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Jose Maria Lopez ready to fly the flag as Formula E hits Buenos Aires

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Jose Maria Lopez is relishing the opportunity to race on home soil in Formula E for the first time when the all-electric series ventures to Buenos Aires, Argentina next week.

Lopez made his Formula E debut in Hong Kong last October with DS Virgin Racing, having linked up with the team following Citroen’s withdrawal from the World Touring Car Championship, where he won three straight titles.

Lopez came close to racing in Buenos Aires last year when Jean-Eric Vergne came down with food poisoning, only for the Frenchman to recover in time to race.

Lopez is now ready to fly the flag for real in Argentina, and believes he can impress given DS Virgin’s early pace in Formula E’s third season.

“I’m getting a lot of media asking me how I’ll perform in Argentina, it being my home country,” Lopez said.

“Well, I have the team, and I have the car, so I think I have as good a chance as anyone out there on race day.

“I’m just excited to go out and race in front of my fans.”

Lopez will have the experience of teammate Sam Bird to rely on, with the Briton claiming one of Formula E’s hardest-fought victories in Buenos Aires last year ahead of Sebastien Buemi.

“It’s a great race for drivers and better still, a great day out for spectators,” Bird said. “After my win there last season, I’m hugely excited to get back to Buenos Aires to try and repeat the feat.”

DS Virgin team principal Alex Tai added: “DS Virgin Racing really are fully charged ahead of Buenos Aires. In Marrakesh Sam podiumed, in a car our fantastic mechanics had rebuilt literally minutes before the race commenced.

“Pound for pound, Sam is one of the best and most experienced drivers in Formula E, whilst our newcomer Jose Maria Lopez offers enormous potential, and I look forward to seeing him demonstrate his capabilities in front of his home crowd.”

The Buenos Aires ePrix takes place on February 18.

Todd LeDuc advances two positions in Monster Jam Power Rankings

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Neil Elliott held onto the top spot in the Monster Jam Power Rankings, but he has a new driver sniffing his exhaust as Todd Leduc advanced two positions to second this week.

The Stadium Series Green continues to hold the advantage in the Power Rankings with Elliott topping the chart, Morgan Kane in fourth, and Ryan Anderson eighth, but there is an equitable distribution among the other series throughout the field.

Notably, Leduc and his Monster Energy truck in the Stadium Series Red closed the gap with a 38-point overall victory at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. Leduc achieved his win through consistency, pocketing the overall without winning a single individual event. Leduc’s best session was a second-place finish to Mike Vaters II in Overkill Evolution by .001 points.

Meanwhile on the West Coast, Elliott rambled on. Elliott won his sixth skills challenge in seven contests so far. That contributed to his 35 points for the event at PETCO Park in San Diego and allowed him to hold onto the No. 1 slot in the Monster Jam Power Rankings.

Colton Eichelberger also held station. Third last week, he entered the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on a mission in the Triple Threat Series Central. He topped the event points in all four events with timed race wins in each session, ATV race wins in three of the four, three wins in the speedster obstacle course, two freestyle wins and one win in the donut competitions.

MORE: Ryan Anderson and the anatomy of a Monster Jam freestyle run

Morgan Kane and Grave Digger had a rough night. He was ousted from the racing event in Round 2 by Max-D and Elliott. He failed to win either of the other two competitions of the night and ended with 29 points, which was a distant third to Ryan Anderson’s Son-Uva Digger (37) and Max-D (35).

Brandon Vinson moved up to the fifth position with three wins in the Triple Threat Series West. During the weekend he earned seven session wins, including a sweep of the speedster obstacle course and two victories in the two-wheel skills challenge.

Tom Meents debuted on the Monster Jam Power Rankings in 10th by winning the overall in back to back nights of the Stadium Series Yellow. The Saturday show can be seen Feb. 22 at 11:30 p.m. on NBCSN (click here for streaming). The highlight of Meents’ weekend were race wins on Saturday and Sunday, defeating Coty Saucier in a Monster Energy truck on Night 1 and Eric Swanson in Obsessed on Night 2.

Power Rankings

1. Neil Elliott–same
2. Todd LeDuc–up 2
3. Colton Eichelberger-same
4. Morgan Kane–down 2
5. Brandon Vinson–up 1
6. Tyler Menninga–up 1
7. Coty Saucier–down 2
8. Ryan Anderson–same
9. Linsey Read–up 1
10. Tom Meents-new for 2020

Upcoming TV Schedule (All showings on Eastern time on NBCSN)

Oakland: February 22 (Saturday); 11:30 p.m.
Miami: March 1 (Sunday); 12 a.m.
Jacksonville: March 9 (Monday); 6 p.m.
Detroit: March 21 (Saturday); 11 p.m.
Las Vegas: March 28 (Saturday); 7 p.m.
Santa Clara: April 11 (Saturday); 7 p.m.
Philadelphia: April 17 (Friday); 2:30 p.m.
Denver: April 25 (Saturday); 6:30 p.m.
Monster Jam World Finals Racing: May 9 (Saturday); 5 p.m.
Monster Jam World Finals: May 19 (Tuesday); 4 p.m.
Monster Jam World Freestyle: May 20 (Wednesday); 12 a.m.
Monster Jam World Finals: June 20 (Saturday); 2:30 p.m.