Happy New Year Everybody!
2018 is upon us and now is the time to reflect over the past year and plan ahead for the next.
Personally, 2017 was pretty fun: I enjoyed motorsport so much I felt like starting a blog to direct my excitement, because most people I know are nowhere near as moved by motorsport as me. I started competing in a local rookie 4-stroke karting championship (I’ll get to that later), we managed to shakedown our chumpcar (again more on that later) and managed to get back into simracing for a little while.
On the professional motorsport side, we saw a bitter-sweet F1 season, a heartbreaking WEC, exciting IMSA racing and of course; ABSOLULTELY EPIC SUPERGT RACING. I’d be here all week writing about every series, but here are my top headlines for the year (in no particular order):
- F1 faster but worse: Faster cars, but more boring races. With the exception of a few races (Baku was my highlight of the year in F1) all the races were basically a high speed parade.
- WEC Developments: Firstly RIP Porsche, but I saw it coming after Audi left. They will be missed but now I don’t really see them coming back until WEC adapts some sort of electric prototype class, but that will be years away if it actually happens. WEC’s move to a Formula E style winter series was a great move. Having Le Mans cap off the year makes complete sense. It will also alleviate racing withdraw for me (and many others, of course).
- LMP2/DPi is the best thing since full slicks: LMP2/DPi has shown a lot of bunch of potential. WEC LMP2 was excellent, but with 100% Orecas, OF COURSE IT WAS GOOD. Spec classes are always great to watch . DPi had a rough start with Cadillac dominating early, Riley/Multimatic dropping the ball with their chassis and Nissan having cooling issues with their engine, things showed more promise at the end of the year. I look forward to seeing how these evolve with Joest coming back with Mazda, Cadillac with a new engine (supposedly for better BoP’ing) and Honda coming in with Penske.
- What didn’t happen at Le Mans?: Toyota had the race on lock down. Then they dropped like flies. Then Porsche had problems. LMP2 almost winning overall and Porsche took all the glory in the end because they were the best worst car. Undoubtedly a Le Mans for the ages, for better or worse.
My personal highlights include a handful of podiums in the CRKC (including a win under the lights) a few iracing wins and shaking down the chumpcar that my friends and I own (frost plugs are definitely a thing, but mission accomplished and the car stayed in one piece).
My first CRKC season ended with me placing in the top 70 out of over 300 people in points in my rookie year, with 3 podiums in my last 5 races including the finals race. It took a few weeks to learn the kart and then a few more weeks to learn the kart/track combo and I was always improving week-to-week. Next year I will be returning, so my goal is to improve on this year.
My lone pole and victory of the year in CRKC
I’m going to leave a few predictions for this coming year and see where we are at the end of it all. This year should be interesting, but there haven’t really been wholesale changes to any of the main racing series in terms of racecraft so this should be fairly easy to predict. However, I’m going to go outside the box and try to predict some harder events. Let’s see how right I am this time next year.
- Toyota fails to win Le Mans again, drops out of WEC at end of year: I hate to be pessimistic but I truly believe Toyota will be snubbed yet again. I have a funny feeling that the ACO trying to balance LMP1 will cause Toyota to have a significant disadvantage at Le Mans. Look for LMP1-L cars to be 20-30km/h faster on the straights. This result will be the end of Toyota in LMP1 and they will opt to forgo the rest of the season.
- TCR explosion: TCR will get a slow start to the year, but only because of availability. The relatively cheap cars will become plentiful in PWC and CTSC at the end of the year. I also expect another mainstream manufacturer to announce a TCR program. If I had to guess, it will be another Ford-Multimatic program with the Focus.
- DTM announces huge changes: With Mercedes out for 2019 and BMW having already scaled back their program to allocate some funding for GTE, that will leave 12 cars between BMW and Audi for 2019. I think we are going to see a rule change to open up the amount of cars from one manufacturer, or open up the rules to allow non-German OEM’s take part. The latter makes more sense, given that they have been trying to merge DTM with SuperGT to create a “Class-1” of touring cars. Either is possible, but it will be interesting to see how the series picks this up.
So that wraps up 2017. I hope you have enjoyed my blog this year and I will do my best to bring you exciting content! Don’t forget to like/subscribe/comment!
I know, I haven’t written anything on here for a WHILE. To be honest, my bad; I didn’t anticipate how busy I’d be in the second half of the year. Not that it’s an excuse but I have a lot of things planned for this blog, and I just need to set aside some time to update it.