The racing season is back underway for 2024, so keep reading to find out what motorsport is on this weekend around the world.
After a flurry of activity at the back end of January, things are a little quieter this month. However, there is still some high-level international motorsport going on in February that you should be aware of. Here’s what’s on this weekend.
What motorsport is on this weekend?
WRC: Rally Sweden
The FIA World Rally Championship moves onto its second round of the 2024 season, swapping the alpine roads of Monte-Carlo for the snowy forests of Sweden. Last time out, Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville claimed victory ahead of the Monte master Sébastien Ogier, but with Ogier skipping the Swedish round, we’re guaranteed a different look to the battle for rally victory this weekend.
Being the only snow rally of the year, it takes a certain set of skills to triumph at Rally Sweden. Local Scandinavian stars often do well, so plenty of attention will be on reigning champion Kalle Rovanperä, who makes his return to the series after skipping Monte-Carlo. Like Ogier, Rovanperä is only competing in a part-campaign this year, so although he’ll be one of the favorites for victory this time out, the wider championship narrative will be focused on drivers elsewhere. Of course, Neuville would love to double up on wins this early in the season, but it’s also worth keeping an eye on his Hyundai teammate Ott Tänak. Tänak won Rally Sweden last year for the less competitive M Sport Ford team, so he’ll be hotly tipped for another win now that he has Hyundai factory machinery underneath him.
Wales’ Elfyn Evans will want to build on the speed he showed in glimpses at Monte-Carlo too, having led the season opener for the first couple of days. And, who knows, after a promising showing in round one, perhaps M-Sport’s Adrien Fourmaux could surprise us all. Either way, there’s likely to be plenty of storylines unfolding throughout the weekend.
Another thing to note is the fresh new look to the Hyundai factory WRC team. The South Korean marque has already changed its livery, just one event into the 2024 season. Essentially, the reason being for this is to put greater emphasis on Hyundai’s N performance branding.
Team boss Cyril Abiteboul explained it, saying, “As some of our colleagues celebrate the Lunar New Year, we are also marking a fresh beginning with an all-new livery for the remainder of the FIA WRC season. The design was created to pay tribute to our close working relationship with Hyundai N and Hyundai Motor Company, and complements their celebrations of ten years in the pinnacle of rallying.
“Starting the 2024 season with a win at one of the most iconic events in WRC history was an incredible moment, ten years after our first-ever Rallye Monte-Carlo, and it is fitting that Thierry (Neuville) and Martijn (Wydaeghe)’s Monte-Carlo colors are memorialized in the history books.”
And that’s a fair point – not many liveries can claim a 100% win record…
How to watch it
As ever, Rally Sweden will be held over multiple days, spanning Thursday 15th January – Sunday 18th January. The best way to watch the WRC is through the championship’s online streaming service, Rally TV. Rally TV also gives you access to the European Rally Championship and the FIA World RX Championship, plus tons of archive content. It is quite costly though, priced at €119.99 per year, or €12.99 per month. The exact amount will vary slightly depending on your region.
Alternatively, if you want to watch the WRC through a television broadcaster, UK audiences will be able to follow the action live on TNT Sports. In the US, sadly no broadcaster has picked up the FIA World Rally Championship this year. Fortunately, American (and international) audiences will at least be able to catch up with highlights for free on Red Bull TV.
Enjoy rallying? Check out the video above where we sent Jamie to check out an old-school Focus WRC and put it up against a modern-day Rally2 Fiesta! For more details, have a read of the full article.