After finally ending the run of four different winners from as many FIA World Rally Championship rounds in Argentina, Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville heads to Portugal this weekend with his sights firmly set on chasing down championship leader Sebastien Ogier. As the most competitive season in recent memory continues to gather momentum, don’t miss a single pace-note with daily highlights on Motorsport.tv.
The new breed of faster, more aggressive cars have opened the door to a thrilling title battle, with Ford, Toyota, Citroen and Hyundai all sharing honours over the first four rounds. That unpredictability is only set to continue in Portugal, which has produced three different winners in the last three years and was the scene of Mads Ostberg’s only WRC win to date in 2012. After missing out on a first WRC victory by just 0.7 seconds in Argentina, DMACK-shod Elfyn Evans will be keen to show his stunning pace was no fluke, while fellow Brit Kris Meeke will hope to put a disastrous Argentina behind him and take advantage of his lowly road position for the second straight year to thrust Citroen back into the manufacturers title race.
Keeping up the muddy theme, there’s LIVE action of the FIM MXGP World Championship from Teutschenthal in Germany, where the fans will hope to see another titanic scrap between championship rivals Tony Cairoli and Tim Gajser. Italian maestro Cairoli won both races last year and has a 17 points lead atop the standings after Gajser’s off-weekend in Latvia, but cannot afford to relax as form-man Jeffrey Herlings closes in. Now fully recovered from his pre-season wrist injury, the KTM rider took two podiums on home turf in the Netherlands then won both races in Latvia, showing the imperious form which took him to 27 wins from 30 starts in MX2 last year. But can Herlings keep the pressure on Cairoli and co. with another clean sweep?
Next up, it’s over to sunny Barcelona for the opening round of the Porsche Supercup, where a packed grid of 31 identical 991 GT3 Cup cars will do battle around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Yorkshireman Dan Cammish has vanquished all-comers in the British championship for the past two years, but won’t have it easy on the world stage against ultra-experienced German Michael Ammermuller, Norwegian rising star Junior Denis Olsen and reigning Australian Carrera Cup champion Matt Campbell. Who would strike the crucial first blow?
The Supercup wasn’t the only championship in Barcelona last weekend however – make sure to check in with Peter Windsor and guests on The Flying Lap to get under the skin of the very latest goings-on in Formula 1. Filmed at the heart of the Motorsport Network in Richmond, you won’t find such unparalleled technical insights anywhere else!
But the variety doesn’t end there. After tucking into some thrilling Mini Challenge JCW and Ginetta GT5 Challenge action from Rockingham, why not join the British Rally Championship’s annual visit to Kielder Forest on the Pirelli International, then settle down for British Pickup Truck capers at Pembrey and Italian Superbike madness from Misano?
We conclude this week with a double-bill of drag racing from the NHRA Drag Racing Championship with rounds three and four from Gainsville, Florida and Las Vegas. After DSR team-mate Leah Pritchett swept both the Winternationals and Arizona Nationals in the Top Fuel division, could defending champion Antron Brown record his first event win of the year?
Friday 19th May
18:55 – The Flying Lap, Episode 8
22:05 – Inside RX, Rd 4, Belgium
22:35 – FIA World Rally Championship, Rd 6, Rally Portugal (Day 1)
Saturday 20th May
10:40 – Porsche Supercup, Rd 1, Barcelona
11:10 – British Pickup Truck Championship, Rd 2, Pembrey
14:20 – Ginetta GT5 Challenge, Rd 2, Rockingham
14:50 – Mini Challenge JCW, Rd 2, Rockingham
16:15 – Delayed-as-Live Italian Moto 3, Rd 3, Misano
17:00 – Delayed-as-Live Italian Superbikes, Rd 3, Misano
17:45 – Delayed-as-Live Italian 600 Supersport, Rd 3, Misano
19:25 – NHRA Drag Racing Championship, Rd 3, Florida Nationals
20:30 – NHRA Drag Racing Championship, Rd 4, Las Vegas Nationals
22:35 – FIA World Rally Championship, Rd 6, Rally Portugal (Day 2)
Sunday 21st May
10:35 – British Rally Championship, Rd 2, Pirelli International Rally
12:00 – LIVE, FIM MX2, Rd 8, Germany (Race 1)
13:00 – LIVE, FIM MXGP, Rd 8, Germany (Race 1)
15:00 – LIVE, FIM MX2, Rd 8, Germany (Race 2)
16:00 – LIVE, FIM MXGP, Rd 8, Germany (Race 2)
17:30 – Delayed-as-Live Italian Moto 3, Rd 3, Misano
18:15 – Delayed-as-Live Italian Superbikes, Rd 3, Misano
19:00 – Delayed-as-Live Italian 600 Supersport, Rd 3, Misano
22:35 – FIA World Rally Championship, Rd 6, Rally Portugal (Day 3)