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More reveals and a season opening rally event round off this week’s motorsport news
More details on the new motorsport season were revealed alongside a season opening rally event this week. It kicked off with two more Formula One teams confirming their car launch dates, as well as achieving some much-needed gains in audience figures. The 2020 MotoGP season’s racing calendar as well as Ducati’s bike were also revealed. The opening round of the new WRC season, the Monte Carlo Rally, concluded as well:
The 2020 World Rally Championship finally kicked off with the Monte Carlo Rally, consisting of 16 stages held on the snowy and icy roads of the French Alps. Reigning WRC Champion Ott Tanak was out of the running by stage four with a scary accident while piloting his Hyundai i20 Coupe. Thankfully, both he and co-driver Martin Jarveoja got out unharmed.
The rest of the stages were essentially a battle between the two Toyotas of Elfyn Evans and Sebastien Ogier as well as the Hyundai of Thierry Neuville. In the end, the Hyundai racer took first blood with a 12.6-second gap to Ogier and Evans rounding off the podium. In the WRC2 category, Mads Ostberg won, with Adrien Fourmaux in 2nd and Nikolay Gryazin rounding off the top three.
As we head closer to February, more details are revealed on the upcoming season. It started with Racing Point announcing it will reveal its 2020 challenger on February 17 in Mondsee Austria. Alfa Romeo have also said they will unveil their 2020 car on February 19, the first day of pre-season testing.
Aside from car launch dates, Formula One confirmed its third consecutive audience growth, with global TV cumulative audience standing at 1.9 billion. This is the highest growth since 2012 and an increase of 9 per cent compared to 2018. The top five markets by cumulative audience are Brazil, Germany, Italy, UK and the Netherlands. Speaking of TV audiences, the much-anticipated Formula One: Drive To Survive Season 2 Netflix series will commence from February 28. Formula One also announced an auction where all proceeds will go towards charity for assisting bushfire victims in Australia.
The 2020 season has well and truly begun in MotoGP, with the racing calendar officially confirmed. It will be a 20-race long season, before which comes pre-season testing in Jerez from February 19. The opening round will take place in Qatar on March 8 and the season will conclude on November 15 in Valencia, Spain. Ducati unveiled their 2020 challenger in Bologna, Italy. The new liveries get the classic red body shade, paired with blacked-out accents. Of course, a fancy paint job is no indication of whether Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci will be able to mount a consistent challenge to Marc Marquez and Honda.
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