Monday, February 04, 2008

2008 Predictions

Now that we've looked back at my 2007 predictions, it's time for the 2008 version. In order to improve my terrible results, I'll be posting three predictions for each series. The first pick is the logical pick, whereby past performance, testing and other info indicate this is the best bet. The second pick is the person who has a chance and whose win would go against prevailing expectations. The third pick is simply the person who I favor.

Formula 1
Logic: Lewis Hamilton. Alternative: Fernando Alonso. I cheer for: Lewis Hamilton.
The young lad came so close last year, and there doesn't seem to be any indication that he'll be at a machinery disadvantage.

Logic: Casey Stoner. Alternative: Nicky Hayden. I cheer for: John Hopkins.
Stoner's incredible testing lap of Phillip Island today doesn't indicate any decrease in performance, but Hayden has made good progress with the Honda. Hopkins continues to be the fastest guy who hasn't yet won, mainly because he hasn't yet been on a top bike.

Logic: Seb Loeb. Alternative: Mikko Hirvonen. I cheer for: Mikko Hirvonen.
There's no doubt these two are the class of the field. There's a small chance Mikko could do it, but it would be truly against the odds, despite him being better than any other rally driver except for one...

World Superbike:
Logic: Troy Bayliss. Alternative: Nori Haga. I cheer for: Nori Haga.
The new Ducati has looked just as fast as the old one and will only get better. Bayliss already loves it. But Nori is clearly up to the task and on a bike that he's comfortable with but that has also picked up some extra speed in the off-season.

AMA Superbike:
Logic: Ben Spies. Alternative: Neil Hodgson. I cheer for: Eric Bostrom.
This will be Spies' last year before he heads for MotoGP and I don't see any other team catching up just yet, or Mat Mladin getting the title back. The dark horse is the new Honda though, and Hodgson is a fighter.

Logic: Jeff Gordon. Alternative: Tony Stewart. I cheer for: Dario Franchitti.
It's a toss-up between Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, but if Smoke can get that new Toyota working well it would be nice to see him challenge. I'll be cheering Scot-Italian Good 'Ole Boy Dario.

V8 Supercars:
Logic: Jamie Whincup. Alternative: James Courtney. I cheer for: Greg Murphy.
Whincup came so close in '07, and with Garth Tander at a new team I have to pick Whincup. An interesting contender is James Courtney who continues to improve and impress.

British Superbike:
Logic: Leon Haslam. Alternative: Leon Camier. I cheer for: Shakey Byrne.
This is the first year Haslam doesn't have to deal with Kiyonari or Lavilla, and he'll be on the best bike in the paddock to boot. Having said that, the Ducati could go well, and I'd pick Camier as the faster of the two GSE riders. Doesn't stop me cheering for Shakey!

Logic: Dan Wheldon. Alternative: Helio Castroneves. I cheer for: Dan Wheldon.
This could be quite a tight series and might be worth watching. I don't see any one driver as having a shoe-in spot as winner.

British Touring Cars:
Logic: Fabrizio Giovanardi. Alternative: Jason Plato. I cheer for: Darren Turner.
Like IRL, this one is wide-open, with any of about six drivers with the talent and machinery to win.

Le Mans:
We don't know the entry list yet, but who wants to bet against Audi? Peugeot would be the obvious alternative, whilst Pescarolo deserve the win. GT1 will again be Aston vs Corvette and I see Corvette getting revenge this time. GT2 is always an excuse to cheer for the Flying Lizards.

Despite a weight gain, Penske will once again push Audi all the way, but I'd expect more of a fight this time. I'll go out on a limb and say Acura will win one race overall.

I'll say only one thing: The Nissan GT-R is back. It doesn't matter what happens, it's just great to see a GT-R racing again.

1 comment:

Jimmy said...

Stoner's lightning fast times in testing look extremely ominous, so I think your logic's right there.

Bayliss on the new Ducati will be hard to beat too.

British Superbike is wide open, with no winter testing it's impossible to tell who's where. I'm not sure about young Haslam, he just doesn't win enough. He's quick, but he's no Rocket Ron. It should be a fascinating season.