TCF Picks: Moment of the Year 2015


It’s part two of Team TCF’s picks of the year, and this time they are discussing their favourite moments of the year in motorsport!

Connor Jackson – Dan Ticktum’s Revenge

The final race at Silverstone proved to be a turning point for many, with the incident having a championship wide effect. It started on the first lap when Ricky Collard collided and spun Ticktum into Brooklands.

The field was neutralised because after the chain reaction behind. Ticktum however, drove an entire lap before deciding to grass track the final complex and attempt to damage Collard’s car. His later disqualification would put an end to his season, losing him the overall title, the rookie title and many fans respect.  A final decision saw Ticktum banned from racing for two years and a £2000 fine.

The rookie title was won by Enaam Ahmed, who has consequently benefited from the incident, becoming one of the stars in the final round.

What many forget though is that the incident dented Collard’s championship chances as well. He later had to retire because of the damage, losing him the extra nine points he would have gained over Lando Norris, putting him only two points behind. It’s fair to say the final round could have been much different.

Credit: MSA Formula
Credit: MSA Formula

Dan Lloyd – Earl of March Trophy, Goodwood Revival

Historic racing has the tendency to throw some interesting curveballs, and none more so than what Sunday spectators were treated to at September’s Goodwood Revival Meeting. In the Earl of March Trophy race for 500cc Formula Three cars – often referred to as ‘motorbikes on wheels’ – Peter de la Roche won in his front-engined Cooper Norton after making a sweeping pass around George Shackleton’s ‘57 Cooper at the final corner, following a restart.

Shackleton then lost control and crashed on the finish straight, allowing David Woodhouse to finish second in his ‘55 Cooper and bringing Sam Wilson and Nigel Ashburn – two previous leaders who had spun in the final three minutes – into the top five.

These two laps of madness brought about one of the most famous finishes in Goodwood Revival history, automatically earning the F3s a place in the hearts of those present, and proving that in some cases, the old ways are most certainly the best ways.

Dan Mason, Katy McConnachie & Paul Hensby – F1 pays its respects to Jules Bianchi

Dan: #JB17 was what the motorsport world were quoting from 17 July, 2015, in mourning following the tragic news that Jules Bianchi had passed away at the tender age of 24.

Formula 1 then paid a touching, very powerful tribute at the Hungarian GP to remember their fallen fellow racer, embraced in a circle around their crash helmets at a completely silent Hungaroring.

The reaction and respect of those fans present showed how close the motorsport family are packed, while the likes of Felipe Massa struggled to hold back their emotions during the moment.

The young Frenchman’s passing was the first from an accident in the sport since that of the late, great Ayrton Senna back in 1994, which brought the conversations regarding safer cockpit concepts in F1 further into the headlines than ever.

That day in Hungary was one that will be hard to forget, as winner Sebastian Vettel’s hearty tribute over the Ferrari radio also demostrated after the flag.

#ForzaJules

Katy: In an incredibly dark time within Motorsport, it was truly heartwarming to see everyone from every corner of the earth pull together and pay respect to the astonishing talent that we lost when Jules Bianchi passed away this year.

It was a deeply sad and emotional moment for everyone who had watched him race and supported him but the amount of tributes and posts that I saw for this wonderful young man was one of the most beautiful things I have seen from the Motorsport community.

Not a moment passes by where I don’t see at least one post everyday saying something nice about his talent and kind nature. He truly made his mark within this community and when he passed away, everyone pulled together and stayed close to bring smiles back to the faces of every single fan, driver and team member that woke to the news earlier this season.

Sebastian Vettel’s tribute after his win in Hungary to Jules Bianchi was also one of the most amazing things I have heard and it was beautiful to see how such intense rivalry between the Formula 1 drivers could be pushed aside even for just a few moments as they said goodbye and paid respect to their friend.

Paul: Perhaps the saddest news of 2015 was the tragic passing of Frenchman Jules Bianchi, who finally succumbed to his injuries suffered during the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.

Prior to the Hungarian Grand Prix, drivers circled around their helmets, with in the centre was one of Bianchi’s Marussia-marked helmets from 2014, with Bianchi’s parents completing the circle for a moments silence.

It was a tremendous mark of respect for a much loved and much missed driver, who had a bright future ahead of him and had been earmarked to reach the very top with Ferrari.

RIP Jules, you will never be forgotten.

Credit: Manor Marussia F1 Team
Credit: Manor Marussia F1 Team

Joe Hudson – Rosberg’s cap throwing incident

In 2015 you could tell relations were still frosty between the two Mercedes AMG PETRONAS drivers and never looked comfortable around each other at photo shoots and press conferences. However, they seemed to be able to work together to dominate the F1 championship.

Come Austin though, and it was clear things had taken a major dip in the Rosberg-Hamilton relationship and losing the US Grand Prix because of what the German thought was an ‘overly-robust’ move by Hamilton saw tensions reach boiling point. In the post-race ‘chill-out’ room when the Brit passed his team-mate a cap it was rapidly fired back with added malice.

A sign that what was left of the ‘working relationship’ is completely gone? Perhaps. For Mercedes they need to make sure this Prost/Senna-style relationship doesn’t impact on their success in 2016.

Gemma Bray – United States Grand Prix Saturday

My moment of the year just has to be when the Formula 1 teams and drivers did their best to entertain fans at the United States qualifying. Due to bad weather conditions in Austin, drivers couldn’t race so what else could they do with their spare time? Put on some entertainment for the fans that braved the elements.

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Chloe Hewitt – Sebastian Vettel’s first win for Ferrari

After so many memorable moments this year it’s hard to pinpoint just one, although one that certainly stands out is Sebastian Vettel’s first win as a Ferrari driver in his second race with the Italian team.

After a less than stellar 2014, the credibility of the four time world champion was in doubt for many people after being shown up by his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. After a disappointing season for both Vettel and Ferrari many thought the German’s decision to leave Red Bull was a step into the unknown and with much to prove from both sides, a fresh start was much needed.

After a dream start in the opening race in Australia, Vettel did not expect to take to the top step of the podium in Malaysia – to win at Sepang for the fourth time in his career and to claim his first victory since Brazil 2013. Additionally, unlike his former team-mates victories in 2014 which were the results of Mercedes suffering mechanical issues or tripping over themselves, this was the result of Ferrari genuinely outpacing Mercedes and suffering less tyre degradation.

The raw emotion that Vettel displayed in the call down room and on the podium said it all, it was the emotion of a man who had achieved what he had dreamt of since he was a child and lifted the weight of 2014 from his back. Even Lewis Hamilton allowed himself to get swept up in the emotion and sat with Vettel as he basked in his joy.

Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Media
Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Media

Dominik Wilde – Scott Dixon’s IndyCar championship win at Sonoma

As the IndyCar circus made its final stop at Sonoma Raceway in California the story was about Juan Pablo Montoya versus Graham Rahal. The legend and the youngster enjoying a breakout season. One of those two drivers was set to win the 2015 IndyCar championship. Scott Dixon, however, had other ideas.

A quiet drive to victory lane ensured he ended the season equal on points with Montoya, who had led the standings since day one. Sonoma was Dixon’s third win of the season though; Montoya had only won twice meaning he missed out in the cruellest of circumstances.

Dixon’s race cemented his place in fifth on the all-time wins chart for American open-wheel racing while his championship crown gave him a total of four – equal to former team mate Dario Franchitti and second most all time.

All the numbers suggest Dixon was a more than worthy champion, but don’t be saying that to Montoya.

Credit: Chris Owens/IndyCar
Credit: Chris Owens/IndyCar

Josh Close & Louis Suddaby – Rossi Vs Marquez at Sepang

Josh: Seeing Scott Redding and Bradley Smith on the podium in Misano was a close contender for this award but I feel as there can only be one winner in this category. I am talking about the now famous incident in the Moto GP race at Sepang between Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez.

The build-up to the race was overshadowed by allegations by Rossi that Marquez was intentionally trying to help Jorge Lorenzo in the championship and was trying to halt Rossi’s progress in races. There was a tense atmosphere surrounding this race before it had even started and it became worse when the duo found themselves together on the circuit.

Lorenzo had found his way past both riders with ease and rode off into the distance – leaving the rivals to battle for the final podium position. The pair continued to swap positions over the next few laps – almost colliding on a few occasions.

Then came the moment nobody will ever forget. Rossi and Marquez were side-by-side at turn fourteen, with the pair both going wide. In the process Rossi appeared to slow down and looked back in the direction of Marquez before their bikes tangled– sending Marquez into the gravel.

Rossi finished third but was punished for the incident and had to start the final race at Valencia from the back of the grid – ultimately crushing his title chances.

Louis: Not just the moment of 2015, but quite possibly the moment of any year in the history of MotoGP. The warning signs appeared on Thursday with Rossi launching an astonishing attack on Marquez in the pre-race press conference, accusing him of deliberately sabotaging his attempts to succeed him as champion and help Jorge Lorenzo.

The motorcycle racing world was stunned by Rossi’s comments which came on the eve of one the biggest races in his 20 year career but events on Sunday afternoon would not only shock two-wheeled fans, but propel MotoGP onto the back pages of newspapers across the globe.

With Dani Pedrosa leading from the front and Lorenzo giving chase, Rossi was intent on following his title rival but instead became mired in a scrap that became very personal very quickly. Trading positions no fewer than 15 times, the pair subjected each other to the kind of aggressive overtakes that have made both such legendary figures in the sport but Rossi’s agitation was clear as he waved his hand in displeasure on lap six.

A lap later, the battle came to a head with Rossi running Marquez wide at turn fourteen, looking in his direction several times. Contact was inevitable in the end, sending the Spaniard to the floor. The Doctor’s title challenge never recovered after this incident and in the eyes of some, neither will his reputation.

Credit: MotoGP
Credit: MotoGP

Simon Paice – Tom Ingram’s First BTCC Podium

I’ve chosen a Tom Ingram milestone in this category before, when he won the Ginetta GT Supercup title in 2013, and once again this year he provided a moment that will live long in the memory when he stormed to a maiden BTCC podium finish at Rockingham.

The podium came from a truly sensational drive, as Ingram pitted himself against Jason Plato. It was only on the third occasion that Plato got in front of Ingram’s Avensis that he finally made it stick, Ingram showing his skill, racing instinct and guts to battle it out for victory with his former KX mentor.

In particular, Ingram’s move back into the lead at Pif Paf drew huge cheers from the packed grandstands, all through the pitlane and even in the media centre – as the collected journalists realised we were witnessing a truly breakthrough drive.

The post-race celebrations were, in true Tingram style, full of tears as it dawned on him and the Speedworks team just what they had achieved. For me, having reported on his career since 2010, to see him realise his dreams with a BTCC podium was a truly special moment.

Credit: btcc.net
Credit: btcc.net

Matthew McMahon – Tanak’s mid-rally Swim

There are a lot of dramatic moments in Motorsport but the image of Ott Tanak’s Ford Fiesta RS WRC rolling down a hill and into a reservoir on the Rally Guanajuato Mexico topped it all for me. As the car began to sink spectators looked on in horror as the Estonian crew scrambled to get out of the Fiesta and swim to shore.

What was even more incredible was what happened next, at 21:30 on Friday night the mechanics got to work having assessed the damage. They had a three hours in which to complete the job if they wanted to rejoin the event on Saturday’s stages. During this time the mechanics stripped the car almost fully down to its shell removing the windscreens, wings, gearbox, turbo, both the driver and co-driver’s doors, front and rear suspension, fuel tank and all of the interior in the space of an hour!

The crew fixed the damaged engine and reassembled the car and the Fiesta fired into life at 00:05 just over two and a half hours after starting the repair job.

Credit: McKlein/M-Sport
Credit: McKlein/M-Sport

Matt Bristow – Dan Rooke in BRX

Watching the talented Dan Rooke all season! In his first year competing in the Super Modified category of the British Rallycross Championship, he swept away all competition from many seasoned British RX campaigners, whilst also narrowly missing out on winning a drive in an RX Lite. I could have actually put him down under any of the categories!

Phil Kinch – FIA WorldRX Holjes Supercar Final

For me, reporting on WorldRX each weekend makes for a very difficult task in choosing highlights as there are so many, but I’ve managed to pick one.

Holjes is the party place of WorldRX each season and the racing spectacle only adds to the excitement and atmosphere. In this case, Timmy Hansen had begun his charge earlier in the season and the momentum was on his side, challenging Petter Solberg who would ironically retire form the Final.

The moment came at the last corner where Hansen was closing on race leader Mattias Ekstrom in his EKSRX Audi S1. With both cars flying in the air over the last jump, Hansen then threw his Peugeot 208 down the inside of the corner (over the kerb and onto the grass!) in a move that would make a touring car driver very proud.

The two made contact twice and Hansen just won it over the line, only to be later given a five second penalty as the stewards deemed the move illegal and hand Ekstrom the win. But it was still an amazing move and one that had the crowd on its feet all the way!

Despite this, its one moment of WorldRX that I will never forget.

Credit: FIA World Rallycross Championship
Credit: FIA World Rallycross Championship