Saturday, December 4, 2010

Top 5 Biggest headlines of the 2010 Motorsports season

Today, I’m continuing my three-part series that focuses on looking back at both the 2010 NASCAR season and the 2010 Motorsports season. In this edition, I’m focusing on the top 5 biggest headlines of the 2010 Motorsports season.

I would describe the 2010 Motorsports season as filled with high’s, low’s and what most of us tune in for, good real racing.

1. The 2010 Formula One season was one for the record books from some of the races being entertaining especially the return of the Canadian Grand Prix that Lewis Hamilton won, the always entertaining Monaco grand Prix that was a few weeks early that Mark Webber won, the return of Michael Schumacher to Formula 1 despite some issues for him and of course the terrible Korean GP. That Korean GP track looked good in video games and on paper, but was terrible in person (or on TV for me).

But I will remember the 2010 F1 season for the real (not manufactured) tight points battle that went down to wire at the season finale in Abu Dhabi that Sebastian Vettel ended up becoming World Champion after winning the race.

However in watching the season finale in Abu Dhabi, a tricky track I might add that includes a tunnel under some of the track for the exit of pit road, I found the race funny at times to watch. Going in, I was really hoping that either Lewis Hamilton who was fourth in the world championship points or Mark Webber that was second in points win the 2010 World Championship.

At the same time, I found it even more interesting that all the points leader Fernando Alonso had to do was finish 3rd, but that would prove to be too much of a challenge considering Alonso couldn’t even mount a charge past the two Renault’s of Vitaly Petrov and Robert Kubica. Of course with Fernando Alonso and even Mark Webber right behind him for some of the race, that in my opinion opened the door for third and fourth in the points, namely Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton to take the World Championship. At one point, I thought Hamilton had a chance, but Vettel was too strong as he would win the race and the World Championship.

The way I look at with Sebastian Vettel winning the world championship, it’s both rewarding and disappointing to see him win. The rewarding part is that Vettel the most races (5) and he beat out Fernando Alonso out for the title. But disappointing to see this “cocky” kid win and represent Formula 1 as champion.
Now hopefully Sebastian Vettel can be a good World Champion as he needs to grow up in how he races his teammate, how he races other competitors and giving them room to race on track and how to treat the media to at least a point. 2011 should be interesting to watch.

2. Speaking of tight points battles that go down to the final race, the IZOD IndyCar Series had a good one going into the season finale in Homestead with Will Power (the Road Course points champion) vs. Dario Franchitti (the Oval Points Champion) by a slim margin. I came into that season finale hoping that the Penske Racing driver Will Power would win his first IRL Championship, but unfortunately in the finale two races, it all went wrong with fuel mileage and him crashing at Homestead.

But it was cool to see the 2010 Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitt and second in points coming in to Homestead win his second straight IRL Championship. What a good way to go.
I just wish the IRL would get a new TV package, enough with Versus already, the preshow’s suck and so did some of the races.

Of course I will be interested in seeing what the 2011 IRL season with all ISC tracks gone and SMI tracks replacing them and especially the 2012 IRL Season with Lotus and Chevrolet coming on back with engines.

3. John Force capturing his 15th NHRA Funny Car Championship. I have to admit that while I only watched most of the U.S. Nationals and no other races, I am a fan of John Force and JFR and its cool to see John Force win his 15th championship. I don’t know if I can even put that into prospective, but that is a huge accomplishment especially with the crop of drivers the NHRA has in the Funny Car class right now. Hats off to the master.

4. Audi swept the podium at the 24 hours of Le Mans with the #9 Audi R15 TDI plus that was driven to victory by Mike Rockenfeller, Timo Bernhard, and Romain Dumas over the powerful Peugeots that were favorites to win the race, but none finished. Personally what will take away from Audi winning at the 24 hours of Le Mans is the use of alternative fuels in Motorsports, namely racing doesn’t have to use unleaded gasoline to have powerful racecars, we can use other forms of fuel and still having exciting races. I know it sounds weird in some ways, but now is the time to change and Bio-fuels is the answer.

5. The #9 Action Express Racing Daytona Prototype wins the 24 hours of Daytona (Rolex 24) that was driven by Barbosa, Borcheller, Dalziel and Rockenfeller over the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing BMW. This one was actually a really good race although it was under 50 degrees at several times during this race. It was one of those races that had the hard racing that the series should have at all events. And it was actually a simple mistake in the pits on the #01 BMW that opened the door for the Action Express prototype to take back the lead and drive into the sunset with their first victory.

I have to say that I mainly watch NASCAR, but I also try and watch the IRL IndyCar Series, some Formula One races as well as most of the major races like the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500, the 24 hours of Daytona, the 12 hours of Sebring (that saw no Audi’s complete), the 24 hours of Le Mans and more.
This was a good Motorsports season all the way around and now I can’t wait for the 2011 Motorsports season to begin in late January (2011) with the 24 hours of Daytona.

Thoughts?