The Year in Motorsports: 2017

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JohnBM01

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As sort of a tradition I do on GTPlanet, it is always nice to look back while also looking ahead. So allow me to open this thread looking back on 2017. This post is all about motorsports from 2017. Everything from the greatest races, greatest championships, most memorable moments, and more are featured here.

So what topics are fair game here? Here are things for you to respond to:

* BEST: best races, best championships, best drivers, best teams, best moments, etc.

* WORST: worst races, worst championships, worst drivers, worst teams, worst moments, etc.

* INDIFFERENT: any races, championships, drivers, teams, moments you aren't certain to call good or bad.

* 2017 THOUGHTS: What do you think about motorsports in 2017 in general?

* LOOKING FORWARD: What are you looking forward to in racing for 2018?

You are also free to express any sort of thoughts regarding racing in 2017. The only criteria for that only completed races and completed championships are fair game to mention. So you can discuss events like the 24 Hours of Daytona, Daytona 500, Indy 500, and others. You can discuss championships and events like NASCAR, the IndyCar Series, Formula 1, Super Formula, Super GT, Blancpain Endurance Series, MotoGP, World Superbike, SCCA Runoffs, Formula Drift, NHRA, even college/university racing (such as Formula SAE).


Let's look back on 2017 in motorsports! GO!
 
4,665
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
MW3Fan34
BEST:
  • Martin Truex Jr wins his first NASCAR Cup Title
  • Takuma Sato wins the Indy 500
  • The Baku GP. Just an amazing race.
  • The 24 HR Of Lemans. What a race.
  • Reynolds winning the Bathurst 1000 as an underdog.
  • Scotty creating the new Lap of the gods at Bathurst.
WORST:
  • The abysmal finish to the Supercars season.
  • NASCAR makes the Playoffs format and the whole season a bigger headache
  • The new F1 logo.... WHY?!
  • The Monaco GP and Russian GP.
  • Porsche retires from LMP racing :(
  • The embarrassing performance of the LMP1 class at Lemans
  • WTCC pretends to be Rallycross and introduces a joker lap to their races.
  • The ugly breakup between Mclaren And Honda.
 

JohnBM01

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A few 2017 musings of mine in motorsport...

* Maybe the most memorable moment for me this year was Maro Engel throwing all kinds of shade on Shane Van Gisbergen after wrecking at the 2017 Bathurst 12 Hours.

* I was pleased that Takuma Sato won the Indianapolis 500. However, one editor thought it was like a crime against humanity for a Japanese driver to win a major race on Memorial Day.

* It was going to be interesting to see how NASCAR took on the stages and other rules. I hate to say it, but NASCAR has gone from a fairly decent motorsport... to just about another average American sport. Almost as if NASCAR needed to be more like most other traditional American sports to be marketable and watchable.

* I don't usually follow Formula 1. However, I am surely pleased to see my man Lewis Hamilton knock down his fourth F1 World Championship.

* It is sad to see the likes of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick as full-time racers in NASCAR. As much as I love Danica Patrick, I was rather surprised to see Danica so emotional in that press conference where she announced no longer being a full-time driver in NASCAR. Matt Kenseth is even considering stepping away from racing. Him winning only one race in 2003 yet becoming champion basically was the catalyst for the Chase format we love (note my sarcasm). I was never crazy about Dale Jr., but I do respect him. I still don't think of Dale Jr. as I think of Mark Martin, as far as being the best driver to never win the Cup championship. Dale Jr. still brought it every race. Best wishes to all in NASCAR either stepping down as full-time drivers or retiring from racing altogether.

* I thought it was great for Ty Majeski to get his shine on apart from being a great iRacing driver. This is maybe the coolest story in 2017 in seeing a sim racer get a big time deal like when he raced at Iowa Speedway in the XFINITY Series.

* I am darned proud of Josef Newgarten becoming IndyCar Series champion. I knew this guy would one day become champion, and he did good knocking down a championship.


To end this post on a somber note, my condolences go out in loving memory of all of the motorsports personalities who passed away this year- including Bud Moore and Robert Yates.
 
1,392
United States
Satellite of Love
flip157
I like this idea! As a whole, 2017 was a pretty exciting year in motorsport.
Oh, where to begin...

BEST
  • IMSA & DPi. Despite the gripes against Cadillac (including from me), I think everyone now sees the potential in the concept, and 2018 will be well worth watching. (HYPE TRAIN!)
  • Sato redeeming himself at the Indy 500.
  • Le Mans. In general.
  • World Rallycross Championship. In general. Even though my guy didn't win the title, it was still a fun year to watch.
  • Super GT. Again, in general. Might be the best racing series on the planet.
  • The WRC not being boring and dominated by one party, for once!
  • IMSA at Lime Rock Park. Not only 'cause it was a good race, but I was there in person. :D
WORST
  • My other live motorsport event of the year: Monster Energy Supercross at Metlife Stadium. Was having fun right up until Tomac crashed and threw away the title. Which was followed by a painfully obvious team order from KTM to ensure Dungey won the title. Probably wasn't necessary, and just looked bad as a whole.
  • NASCAR (yes, this requires sub-bullets)
    • Stage Racing. I tried to give this a chance at the beginning of the year. But IMO, it did nothing to improve the show, and the stage wins didn't mean anything by the end of the season. Looked as though, rather shockingly, no one treated the end of a stage as if it was the end of... anything... because it wasn't. I hope NASCAR reverts back, but there's a fair amount of evidence to suggest they aren't.
    • All the names I grew up with leaving the sport. :( To be honest, I think I'm somewhere between this, and a 'changing of the guards' sort of thing. But I don't like how drivers like Kennseth, Biffle, and Edwards got kicked without a proper send off other drivers got.
    • Overhyping the 11/24 incident every 40 seconds all the way to Homestead. Even during practice sessions NASCAR, NBCSN: Stop. Doing. This.
  • Porsche pulling out of LMP1, making P1 even more of a mess than it already was (even though it looks like things are shaping up to be okay now that we're finally seeing the new cars).
  • World GT thingy at Macau. It's time the race organizers and the SRO reconsider having GT3s racing at Macau. (GT4, on the other hand...)
INDIFFERENT
  • The end of Prototype Challenge in the IMSA WeatherTech series. Cool cars, they've served their purpose well, and it's time to move on.
  • F1
    • The new cars. I just think the new cars left a little to be desired. Yes, I think the cars look better than the previous generation. But the on-track action didn't really change, the cars just looked a little different. Lap records fell, but not by a million seconds like we were lead to believe. The racing wasn't any better or worse than in previous years. They just didn't look as ugly and were moving slightly faster. ...I will miss the shark fins, though.
    • The new logo. It's not that bad, people.
  • Formula E. All of it. Get back to me when the manufacturers are building their own cars, not rebadging them.
Looking Forward to in 2018
  • IMSA & Super GT. See above.
  • The TCR/WTCC merger thing. I'm a big fan of touring cars and TCR. And yes, I've stuck with the WTCC through the tough/dull Citroen years. With the factory Citroen team gone, though, the WTCC had some genuinely good races this year. Whatever comes out of it, I hope there is a strong world touring car series.
  • Class 1. May be too early to tell what will happen between the DTM and Super GT, but there is a potential for something cool to happen with those cars.
  • The Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval. It's either going to be amazing, or a giant train wreck. I am seriously excited for this!
Honorable Mention
The June NASCAR race at Pocono. On the Saturday Xfinity race, Fox had a special broadcast with Cup drivers taking over the whole thing. At the end of the day, Brad Keselowski won the race, and Ryan Blaney did the victory lane interview, as he was a pit reporter for the day. The next day, after a close battle with Harvick, Blaney wins the Cup race (scoring career win #1), and TV got Brad to come down to victory lane to do the interview. Thought that was pretty cool.

If you made it here, sorry for the length.
 

ScottPye20

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Best:
Bathurst 1000 with David Reynolds giving the finger to Red Bull.
The Baku GP. Not just because Ricciardo won but because it was the most entertaining race of the year.
Final Round of Super GT at Motegi. So much action in such a short space of time, and a New Zealander won the race.
Le Mans. A P2 car finishing second outright after 6 of the 7 LMP1's failed to finish.
Phillip Island Historics. One of the greatest race meets I've ever attended.
The Blancpain GT series. Lots of great racing throughout the season.

Worst:
The last V8 Supercar race at Newcastle. Don't even get me started.
The V8 Supercar race at Symmons Plains race with that major pile up.
The tyre and pit entry farce at the Phillip Island V8 Supercar race.
Cameron Waters. He may be quick but boy is he immature. Responsible for lots of crashes.
Roland Dane. What ever he asks for, he gets.
Dumb decisions at V8 Supercars race control.
Ricciardo at the Australian GP. He crashes into the wall in qualifying, ruining the gearbox. He doesn't make it onto the grid. He fails to finish. What a joke.
Porsche pulling out of Prototype racing, leaving a gaping hole in LMP1.
Engine failures in the Red Bull F1 cars.
Vettel losing the championship for himself.
Holden pulling factory backing from Walkinshaw, and killing off HRT.
Foxtel not allowing Channel 10 to broadcast every V8 Supercar race live.
 
38,559
Australia
The Bronx
2017 thoughts: Short summary in my eyes.
Looks like people with the funds, still want to go racing. TCR & GT4 are evidence of that.
Production car racing is strong. Thailand have some really cool production car and truck racing. Supercars look to have a healthy new SuperUtes(Colorado, Ranger, Triton, D-Max, HiLux, BT-50) series, with end of the V8 Utes era.

SuperGT looks stable,. GT3(bar Australian GT-we'll see how it goes with GT4 now included) across the globe, also looks healthy.

* BEST:
- VASC: The Dunlop Super Soft. Some teams scratched their heads to figure out the tyre. Some got real aggressive with set ups. Did shake up the grid throughout the year. 14 events/9 months and the Championship was decided at the Finish Line.
- TCR International: Close racing. Multiple manufacturers. New winners and an 18yo almost won the whole shebang.
* WORST:
- The Dunlop Super Soft. Watching every team blow tyres left and right. Ruining races. One the most unsafe tyre compounds in a series. Do to no real testing before it was introduced.
- Macau pile up.

* INDIFFERENT: WEC, LeMans, NASCAR,

* 2017 THOUGHTS:
Looks like people with the funds, still want to go racing. TCR & GT4 are evidence of that.
Moto GP was awesome. Different winners and cool to see Ducati running up the top again.

* LOOKING FORWARD: No doubt the VASC season. At least 2 more Falcon FG Xs will be on the grid. TCR, GT4, and Moto GP.
Production car racing is strong- Thailand have some really cool production car and truck racing.
The new SuperUtes(Colorado, Ranger, Triton, D-Max, HiLux, BT-50) series, with the end of the V8 Utes era, will be strange to witness.
 

AudiMan2011

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Best:
  • Ash Sutton winning the BTCC title for the first time after another epic season
  • Ferrari finally giving Merc the challenge they needed in F1
  • Alonso's stunning performance at the Indy 500
  • Porsche's remarkable recovery at Le Mans
Worst:
  • Vettel choking at the most crucial moments, blowing his title challenge
  • F1's grid penalty fiasco
  • P1 Hybrid reliability at Le Mans was an embarrassment
  • Porsche quitting LMP1
Indifferent:
  • #MercedesNation once more
  • Halo cockpit protection system confirmed.
Looking Forward:

  • New universal aero kit for Indycar
  • Another close fought contest in BTCC
  • Whether Ferrari can continue to challenge Merc in F1.
  • If Kubica is confirmed to come back to F1.
 
1,472
United States
United States
Best:
  • IMSA/Weathtech and American sports car racing gaining tremendous momentum, seeing foreign interest and becoming a consideration amongst top drivers from around the world (and top teams/manufacturers).
  • The 24 Hours of LeMans, 2017 was superb.
  • Growth of TCR, GT4, GT3 etc. Sportscar racing is in an excellent place.
  • The first genuine F1 fight between opposing teams since I can remember.
  • Seeing more and more drivers going between championships and disciplines - hope this continues.

Worst:
  • Porsche leaving endurance racing, and leaving us with just Toyota.
  • McLaren/Honda debacle...nothing short of amazing how big of a failure this has been.

Indifferent:
  • F1 racing still mediocre.
  • Prototype Challenge finally being put to pasture.
  • Indy Car entertaining but still screams "second class" in its production and existence.

All in all, an excellent year for racing in general. Hope for amazing things in 2018.
 
1,970
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
BEST
  • Japanese MotoGP - Andrea Dovizioso vs. Marc Marquez in the pouring rain.
  • Marquez's "crash" during the Valencia MotoGP - a defiance of physics and logic in equal measure.
  • 24 Hours of Le Mans. Nuff said.
  • Takuma Sato's debut win at the Indy 500.
  • Mercedes seeing competition not solely within their inner circle in F1.
  • M-Sport earning its first ever manufacturers' crown in a decade, and first without works Ford involvement.
  • KTM's MotoGP and, to a great extent, Moto2 programs.
WORST
  • The passing of John Surtees, Timo Mäkinen, Nicky Hayden and Angel Nieto. RIP fellas.
  • Porsche following Audi out of LMP1.
  • NASCAR's new format.
  • The McLaren/Honda saga.
  • Renault's F1 reliability.
  • F1 US GP pre-race build up. Cheesy, artificial and nauseating.
INDIFFERENT
  • 2017 F1 regulations - arguably the best looking grid for some time, but nowhere near enough was done to address issues that have been overlooked time and time again.
  • Alonso's unofficial quest for the "Triple Crown". I admire his ambition (proved himself very well at Indy), but I can't shake the feeling it is simply an exercise of showing the world he still has "it", brought on because of McLaren/Honda's on track performance.
  • Unprecedented migration of brands committing to Formula E. All aboard the hype train.
2017 THOUGHTS
  • LMP1-H may well have developed itself to the point of extinction with no way back.
  • Calibre of riding in Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP arguably the best it has ever been.
  • Great admiration for Mercedes in successfully defending its crown across a major change of F1 chassis regulations.
  • The continuing rise of TCR, GT3 and GT4 proving that sportscar racing has a great future.
LOOKING FORWARD
  • Where can MotoGP go after a brilliant 2017?
  • What impact will the halo have on F1 in real world conditions?
  • What will become of LMP1?
 
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JohnBM01

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I learned this year's SCCA Runoffs was at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The SCCA Runoffs is one of the best circuit-racing action among mostly grassroots level competitors. To be able to race at hallowed grounds like at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, even for an amateur-level racing event, that is incredible. Congratulations to all who competed in the 2017 SCCA Runoffs.


Anyone else want to reflect on completed races and championships for 2017?
 
2,661
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TheSweeney_
Thought I'd chip in with my thoughts on how the world of Motorsport has unfolded in 2017.

First the Good:
  • BTCC - as ever with the BTCC it was another fantastic close fought fight, and it was awesome to see Ash win his 1st title in the mighty Levorg, especially the way he did it.
  • IMSA - 1st year I properly followed IMSA/racing in the US in general, and what a year it's been with DPi; which is undoubtedly the best direction for prototype racing at the moment, and generally the racing was fantastic, real joy to follow, right from Daytona at the start to
  • WRC - Though I didn't follow it as much as I like, the change in regs made WRC more of a spectacle again, and the 4 different winners in 4 show how the changes had a positive effect. Was great to see Toyota back, the bonkers looking Yaris is definitely my "fav" of the bunch.
  • Formula Drift - James Deane, that's all. Loved seeing him rip it up in his first season of FD, earned a well deserved title.
  • F1 - The reg change made a big difference in many a way, cars were significantly faster and they looked miles better
  • Indy 500 - Alonso's stand out performance goes without saying, but it was brilliant to see Sato win what was a pretty darn good race really.
  • 24H LM - As heartbreaking as it was as a Toyota fan to see them suffer (again), it was a fascinating race, with history being created with a double LMP2 podium, along with the fact an LMP2 was leading for quite a while. Otherwise the battle in GTE Pro was intense as always, great way to say fair well to the old Vantage with a LM win.

Now the Bad:
  • WEC/LMP1H - Obvious choice I guess along with Porsches departure, but as exciting as this years LM was, the performance of the LMP1H guys was pretty poor. Plus LMP1 in it's current guise is a bit of a dead horse in my opinion, hence why I believe DPi is the way forward in prototypes.
  • WTCC - whilst things may be changing now with the TCR merger, WTCC was pretty dull and shambolic (joker laps?!) as one had come to expect over the past few years. The changes can only be welcomed.
  • The names lost - Makinen, Hayden, Surtees...

Other Points of Interest/General Mixed Feelings/Next year:
  • F1 Next Year - still not sure how to really feel about the changes for next year, what with the halo and lack of shark-fins (perhaps an an obvious complaint to make), but also the change in no. of PU's per year and Pirellis new tyre compounds
  • Formula E - I admit I was one those who scoffed at FE when it first arrived, but the series is growing, the racing's pretty decent, and manufacturer interest growing.
  • WEC/LMP1 - I quite like the idea of the "super-season", but not sure how LMP1 is to pan out.
  • GT Racing - More so GTE specifically, but GT racing really seems to be back at it's best again thanks to GTE for me. Only have to look at the likes of the new GTE 8-Series, Vantage, Ford GT etc.
  • BTCC - As ever with the BTCC, looking forward to another cracking season, plus Alfa's back thanks to Rob Austin and Handy Motorsport.
 

JohnBM01

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I guess what I am most interested in for 2018 is NASCAR. Now that we've seen NASCAR's new style, will NASCAR remain a strong motorsport, or will this be an opportunity for a series like IndyCar or something to take top spot of motorsport in America? Have people given up on NASCAR with these new changes? That is what I will tend to wonder for 2018 in motorsport.

So I just answered my "Looking Forward to 2018" question.