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Formula E: Mexico City ePrix preview

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The ABB FIA Formula E Championship heads to Mexico City this weekend for Round 5 of the 2017-18 campaign. The current season, the fourth of the Formula E championship, has seen three different winners – Sam Bird, Felix Rosenqvist, and Jean-Éric Vergne – in four races, with Vergne currently leading the championship standings on 71 points, five ahead of Rosenqvist.

Below are noteworthy storylines heading into Saturday’s Mexico City ePrix.

  • Vergne’s victory at the last race, in Santiago, Chile, a 1-2 for Techeetah Formula E Team, with teammate André Lotterer finishing second after the two engaged in a hard-fought battle for the win. It was also the first 1-2 for any team in Formula E history.
  • Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi, the defending Formula E champion, enters Mexico City in somewhat of a slump, with a best finish of 14th in the 2017-18 season and with two consecutive DNFs to his name. However, di Grassi is also the defending Mexico City winner, so this weekend presents a strong opportunity for him to right the ship.
  • Ten points separate championship leader Vergne from third-place Sam Bird. Fourth place Sébastien Buemi sits on 37 points, 24 behind Bird, meaning the early-season title picture looks to be a three-man fight. However, with seven rounds remaining, including Saturday’s Mexico City event, there remains plenty of time for a driver outside of the Top 3 to make a championship run.
  • The Teams’ Championship is also a close fight at the front, with Techeetah leading the way on 89 points, but only two markers ahead of Mahindra Racing. DS Virgin Racing sits in third, on 69 points.
  • While Formula E events are held on city streets, the Mexico City event does feature a permanent racing facility, utilizing parts of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, including the Peraltada, to make up the 17-turn track.
  • DS Virgin Racing’s Alex Lynn is slated to receive a 10-spot grid penalty for taking a new gearbox after suffering a failure at the Santiago ePrix.

Saturday’s Mexico City ePrix rolls off at 4:30 p.m. EST.

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INDYCAR: Patricio O’Ward turns heads in Carlin debut

Chris Jones / IndyCar
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While the top story coming out of Sunday’s IndyCar Classic at Circuit of the Americas is undoubtedly 18-year-old Colton Herta’s victory in only his third IndyCar start, another teenager made quite some noise during the first IndyCar race at the facility.

19-year-old Patricio O’Ward made an impressive start to his 2019 IndyCar campaign by starting and finishing in eighth position. It was the first of his 13 races this season for Carlin Racing.

“I think it was a pretty good race for us. We ended exactly where we started and didn’t go backwards, so I’d say that was a successful day” O’Ward said. “I know the No. 31 Carlin Chevrolet had a top-five finish in it today and even though we couldn’t make it happen, it’s nice to know that we have the pace and can be fighting up front with the veteran drivers.”

O’Ward, the 2018 Indy Lights champ, made his series debut for Harding Steinbrenner Racing at last year’s season finale at Sonoma Raceway, where he made it to the Firestone Fast Six in qualifying and finished ninth. O’Ward was scheduled to race for the team full-time in 2019, but left in early February to pursue other options due to a lack of sponsorship.

Pato found a new home with Carlin, and despite missing preseason testing, he proved to be competitive from the get go and pressured some of IndyCar’s more tenured drivers, including Graham Rahal.

In what was undoubtedly the most daring move of the race, O’Ward ended a great battle with Rahal by hitting a superb outside pass on Lap 15.

O’Ward may have likely earned a better result on Sunday, if he didn’t have to save fuel in order to make the finish.

But with only two IndyCar starts to his credit, he is already racing like a seasoned veteran. Sunday’s IndyCar Classic may be the first of many successful outings for him this year.

After the race, he tweeted to his team: “Well done gentlemen … This is only the beginning.”

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