The Year in Motorsports 2018

  • Thread starter JohnBM01


20 years!
United States
Houston, Texas, USA
This is a thread to discuss all of the goings on and news bits that defined 2018. If you'd like to reflect on 2018 with your moments, here is your thread!

Here are some of the many things to discuss in regards to racing in 2018:

* The best moments - such as races, wins, passes, great drivers, great teams, etc.
* The worst moments - such as bad races, horrible losses, failing drivers, sorry teams, etc.
* indifferent moments - certain motorsports moments and races you are not sure to judge as good or bad.
* memorable moments - most favorite and least favorite races, moments, even those motorsports personalities who retired or passed away.
* looking ahead - what you are looking forward to in 2019.

I may offer my own thoughts on 2018 in a later post. But for now, I invite you to chat about 2018 in racing. Only real criteria: any races that haven't happened or any racing series that haven't completed their championship are not fair game to discuss. Only completed series and races.

Fernando Alonso's retirement from Formula One. He's come a long way since breaking through at Minardi.

F1: Total domination by 3 teams, the worst year in that respect since 1956. No improvement expected in 2019.
Indycar: Improvements in competition, spectator and TV interest. Tragic accident to Robert Wickens, but overall things are looking up.
NASCAR: Domination by only 3 drivers for the regular season, but a sound package from Penske turned the tables in the Chase. TV and spectator interest continues to dwindle.
* The best moments - watching Lewis Hamilton become the most complete driver I've ever seen
* The worst moments - the total and utter lack of motosports from free to air TV
* indifferent moments -
* memorable moments - Lewis's Singapore pole lap
* looking ahead - Leclerc in a Ferrari
Scott McLaughlin winning his first Championship

The Formula crash at Macau

VASC judgement calls

Craig Lowndes retirement

TCR Australia, VASC Mustang debut, 2019 VASC, 24H Daytona, Spa 24H
F1: Total domination by 3 teams, the worst year in that respect since 1956. No improvement expected in 2019.

This line of thought is confusing, and I've seen your Atlantis thread

As for the year, let's see

This year had a lot of good. JB won his rookie year in Super GT and equally impressive was his team mate not only won the title with him but won the Super Formula title. The final rally, and third leg of it was needed to decide who'd win the title, WRC was full of action. IMSA was full of action as well especially GTD and DPi/P2 title fights. F1 for most of the season was good battle between Ferrari and Mercedes, had Vettel focused more and not made a joke of the second half of the season the fight for the title may have gone on longer. I see next season being interesting too due to the silly season in driver's changes. PPH with VW claiming the new overall fastest time was good to see as well. Supercars as stated was also a great showing with the final race deciding the championship between two fast competitors from two different teams and makes.

This years 24h of LM wasn't to amazing and since the super season ends with the 2019 LM which is set to look like a carbon copy of this years I don't see it getting better. Another lackluster note was the MotoGP season, racing at times was spot on but then most of the season was dominated by Marquez (no surprise) without any real chance of him being beat.

I'm indifferent to NASCAR's season, I enjoy Roger winning another championship even if it was with Joey. But the playoff format still makes it lame and considering the top for to make the playoffs would have been the top four if it was in pre-chase format.
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  • Best Moments:
Another epic BTCC season with 17 different race winners
Scott Dixon's 5th Indycar title
Alexander Rossi being the dark horse of the Indy season

  • Worst Moments:
Robert Wicken's crash at Pocono
The absolute state of LMP1 privateers vs works hybrids as evidenced by this years LM24
Ferrari and Vettel choking what was a great early title fight AGAIN
Sophia Floersch's Macau crash

  • Memorable Moments:
Daniel Ricciardo's overtakes
Tom Ingram's stunning title challenge to Colin Turkington
Hamilton and Vettel's tribute to Alonso in Abu Dhabi

  • Looking Forward:
Indycar at CoTA
More BTCC epicness
Leclerc at Ferrari
New DTM regulations and hopefully the new Vantage DTM
Alonso's return to the Indy 500
This line of thought is confusing

In 1956, all but one podium finishes were secured by just two teams, Ferrari and Maserati.

Formula 1’s managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn says the sport’s future depends on reducing the gap between the top three and the rest of the field after all but one podium finish was secured by Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari in 2018.
In 1956, all but one podium finishes were secured by just two teams, Ferrari and Maserati.

Okay and again, if you know the recent seasons, you'll know that this isn't a new trend. What is new or at least was for a majority of the season, was two team fighting each other with two different cars and being on near equal level of who could win the championship. So again your stat doesn't really mean anything.
Back in June Timo Berhard in his 919 Hybrid Evo managing 5:19 at Nordschleife, beating the 35 year record by Stefan Bellof, also in a Porsche, and his 6:11 with the most emphatic manner, by almost a minute faster.
The best moments:
Scott Pye winning his first ever race at Albert Park in testing conditions.
Scott McLaughlin winning his first championship.
Every time Daniel Ricciardo finished a race

The worst moments:
888 Engineering podium whitewash at Sandown.
Daniel Ricciardo's horrible run of DNF's.
The F3 crash in Macau.

Indifferent moments:
Bathurst. It didn't really live up to the hype but Lowndes won soo... Could've been worse.
Hamilton winning the championship... again.

Memorable moments:
Again, Scott Pye winning because I was there to see it.
Kimi getting his first win since Melbourne 2013.

Looking ahead:
Leclerc in a Ferrari.
The Mustang in Supercars.

I suppose there are more things, but these are the events that pop up first.
Best -
Scott Dixon winning his 5th championship :bowdown:
Scott McLaughlin winning his first championship
Toyota Lemans victory (I know, I know, no competition, but a win is still a win)

Worst -
Pretty much every time the V8 supercars officials have to make a decision

Memorable -
Scott McLaughlin Qualifying laps
Kimi finally winning again
Best -
Karel Carre winning the Canadian Rally Championship breaking Antoine L'estage's 7 year streak.
The WRC Season finale.
Blancpain GT Series.
Jenson Button winning the Super GT Title.
Canadian Touring Car Championship Calabogie Race 2 finish, 0.009 seconds (I was there)
Worst -
Wickens Accident
Pirelli World Challenge TCR/TCA and the utter domination of the Hyundai's and Tom O'gorman.
Canadian Touring Car Championship Turnout at Calabogie, 9 cars, with only 1 car in 3 of the four classes.

Memorable -
The CTCC at Bogie'
Jenson Button and the Super GT Championship
Scott Hargrove and the Pirelli World Challenge.

Looking Forward -
Blancpain GT World Challenge
DTM 2019 and Super GT 2019
CTCC at Bogie'
  • Peppa Porsche winning the LMGTE Pro Class at Le Mans.
  • Hamilton's Singapore GP pole lap, and his season overall.
  • Marquez's championship celebrations in Japan.
  • Haslam finally becoming BSB champion.
  • Carrasco becoming Supersports 300 champion.
  • Records tumbling across the board at the Isle of Man TT.
  • The wet and wild Nurburgring 24 Hours.
  • WRC going down to the wire, with Tanak as its dark horse.
  • The passing of Dan Gurney, Ralf Waldmann and Don Panoz. RIP fellas.
  • Floersch's terrifying F3 crash in Macau.
  • BoP in the WEC.
  • Le Mans. Whilst it was great to see Toyota finally cross the line victorious after coming so close before, at the same time the fact they had no competition can't be ignored. Then again, the ACO/FIA didn't do themselves any favours with the rules effectively tying one hand of the privateer LMP1 runners behind their backs before the season had even begun.
  • Calibre of riding in Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP raising the bar again.
  • Great admiration for Mercedes in successfully becoming 5-time champions in the face of an initially stronger Ferrari squad.
  • Lorenzo in Marquez's domain.
  • Leclerc in a Ferrari.
  • Debut of the Gen2 FE racer.
  • Toyota's repair bill after Meeke's first full season. :P
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My motorsports viewing has been limited the past few years. I do have some thoughts on 2018. I always let you all go post your thoughts before I chime in with mine. Often times, there are things I tend to forget. Having said all of this, here are some of my thoughts on 2018 in motorsports...

Best Moments
* Salute to all champions
I want to congratulate all champions of series and all winners of major races.

* Toyota's Le Mans outright win
many people play it down since there weren't as many heavy hitters in their division. But even still, Toyota could have just floundered, disappointed, not really care... but they cashed in on their best chance to win Le Mans outright. Toyota is now the only other Japanese manufacturer to win Le Mans outright besides Mazda.

* Scott Dixon's 5th IndyCar Series Title
A lot of times, we tend not to really appreciate pure talent or how good someone really is. Scott Dixon is quite a talent winning in the insane realm of IndyCar Series racing. You win one championship, and you're pretty good. Win five, and you are a certified modern legend. There is no denying Scott Dixon is one of the best today in IndyCar Racing.

* Lewis Hamilton's 5th Formula 1 World Championship
I don't follow Formula 1 much. I am no true fanatic of any real driver. But despite how disliked he can be for his personality and countless other things, one man simply gets it done on the race track. So in the words of Will Smith, "that's how you do it, baby!" Lewis Hamilton knocks down title No. 5. At this pace, he may even get to seven World Championships (Michael Schumacher territory) or maybe even go north of seven.

Worst Moments
I can't really think of anything too depressing or any bad performances from this season. No matter what bad teams, drivers, races, or whatever have happened, let me begin with the worst of all:

* All motorsports personalities whom have passed away
Tragedy is always tough. I surely mourn the passing of all motorsports personalities whom have died this year. Maybe the one that hits the hardest for me was Don Panoz. I grew up a road racing fan and always loved GT/Sportscar/Endurance racing. It was Don Panoz who helped bring top-level sportscar racing back when I didn't have (then) Speedvision. I was learning about racing in 1998 and was humbled seeing the advent of the (then) American Le Mans Series. I do kind of remember the old USRRC (United States Road Racing Championship). Don Panoz has done a lot to bring sportscar racing to more people here in the United States while also having some very solid Panoz racing cars. He really left a mark on me as a sportscar racing fan.

Besides Don Panoz, the only other motorsports tragedy that hit me hardest was Dan Gurney.

* Extreme Speed Motorsports shutting down
Staying on the subject of sportscar racing, the past few days on Facebook, I learned of Extreme Speed Motorsports shutting down. Extreme Speed Motorsports was surely one of the better North American sportscar teams.

* Brian France's DUI
For a motorsports series whose roots consist of transporting moonshine in tuned-up cars, it was surely a low moment in NASCAR for Brian France to get a DUI. This has contributed to the decline of NASCAR of late.

* F1 Coverage on ESPN
The ESPN/Sky Sports deal was more hit-and-miss for me. If judging from the very first race covered, it was met with lukewarm reception on Facebook, Twitter, message boards, and more. Let's just say the coverage of F1 wasn't like in the late 1980s or early 1990s when the likes of Bob Varsha calling the action when he used to be with ESPN. I did see various F1 telecasts this season on ESPN, but not too much for someone who doesn't really follow Formula 1 much.

Indifferent Moments
Can't think of any moments I am not as liking or disliking. So this is probably my most indifferent moment:

* The formula car halo introduction
Even though I dislike the halo on formula cars (not just F1), I do like it as a safety measure.

Memorable Moments
Moments I will remember for sure...

* "Pink Pig" Porsche winning Le Mans in class
It was so fun following the Pink Pig Porsche as one of the retro liveried Porsches from this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans.

* The Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo's incredible lap record smashing
That Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo is a beast of a race car, eh? 1:41.7 around legendary Spa-Francorchamps isn't too shabby. That time was faster than Lewis Hamilton's 1:42.533 time around the same course in an F1 car.

* Score one for the old guys!
Herschel McGriff competed in a NASCAR K&N series race that I saw on TV earlier this year. Herschel became the oldest competitor in a NASCAR race at the age of 90 years old.

* NASCAR Cup's Charlotte "Roval" Finish
I usually refer to it as the Charlotte road course, not so much as a "roval," but that final lap of the Cup race at Charlotte's road course was nuts! I kept saying that I wanted to see that race succeed. All the relative unknowns and stuff helped make this race intriguing. It was a crazy finish for sure.

* Seeing my first streams of NASCAR Europe and Super GT
I got my first idea of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series on YouTube when the series raced at Zolder- and it was live! I mostly only saw a qualifying session from NASCAR Europe. I didn't get to see a lot of the proper racing. My first live look at Super GT was with the series racing at Sugo. I have always been a fan of Super GT, even in the JGTC days. It was even cool seeing some of the different names and teams still racing in the series. In the modern Super GT, it was fun to follow the Hoppy team. Hoppy is that Toyota GT86 team in GT300 with the white car with pink accents. And of course, it was cool seeing Goodsmile Racing and their eccentric anime-type liveries.

Looking Ahead...
There are things I wonder about next year or a few years from now...

* Can NASCAR sustain itself as a sport?
NASCAR isn't going the way of the dinosaur. All I wonder is if NASCAR- the 800 lb. gorilla of American motorsport- will remain relevant and successful. Or... could it be overtaken in popularity by series like the IndyCar Series, NHRA, or maybe even IMSA sportscar racing?

* How will the new Formula E cars fare?
I wished I followed Formula E closer, but I do think the newer Formula E cars are beautiful. I'll be interested seeing how the new cars will perform.

* Will the new IndyCar windshield catch on?
I wonder how the newer and bigger windshield will impact IndyCar performance, especially in the aerodynamics and safety departments.

I wish I knew more about the 2018 season to passionately chat about it. But... that's it for now. Any more thoughts on 2018 you'd like to share?
I knew I would forget some moments from my initial post. Here's one I forgot-

* (Worst Moment) Danica Patrick's final race... ending in a wreck
I've always been of Danica Patrick. Sadly, she saw her final race end in a wreck in the Indianapolis 500. I was so bummed seeing her bow out at the Indy 500 the way she did. I do wish her luck with her Warrior activewear clothing line and any other endeavors of hers.

There will probably be other moments someone may forget to mention from 2018.
Best Moments
  • IMSA & Super GT. IMHO, these two series are getting it right. ...Most of the time. (don't mention driver ratings...)
  • F1. Fun to watch this year, hope the trend continues.
  • Charlotte Roval. For me, this was the one good thing NASCAR did all year. After having basically the same calendar for... ever, it was nice to have some kind of change. Genuinely enjoyed this race.

Worst Moments
  • Wickens Pocono crash. It's awful that it happened at all, but Wickens had such an amazing and promising start to his IndyCar career. I wish him the best in his recovery.
  • Floersch Macau crash. Lucky it wasn't any worse than it was.
  • NASCAR. And now for the rest of the season. My love/hate relationship with NASCAR swung towards... cynical. The Championship weekend displayed everything I don't like about the current format across all 3 championships, an impressive feat in and of itself. Also wasn't thrilled with the announcement of the 2019 'restrictor plates everywhere' package for next year. I don't think it's the best solution. But the problem is I don't know what that solution should be. I am willing to give it a shot to see how it plays out, but I'm not very hopeful for it.

Indifferent Moments
  • Indy 500. I think we all got spoiled from the last few years of the bigger DW12 body kits, and had an average race this year.
  • Le Mans. Same theme as the Indy 500 above. They're not all going to be The Best Race Ever (TM), but it surprised me that basically all 4 classes were run-aways almost from hour 1.
  • WEC's new pit rules. Why? There was no reason to change it, and it takes away a lot of strategy. UPDATE: Look like they're reversing the rules for next season.
  • Some of the things that Liberty is starting to do with the F1 broadcasts. It's becoming more and more obvious it's being run by American entertainment people.

Memorable Moments
  • Last lap at Petit Le Mans
  • Last lap at the Charlotte Roval for the Cup Series
  • IMSA at Lime Rock 'cause that was my live race for the year :D I'm relatively new to going to races, so I'm glad I got the see the ST cars before they went away.

Looking Forward to in 2019
  • The continued development of Class 1 between the DTM and Super GT. Still think there's potential with this category.
  • Unchaining the DPis ...within reason (I believe BOP will still prevail).
  • Michelin's involvement in IMSA across all classes next year.
  • IMSA going to NBCSN. Please don't screw it up. Or at least be better than Fox.
  • Supercross 2019. Fair amount of musical chairs being played between the 2nd tier riders and guys moving up from the Lites class.
  • The result of the musical chairs also happening in F1. Leclare to Ferrari, Kubica's return with Williams, Danny Ric in the Renault, Gasly taking his place at Red Bull... Will be interesting come Australia.
  • And of course... watching as many races as I can :D
Happy holidays and happy new year to all! Looking forward to the next season of racing!