Typhoon Hagibis sets up bumper Sunday of motorsport
For the third time in 15 years the Japanese Grand Prix will see qualifying and the race crammed into one day due to adverse weather conditions.
Hitting several areas across the country, the forecast storms have brought parts of Japan to a standstill, to the point even the showpiece Rugby World Cup event has had to call off numerous matches – consequently dumping nations out of the tournament at the hands of mother nature.
Thankfully, the Formula 1 will survive, with the race going ahead at the normal time of 6.10am (BST) on Sunday, with qualifying a few hours prior, at 2am.
So, for petrol-heads into all forms of motor racing, it’s set to be quite a day of action.
Sub-plots galore in Suzuka
The typhoon has grabbed a majority of the headlines so far this week, but there’s a host of other stories developing up and down the grid.
Providing Lewis Hamilton keeps his nose clean, this could be the race that unofficially awards him the title. Only Valtteri Bottas will be in reach should Lewis claim victory – and there’s no chance of the Finn even being authorised a challenge as team-mate.
Ferrari politics aside, the other developing narrative is at Red Bull.
In their debut year running Honda engines, yielding two wins, it’s fair to say this is a big weekend. They’re certainly hopeful of being able to compete for the win.
Having introduced a new-spec engine in Russia last time out and taking the necessary engine-usage punishments early to ensure they can fight at Suzuka, we will finally get to see their biggest upgrade of the campaign in full flow.
There’s also a new line of Mobil fuel being pumped into the car – possessing chemicals they hope can give them an extra edge come Sunday.
These introductions also come in a week where team chief Helmut Marko has claimed Honda will be on a par with Mercedes and Ferrari when it comes to engine power in 2020.
Red Bull have certainly been talking the talk. But will they walk the walk at their supplier’s home race?
Grand finale at Brands Hatch
If events over in Japan aren’t enough to whet the appetite for your Sunday, the British Touring Car Championship certainly will do. It climaxes at Brands Hatch this weekend with no less than five drivers in the frame for the title.
Colin Turkington, Dan Cammish, Andrew Jordan, Josh Cook and Tom Ingram will fight it out across three races to determine the 2019 victor.
Three-time champion Turkington is in the box seat with a 16-point lead over Cammish, who holds just a one-point advantage over Jordan. Cook and Ingram are a further 17 and 44 points back respectively and head into the decider more in hope than expectation of glory.
Tens of thousands of fans are expected to flock to witness the finale in person, with everything still at stake.
And while Turkington remains the favourite, he’ll be far from comfortable heading into the final stage.
At one point this year he held a sizeable advantage in the standings, having won five of the first six races. More recently, however, he’s been scrapping for supremacy as others have bridged that gap.
In that time, Cammish, Jordan, Cook and Ingram have all registered victories since Turkington’s last at Snetterton in early August. He’ll have to pull out all the stops to land that record-equaling fourth drivers’ title ahead of his rivals.Whichever way you look at it, it’s going to be a fascinating culmination to an epic season.