The Year in Motorsports: 2020

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JohnBM01

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The year 2020 has been a trying year for many of us in many different respects. The year went along nicely early... until COVID-19/Coronavirus happened, along with lots of lockdowns and safety protocols from this pandemic. We were still able to get motorsports in across many different disciplines. These includes the high-speed battles on ovals, intense sportscar racing on some of the world's toughest road courses, fierce motorcycle competition, challenging off-road racing, competitive drifting, and much more. So while many of us would want to pretend 2020 never happened and want 2021 to come, we must still take a look back at this hectic year.

As today (December 5, 2020) marks 17 years on GTPlanet and the start of my 18th year on here, I want to provide this thread for discussion and reflecting on 2020 in motorsports. Here are some things to discuss along with some considerations:

You are free to discuss the following:
* the best moments in motorsports for this year (your most favorite moments)
* the worst moments in motorsports for this year (your least favorite moments)
* your indifferent moments in motorsports (moments you neither loved nor hated)
* most memorable moment for you in motorsport this year (good, bad, or indifferent)
* (OPTIONAL) how you feel about motorsport from this year
* what you look forward to in racing in the upcoming year
* (OPTIONAL) cancelled races or races you were looking forward to

In looking back, there is also really one consideration:

* If a major championship or race hasn't happened yet or ended, it can not be discussed here until the completion of that season or race. For example, the current Formula E championship is ongoing. So no discussion of the current season can be discussed as a look back for this year. You can, however, discuss the 2019-2020 season of Formula E since it ended in 2020.


GTPlaneteers... let's discuss 2020 in motorsports!


[UPDATE] added the option of discussing cancelled races/championships or races you were looking forward to prior to COVID-19/Coronavirus.
 
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Jimlaad43

GeoGuessr God
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I would add "Cancelled events or races you were looking forward to" because there were a lot of new additions to calendars that eventually didn't happen.
 

Hayden

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I think everybody will remember this year for Romain Grosjean’s massive accident. That will be talked about in the car clubs and pubs of the world for decades to come.
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For me 2020 will be remembered as the last year for Scott Mclaughlin in Australian Supercars racing. Arguably one of the fastest men the series has ever produced has now moved to the US to follow his IndyCar dream. He went out on a high, with the title and probably the best burnout that’s ever occurred at Bathurst.
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Closer to home and very disappointing, it was to be the last year of the Adelaide 500, and the end of (Ayrton Senna’s favourite) Adelaide street circuit. This decision, for which COVID acted as a scapegoat, has been a great disappointment to hundreds of thousands of people. As a regular attendee, I’m really going to really miss it.
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Finally, it was the last year of my favourite racing category, LMP1, with Toyota capping it off with a Le Mans three-peat. I was incredibly fortunate to be in Canada during the motor show and got to see the TS050 in person. I will never forget it.
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ScottPye20

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The only motorsport event I attended this year was the Phillip Island Historic. I didn't even enjoy it that much because I stressing out about my YouTube video. I felt like absolute garbage on Saturday night - I was out of energy and suffering from a burnt face. Unsatisfied, I demanded that I go back to the track the next day. That made the trip worthwhile and improved my mood, before everything went to ****. Dad had bought 2 day tickets to the Australian GP, and I was really excited because the program was stacked. On Thursday it looked like I'd be able to go, but on Friday morning the whole thing was cancelled. Despite the event having started already. Naturally, it was on the 13th day of the month where everything was thrown into disarray. I was absolutely furious and so to where a lot of other people who showed up at the track. I'm thinking, fine, I guess I have to miss out for this year. Not much happens between April and August anyway, so I don't care if I'm locked down for that period. I was confident that all the motorsport events in spring would go ahead. WRONG. On the 19th of July, the state government announced another one-month lockdown, which ended up becoming a 3 month lockdown because of hotel quarantine failings. My year was a right off and I resided myself to the fact that I'd have to wait until NEXT MARCH to see motorsport again in person. Bugger.

ANYWAY, this was a crazy year in motorsport and I probably watched more of it than ever before...
- I watched NASCAR for the first time live in about 6 years when the season "restarted" at Darlington. I also watched a few other races live.
- I watched Formula 3 for the first time because of Igor Fraga, but he did miserably. However, I was able to see Oscar Piastri win the championship.
- F1 races at new and classic circuits - Mugello, Algarve, Nurburgring, Imola and Turkey. It was great.
- I saw the Indy 500 live for the first time. Lost a lot of sleep but it was worth it.
- PIERRE GASLY WON A RACE
- LANCE STROLL GOT POLE IN TURKEY
- DANIEL RICCIARDO SCORED 2 PODIUMS
- HAMILTON WON WITH A BLOWN TYRE
- NORRIS GOT THIRD IN AUSTRIA
- Romain Grosjean cheated death
- TWO RED FLAGS IN MUGELLO
- HAMILTON GOT SENT TO THE BACK AT MONZA AND ROMPED HOME IN 6TH
- Bottas finds a way to lose the championship, again
- AN EPIC OPENER IN AUSTRIA
- CHASE ELLIOT WON THE NASCAR CUP SERIES
- Ryan Newman cheated death
- Hamlin finds a way to lose the championship, again
- RYAN BLANEY BEATING STENHOUSE BY 0.007 SECONDS AT TALLEDEGA
- Harvick got knocked out of the playoffs
- CHASE ELLIOTT TANGLED WITH LOGANO AT BRISTOL
- SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN WINS A 3RD CHAMPIONSHIP
- The tyre allocations in Supercars created a bit of drama
- PERCAT WON TWO RACES
- LEBROCQ AND DE PASQUALE GOT THEIR FIRST WINS
- HAZELWOOD AND PERCAT LOCKED OUT THE FRONT ROW IN TOWNSVILLE
- Holden wins Bathurst for the last time with "factory" backing
- WHINCUP BINS IT A BATHURST AGAIN

That's a lot of memorable moments.
 

-Fred-

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Gosh, Newman's accident felt like it was ages ago...
 

AudiMan2011

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  • BTCC delivered yet another cracking season with so many twists and turns in the points chase in the final few rounds.
  • Indycar gave some great moments too; Rosenqvist and Pato O' Ward battling at Road America, Palou putting in surprise results, Colton Herta mixing it more with the big guns and of course Dixon winning his 6th title
  • Hamilton getting penalties in Austria Part 1, Monza and Sochi finally brought a bit of jazz to a weird season
  • Gasly winning in Monza
  • Norris inheriting his first podium in Austria with that last gasp burst of pace
  • Zandvoort was going to be a curious race to look forward to with the crazy banked turns
 

Northstar

The Original Party Worm
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RokkitShipp
* the best moments in motorsports for this year (your most favorite moments)

- Most series being able to salvage some sort of season.
- Being able to still attend IMSA and IndyCar races at Road America and also seeing Felix win his first race in person.
- Romain Grosjean and Ryan Newman surviving crashes that would have certainly been fatal just a few years ago.
- NASCAR having some good racing for a change as well as laying the seeds for what will hopefully revitalize that series.
- Gasly's win in Monza.
- Takuma Sato winning the Indy 500.
- SuperGT showing why they deserve to be in the discussion for the best series.
- Some good racing in F1 despite Hamilton's dominance.

* the worst moments in motorsports for this year (your least favorite moments)

- Covid disrupting everything.
- Missing what wound up being the final IndyCar race at Iowa due to Covid concerns.
- DTM going on life support.

* your indifferent moments in motorsports (moments you neither loved nor hated)

- Le Mans. This year pretty much felt like a lame duck year.

* what you look forward to in racing in the upcoming year

- Covid allowing, going to all the races I was planning on going to this year as apart from Iowa they all are still on their respective calendars, plus finally seeing the NASCAR Cup Series at Road America. I know for sure that I'm going to see Championship Offroad, IMSA, INDYCAR, Trans Am, NASCAR, NHRA (plus their support series') as well as possibly going to ARCA at Iowa and also an ARCA/SRO double header at Road America/Milwaukee.
- Seeing how NASCAR's reworked schedule effects things as well as seeing what else they have planned for the future, including the new car. The Cup series racing on Bristol covered in dirt is especially intriguing.
- Scott McLaughlin and Jimmie Johnson making their IndyCar debuts.
 
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JohnBM01

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I have no comprehensive lookback, but one interesting aspect of 2020 was in creativity in different racing venues used post COVID-19/Coronavirus. We've seen (for example) Formula 1 take on a host of different circuits, including former F1 circuits. NASCAR tried out a bunch of other venues as well as some infield road course ovals. Seeing Le Mans in September and Sebring in November were also unusual. WRC at Monza was very unique. So I would say racing got more interesting with new configurations and races being tried out.

If I come up with a comprehensive lookback on 2020, I'll provide it. For now, continue on the lookback of 2020.
 
38,406
Australia
The Bronx
The Virgin Australia Supercars Newcastle event was cancelled. It won't run next year either(two years left on the current contract). I've moved back to the Newcastle CBD a few months ago and what could have been.

The event is returning in 2022, as the season opener.

As for other race series, I stayed up on all TCR as much as possible.
European GT4, even with the low grid count, still delivered.
Super Taikyu is always fun to watch.
Super GT gave me awesome races this year with another dramatic end to the season.

Looking forward to TCR Australia, TCR everywhere else, Touring Car Masters(Pretty much classic Trans-Am), S5000, Australian Production Cars, Trans-Am, BTCC, everything GT4 related, Super Taikyu(especially ST-5 next season), Super GT and Super Formula.
 
4,657
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
MW3Fan34
So... 2020... WOW.

Needless to say there was a lot of things i wanna talk about regarding motorsports and this year as a whole, so get ready cause this will probably be my longest post ever on this site.

First off, lets start with my least favorite moments in motorsports in 2020:

1) The COVID Outbreak in March
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This was without a doubt one of the most depressing and impactful moments not just in motorsports, but in human history as a whole. I remember how sad and lonely it felt for so many of us not watching any live racing for nearly 3/4 months.... it was a real dark time for the world of racing as a whole and a reminder just how cruel 2020 would be.

2) Honda leaves F1.... again

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This was to me one of the most heartbreaking news in all of racing this year. Honda had finally become a potential title threat in the future with Red Bull with a shot to dethrone Mercedes... but 2020 had to **** it all up as they'll be leaving again next year. We can only hope they go out with a bang...

3) Three of the most horryfing crashes in recent memory
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Because 2020 wasnt bad enough of an year already, we unfortnately witnessed three of the most terrifying crashes in recent motorsport history. The horrendous Moto GP crash in Austria that Rossi narrowly escaped miraculously, and of course the two biggest moments of the entire year for all the wrong reasons.... Ryan Newman's horrific crash in the Daytona 500 and just 3 weeks ago.... the Grosjean wreck in Bahrain that quite simply put shocked every single one of us and reminded us of the dangers of racing as a whole to this very day.

4) Luca Corberi and Nikita Mazepin's embarassing and disgraceful behavior
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The last bad moment in this post is coincidentally the most recent one of the 4 ive mentioned... but i cannot go silent on this one whatsoever as it involves two simply disgraceful drivers. The first driver being Luca Corberi, who is now infamously known for his career destroying and unacceptable behavior duringa a karting race. As for the second driver... since being announced as Haas' 2021 driver, Mazepin has given F1 a serious black eye and has become public enemy #1 with his unacceptable behavior both on and off the track, which included his attrocious driving at the end of the first F2 Bahrain race last week and of course, being a complete baffoon and posting that disgusting video on his own Instagram which i wont even describe. This is a guy that does not deserve to be representing the sport of F1 and Open Wheel Racing as a whole, and i truly hope Haas and the FIA give him the punishment he needs. Mazepin and Corberi are the sort of people the world of motorsports do not need representing us right now. Period.




And now... for my personal favorite moments of the year:

1) Gasly and Perez's emotional first wins in 2020
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In an year where so many chaotic things ocurred in F1... NO ONE could have predicted these two incredible and emotional moments! Perez finally reaching the top step of the podium after so many years of trying was a joy to watch (PLEASE SIGN THE MAN RED BULL). And Gasly's incredible victory at Monza felt like it came out of a fairytale story after everything he had been through the past year. Two of the greatest moments in recent F1 history without a shallow of a doubt!


2) Newman and Grosjean walk away miraculously
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The two pictures above are without a doubt some of the greatest and most tearjerking images in recent memory. After both witnessed the scariest moments of their careers, to see Newman walking out of the hospital with his kids and Grosjean return to the race track was one of the happiest and most emotional moments in all of motorsports in 2020.

3) Moto GP delivers AGAIN!
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I seriously wanna know just HOW on earth is Moto GP not as popular worldwide as F1! Seriously HOW?! The finish to the Styrian GP perfectly summed up an incredible 2020 season for the sport, crowning 9 different winners AND a first time champion who was an outside bet in the Offseason! If you havent watched Moto GP once in your life, i encourage you to do so!


4) The Boatley FINALLY wins at the Mountain!
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Bentley may unfortunately be pulling the plug on its GT3 program after 2020, but it certaintly went out with a bang by finally capturing its maiden victory at the Bathurst 12 Hours!

5) Castroneves becomes a champion at last with Penske in IMSA
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After 2 decades of racing, we finally got to witness Helio Castroneves win his first ever championship thanks to Acura Team Penske's efforts in the 2020 IMSA season. Congrats Helio!

6) Elliott becomes a NASCAR Cup CHAMPION! And Jimmie's emotional passing of the torch
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Quite possibly my definitive favorite moment in motorsports in 2020. Chase Elliott, AKA NASCAR's most popular driver, finally showed his true potential in the 2020 season and came in clutch when it mattered the most to win his first ever Cup Championship at the young age of 24! But what truly was the icing on the cake was Jimmie Johnson passing the torch over to Chase in the cooldown lap, signaling the end of a legendary career for the 7 time champion in NASCAR.

7) SUPER GT's INCREDIBLE FINISH IN 2020! (AKA the Raybrig NSX says farewell in the greatest way possible!)
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To finish off this list i wanted to talk about possibly one of the greatest finishes to a season in motorsport history, and the series involved in this one is none other than Super GT. To say the emotions of the pic above are massive would be an understatement, seeing the Raybrig NSX in its very last race take the win AND the championship on the final corner of the final lap after the Keeper Supra shockingly ran out of fuel! An incredible end to a season and an incredible farewell to such an iconic name and brand in SUPER GT and GT's history. Brazil 2008/Le Mans 2016 all over again!

My expectations for next year are very high:
-The final season for the current F1 and NASCAR cars
-Fans potentially back in the stands
-The most packed Indycar driver roster in ages

Bring on 2021!
 
11,077
England
Bromley
V16T91
E0nLeader
* the best moments in motorsports for this year (your most favorite moments)
  • The closing laps of the Austrian, Italian and Sakhir GPs.
  • The entire Turkish GP.
  • The entire MotoGP season. (Favourite moment of this favourite moment: the entire Le Mans race.)
  • The close of the Super GT season.
  • The first race of WSBK.
* the worst moments in motorsports for this year (your least favorite moments)
* your indifferent moments in motorsports (moments you neither loved nor hated)
Honestly, just a lot of series. This whole shebang put into perspective just how expendable most of them are and a lot of series took a decline this year.

* most memorable moment for you in motorsport this year (good, bad, or indifferent)
Probably just the whole of 15 November, when the F1 and MotoGP titles were decided in two brilliant races. (Also both the major touring car and endurance championships.)

* how you feel about motorsport from this year
It's not been a classic, to be honest. F1 has had some rollicking races, but the title fight has been the least inspiring for 9 seasons. Admittedly, a lot of it wasn't the series' fault: Covid forced Formula E to a six-race finale in one place and the WRC was limited to all of seven rounds. But even stuff like the WTCR didn't seem as lively as even last year. Still, the weight of this year was more than held up by MotoGP, which I'm proud to say I witnessed every second of. One all-timer season in a premier class is sometimes all you need, really.

* what you look forward to in racing in the upcoming year
  • Obviously, the upcoming MotoGP season. Which, if anything, has even more variables in the mix compared to this year.
  • The hypercars in WEC. Even if they don't add up to anything straight away, a new class is always intriguing, especially in something like endurance racing.
  • Tentatively, the next WSBK season. Even if Rea wins it again the series is looking as healthy as it has for a while.
  • Rally Croatia. Hopefully.
* cancelled races or races you were looking forward to
  • Return of the Safari Rally.
  • Rally Japan.
  • Rally Finland.
  • The MotoGP rounds at Assen, Phillip Island and Mugello (F1's effort there was more eventful than good).
  • The myriad motorcycle road races that didn't make it. IOM TT is cancelled next year too.
 

Jimlaad43

GeoGuessr God
Premium
10,284
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
* the best moments in motorsports for this year (your most favorite moments)
Two Formula 1 races at Silverstone, both of which I was able to marshal at. Getting two F1 races was a surprise bonus when it looked like F1 and all racing wasn't going to happen.

Portimao, Nurburgring, Mugello, Bahrain Outer appearing on the F1 calendar

The Twitch Quartet keeping us all entertained through lockdown.

Gasly and Perez getting their first wins in spectacular circumstances. So many drivers getting on the podium.

F2 and F3 were entertaining and good title battles. It was great to properly follow those for the first time.

BTCC title fight was entertaining.

* the worst moments in motorsports for this year (your least favorite moments)
Seeing the Grosjean fireball live

A Formula Ford racer lost his legs after an accident late this year on my post. It was not a nice place to be when it happened.

The WEC dying a very quick death with LMP1 ending in a BOP whimper.

The karting debacle involving the circuit owner's son.

Sochi's turn 2 once again proving to be an accident waiting to happen. Turn 2 and Turn 3 have some of the worst designs ever, with T3 needing either no runoff - oval style - or a helluva lot more than it currently has.

The pandemic scaring a lot of big race series' away from the UK. We won't be having the WEC or whatever-the-Blancpain-GT-is-called-now next season, and the BTCC has cancelled its round at Silverstone International circuit for next year too, replacing it with a second race at a Thruxton circuit that doesn't change and doesn't often have much overtaking.

* your indifferent moments in motorsports (moments you neither loved nor hated)
Barcelona, Sochi and Abu Dhabi unsurprisingly being the worst F1 races of the season. Please get these awful circuits off the calendar.


* (OPTIONAL) how you feel about motorsport from this year
MotoGP needs to really rethink the way it deals with injured riders. Marc Marquez broke his arm in race 1 and tried to take part in practice 5 days later, found his arm was not ready (of course it wasn't) and ended up missing the whole of this season - and potentially more of next season - because he rushed the return and damaged it more. They really need to come up with a mandatory lay-off for riders and their injuries. "Break your collarbone and you're not allowed back on a bike of any kind for 4 weeks" for example. If Marquez had just sat out for 4-5 weeks after breaking his arm, he'd have finished the second half of the season.


* (OPTIONAL) cancelled races or races you were looking forward to
There were a lot of new additions I was looking forward to.
Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort
BTCC at Silverstone International
Formula E at Seoul through the stadium
Formula E at London - inside and outside
Safari Rally, Rally New Zealand, Rally Japan, Ypres Rally in the WRC
Any big event planned at Silverstone that didn't happen in the end
 
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302
England
England
Best moments:

Sutton taking his 2nd championship in BTCC along with the independent championship.
SVG Winning the Bathurst 1000.
Sato taking his 2nd Indy 500.
Mazda getting their first DPI endurance win in the Sebring 12 hour.
Sutton's drives though the field at Donington, Oulton, Croft and Silverstone were something else.
The last lap in MotoGP at the Styrian GP.
Russell in the Mercedes.
Getting to see F1 on a circuit that wasn't the same old 3 and a 1/2 mile lap they would normally stipulate.
Collard winning British GT.
Audi announcing it coming back to the top category in sportscars.

Shout outs to the Kangaroos at the Bathurst 12 hour and the comically slow getaway from the grid at the Turkish GP.


Middling moments:
The F1 season, outside of a couple non standard races, the rest of the season on track was fairly forgettable.


Least favourite:

Loosing Jordan, Plato and Jackson from the BTCC due to the pandemic.
WTCR still continues to be the biggest disappointment year in year out and next years calendar will keep the tradition going.
Aston Martin making the ACO make big changes to Hypercar to accommodate them and then dropping out with a weak excuse.
Evans sliding off the road while in the pound seat for the championship.
Ilott's spin at from 2nd at Silverstone and the late race safety car at Barcelona costing him the F2 Championship.
Not being able to attend my local BTCC round.


Cancelled events:

Its a shame we lost the BTCC round on the Silverstone International layout as it would have been nice to see a new track, especially after loosing Rockingham.
Vietnam, while not a fan of it in F1 2020 I would have like to have seen how it raced IRL.
The Super Sebring IMSA/WEC weekend.