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Motor sport review 2012

December 30, 2012

This year proved to be a swansong for some of motor sport's leading lights and, at one point, it seemed that two of its most well-known series also faced a grim future.

However, the World Rally Championship and World Touring Car Championship rebounded from a promoting debacle and potentially crippling manufacturer withdrawal respectively to get back on a relatively sure footing by the end of the year, a development just as important as the destination of any title.

Following the deaths of Marco Simoncelli and Dan Wheldon, the year began with the kind of soul-searching which is thankfully so rare in motor sport these days.

The IndyCar Series unveiled a new chassis - bearing Wheldon's initials - with the partially-enclosed wheels helping prevent a repeat of the accident which claimed the life of the British driver.

Ryan Hunter-Reay took both his and the new design's maiden title as Will Power again missed out at the final race of the season, while Wheldon's good friend Dario Franchitti won the Indianapolis 500 for a third time.

Simoncelli had his local Misano Circuit named in his honour and it was at the Rimini venue where Dani Pedrosa's MotoGP title challenge took a critical blow, ultimately handing the crown to Jorge Lorenzo.

Veteran Italian rider Max Biaggi ended his career in style by winning the World Superbike Championship, while MotoGP star Casey Stoner's decision to call it quits at just 27 ensured it was a notable year of motorcycling retirees.

WRC legend Sebastien Loeb announced he will be scaling down his rally programme next year, meaning his remarkable run of consecutive world titles is almost certain to end at nine.

One driver who definitely will not be defending his title is GP2 champion Davide Valsecchi, although Esteban Gutierrez and Max Chilton, who finished third and fourth respectively, are the only men from the series to secure definite Formula 1 drives for 2013.

Elsewhere, the GP3 title went to Mitch Evans, Brad Keselowski won the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Rob Huff and Gordon Shedden won the World and British Touring Car titles respectively, Audi triumphed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Shane Byrne took the British Superbike crown.


Source: SkySports


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