Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Lappies 2007

Time to hand out some gongs. I wouldn't be a legit blogger without coming up with year-end awards, so with slight apologies to Jimmy over at The Armchair Bike Fan blog, here we go....

Race Car of the Year:
Citroen C4 - In no other top international championship did a brand new car come in and be instantly competitive despite stiff competition. Some could argue for the Peugeot 908 in the Le Mans Series, but in reality it was short of real rivals, except at Le Mans where it flat out lost to Audi. The C4 won its first event (followed by many more), and went on to take one of its drivers to a world title.

Race Bike of the Year:
Ducati GP7 - The 2007 MotoGP regs were trouble for everyone bar Ducati. Somehow the smallest of all MotoGP manufacturers took the fight to the big boys and totally destroyed them.

Driver of the Year:
Lewis Hamilton - I'm boring. But to be honest, what clinched it was his epic drive in Top Gear's awful Lacetti in which he beat all other F1 drivers around the show's test track despite damp conditions. Sounds strange, but seeing something like that, where the driver is out of his element, simply hits home how incredibly good the guy is.

Rider of the Year:
James Toseland - Although he wasn't spectacular, he rode like a champion from the first lap of the season - always thinking, always focusing and never letting his emotions get in the way. His ride in the wet at Silverstone, along with a "do what you must" final race at Magny-Cours are just two examples of why he was a deserved World Superbike champ.

Race of the Year:
Petit Le Mans - Show me one other race where the ratio of winning margin is so small compared to the length of the race. Petit was an epic clash of Porsche and Audi, where those in the ascendancy went up against those that should win. For 10 hours the lead went back and forth and even going into the final lap, the victor was unclear.

TV coverage award:
Australia's Channel 7 for the Bathurst 1000 - The channel gave the event the kind of airtime it deserved, and did it in style with 150 cameras, 50 of which were in-car, and two cable-run cameras. The crowning glory was the commentary team who did an exceptional job over the four days.

Championship of the Year:
V8 Supercars - Another year of close racing, and the progression of the final four events was absolutely riveting as the four challengers each experienced the highs and lows of racing. The final race of the entire season was a suitably nail-biting affair.

And now for the fun stuff....

The Idi Amin Award for Benevolent Dictatorship:
FIA President Max Mosley for ignoring advisors, not listening to his constituents and suppressing the press.

The England Football Team Award for Cracking Under Pressure:
Marcus Gronholm, for having not one, but two potentially championship-ending crashes in events where second would have been sufficient.

The Heinz Baked Beans Award for Building Cars that Crush Like a Can:
Team Dynamics, for their energy-absorbing BTCC Honda Civic that saved Matt Neal from being squashed like lime in a tequila bar at Brands Hatch.

The McLaren Award for Innovation in Race Car Engineering:
Ferrari F1, for their wheel fairings, inert gas mix used in their tyres and the all the other bits that McLaren wanted to use...

The Monty Python "Always Look on the Bright Side" Award for Blind Optimism:
Petter Solberg and the Subaru World Rally Team, for their insistence that things will get better despite having a car that hasn't been anything approaching "good" since early 2004.

The Depends Award for Racing Beyond Your Years:
David Coulthard, for clinging to the hope that "being a good development driver" is good enough to retain a place in F1, despite 22-year olds being faster and better by a huge margin.

The Hara-kiri Award for Enduring Suicidal Levels of Disappointment
The Japanese Lamborghini Owners Club, who took a Murcielago to Le Mans, promptly crashed it in practice, rebuilt it from a whole new tub in two days then retired on the first lap of the 24-hour race.

1 comment:

Jimmy said...

Hadn't thought of Mosley as Idi Amin, but the similarities are striking.