World Rally Championship: Only two events into the 2013 WRC season, it seems a clear-cut favorite has emerged in Volkswagen driver Sebatien Ogier. The 29-year old led the Rally Sweden from the opening stage, and held off the advances of rally icon Sebastien Loeb to secure victory. The win is the first ever for Ogier and – though no one is expecting it to be his last – and the first for Volkswagen in 26 years.
Ogier drove the Volkswagen Polo R WRC like a madman through the slick and snowy woods of Sweden, defeating Loeb by an impressive 41 seconds. With Loeb entering semi-retirement this season, and only planning to compete in four events, the championship is up for grabs and Ogier has made an early claim to it. WRC returns with the Rally Guanajuato Mexico on March 7.
Formula One: The first testing session of the 2013 F1 season drew to a close over the weekend, with several stars looking in top shape while several lower-tier teams expressed extreme optimism after the Jerez tests. Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen posted the fastest lap of the final day, while Felipe Massa of Ferrari held the fastest lap of the entire week. Both teams figure to battle near the top of the standings all season, and all reports from Jerez indicate that they’ll be ready.
The season may not be underway yet, but drama has already found its way to Lewis Hamilton and his new Mercedes team. The former World Champion has apparently been very outspoken in his criticisms of the new W04 car, and while team boss Ross Brawn is publicly pleased with Hamilton’s comments, it may not be long before cracks begin to show in the armor if race victories don’t come quickly. Over at his former team, McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Sergio Perez posted impressive times while simultaneously battling mechanical failures. In other words, business as usual. The 2013 Formula One season begins with the Australian Grand Prix on March 17.