TCF Picks: Moment of the year 2016


Cal Crutchlow wins the Czech Republic Grand Prix.

This race had everything going for it but it was the result itself that made history! For the first time in 35 years we had a British winner in Moto GP and how deserved it was. Cal gambled with the hard tyre and had to fight his was through the field in slippery conditions in order to claim victory. He reached the front after 16 laps and stayed calm – even with Valentino Rossi chasing him down. – Josh Close

Manor Racing MRT finish in the points

Manor Racing MRT have had one special moment this season, when Pascal Wehrlein finished the Austrian Grand Prix in tenth. Not only was it special for Wehrlein as this was his first Formula 1 point, but also the first points since Jules Bianchi finished in ninth at the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix. – Gemma Bray

Farewell to Audi and Massa

The heartstrings have been tugged on numerous occasions this season, particularly in recent months by some poignant moments that were enough to bring tears to the eyes of avid motorsport fans. Most recent was Audi’s farewell from Prototype racing after 18 sensational years with the stats to show for it. Victory in their final World Endurance Championship race in Bahrain was greeted by cheers, a guard of honour and emotional scenes from the paddock and onlookers alike, Audi adding to their 13 Le Mans 24 Hour victories among 106 wins and 94 fastest laps from 185 outings.

Prior to that, Felipe Massa enjoyed similar tear-jerking treatment after crashing out of his final Brazilian Grand Prix, greeted by applause and embraces by rival teams as he strode down the pit lane bearing a Brazilian flag over his shoulders. – Dan Mason

Will Burns And Tom Wrigley Fought It For Ginetta Honours – Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Ginetta GT4 Supercup Finale

Fourteen laps of the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit separated either Tom Wrigley or Will Burns from the Supercup title, and with the tension rising as the duo ran nose-to-tail for the majority of them, it would dramatically go down to the final racing lap of the whole season. Burns needed to gain a place to take the title and he made his move with a brilliant dive down the inside of Jack Mitchell at Paddock Hill Bend. Directly behind him, Wrigley made the split second decision to throw his car down the inside of Mitchell as well.

They were all-or-nothing moves. They had to be inch perfect. As I watched on from the commentary box, I’m pretty sure I’d stopped breathing. A title was on the line and both drivers gave it everything they had to win, a truly fitting conclusion to a fascinating title duel. You can watch back the nail-biting Supercup season finale here.  – Simon Paice

Porsche wins Le Mans through Toyota heartbreak

It was the defining moment of the endurance racing season, and quite possibly the most important final lap of any race in 2016. Toyota lost a nailed-on opportunity to win its first-ever Le Mans crown when Kazuki Nakajima lost power on his penultimate tour, handing victory (and, further down the line, the world championship) to Porsche. Nakajima’s Toyota TS050 – having done all the hard work to get a lap ahead of the Audis and Porsches – ground to a halt in front of the main grandstand and media centre with turbo issues, sparking a wave of quietened disbelief and a frenzied re-writing of race reports by the assembled media.

The post-race atmosphere was obscure; almost numbing. Nobody quite knew how to react because, frankly, this sort of twist doesn’t tend to happen in such a race, particularly to the current generation of ultra-developed hybrid LMP1 cars. The dejected faces of the Toyota management, followed by Nakajima’s assisted – yet lonely – figure clambering from his cockpit and over the pit wall were powerful images that will surely resonate in motor racing history books for years to come.  There is arguably no other form of motorsport that exudes the same degree of romanticism as endurance racing: just see the replay of this finish as a definitive case study. – Daniel Lloyd

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Porsche lift the trophy for the 18th time. A record.

We all know the thrill and heartbreak of motorsports, but there is no bigger defeat than the 24 Hours of Le Mans, especially when that success was only a lap away. Toyota spent 2015 far off the pace, a long cry from its 2014 drivers title spectacular. This season had started strongly, but not for the car that was so use to the line light.

Yet as the green flag dropped at the circuit de la Sarthe, no-one could have expected the heroic performance from the #5. Against all the odds, it looked as if the Toyota was going to finally come good. As problems hit their rivals, it was the #5 that kept up its consistency as they gradually edged their way to victory. But, with only five minutes to go, the car ran into problems slowing and stopping on the main straight. Tragic. – Connor Jackson

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While only one small part of a thrilling race from start to finish the last five minutes of the 24 showed the best and the worst that motorsport has to offer. The hope and expectation of Toyota and the resignation of Porsche turned in an instant to shocking disappointment for Toyota and relief and delight for Porsche. Add in to that the exceptional commentary from RadioLeMans.com and it is a five minute chunk of why we love endurance racing. – Nick Smith

Late rain adds extra drama to the 24 Hours of Spa

After 23 hours of battling against the track, fellow drivers, and the notorious Ardennes weather the last thing teams needed as they looked to get into position for a final charge was an even bigger deluge to make the track into the world’s longest skating rink.  With cars going off at almost every corner – and the #57 Black Falcon Mercedes being t-boned at the bus stop – it took quick thinking from teams on the pit wall to play the strategy to good effect.

The team to come off the best from this was the ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3 of Alexander Sims, Maxime Martin and Philipp Eng who pitted far enough in the lead to come out on wets and manage the pace until the race dried up again.   It was this quick thinking and good driving that allowed them to stay ahead of the much faster Mercedes AMGs which had been the favourites to claim victory since the end of the Free Practice One. – Joe Hudson

Vettel goes postal

Sebastian Vettel’s breakdown when Max Verstappen was not penalised for running off track and rejoining without losing a place, during the race at the Mexican Grand Prix was the most entertaining moment of the year. The German’s expletive rant at the Dutchman and F1 Race Director Charlie Whiting , whilst he himself was blocking Daniel Ricciardo was priceless. – Rachel Hack

Credit: Octane Photographic

Verstappen’s switch to Red Bull Racing

Following the Russian Grand Prix, Red Bull took the very decisive move to demote Daniil Kvyat back to Toro Rosso and promote Max Verstappen to his seat. This came as a response to Kvyat suffering a few misdemeanours in the opening rounds, including contact with Sebastian Vettel on several occasions, but it cannot be forgotten that the Russian did claim Red Bull’s first podium of 2016 at the Chinese Grand Prix. The move proved correct with Verstappen claiming his first Formula One victory in his first race with Red Bull and continued to impress throughout the season. – Chloe Hewitt

Felipe Massa crashes out of the Brazilian Grand Prix

It is not often that a moment of the year involves a crash! But in this instance, Felipe Massa’s crash during his final home Grand Prix at Interlagos before he retires was sad to watch, but the way the popular Brazilian was cheered by his adoring fans as he walked back to the pits was super.

Massa broke down in tears as he did, and then as he walked through the pit lane, was applauded by everyone, including an amazing display of respect from the Mercedes and Ferrari mechanics before Massa was reunited with his wife and son to receive a guard of honour from his own Williams mechanics. It was heart-warming and tear-inducing at the same time. – Paul Hensby

Nico Rosberg celebrates his maiden World Drivers’ Championship in Abu Dhabi – Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Rosberg winning the World Championship

He may not have won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but his composure and determination in one of the most tense races of the season made him a worthy champion. It was also fantastic to see his raw emotion straight after his win – he realised a childhood dream and it was evident how much it meant to him. – Megan Cantle

When Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes engine cried enough

The British driver held a secure lead in the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix, but this all changed along with his shot at a fourth world-title as the Mercedes engine went up in smoke. It is desperately unfair to argue that it gave Nico Rosberg his maiden title, Rosberg’s resilience in the face of massive psychological pressure was what enabled the German to claim the 2016 crown. But for one moment to so clearly reflect one driver’s despair, and to turn the tables not only in the race but in the title battle, this power-unit disaster was the 2016 stand-out. – Lee Bonham

Opening lap of the last round of the 2015/16 Formula E championship in London

Holding just a narrow lead, Lucas di Grassi knew that he needed to stop Sebastien Buemi from winning to take the title. It set up a tense finale, but matters came to a head on the opening lap as the Brazilian chose not to brake for the second corner and swiped Buemi out of the lead of the race.

It was pure drama, and the gasps from the crowd were audible over the electric whines of the powertrains. It proved the lengths that these drivers were willing to go to in order to win, and that Buemi went on to win the title by setting the fastest lap meant that justice was eventually done. – Scott Douglas

Kevin Eriksson’s Race Winning move at the World RX of Germany Supercar Final

In my mind, this is the best moment of the year. Kevin Eriksson performed this epic move as the field funnelled down to the turn one hairpin, going around the outside of the likes of Solberg, Ekstrom, Bakkerud etc and taking the lead. Epic stuff from a young man who has a big future in World RX. – Phil Kinch

Rossi and Marquez Bury the Hatchet

My moment of the year didn’t even happen on the race track, but in parc ferme at Catalunya. This came against the backdrop of the poisonous atmosphere between the two riders that overshadowed the 2015 finale and a sport that was in mourning following the tragic loss of Luis Salom in free practice 48 hours earlier.

The Spaniard was such a popular figure in the paddock and racing took place with the blessing of his family. Rossi and Marquez proceeded that put on a spectacular showcase of riding skill, with a battle for the lead that would’ve put smiles on the faces of all MotoGP fans on a weekend when it was so desperately needed. To cap it all off, the two shook hands in parc ferme after Rossi’s victory, their first interaction since that collision and a moment that couldn’t have been timed better. – Louis Suddaby