WRC, NHRA & GRC
Antron Brown added the 2015 NHRA
Top Fuel Championship to the one he
collected in 2012, earning both with the
multi-car, multi-class Don Schumacher
Racing empire. Brown’s TF-leading
seven event wins included three-straight to open his Countdown to One
playoffs account – a streak that left
him uncatchable in the final standings.
Erica Enders-Stevens raced to a
second successive Pro Stock title in
2015. Clinching with nine wins and a
round to spare, the Chevrolet Camaro
driver surpassed Shirley Muldowney’s
18 NHRA career wins, pushing the
female record to 21, and bested Pro
Stock Motorcycle racer Angelle
Sampey’s seven-win season in 2001.
or a 12th straight year, a French guy
named Sebastien won the World Rally
Championship. In 2015, it was a third title
for the Ogier version, adding to the nine
earned by previous Seb-in-residence, Loeb.
Ogier’s eight wins from 13 rallies sealed
the deal with three to spare. It would have
been nine wins, had he not thrown a surefire
one away with a crash on the final stage in
Spain while leading a Volkswagen 1- 2-3.
Ogier’s brain fade did allow Andreas
Mikkelsen to inherit a first WRC overall win,
but there’s the crux of it. VW is the WRC’s
dominant marque, with Citroen, Ford and
Hyundai all failing to mount any level of
sustained opposition to the German giant’s
Polo R WRC, yet Ogier’s teammates aren’t
bringing the fight to him either. The fast,
but woefully inconsistent Jari-Matti
Latvala and the more consistent, albeit
somewhat less rapid Mikkelsen are in the
same equipment as Ogier, yet neither can
contrive to challenge on a regular basis.
Rally greatness comes not just from
racking up wins, but from who you beat,
and until Ogier finds himself against a
worthy adversary on a regular basis, he’s
just the best guy in the best car. In contrast,
1-2 FOR THE SEBASTIENS
Sebastien Ogier continued to rack up big WRC numbers.
But sustained opposition for the VW ace proved elusive.
ONE MORE FOR THE SEBS
SPEED AND CONSISTENCY
Colin McRae won his only WRC title in
’95, but had to beat Carlos Sainz, Tommi
Makinen, Juha Kankkunen and Didier Auriol
to achieve it. Greatness was assured.
Ogier can only beat the guys out there,
but it’s a shame we never really got to see
Seb vs. Seb for a sustained period. Here’s
hoping that a genuine challenger appears
from somewhere soon. They don’t even
have to be French and called Sebastien...
Triple WRC champ Sebastien Ogier’s
eight wins in 2015 vaulted him to second
in the all-time wins list with 32. Runaway
leader is Seb Loeb on a staggering 78.
After racing in F1 with
Toro Rosso for one-and-a-half seasons in 2006-’07,
Scott Speed competed in
NASCAR for six years, then
discovered GRC in 2013.
2014-’ 15 also included
four Formula E races, with
a best finish of second.
2015 TOP FUEL CHAMPION
2015 GLOBAL RALLYCROSS CHAMPION
2015 PRO STOCK CHAMPION
Seven different drivers
tasted victory in the 2015
Red Bull Global RallyCross
Supercars class, but it was
Scott Speed’s blend of
speed and consistency
– not an easy trait in the
bump ‘n’ grind world of
GRC – that made the
difference in the end.
The ex- Formula 1
driver took two finals wins,
doing the double at the
Port of Los Angeles, but
backed those up with five
second places and a third
at the Las Vegas finale in
his Volkswagen Andretti
When it came to those
podium visits, nobody
even got close to Speed,
and his victory at the
X Games Austin only
added to a stellar season.
Tanner Foust, took a
season-high three wins – an
accolade he shared with
crowd favorite Ken Block in
the Hoonigan Racing
Division Ford Fiesta ST – but
had to settle for third in the
points behind Olsberg MSE
Fiesta pilot Sebastian
Eriksson. Inaugural Formula
E champ Nelson Piquet Jr.
completed the top four.
With the likes of Block,
Brian Deegan, Bucky
Lasek and occasional
interloper Travis Pastrana
in the 2015 GRC field, the
series remains a crossover
marketer’s dream. And
the participation of major
manufacturers such as
VW and Ford, title sponsor
Red Bull, and multiple
IndyCar Series teams
points to sustained growth
for the category.