Motorsport Assessment 2017: From Method 1 To BTCC

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Though a number of acquainted names took the titles on this planet’s main motorsport championships in 2017, this continuity masked some huge modifications elsewhere.

Most notable has been the fast development of Method E, with BMW, Porsche, Mercedes, Audi, Jaguar, Renault, Nissan and DS all now concerned or set to affix the ranks very quickly.

What’s Method E?

Different areas of motorsport have suffered, with Toyota now the one model within the World Endurance Championship’s prime LMP1 class and modifications to each the World Touring Automotive Championship and German DTM collection being contemplated to be able to guarantee their future.

Right here, we spherical up all of the motion on observe and stage from a packed 12 months of racing and rallying competitors world wide.

Scroll right down to learn concerning the highlights of a packed 2017 motorsport calendar…

Hamilton romps residence to a fourth F1 world title

Within the early a part of the season, it regarded like Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton could be pushed laborious all the way in which in his quest for a fourth world title by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Seven races in, after the Canadian Grand Prix, the Brit and the German have been stage on three victories every, with solely Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas (who received the Russian Grand Prix) managing to interrupt their stranglehold at that time.

Vettel’s indignant swerve at Hamilton within the following race in Azerbaijan confirmed how a lot stress the Ferrari man was below and followers have been relishing a classic battle for the title. However a streak of three wins for Hamilton after the summer time break (in Belgium, Italy and Singapore) mixed with a dip in reliability for Ferrari in Malaysia and Japan meant Hamilton was capable of wrap issues up early on the Mexican Grand Prix in October.

Pink Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen have been the one non-Mercedes or Ferrari drivers to win through the season. Count on both driver – or each – to be Hamilton’s principal opposition in 2018.

Sato wins Indy 500 as Alonso steals headlines

Ex-Jordan and BAR F1 driver Takuma Sato made historical past in Might, changing into the primary Japanese entrant to win the Indianapolis 500, the centrepiece of the US IndyCar Collection single-seater championship.

However the different main story of the race was Fernando Alonso’s resolution to skip the Monaco Grand Prix for a one-off Indy look in a McLaren-backed automotive.

The outing initially supplied welcome reduction from ongoing Honda engine woes for each events, and Alonso declared his intent by main for 27 laps, however sarcastically his possibilities have been ended by engine failure.

Sato took his Andretti Autosport automotive previous Helio Castroneves late within the race to take a well-liked victory, whereas his fellow ex-Method One driver, Briton Max Chilton, completed simply off the rostrum.

Audi’s Di Grassi triumphs in Method E after a battle with Buemi

After ending third in Method E’s inaugural 2014-15 season after which second in 2015-16, Brazilian Lucas di Grassi lastly clinched the electrical collection’ driver’s title this time round.

His battle with Renault e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi had a barely unsatisfactory conclusion, because the latter needed to skip the penultimate races in New York to look for Toyota on the Nürburging World Endurance Championship spherical.

However di Grassi nonetheless ended the season with simply two wins to Buemi’s six – constant podiums and factors finishes having stored him in title rivalry all through.

Additionally taking wins throughout this season have been DS Virgin’s Sam Chicken (who did the double in New York) and Felix Rosenqvist, who gave Mahindra its maiden Method E victory in Berlin.

The championship’s fourth season is already below manner, having kicked off final weekend in Hong Kong.

5-way title scrap in WTCC, however TCR merger may lie forward

The result of the World Touring Automotive Championship’s 2017 title was determined on the ultimate two races in Qatar, with Volvo’s Thed Bjork popping out on prime after 5 drivers went into the occasion with a mathematical probability of taking the title.

Elsewhere, ideas have been turning to 2018 and the potential of a merger with the TCR Worldwide Collection to be able to make sure the championship’s future. Citroen and Lada’s departure on the finish of 2016 left solely Volvo and Honda as full works entries within the WTCC.

TCR’s extra reasonably priced vehicles and customer-racing mannequin are seen as being extra sustainable in the long run. Along with the worldwide collection, there are already quite a few nationwide and regional touring-car collection working to TCR rules, with a UK championship set to kick off in early 2018.

Ogier wins WRC title once more with M-Sport

Sebastien Ogier cemented his standing as certainly one of rallying’s all-time greats in 2017 by proving that he may win the world championship in one thing apart from a full-works Volkswagen Polo. The Frenchman’s deal got here collectively late within the day, after he’d had take a look at runs in all of the producers’ vehicles, however finally he put his religion within the Pink Bull-backed Ford Fiesta WRC run by Malcolm Wilson’s Cumbria-based M-Sport group.

Not like the previous couple of years, nevertheless, the future of the title was removed from sure early within the season, with Ogier, Toyota’s Jari-Matti Latvala, Citroen’s Kris Meeke and Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville profitable the primary 4 occasions in Monaco, Sweden, Mexico and Corsica.

After that, it boiled right down to extra of a two-way scrap between Ogier and Neuville, whereas up-and-comers Ott Tanak, Esapekka Lappi and Elfyn Evans additionally joined the winners’ circle earlier than the top of the 12 months. This mix of thrilling younger expertise and 2017’s spectacular new-generation vehicles means the WRC appears to be like in good well being heading into 2018.

Kristoffersson dominates World Rallycross for Solberg’s group

Petter Solberg’s deal for VW Sweden to again his World Rallycross group for the 2017 season was one of many huge tales of final winter. However not everybody predicted his team-mate, Swede Johan Kristoffersson, would star.

The 29-year-old took the title in Latvia, with two rounds to spare, by scoring his fifth occasion victory in a row. Solberg’s outcomes throughout the season have been additionally adequate to make sure he completed third within the factors and the squad took the groups’ championship, too.

Outgoing champion Mattias Ekstrom (Audi) completed second within the season’s standings, forward of Peugeot works pair Sebastien Loeb and Timmy Hansen.

Rast blasts to DTM title in his debut season

Rene Rast’s standing as one of many world’s greatest racers wasn’t unsure earlier than his 2017 season, however even he’d most likely admit to shock at clinching the DTM title in his first 12 months within the extremely specialised class.

Rast was on observe for an Audi LMP1 drive within the World Endurance Championship earlier than the model pulled out of the class earlier than anticipated on the finish of 2016, and was swiftly re-assigned to the German producer’s touring-car programme.

The 31-year-old took the transition from endurance to fast-and-furious dash racing in his stride, profitable a complete of thrice and racking up sufficient factors elsewhere to see off the problem of his fellow Audi drivers Mattias Ekstrom and Jamie Inexperienced.

Off-track, the collection was rocked by the information that Mercedes would depart on the finish of 2018 to give attention to its upcoming Method E marketing campaign. Efforts at the moment are below approach to set up nearer collaboration with the Japanese Tremendous GT championship – which follows related technical guidelines – to make sure the DTM’s future.

Departing Porsche wins Le Mans and WEC title

Porsche’s departure, leaving solely Toyota within the prime LMP1 class, is the story everybody will bear in mind concerning the World Endurance Championship in 2017.

However earlier than that bombshell resolution had been made, Earl Bamber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard had taken the Stuttgart marque’s 19th Le Mans 24 Hours win – and third in a row with the newest 919 Hybrid.

The trio went on to take victories on the German, Mexican and US rounds, giving them sufficient of a factors cushion that even a late surge by Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima to win the final three rounds of the season in Japan, China and Bahrain couldn’t shut the hole.

The LMP2 title went to Insurrection Racing’s Bruno Senna and Julien Canal, whereas Britain’s James Calado and the Italian Alessandro Pier Guidi triumphed for Ferrari within the GTE Professional class. Ferrari additionally received the GTE producers’ trophy, seeing off the problem of rival manufacturers Ford, Aston Martin and Porsche.

Subsequent 12 months, the WEC is working a ‘tremendous season’ of eight rounds (together with two Le Mans) throughout 2018 and 2019, because it shifts to an autumn-spring calendar.

Subaru’s Sutton is the person to beat in BTCC

Former Renault Clio Cup champion Ashley Sutton added his title to the celebrated checklist of British Touring Automotive Championship winners in 2017, on the wheel of a Subaru Levorg. Within the course of the 23-year-old grew to become the collection’ youngest champion since John Fitzpatrick in 1966. Sutton took six wins on his approach to glory, whereas BMW’s Colin Turkington was runner-up within the factors, ending 19 behind.

Speedworks Toyota driver Tom Ingram was the highest-finishing Impartial entry, third total.

What was your favorite motorsport second of 2017? Inform us within the feedback!

Overview of the 12 months 2017

• Overview of the 12 months 2017: index
• Greatest new vehicles 2017: the street assessments of the 12 months
• The BIG automotive information highlights of 2017
• Massive automotive quiz of the 12 months 2017
• Face to face: greatest automotive group assessments of 2017
• The lengthy haul: Our biggest long-term take a look at fleet vehicles of 2017
• Contained in the world of vehicles: the very best motoring options of 2017
• Greatest automotive movies 2017
• Wonderful moments: our 12 months in vehicles 2017
• Motorsport assessment of the 12 months: from F1 to WRC and BTCC

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