Extreme E returns this month when it heads to Saudi Arabia from 19-20 February for the opening event of its second season.

The Desert X-Prix in Saudi Arabia last season was held in Al-‘Ula which was won by Rosberg X Racing ahead of Andretti United and Team X44. This season’s Desert X-Prix will still be held in Saudi Arabia but is set to move to Neom.

ExE – Lasse Kyed-1371” by Destination Arctic Circle is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Rosberg X Racing will enter this season as the defending champions after winning the inaugural championship on countback from Team X44. The top three in last season’s championship was completed by Jenson Button’s JBXE which finished two points ahead of fourth placed Andretti United.

At the time of writing there was still a lot to be confirmed in terms of which teams and drivers will be competing in this season’s Extreme E championship. There have however been a variety of driver changes confirmed in the off season, this includes at Veloce Racing which will enter the 2022 season with an all new line-up consisting of Lance Woolridge and Christine Giampaoli Zonca.

In terms of the teams it was confirmed that McLaren will make its debut in the series this season, with its driver line-up consisting of Emma Gilmour and Tanner Foust. The latter of the two is new to Extreme E while Emma Gilmour contest two events with Veloce Racing last season

IndyCar

Lastly there is IndyCar which will head to St. Petersburg, Florida for its traditional season opener which is set to take place this year on 27 February. It is one of 17 races due to be held this season and one of 12 road/street courses that make up the 2022 schedule.

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Last season’s race was the second event of the 2021 season and saw Colton Herta take a commanding victory ahead of Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud.

Alex Palou will enter the season as the defending champion after finishing ahead of Newgarden and Pato O’Ward in last season’s championship standings. Palou finished seventeenth in last season St. Petersburg Grand Prix while O’Ward was classified nineteenth.

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