Wednesday, December 14, 2016

2016 Et Cetera Predictions: Revisited

We are in the final two weeks of 2016 and we are finally at the final edition of revisited predictions for this season in motorsports. Today, we look at multiple series and form of motorsports and what came out right and what was wrong.

1. MotoGP: Suzuki Scores At Least Three Podiums
Correct! All of Suzuki's podiums came at the hands of Maverick Viñales and not only did the Spaniard finished on the podium four times, he won at Silverstone on his way to finishing fourth in the championship. Now Suzuki will have to hope two new riders can build on the 2017 success as Viñales moves to the factory Yamaha team alongside Valentino Rossi and Aleix Espargaró heads to Aprilia. Andrea Iannone moves to Suzuki from Ducati and Álex Rins moves up from Moto2 after finishing second and third in that championship the last two seasons.

2. Indy Lights: The Champion Does Not Come From Juncos Racing or Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
Correct! Carlin's Ed Jones took the title by two points over Schmidt Peterson Motorsports' Santiago Urrutia. I had a feeling Jones would win it after nearly taking the title in his rookie season in 2015. I am not one of those perturbed at how Jones won the title. Sometimes too much focus is put on the final act instead of all the acts and when it comes to a championship that is decided on an aggregate of 18 races it is easy to believe the final race is what decided the championship but had Urrutia not spun in the Freedom 100 or dropped from second to ninth in first Road America race then he might have been in control of the championship entering the finale. He wasn't and Jones was in control and Jones did what he had to do to win the championship.

3. Super Formula: Honda Wins More Than Two Races
Correct! Honda won three times in Super Formula. Naoki Yamamoto won the season opener at Suzuka for Honda. McLaren reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne would win at Okayama in September and the final race of the season at Suzuka in October. Vandoorne was the top Honda driver in the championship by finishing fourth.

4. Super GT: James Rossiter Does Not Win the Suzuka 1000km
Correct! Rossiter was not able to make it three consecutive Suzuka 1000km victories. His car retired from the event and the #38 Lexus Team ZENT Cerumo of Hiroaki Ishiura and Yuji Tachikawa won the prestigious endurance race.

5. V8 Supercars: Red Bull Racing Australia Wins at Least Fourteen Races
Correct! Red Bull Racing Australia won 17 of 29 races this season in Supercars with the team winning seven of the final eight races to close out the season. Champion Shane Van Gisbergen led the team with eight victories, Jamie Whincup won seven times and Craig Lowndes won twice.

6. DTM: There Will Be At Least Two Driver Changes at Mercedes-Benz
Correct but barely. Compared to its 2015 driver line-up Mercedes-Benz had only one change at the start of 2016 with Esteban Ocon replacing 2015 DTM champion and Manor Racing-bound Pascal Wehrlein. The second driver change at Mercedes-Benz occurred when Ocon himself got promote to Manor Racing to replace Rio Haryanto and Felix Rosenqvist entered as Ocon's replacement.

7. WSBK: Nicky Hayden Scores At Least One Podium but Finishes Behind Michael van der Mark in the Championship
Correct! The Kentucky Kid had four podiums in 2016, including a victory in the wet at Sepang, the only non-British rider to win in World Superbike in 2016. However, Hayden finished fifth in the championship, 19 points behind van der Mark who had six podium finishes with him finishing runner-up twice.

8. WSS: Less than 25 Points Decides the Championship
Wrong! Kenan Sofuoglu locked up his fifth World Supersport championship with a race to spare and his final margin of victory in the championship was 74 points over Jules Cluzel.

9. World Rally Championship: Ford Wins at Least One Rally
Wrong! Although Ott Tänak came close on two occasions. The Estonian driver led Rally Poland but lost the lead on the penultimate stage to Volkswagen's Andreas Mikkelsen and the Norwegian driver beat Tänak by 26.2 seconds in the final results. At Wales Rally GB, Tänak won 12 of 22 stages, including sweeping six stages on the final day but finished second to Volkswagen's Sébastien Ogier by 10.2 seconds. Now Ogier moves to M-Sport and I have to think Ford is going to win a few times with the Frenchman in 2017.

10. World Touring Car Championship: There Will Be More Race Winners Than in 2015
Correct! In 2015, seven drivers won a WTCC race. In 2016, 11 drivers won a WTCC race. Those 11 drivers were Robert Huff, José María López, Tiago Monteiro, Mehdi Bennani, Tom Coronel, Gabriele Tarquini, Nick Catsburg, Tom Chilton, Norbert Michelisz, Yvan Muller and Thed Björk.

Another set of predictions and another time of getting eight predictions correct except this time it was eight from ten. That is it for revisiting 2016 predictions. Feel free to look back on the revisited predictions for IndyCar, NASCAR, Formula One and sports cars. 2017 predictions will be here soon and maybe sooner than you think.